Saturday, 29 June 2019

Monsters Walk the Earth. Why These Three Countries Are the Real Troika of Evil



June 28, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  There are monsters among us. Every day I read about an American “plan” to either invade some place new or to otherwise inflict pain to convince a “non-compliant” foreign government how to behave. Last week it was Iran but next week it could just as easily again be Lebanon, Syria or Venezuela. Or even Russia or China, both of whom are seen as “threats” even though American soldiers, sailors and marines sit on their borders and not vice versa. The United States is perhaps unique in the history of the world in that it sees threats everywhere even though it is not, in fact, threatened by anyone.
Just as often, one learns about a new atrocity by Israelis inflicted on the defenseless Arabs just because they have the power to do so. Last Friday in Gaza the Israeli army shot and killed four unarmed demonstrators and injured 300 more while the Jewish state’s police invaded a Palestinian orphanage school in occupied Jerusalem and shut it down because the students were celebrating a “Yes to peace, no to war” poetry festival. Peace is not in the Israeli authorized curriculum.
And then there are the Saudis, publicly chopping the heads off of 37 “dissidents” in a mass display of barbarity, and also murdering and dismembering a hapless journalist. And let’s not forget the bombing and deliberate starving of hundreds of thousands innocent civilians in Yemen.
It is truly a troika of evil, an expression favored by US National Security Advisor John Bolton, though he was applying it to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, all “socialist” nations currently on Washington’s “hit list.” Americans, Saudis and Israelis have become monsters in the eyes of the rest of the world even if in their own minds they are endowed with special privilege due to their being “Exceptional,” “Chosen by God” or “Guardians of Mecca and Medina.” All three countries share a dishonest sense of entitlement that supports the fiction that their oppressive and often illegal behavior is somehow perfectly legitimate.
To be sure not all Americans, Saudis or Israelis are individually monsters. Many are decent people who are appalled by what their respective governments are doing. Saudi citizens live under a despotism and have little to say about their government, but there is a formidable though fragmented peace movement in slightly less totalitarian Israel and in the United States there is growing anti-war sentiment. The discomfort in America is driven by a sense that the post 9/11 conflicts have only embroiled the country more deeply in wars that have no exit and no end. Unfortunately, the peace movement in Israel will never have any real power while the anti-war activists in America are leaderless and disorganized, waiting for someone to step up and take charge.
The current foreign policy debate centers around what Washington’s next moves in the Middle East might be. The decision-making will inevitably involve the US and its “close allies” Israel and Saudi Arabia, which should not surprise anyone. While it is clear that President Donald Trump ordered an attack on Iran before canceling the action at the last minute, exactly how that played out continues to be unclear. One theory, promoted by the president himself, is that the attack would have been disproportionate, killing possibly hundreds of Iranian military personnel in exchange for one admittedly very expensive surveillance drone. Killing the Iranians would have guaranteed an immediate escalation by Iran, which has both the will and the capability to hit high value targets in and around the Persian Gulf region, a factor that may also have figured into the presidential calculus.
Trump’s cancelation of the attack immediately produced cries of rage from the usual neoconservative chickenhawk crowd in Washington as well as a more subdued reiteration of the Israeli and Saudi demands that Iran be punished, though both are also concerned that a massive Iranian retaliation would hit them hard. They are both hoping that Washington’s immensely powerful strategic armaments will succeed in knocking Iran out quickly and decisively, but they have also both learned not to completely trust the White House.
To assuage the beast, the president has initiated a package of “major” new sanctions on Iran which will no doubt hurt the Iranian people while not changing government decision making one iota. There has also been a leak of a story relating to US cyber-attacks on Iranian military and infrastructure targets, yet another attempt to act aggressive to mitigate the sounds being emitted by the neocon chorus.
To understand the stop-and-go behavior by Trump requires application of the Occam’s Razor principle, i.e. that the simplest explanation is most likely correct. For some odd reason, Donald Trump wants to be reelected president in 2020 in spite of the fact that he appears to be uncomfortable in office. A quick, successful war would enhance his chances for a second term, which is probably what Pompeo promised, but any military action that is not immediately decisive would hurt his prospects, quite possibly inflicting fatal damage. Trump apparently had an intercession by Fox news analyst Tucker Carlson, who may have explained that reality to him shortly before he decided to cancel the attack. Tucker is, for what it’s worth, a highly respected critic coming from the political right who is skeptical of wars of choice, democracy building and the global liberal order.
The truth is that all of American foreign policy during the upcoming year will be designed to pander to certain constituencies that will be crucial to the 2020 presidential election. One can bank on even more concessions being granted to Israel and its murderous thug prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bring in Jewish votes and, more importantly, money. John Bolton was already in Israel getting his marching orders from Netanyahu on the weekend and Pence was effusive in his praise of Israel when he spoke at the meeting in Orlando earlier in the week launching the Trump 2020 campaign, so the game is already afoot. It is an interesting process to observe how Jewish oligarchs like Sheldon Adelson contribute tens of millions of dollars to the politicians who then in turn give the Jewish state taxpayer generated tens of billions of dollars in return. Bribing corrupt politicians is one of the best investments that one can make in today’s America.
Trump will also go easy on Saudi Arabia because he wants to sell them billions of dollars’ worth of weapons which will make the key constituency of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) happy. And he will continue to exert “maximum pressure” on Iran and Venezuela to show how tough he can be for his Make America Great audience, though avoiding war if he possibly can just in case any of the hapless victims tries to fight back and embarrass him.
So, there it is folks. War with Iran is for the moment on hold, but tune in again next week as the collective White House memory span runs to only three or four days. By next week we Americans might be at war with Mongolia.
Philip Giraldi is Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. A former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. 

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!

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (20 – 26 June 2019)


Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 20 – 26 June, 2019.
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the Gaza Strip. 124 Palestinian civilians, including 28 children, 3 women and a paramedic, were wounded, in the 63rd week of the Great March of Return.
Shooting:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized within the activities of “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed the 63rd  Friday of the peaceful protests along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces also used force against civilians who participated in the demonstrations organized against the Israeli incursions into the West Bank cities and villages.  In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces wounded 124 Palestinian demonstrators, including 28 children, 3 women and a paramedic. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 124 Palestinian demonstrators, including 28 children, 3 women and a paramedic, while participating in peaceful protests organized within the activities of the March of Return and Breaking Siege, which witnessed the 63rd Friday of the peaceful protests.
Injuries in the Gaza Strip from 20 – 27 June 2019 According to the Governorate

GovernorateInjuries
TotalChildrenWomenJournalistsParamedicsCritical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip940000
Gaza City1900000
Central Gaza Strip3391000
Khan Yunis3561010
Rafah2891000
Total124283010

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating an ongoing Israeli policy of targeting fishermen’s livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 5 incidents. As a result, a fishing boat front belonging to ‘Emad al-Deen Mansour sustained damage and fishing nets that belong to him in addition to fishing nets of other fishermen were confiscated. According to Emad, his around 10 fishing nets cost around NIS 5,500. Moreover, another fishing boat sustained material damage and three fishermen, including a child, were arrested.

As part of targeting the border areas, on 24 June 2019, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands in al-Fakhari village, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip. Around the same day, the Israeli forces opened fire and fired flare bombs in the sky along the border area, east of ‘Abasan al-Jadidah, east of the city, and no casualties were reported.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 4 civilians, including 2 children.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 68 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 51 Palestinians, including 7 children, a journalist and 1 woman, in the West Bank while 11 other civilians, including 2 children, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.

Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

  • As part of settlement expansion, demolitions and house demolition notices, on Thursday, 20 June 2019, Israeli forces moved into Wadi al-Humus neighborhood in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They then handed dozens of civilians notices to demolish their houses and gave them until 18 July 2019. The Committee of Wadi al-Humus neighborhood stated that on 13 June 2019, the Israeli Supreme Court approved on the Israeli forces’ decision to demolish 16 residential buildings, comprising of over 100 houses, under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall. The Committee added that the buildings, which were approved for demolition, are located in area classified as Area “A” and licensed by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government.

  • On 26 June 2019, Israeli forces demolished an under-construction gas station in ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. The gas station, which was built on 3-dunum of land, belongs to Mohamed Ibrahim Helwa.

Settlement activities and settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

  • As part of settlement expansion, demolitions and house demolition notices, on 24 June 2019, Israeli forces dismantled a 40-sqaure-meter residential tent built of sheds and iron pipes in al-Mofaqarah village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron, and then confiscated it without any prior notice to stop construction works or demolition. The tent belongs to Qasem Mohamed Hasan Hamamrah (40), who was living in the tent along with his wife and their 5 children.

  • On 25 June 2019, Israeli forces confiscated a mounted-crane truck and a vehicle belonging to Beit Ummer Municipality, north of Hebron, while the Electricity Company staff belonging to the municipality was working in Beit Za’tah area adjacent to the Bypass Road (60) in order to supply the residents’ houses with electricity.

  • As part of settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 22 June 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Ariel” settlement, leveled Palestinians’ agricultural lands located adjacent to ‘Abed al-Rahman Valley in Salfit. The settlers aimed at building a settlement road, establishing infrastructure and conducting excavation for settlement housing units in order to expand the abovementioned settlement.

  • On 23 June 2019, dozens of Israeli settlers leveled 300 agricultural dunums in Khelet al-Nahlah area adjacent to Wad Rahhal village, south of Bethlehem. Those lands belong to Mohamed Yaieh ‘Ayish. The settlers leveled the lands in order to place mobile houses and establish a settlement outpost called” Givat Etam “. This outpost will connect “Efrat “and “Tekoa“ settlements together and isolate Bethlehem from its southern countryside and southern West Bank by plan “E2”.
Closure and Restrictions on Freedom of Movement:

The Israeli authorities continued to impose the illegal closure policy on the oPt in order to establish an unprecedented reality that would economically and socially strangulate the Palestinian civilian residents and to tighten their restrictions on the freedom of movement for persons in addition to imposing measures that would undermine the freedom of trade, including imports of the residents’ basic and important needs and the exports of agricultural and industrial products. 

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli authorities continued their tightening closure and naval blockade on the Gaza Strip to isolate it completely from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and from the outside world for 13 years.  This closure has resulted in grave violations of the residents’ social, economic and cultural rights and a deterioration of the living conditions of around 2 million residents living in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, the Israeli closure has increased the poverty rate up to 65% while the unemployment rate has recently amounted to 47%.  Youth constitutes around 65% of the unemployed persons while 80% of the Gaza residents depend on foreign aids to secure the minimum level of their daily needs.  These rates indicate that there is an unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, the Israeli forces continued to tighten the screws on the cities, villages and refugee camps of the West Bank by increasing the number of military checkpoints around and/or in between as they created what is so called “small isolated cantons” which restrict the movement of civilians.  The suffering of the Palestinian civilians during their movement between the cities, particularly on the two sides of the annexation wall, has increased due to the Israeli forces’ inhuman and degrading treatment.  Furthermore, these checkpoints are used as ambushes to arrest the Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces almost daily carry out arrest campaigns at these checkpoints and at the border crossings with the West Bank.
  • Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

Arrests and Incursions:

  • At approximately 01:00 on Sunday, 25 June 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Shaikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They then raided and searched a house belonging to Hamam Ibrahim al-Hussani (16) and then arrested him.

  • At approximately 02:00 on Monday, 24 June 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Dahrah area in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They then raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Husam Samieh ‘Eliyan (18), Majd Basheer Ahmed (21), ‘Abed al-Qader Mohamed Mohamed Dari (19), Nour al-Deen Maher Muhasin (20), Mohamed Rafat Dari (19), Ayoub Abu al-Humus (19), and Akram Mostafa (20).

  • At approximately 05:00 on Tuesday, 15 June 2019, Israeli forces moved into Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested ‘Abdullah Mohamed Abu Latifa (17) and ‘Ali Abu Latifa (19).

  • On Tuesday, Israeli forces arrested Yousef ‘Ali Hazinah (19), from al-Sa’diyia neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of hanging a banner on the Old City wall written on it ““Down with the Bahrain conference! “. The Israeli forces then took him to a police station on Salah al-Deen Street for investigation. It should be noted that on Tuesday evening, a number of Palestinian young men hung a large banner written on it ““Down with the Bahrain conference! “. The banner was hung on the Old City wall in the area located between al-‘Amoud and al-Sahera Gates (al-Sultan Suliman Street). Moreover, the Palestinian young men fixed the Palestinian flag on the Old City wall, condemning Bahrain conference and Deal of the Century. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces took down the banner and flag, and then arrested Yousef.

  • House Demolitions:

  • On Thursday, 20 June 2019, Israeli forces moved into Wadi al-Humus neighborhood in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They then handed dozens of civilians notices to demolish their houses and gave them until 18 July 2019. The Committee of Wadi al-Humus neighborhood stated that on 13 June 2019, the Israeli Supreme Court approved on the Israeli forces’ decision to demolish 16 residential buildings, comprising of over 100 houses, under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall. The committee added that the Israeli forces gave the houses’ residents until 18 July to self-demolish the houses or the Israeli forces will demolish them later. The committee clarified that the Israeli forces handed the residents demolition notices 3 years ago under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall. According to the Israeli authorities’ decisions, construction works are banned up to 250 meters from the annexation wall for security reasons. This means that around 1500 dunums of Wadi al-Humus neighborhood are threatened to be levelled, constituting half of the neighborhood area. The Committee added that the buildings, which were approved for demolition, are located in area classified as Area “A” and licensed by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government.

  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 26 June 2019, Israeli forces demolished an under-construction gas station in ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. Head of ‘Aata village municipality, Taha Nu’man, said that 3 military bulldozers accompanied with a large force of Israeli soldiers demolished the gas station built on 3-dunum of land at the northern entrance to the village. The gas station, which was demolished under the pretext of being in area C, belongs to Mohamed Ibrahim Helwa. Taha added that the Israeli forces fired a barrage of tear gas canisters while demolishing the station in order to prevent residents from approaching the area.


  • Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 24 June 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into al-Mofaqarrah village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli workers dismantled a 40-sqaure-meter residential tent built of sheds and iron pipes and confiscated it without any prior notice to stop construction works or demolition. The tent belongs to Qasem Mohamed Hasan Hamamrah (40), who was living in the tent along with his wife and their 5 children. An Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Qasem a list of the confiscated items and later left the area.

  • At approximately 13:30 on Tuesday, 25 June 2019, Israeli forces confiscated a mounted-crane truck and a vehicle belonging to Beit Ummer Municipality, north of Hebron. They then took them to a detention facility in “Ghush Etizon” settlement, south of Bethlehem. The mounted-crane truck and the vehicle were confiscated while the Electricity Company staff belonging to the municipality were working in Beit Za’tah area adjacent to the Bypass Road (60) in order to supply the residents’ houses with electricity.


  • Settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property

  • Israeli settlers’ attacks:

  • At approximately 08:30 on Saturday, 22 June 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “ Ariel” settlement, leveled Palestinians’ agricultural lands located adjacent to ‘Abed al-Rahman Valley in Salfit. The settlers aimed at building a settlement road, establishing infrastructure and conducting excavation for settlement housing units in order to expand the abovementioned settlement. The levelled lands belong to the heirs of the late ‘Abed al-Ghaffar Zaghloul Qayil, the heirs of the late ‘Izzat Zaid, the heirs of the late Mousa Daib Ishtaeih, the heirs of the late ‘Abed al-Ghaffar ‘Afanah, the heirs of the late Hussain ‘Abed al-Ghani ‘Afanah, the heirs of the late Ahmed Daib Dahdoul, the heirs of the late Ahmed Naseef Ishtaieh, and the heirs of the late ‘Abed al-Hadi al-Bashar.


  • On Sunday morning, 23 June 2019, dozens of Israeli settlers levelled 300 agricultural dunums in Khelet al-Nahlah area adjacent to Wad Rahhal village, south of Bethlehem. Hasan Barijiyah, Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance in Bethlehem, said that settlers’ bulldozers levelled lands in Khelet al-Nahlah area, under the Israeli forces’ protection. Those lands belong to Mohamed Yaieh ‘Ayish. He pointed out that the settlers levelled the lands in order to place mobile houses and establish a settlement outpost called” Givat Etam “. This outpost will connect “Efrat “and “Tekoa“settlements together and isolate Bethlehem from its southern countryside and southern West Bank by plan “E2”.


  • Recommendations to the International Community

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of the State of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC for an ongoing investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and serious violations in the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law, considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to work jointly and seriously to enable the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination and establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with an overwhelming majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including punitive means, to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and UN to take all necessary measures to stop the Israeli policy aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in the Palestinian territory and at emptying Palestine from its original inhabitants through expulsions and the policy of house demolitions as a punishment, which are serious violations of the international humanitarian law and may amount to crimes against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work for guaranteeing accountability and prosecution of the Israeli war criminals.
  7. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. This is achieved by activating the principle of universal jurisdiction to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  8. PCHR calls for an urgent and prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the total closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, which restricts the freedom of movement of goods and individuals, and to save the life of 2 million civilians living in the Gaza Strip in unprecedented and strangulating economic, social, political and cultural conditions due to the collective punishment policy and retaliatory actions against civilians.
  9. PCHR calls upon the EU to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  10. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the competent committees.
  11. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

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!

Lord Falconer is Watching You


falconer.jpg
Those who follow my work know that I have little respect for the Labour Party in its current form. However, yesterday, the crumbling party managed to make the right decision in letting Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North, back into its ranks. Williamson was suspended in February after saying Labour had been “too apologetic” in its response to allegations of anti-Semitism.
I expected the Jewish media and Israel firsters to perform their usual tantrums. The JC was quick to declare itself  “outraged” and referred to Williamson as a ‘Jew-baiter.’ The Board of Deputies Vice President, Amanda Bowman, called the announcement an “utter disgrace.” Former Labour MP and former Labour Friends of Israel member, Ian Austin, wasn’t happy either. “It is a complete disgrace that Chris Williamson, who has caused huge offence to Jewish people, is let off with just a warning.”
Why is it no surprise that yours truly happens to be at the eye of the storm? Why is it that supporting my art and my freedom to create and explore art is the most anti-Semitic crime a Labour politician can commit? Like the Nazi party that united against Jazz, elements within the Labour party are truly tormented by me swinging for a living.
MP Margaret Hodge, a Labour politician with an horrendous  history , was interviewed yesterday on BBC’s Newsnight. She was horrified by Labour’s decision to let Williamson back in. Apparently Williamson’s second most horrific crime was supporting a“ musician who thought that Hitler had not gone far enough.” Hodge was obviously referring to me. But she knew very well that she was on shaky ground. She was clever enough to refrain from mentioning my name.  Earlier today I posted a video with my exact wording in ‘The Wandering Who.’ My words directly contradicted Hodge’s assertion and show this caricature MP to be an empty vessel.
Also today,  on BBC Radio 4 Lord Falconer revealed that I could well be the primary cause of Williamson’s plight.
Lord Falconer said of Williamson that: “he has been guilty of a pattern of behaviour which includes the following. He signed a petition in favour of Gilad Atzmon. Gilad Atzmon promoted holocaust denial, blamed the Grenfell tower fire on what he called ‘Jerusalemites’ and suggested Hitler’s actions against the Jews were a direct response to the Jew’s declaring war on Germany. That’s just one of a series of incidents where Chris Williamson has lined up with people who are either guilty of anti-Semitism like Gilad Atzmon or have been expelled from the Labour Party for anti-Semitism.”
Listen to Falconer’s drivel:
Lord Falconer on Gilad Atzmon
I would like to thank Lord Falconer and Mrs. Hodge  for spreading the genre of Hasbara manufactured drivel that is both erroneous and slanderous, they provide me a golden opportunity to expose the true rotten nature of the Labour party in its current occupied state.
Holocaust Denial: I have never, ever promoted holocaust denial. I have explored the philosophical meaning of history. I maintain that if history is the attempt to narrate the past as we move along, then history revisionism is what true history is all about. I have never promoted any historical narrative, I am not an historian and do not see myself as qualified to act as one. I do want to live in a society where intellectuals are free to express their views, dissenting or otherwise, without being harassed by a foreign lobby, compromised Labour politicians or any other pressure groups.
Lord Falconer asserts that I “blamed the Grenfell tower fire on what he called ‘Jerusalemites’”  If the ignoramus Lord engaged in even elementary research he would find out that ‘Jerusalemite’ isn’t terminology I invented. The ‘Athens vs. Jerusalem’ dichotomy is a central philosophical concept that was introduced to the English speaking world by the Jewish philosopher, Leo Strauss.  My application of the terms is consistent with Strauss’ explication of these two competing notions.  If Lord Falconer did his homework and read my words, he would find that whenever I refer to Athens and Jerusalem I always emphasise that Jerusalemite doesn’t mean Jews.
If Athens is the birthplace of philosophy, science, the aesthetic and the poetic, Jerusalem is the home of revelation. In Jerusalem one is expected to follow regulations, a premeditated script.
I argue that the Grenfell Tower tragedy is the outcome of the Jerusalemization of the Western universe. Instead of asking whether it was a good idea to cover skyscrapers with flammable cladding, we were devastated to find out that construction companies merely followed  ‘regulations’ and avoided using any form of educated judgment. I would be interested to learn how Lord Falconer could interpret my comments as an ‘antisemitic view.’
Lord Falconer complains that I “suggested Hitler’s actions against the Jews were a direct response to the Jew’s declaring war on Germany.”  I am afraid this is an historical fact.  Not a single historian has disputed the embarrassing fact that Nazi anti Jewish legislation came about following the push by American Jewish institutions to boycott Nazi Germany.
According to Lord Falconer all of this is  “just one of a series of incidents where Chris Williamson has lined up with people who are either guilty of anti-Semitism like Gilad Atzmon or have been expelled from the Labour Party for anti-Semitism.”
I categorically deny being an anti-Semite. Crucially, I have never been charged or even questioned about anything I said or wrote by any law enforcement authority anywhere in the world. The fact that Lord Falconer accuses an innocent citizen, one with an  absolutely clean record, of being “guilty”  and the BBC presenter does not challenge or even question Falconer’s assertion is a clear indication that Britain is now a lawless place. The Kingdom is a free nation no more. It is an authoritarian society governed by a compromised political class.  Britain has become uninhabitable for intellectuals, truth tellers and peace lovers.  Sad it is but no longer a surprise.

My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

هزيمة «السلطان» أردوغان الإنتخابية في اسطنبول ما دلالاتها وتداعياتها؟


يونيو 29, 2019

د. عصام نعمان

اسطنبول كانت عاصمة سلطنة بني عثمان لأكثر من 400 سنة. السلطان العثماني كان أيضاً خليفة المسلمين مع انّ ايّاً من سلاطين بني عثمان حجّ بيت الله الحرام.

أنهكت الحرب العالمية الأولى 1914 – 1918 السلطنة المترهلة، فكان أن أجهز عليها ضباط علمانيون بقيادة مصطفى كمال الذي أضحى، عقب إعلان الجمهورية العام 1923، رئيساً لها وأباً للأتراك أتاتورك .

بعد نحو قرن من الزمن تخللته حربٌ عالمية ثانية وحروب إقليمية متعددة، تربّع على قمة السلطة في الجمهورية العلمانية سلطان من طراز عثماني مغاير. إنه رجب طيب أردوغان، زعيم حزب العدالة والتنمية الإسلامي، وهو طراز حديث من الاخوان المسلمين. «الاخوان» الأتراك سيطروا على الدولة منذ العام 2003، وفازوا في جميع الانتخابات النيابية التي جرت منذ ذلك التاريخ.

في الانتخابات البلدية الأخيرة آذار/ مارس الماضي فَقَد «الاخوان» الأتراك العاصمة أنقرة والعاصمة الاقتصادية اسطنبول والعاصمة التجارية والسياحية أزمير. شقّ على «السلطان» أردوغان خسارة اسطنبول التي سيطر حزبه على بلديتها طوال 25 سنة، فكان ان نظّم حملة واسعة لإعادة إجراء الإنتخابات البلدية فيها بدعوى حصول تزوير ومخالفات متعددة في دورتها الاولى. حزب الشعب الجمهوري، الذي كان فاز مرشحه أكرم إمام أوغلو برئاسة البلدية، قَبِل التحدي وخاض المعركة متزعّماً جبهة عريضة تضمّ معظم الأحزاب المناوئة لأردوغان وحزبه.

لأسطنبول، البالغ عدد سكانها 15 مليوناً، أهمية سياسية وإقتصادية كبيرة. لم يكن «السلطان» مغالياً عندما أعلن في ذروة دورة الانتخابات البلدية الأخيرة انّ «من يفز في اسطنبول يفز بتركيا». لذلك بذل حزبه جهوداً مضنية لحشد الناخبين المحافظين الذين امتنع بعضهم، كما الناخبون الأكراد، عن التصويت في الدورة الأولى. اللافت والغريب قيام حزب العدالة والتنمية بتلطيف نبرته السياسية والإعلامية في شأن المسألة الكردية لدرجة انّ مرشحه لرئاسة بلدية اسطنبول بن علي يلدريم ذهب الى حدّ ذكر «كردستان»، وهي كلمة محظورة في أوساط معسكره. وكان أردوغان وكذلك وسائل إعلام رسمية أشارت الى رسالة وجهها الزعيم التاريخي لحزب العمال الكردستاني عبد الله أوجلان من سجنه داعياً فيها أنصار حزب الشعوب الديمقراطي الموالي للأكراد الى الحياد. لكن الحزب المذكور ندّد بمناورةٍ قال إنّ السلطات الحكومية تقوم بها وتهدف الى تقسيم الناخيين، داعياً الى التصويت لمرشح المعارضة أكرم إمام أوغلو.

ما دلالات سقوط مرشح السلطان «الاخواني» وتداعياته؟

أولى الدلالات دور الوضع الإقتصادي الصعب في هزيمة حزب العدالة والتنمية الحاكم. فقد بلغت نسبة التضخم 20 في المئة، بالإضافة الى انهيار الليرة التركية وارتفاع نسبة البطالة.

ثانية الدلالات نشوء جبهة معارضة واسعة لأردوغان، في مقدّمها حزب الشعوب الديمقراطي ومن ورائه المجتمع الكردي بملايينه الـ 18. ولا شك في انّ الاتساع المضطرد في شعبية أحزاب المعارضة سينعكس سلباً على حزب أردوغان في الإنتخابات النيابية المقبلة.

ثالثة الدلالات انّ فوز مرشح المعارضة في اسطنبول بتأييد ملحوظ من الناخبين الاكراد عزّز وضع الأكراد السوريين الذين يتعاون بعضهم مع أميركا، ولا سيما تنظيمهم العسكري المعروف باسم «قوات سورية الديمقراطية»، الأمر الذي يزيد من مخاوف الحكومة التركية الرافضة لأيّ شكل من أشكال الحكم الذاتي للأكراد عموماً سواء في تركيا او سورية أو العراق ويدفعها إلى التخفيف من مناوءتها للحكومة السورية وربما الى الحدّ من دعم أنقرة الوازن لبعض التنظيمات الإرهابية المعادية والناشطة في محافظة إدلب السورية.

رابعة الدلالات أنّ هزيمة أردوغان في انتخابات اسطنبول البلدية ربما تدفعه إلى التعاون بفعالية أقوى مع الحكومة الروسية في سياستها الرامية الى منع تقسيم سورية ولاستعادة سيادتها على كامل ترابها الوطني.

خامسة الدلالات انّ هزيمة حزب العدالة والتنمية الاخواني في انتخابات اسطنبول البلدية يعزز معنويات قوى المقاومة في لبنان وسورية وفلسطين المحتلة وربما يدفع أردوغان الى الإنفتاح على سورية بعد طول عداء من جهة، والتعامل مع حكومتها القائمة من جهة أخرى بما يعزز جهودها ضدّ المسلحين من شتى التنظيمات الإرهابية، لا سيما تلك التي تدعمها أميركا و»إسرائيل».

هل يتعقل «السلطان» المأزوم؟

وزير سابق


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!

الأوضاع الكارثيّة لقوات حلف شمال الأطلسي المدرّعة!



يونيو 29, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

في إطار الحوارات والتحليلات، الدائرة حول احتمالات تصاعد التوتر، بما في ذلك على الصعيد العسكري، بين موسكو وواشنطن، وفي ظل تزايد عدد التدريبات والمناورات العسكرية، وعمليات التجسّس الجوي والبحري لحلف شمال الأطلسي ضدّ روسيا، خاصة من محيط البحر الأسود، أيّ المنطقة العسكرية الجنوبية الغربية لروسيا، بما في ذلك شبه جزيرة القرم، ومنطقة بحر البلطيق، التي تشكل المنطقة العسكرية الشمالية الغربية لروسيا، ومركزها مدينة لينينغراد، في ظلّ هذا النقاش الدائر، بين العسكريين والاستراتيجيين، فقد قامت مجموعة منهم بإجراء شبه مقارنة بين القوات المدرّعة لكلا الطرفين، الروسي والغربي الأطلسي، اعتمدت على دراسة تشكيلات مدرّعة روسية وأخرى المانية.

وقد خلص هؤلاء الباحثون العسكريون الأوروبيون الى النتيجة التالية:

1 – يتحمل الجيش الألماني العبء الأساسي، في مجال التدريبات والتحشيدات الأطلسية الموجهة ضدّ روسيا، بما في ذلك الجوانب اللوجستية من هذه النشاطات، التي تشمل كافة عمليات الإمداد والتزويد. وهو الأمر الذي يفرض على الجيش الألماني أن تكون وحداته المدرّعة في وضع مثالي، لأسباب عديدة، لا تتعلق بأعباء الإمداد فقط، والتزويد وانما بالاستعداد القتالي الفعلي في الميدان، وخاصة في مجال قتال المدرعات، التي سيكون عليها واجب:

ـ إما صدّ هجوم روسي مدرّع كاسح على خطوط دفاع حلف شمال الأطلسي استونيا ولاتفيا، في دول البلطيق وضدّ بولندا بشكل خاص.

ـ أو القيام بهجوم مدرّع لاختراق خطوط الدفاع الروسية، انطلاقاً من لاتفيا واستونيا باتجاه لينينغراد الروسية.

2 – وعلى الرغم من ضخامة المسؤولية الملقاة على سلاح المدرّعات الألماني إلا انّ هذا السلاح لا يمتلك أكثر من مئتين وأربع وأربعين دبابة قتال ثقيلة، من طراز ليوبارد 2 / Leopard 2 / والتي سيصل عددها الى ثلاثمئة وثماني وعشرين دبابة سنة 2023.

والأخطر من ذلك، حسب ما نشرته مجلة «شتيرن» Stern الألمانية، في وقت سابق، أنّ خمساً وتسعين دبابة فقط من المجموع العام صالحة للقتال، وذلك بسبب مشاكل تتعلق بقلة الصيانة وقلة قطع الغيار، التي ازدادت الحاجة إليها في السنوات الأخيرة بسبب زيادة عدد التمارين العسكرية لحلف شمال الأطلسي، التي تؤدّي الى استهلاك كبير لجنازير الدبابات وللتجهيزات الالكترونية الخاصة بإدارة تجهيزات الدبابة نفسها بالإضافة إلى أجهزة توجيه وتنسيق النيران… علماً انّ هذا النقص ناجم عن ضعف الإمكانيات المادية المرصودة لذلك لأعمال الصيانة .

3- التفوّق العملياتي الكبير، الذي تتمتع به الدبابات الروسية، من طراز T 80 وT 90، بالإضافة الى أحدث دبابة روسية في العالم، وهي دبابة أرماتا T 14، التي لا مثيل لها على الإطلاق والتي تعتبر سابقة لجميع الدبابات الغربية، بما لا يقل عن 15 عاماً. أيّ أنّ صانعي الدبابات الغربيين، بمن فيهم الأميركيون، بحاجة الى 15 عاماً من أبحاث التطوير كي يتمكنوا من صنع دبابة بمواصفات دبابة T 14 الروسية الحديثة.

4 – يسوق هؤلاء الخبراء العسكريون أدلة عدة، على صحة ما يقولون، أهمها ان الدبابات الغربية غير مجهزة بما يكفي من وسائل الدفاع الذاتي ضد الصواريخ والقذائف المضادة للدروع، سواء تلك التي تطلق من الكتف أو المدافع المباشرة او تلك التي تطلقها المقاتلات والمروحيات القتالية. وهم يستشهدون بقيام المقاتلين الأكراد بتدمير ثلاث دبابات تركية، من طراز Leopard 2 الألمانية الصنع، خلال المعارك التي خاضوها ضد الجيش التركي في سورية.

علماً أنّ الدبابات الأميركية، من طراز ابراهامز / ام 1 / والفرنسية من طراز لوكلير ليست أفضل من مثيلاتها الالمانية.

5 – وفي مقابل المشاكل، المالية والتكنولوجية والإدارية ونقص الإمكانيات القتالية، التي تعاني منها القوات المدرعة لحلف شمال الأطلسي، فإننا نرى تقدماً هائلاً في سلاح المدرعات الروسي، لا يقتصر على التفوّق لدبابة / تي 14 T 14 / الروسية وإنما يمتد ذلك الى القدرة الإنتاجية لصناعة الدبابات في روسيا، التي ستسلم 2300 دبابة، من طراز تي 14/ T14، حتى نهاية سنة 2020 الصناعات الألمانية ستزيد عدد دبابات ليوبارد في الجيش الألماني من 244 حالياً الى 328 سنة 2023…. كالفرق بين الثرى والثريا .

6- هذا كما تجب إضافة تطور هو غاية في الأهمية، يتعلق بالمنطقة العسكرية الروسية الغربية، التي تمتد من حدود موسكو حتى حدود دول البلطيق شمالاً، عبر الحدود مع روسيا البيضاء في الوسط، وصولاً الى الحدود مع أوكرانيا في الجنوب. هذا التطور الهام يتمثل في إعادة تشكيل جيش المدرعات الخاص، أو ما يمكن تسميته جيش مدرعات الحرس الخاص في إشارة لحرس الحدود أو ما يسمى بالانجليزية: 1st Guard Tank Army. هذا الجيش الذي تمّ تشكيله سنة 1942 وشارك في احتلال برلين وبقي معسكراً في ألمانيا الديموقراطية حتى زوال الاتحاد السوفياتي وتمّ حله سنة 1998، بينما بُدِئت إعادة تشكيله سنة 2016، حسب بيانات وزارة الدفاع الروسية، وأنجز ذلك في العام الماضي.

وهو يضم الآن أكثر من 800 دبابة من طراز / تي 80 T 80 / ودبابات تي 72 بي 3/ T – 72 B 3، وهي دبابات محدّثة بحيث أصبحت في مستوى أحدث الدبابات الغربية والروسية الحديثة. كما يضمّ هذا الجيش 800 مدرعة قتالية حديثة الى جانب 1400 مدفع ثقيل وراجمة صواريخ ويصل تعداد أفراده الى خمسين ألف جندي.

الأمر الذي تعتبره الولايات المتحدة وقيادة حلف الناتو إجراء يهدف الى زيادة قوة الردع الروسية في مواجهة قوات الناتو، في المنطقة العسكرية الغربية، والتي تتولى الدفاع عنها قوات جوية وبرية وبحرية روسية هائلة، إلى جانب هذا الجيش الجديد القديم، الذي يكتسب جزءاً من أهميته وقدرته على الردع من تاريخه العريق ومن الدور الخاص الذي قامت به وحداته القتالية خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية ومشاركته في احتلال برلين. وفِي ذلك إشارة الى المعنى الرمزي لدور هذا الجيش في احتلال برلين. وكأن الروس يخططون لإعادة احتلال برلين.

وبئس مثوى المتكبّرين.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله.


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!

The “Let Em Eat Cake” Deal of the Century: Trump’s “No Peace Deal Peace Plan” for Palestine and the Middle East


Global Research, June 28, 2019
A peace conference without participation of warring sides is an affront to what the process is supposed to be all about.
Trump’s no-peace/deal of the century peace plan was partly introduced at the so-called June 25-26 “Peace to Prosperity Workshop” in Bahrain.
A fascist dictatorship was appropriately chosen to host a scheme Palestinians, the Arab street, and activists for peace, equity, and justice categorically reject.
The common theme of participating nations was their abhorrence of rule of law principles and democratic values. Representatives from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Morocco attended.
So did reinvented war criminal Tony Blair, along with US officials, others from the predatory World Bank and IMF, business interests as well showing up.
Palestinians boycotted the conference. Israel didn’t attend because of their absence. Nor Iraq and Lebanon.
Many participating representatives were mid-level officials, indicating lack of enthusiasm for the Trump regime’s dog and pony PR show — a scheme going nowhere.
Deceptively billed as “a vision to empower the Palestinian people to build a prosperous and vibrant Palestinian society,” the plan is all about serving privileged US/Israeli interests at their expense.
It has nothing to do with peace, equity and justice for long-suffering Palestinians, nothing to do with resolving irreconcilable Israeli/Palestinian differences, nothing to do with fundamental Palestinian rights affirmed under international law.
The economic portion of the plan discussed is all about serving US-led Western and Israeli monied interests, neoliberal harshness intended for Palestinians – how ordinary people are mistreated throughout the West and for the majority of Israeli Jews.
UK-based Palestinian academic Kamel Hawwash said holding the workshop without Palestinian participation showed its true goal — exploiting, not helping them, adding:
Palestinian self-determination and other rights affirmed under international law are fundamental.
Without achieving them, the peace process is stillborn — the way it’s been for the past half-century, the greatest hoax in modern times, along with the US global war OF terror, not on it.
Trump’s no-peace/deal of the century ignores fundamental final status issues, including Palestinian self-determination, illegal Israeli occupation, settlements, borders, air and water rights, other resources, the right of diaspora Palestinians to return to their homeland, and East Jerusalem as exclusive Palestinian capital.
The plan ignores US/UK responsibility for over a century of harshness imposed on Palestinians, over 70 years of Israeli viciousness, and over half a century of militarized occupation — their land stolen, their fundamental rights denied.
Longstanding Israeli land theft is fundamental, what the Trump regime supports, including Jewish state annexation of West Bank settlements on stolen Palestinian land.
The plan treats Palestinians as “customers,” not afforded the right to be citizens of their own country, free from oppressive occupation.
The scheme involves securing a $50 billion investment fund for infrastructure and business projects. It’s unclear where most of the money is coming from and under what terms — whether it’s a gift, a loan, or combination of both, and what return on investment donors/lenders expect.
Without resolving key political issues, the economic proposal is meaningless. Who’ll invest billions of dollars for development in a de facto war zone?
Undeclared Israeli war on Palestinians remains ongoing throughout the Territories, no end of it in prospect.
The Trump regime showed contempt for their rights by illegally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s exclusive capital, moving the US embassy there, and cutting off all funding for millions Palestinian refugees considered nonpeople.
Over $200 million in US aid for the West Bank and Gaza was “redirected” elsewhere “to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with US national interests (sic) and provide value to the US taxpayer (sic).”
The Trump regime’s vision of “a new reality in the Middle East” is old wine in new bottles — Palestinians still denied their right to live in peace on their own land in their own country, Israel’s repressive boot no longer stomping on them.
The bottom line of what went on in Bahrain and may follow is that Trump’s no-peace/deal of the century peace plan was dead before arrival — leaving oppressive Israeli apartheid rule in place.

*
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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!

Russia-India-China will be the big G20 hit


June 27, 2019
It all started with the Vladimir Putin–Xi Jinping summit in Moscow on June 5. Far from a mere bilateral, this meeting upgraded the Eurasian integration process to another level. The Russian and Chinese presidents discussed everything from the progressive interconnection of the New Silk Roads with the Eurasia Economic Union, especially in and around Central Asia, to their concerted strategy for the Korean Peninsula.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) hug during their meeting before a session of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Photo: AFP / Grigory Sysoev / Sputnik
A particular theme stood out: They discussed how the connecting role of Persia in the Ancient Silk Road is about to be replicated by Iran in the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). And that is non-negotiable. Especially after the Russia-China strategic partnership, less than a month before the Moscow summit, offered explicit support for Tehran signaling that regime change simply won’t be accepted, diplomatic sources say.
Putin and Xi solidified the roadmap at the St Petersburg Economic Forum. And the Greater Eurasia interconnection continued to be woven immediately after at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, with two essential interlocutors: India, a fellow BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and SCO member, and SCO observer Iran.
At the SCO summit we had Putin, Xi, Narendra Modi, Imran Khan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sitting at the same table. Hanging over the proceedings, like concentric Damocles swords, were the US-China trade war, sanctions on Russia, and the explosive situation in the Persian Gulf.
Rouhani was forceful – and played his cards masterfully – as he described the mechanism and effects of the US economic blockade on Iran, which led Modi and leaders of the Central Asian “stans” to pay closer attention to Russia-China’s Eurasia roadmap. This occurred as Xi made clear that Chinese investments across Central Asia on myriad BRI projects will be significantly increased.
Russia-China diplomatically interpreted what happened in Bishkek as “vital for the reshaping of the world order.” Crucially, RIC – Russia-India-China – not only held a trilateral but also scheduled a replay at the upcoming Group of Twenty summit in Osaka. Diplomats swear the personal chemistry of Putin, Xi and Modi worked wonders.
The RIC format goes back to old strategic Orientalist fox Yevgeny Primakov in the late 1990s. It should be interpreted as the foundation stone of 21st-century multipolarity, and there’s no question how it will be interpreted in Washington.
India, an essential cog in the Indo-Pacific strategy, has been getting cozy with “existential threats” Russia-China, that “peer competitor” – dreaded since geopolitics/geo-strategy founding father Halford Mackinder published his “Geographical Pivot of History” in 1904 –  finally emerging in Eurasia.
RIC was also the basis on which the BRICS grouping was set up. Moscow and Beijing are diplomatically refraining from pronouncing that. But with Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro seen as a mere Trump administration tool, it’s no wonder that Brazil has been excluded from the RIC summit in Osaka. There will be a perfunctory BRICS meeting right before the start of the G20 on Friday, but the real deal is RIC.

Pay attention to the go-between

The internal triangulation of RIC is extremely complex. For instance, at the SCO summit Modi said that India could only support connectivity projects based on “respect of sovereignty” and “regional integrity.” That was code for snubbing the Belt and Roads Initiative – especially because of the flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which New Delhi insists illegally crosses Kashmir. Yet India did not block the final Bishkek declaration.
What matters is that the Xi-Modi bilateral at the SCO was so auspicious that Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale was led to describe it as “the beginning of a process, after the formation of government in India, to now deal with India-China relations from both sides in a larger context of the 21st century and of our role in the Asia-Pacific region.” There will be an informal Xi-Modi summit in India in October. And they meet again at the BRICS summit in Brazil in November.
Putin has excelled as a go-between. He invited Modi to be the guest of honor at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in early September. The thrust of the relationship is to show to Modi the benefits for India to actively join the larger Eurasia integration process instead of playing a supporting role in a Made in USA production.
That may even include a trilateral partnership to develop the Polar Silk Road in the Arctic, which represents, in a nutshell, the meeting of the Belt and Road Initiative with Russia’s Northern Sea Route. China Ocean Shipping (Cosco) is already a partner of the Russian company PAO Sovcomflot, shipping natural gas both east and west from Siberia.
Xi is also beginning to get Modi’s attention on the restarting possibilities for the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCMI) corridor, another major Belt and Road project, as well as improving connectivity from Tibet to Nepal and India.
Impediments, of course, remain plentiful, from disputed Himalayan borders to, for instance, the slow-moving Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – the 16-nation theoretical successor of the defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership. Beijing is adamant the RCEP must go into overdrive, and is even prepared to leave New Delhi behind.
One of Modi’s key decisions ahead is on whether to keep importing Iranian oil – considering there are no more US sanctions waivers. Russia is ready to help Iran and weary Asian customers such as India if the EU-3 continue to drag the implementation of their special payment vehicle.
India is a top Iran energy customer. Iran’s port of Chabahar is absolutely essential if India’s mini-Silk Road is to reach Central Asia via Afghanistan. With US President Donald Trump’s administration sanctioning New Delhi over its drive to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system and the loss of preferred trade status with the US, getting closer to Bridge and Road – featuring energy supplier Iran as a key vector – becomes a not-to-be-missed economic opportunity.
With the roadmap ahead for the Russia-China strategic partnership fully solidified after the summits in Moscow, St Petersburg and Bishkek, the emphasis now for RC is to bring India on board a full-fledged RIC. Russia-India is already blossoming as a strategic partnership. And Xi-Modi seemed to be in sync. Osaka may be the geopolitical turning point consolidating RIC for good.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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