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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Putin: First Soviet government (Communism) was mostly Jewish: The Times of israel

Speaking at Moscow’s Jewish Museum, Russian president says politicians ‘were guided by false ideological considerations’

Russian President Vladimir Putin (photo credit: AP/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (photo credit: AP/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)
JTA — Russian President Vladimir Putin said that at least 80 percent of the members of the first Soviet government were Jewish.
“I thought about something just now: The decision to nationalize this library was made by the first Soviet government, whose composition was 80-85 percent Jewish,” Putin said June 13 during a visit to Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center.
Putin was referencing the library of Rabbi Joseph I. Schneerson, the late leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. The books, which are claimed by Chabad representatives in the United States, began being moved to the museum in Moscow this month.
According to the official transcription of Putin’s speech at the museum, he went on to say that the politicians on the predominantly Jewish Soviet government “were guided by false ideological considerations and supported the arrest and repression of Jews, Russian Orthodox Christians, Muslims and members of other faiths. They grouped everyone into the same category.
“Thankfully, those ideological goggles and faulty ideological perceptions collapsed. And today, we are essentially returning these books to the Jewish community with a happy smile.”
Widely seen as the first Soviet government, the Council of People’s Commissars was formed in 1917 and comprised 16 leaders, including chairman Vladimir Lenin, foreign affairs chief Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, who was in charge of the People’s Commissariat of Nationalities

Conscience catching up with Blair? ‘We were wrong to boycott Hamas after its election win’

Former prime minister says international community should have tried to pull militant Islamic faction ‘into a dialogue’ over its refusal to recognise Israel
 Tony Blair and then Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in 2006, as violence raged in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah.Tony Blair and then Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in 2006, as violence raged in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah. Photograph: Muhammed Muheisen/AP
Tony Blair has said for the first time that he and other world leaders were wrong to yield to Israeli pressure to impose an immediate boycott of Hamas after the Islamic faction won Palestinian elections in 2006.
As prime minister at the time, Blair offered strong support for the decision – driven by the George W Bush White House – to halt aid to, and cut off relations with, the newly elected Hamas-led Palestinian Authority unless it agreed to recognise Israel, renounce violence and abide by previous agreements between its Fatah predecessors and Israel. The ultimatum was rejected by Hamas. The elections were judged free and fair by international monitors.
Blair, who became envoy of the Middle East quartet – composed of the US, EU, UN and Russia – after leaving Downing Street, now says the international community should have tried to “pull Hamas into a dialogue”. The boycott and Israel’s economic blockade of Gaza, which began the following year, are still in force today. A UN report two years ago said the combined effects of the blockade and the three military offensives conducted in Gaza by Israel since 2009 could make the territory “uninhabitable” by 2020. Humanitarian conditions have worsened markedly since the report was written.
Interviewed for my new book Gaza: Preparing for Dawn, out later this month, Blair said: “In retrospect I think we should have, right at the very beginning, tried to pull [Hamas] into a dialogue and shifted their positions. I think that’s where I would be in retrospect.
“But obviously it was very difficult, the Israelis were very opposed to it. But you know we could have probably worked out a way whereby we did – which in fact we ended up doing anyway, informally.”
Blair did not elaborate on subsequent “informal” dealings with Hamas but he appears to be referring to clandestine contacts between MI6 and Hamas representatives during and possibly after the kidnap of BBC journalist Alan Johnston by an extreme fundamentalist group in 2007. The kidnappers eventually released Johnston after heavy pressure from the Hamas de facto government.
Since leaving his Quartet post, Blair has held at least six lengthy private meetings with Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas political bureau chief until earlier this year, and his successor Ismail Haniyeh, partly to explore a possible long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. But the international block on official contacts with Hamas has eroded western leverage in the region, increased the isolation and suffering of the Gaza public, and helped to drive the faction into the arms of Iran – all without dislodging it from its dominance of Gaza, say critics.
Blair’s rare rethink of a key foreign policy issue has surfaced as Hamas and Fatah embark on a new Egypt-brokered effort to end the schism between the two factions after a preliminary reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo last week. The split was triggered by the brief but bloody 2007 civil war in Gaza which left a victorious Hamas in charge of the coastal enclave and President Mahmoud Abbas running the West Bank-based, Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority
Also interviewed in the book, Jonathan Powell, Blair’s former chief of staff at Downing Street, goes further, saying the Quartet strategy was “a terrible mistake”. Negotiations with Fatah alone – long promoted by the US – meant that “you have to make a concession to Fatah, then you have to make a new concession to Hamas afterwards. You want to have one negotiation, not two … If you got a united Palestinian team to negotiate with, then life would have been a whole lot easier.”
The book also cites internal Whitehall documents from January 2006, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, which warned immediately after the Palestinian elections against ostracising the new Hamas-led authority. A heavily edited minute from the Department for International Development points out that Israel and Hamas were already co-operating at a municipal level, and suggested it would be difficult in the short-term for Hamas to renounce “its commitment to the destruction of Israel and its support for terrorism”. Instead, it suggested that “ultimately Hamas’s participation in the realities of political responsibility might bring about Hamas’s transformation to a political rather than terrorist organisation”.
A Foreign Office “e-gram” from Brussels quotes a senior European commission official saying that a million Palestinians relied directly and indirectly on EU funding. The report added: “To withdraw it would have dramatic consequences and could lead to violence. The EU was under no obligations to align its position on financial support with that of the US and Israel. The EU had not done so in the past. The wider region was watching the EU response to these elections. If we seemed, by our actions, to be rejecting the results then our claims to promoting democracy would be undermined.”

US Meddling Across Southeast Asia

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At a time when US political leaders decry with little evidence what they claim is a pandemic of “Russian interference” in Western political affairs from Western Europe to North America, years of documented evidence exist of this very same interference in the domestic affairs of other nations around the world, funded and directed not by Moscow, but by Washington D.C.
Across Southeast Asia alone is an interlocked, deeply rooted and heavily financed network of American-backed agitators and propagandists, operating behind the cloaks of journalism and rights advocacy, working to upend local, independent political institutions and replace them with a system created by and serving exclusively the interests in Washington that created them.
Shedding Light on US Interference in the Philippines
The Manila Times in a recent article titled, “CIA conduit funding anti-Duterte media outfits,” would shed light on US government money being channelled into the Philippines for the explicit purpose of manipulating public perception, particularly regarding politics.
The article cites the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and its grantees, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), and the Vera Files.
The article outlines the funding, stating:
NED documents show that for 2015—the earliest year for which data is available—2016 and 2017, it gave the PCIJ $106,900; Vera Files $70,000, and CMFR, $278,000. (Another funder of Vera Files is Reporters without Borders, which is also recipient of NED funds.)
Even if NED wasn’t a CIA conduit, it is an institution funded by the US government, and therefore advances US interests. Shouldn’t we be outraged that the US government is funding anti-Duterte media outfits here?
It also points out that this US interference in Filipino politics fits into a much larger, global pattern of political interference engaged in by the US government. The article cites US interference in Ukraine in particular, noting that it was US backing that eventually led to the overthrow of the elected government there between 2013 and 2014.
The article’s author, Rigoberto Tiglao, attempted to contact several of the Filipino US NED grantees, only to be confronted or evaded, a response typical of US NED grantees worldwide when questioned about their foreign funding, the dangerous conflicts of interests they are indulging in and the contradictions of posing as independent media organisations entirely dependent on foreign government funding.
Pressure on the Philippines through US-funded media is only one of several fronts the US is using to transform, direct and determine the future of the Philippines as a nation. It has placed direct political pressure on Manila to cooperate in confronting Beijing over the South China Sea. It has also attempted to use Saudi-funded terrorism in the Philippines’ south as a vector to reintroduce a significant and expanding US military presence across the archipelago nation.
The use of terrorism as both a pressure point against Southeast Asian states and as a pretext for a US military presence is a tactic the US is attempting to reuse everywhere from Indonesia and Malaysia, to southern Thailand and neighbouring Myanmar. So is the use of US NED-funded organisations operating under the guise of independent journalism or rights advocacy.
 Beyond the Philippines: Thailand and Cambodia 
Thailand faces a similar landscape of compromised opposition organisations posing as independent, yet entirely funded by the US government and US-based corporate foundations. These include Prachatai, Thai Netizens, the New Democracy Movement, the Isaan Record, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights and even the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT).
Like their Filipino counterparts, they pose as proponents of democracy and as human rights advocates, but cover current events in a transparently one-sided manner, excusing or omitting abuse and corruption among the opposition and targeting only Thailand’s independent institutions, particularly the military and the monarchy.
In Cambodia, US government funding goes one step further, funding the entire opposition, hosting them in Washington D.C. and creating an entire media network to skew public perception in favour of this foreign enterprise and the interests that propel it.
Recently arrested opposition leader, Kem Sokha, got his start at the US State Department and Open Society-funded organisation, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR). He would later enter politics, but would continue collaborating directly with the US government, travelling to the United States annually to conspire openly with US representatives to overthrow the Cambodian government.
An article published in the Phnom Post titled, “Kem Sokha video producer closes Phnom Penh office in fear,” would quote Kem Sokha, reporting:
And, the USA that has assisted me, they asked me to take the model from Yugoslavia, Serbia, where they can changed the dictator Slobodan Milosevic,” he continues, referring to the former Serbian and Yugoslavian leader who resigned amid popular protests following disputed elections, and died while on trial for war crimes.

“You know Milosevic had a huge numbers of tanks. But they changed things by using this strategy, and they take this experience for me to implement in Cambodia. But no one knew about this.”
In essence, while the US tenuously accuses Russia of buying Facebook and Google ads, it is openly engaged in overthrowing nations around the world. In Southeast Asia, these efforts are often interlinked, with US-funded organisations in one country supporting and helping to amplify the activities of another next door.
An American Empire’s Success Story: Myanmar 
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) political party’s ascension into power is an example of where exactly US ambitions will lead if unchecked. With the current government in Myanmar quite clearly disinterested in either democracy or human rights, considering the burgeoning Rohingya crisis, it is proof positive that US-funded interference merely operates behind the façade of such principles, and in no way actually seeks to uphold them.
Many NLD party members are former heads of organisations funded by the US government, while others are the recipients of US NED-funded training programmes.
Myanmar is being run by a government handcrafted by US money and interference. It is a government being pressured to turn its back on neighbouring China in favour of US plans, particularly those of its industry and financial institutions. It is also a government currently creating a humanitarian crisis that has opened the door to US-Saudi funded terrorism, a potentially larger conflict featuring brutal violence, all leading to a potential opportunity for a US military presence in a nation that directly borders China.
If allowed to, the US will transform the rest of Southeast Asia into either cooperative client states, or divided and failed states. In either scenario, it will create a united front across Southeast Asia vis-à-vis Beijing that will complicate China’s rise both in the Asia Pacific region and upon the global stage, buying time for the current ruling hegemon to consolidate its position or even reassert itself.
Pushing Back
In many ways, America’s own imagined war against Russian influence gives governments across Southeast Asia the perfect precedent and pretext to push back. Cambodia has already expelled the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a subsidiary of the US NED. It has also tightened laws regarding foreign-owned and foreign-funded media organisations. Opposition members who have openly and for years flaunted their foreign sponsorship are now being arrested and tried while their political parties are being disbanded.
As governments expose and uproot foreign influence from the region, it is equally important for Southeast Asia to fill sociopolitical game board with its own pieces regarding social networks, charity organisations, media (both domestic and international) as well as rights advocates. The price for genuinely putting government corruption in the spotlight and in relative check is easily offset by eliminating the shadows foreign-backed opposition parties have used to systematically undermine regional interests for decades from.
Russia and China, the two primary targets of US interference both directly and by disrupting their peripheries in regions like Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, have implemented a wide array of countermeasures. Governments in Southeast Asia should consider them each in turn and how they could be adapted best to protect sovereignty and stability at home and across the region.
Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
https://journal-neo.org/2017/10/16/us-meddling-across-southeast-asia/

The real reasons Trump is quitting UNESCO

Trump the Israel puppet
By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
At first glance, the decision last week by the Trump administration, followed immediately by Israel, to quit the United Nation’s cultural agency seems strange. Why penalise a body that promotes clean water, literacy, heritage preservation and women’s rights?
Washington’s claim that the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is biased against Israel obscures the real crimes the agency has committed in US eyes.

Palestinian self-determination

The first is that in 2011 UNESCO became the first UN agency to accept Palestine as a member. That set the Palestinians on the path to upgrading their status at the General Assembly a year later.
It should be recalled that in 1993, as Israel and the Palestinians signed the Oslo accords on the White House lawn, the watching world assumed the aim was to create a Palestinian state.
But it seems most US politicians never received that memo. Under pressure from Israel’s powerful lobbyists, the US Congress hurriedly passed legislation to pre-empt the peace process. One such law compels the United States to cancel funding to any UN body that admits the Palestinians.
Six years on, the US is $550 million in arrears and without voting rights at UNESCO. Its departure is little more than a formality.

Preserving Palestinian heritage

The agency’s second crime relates to its role selecting world heritage sites. That power has proved more than an irritant to Israel and the US.
The occupied territories, supposedly the locus of a future Palestinian state, are packed with such sites. Hellenistic, Roman, Jewish, Christian and Muslim relics promise not only the economic rewards of tourism, but also the chance to control the historic narrative.
Israeli archaeologists, effectively the occupation’s scientific wing, are chiefly interested in excavating, preserving and highlighting Jewish layers of the Holy Land’s past. Those ties have then been used to justify driving out Palestinians and building Jewish settlements.
UNESCO, by contrast, values all of the region’s heritage, and aims to protect the rights of living Palestinians, not just the ruins of long-dead civilisations.
Nowhere has the difference in agendas proved starker than in occupied Hebron, where tens of thousands of Palestinians live under the boot of a few hundred Jewish settlers and the soldiers who watch over them. In July, UNESCO enraged Israel and the US by listing Hebron as one of a handful of world heritage sites “in danger”. Israel called the resolution “fake history”.

Combating “memoricide”

The third crime is the priority UNESCO gives to the Palestinian names of heritage sites under belligerent occupation.
Much hangs on how sites are identified, as Israel understands. Names influence the collective memory, giving meaning and significance to places.
The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has coined the term “memoricide” for Israel’s erasure of most traces of the Palestinians’ past after it dispossessed them of four-fifths of their homeland in 1948 – what Palestinians term their Nakba, or Catastrophe.
Israel did more than just raze 500 Palestinian towns and villages. In their place it planted new Jewish communities with Hebracaised names intended to usurp the former Arabic names. Saffuriya became Tzipori; Hittin was supplanted by Hittim; Muyjadil was transformed into Migdal.
A similar process of what Israel calls “Judaisation” is under way in the occupied territories. The settlers of Beitar Ilit threaten the Palestinians of Battir. Nearby, the Palestinians of Sussiya have been dislodged by a Jewish settlement of exactly the same name.
The stakes are highest in Jerusalem. The vast Western Wall plaza below Al Aqsa mosque was created in 1967 after more than 1,000 Palestinians were evicted and their quarter demolished. Millions of visitors each year amble across the plaza, oblivious to this act of ethnic cleansing.
Settlers, aided by the Israeli state, continue to encircle Christian and Muslim sites in the hope of taking them over.
That is the context for recent UNESCO reports highlighting the threats to Jerusalem’s Old City, including Israel’s denial for most Palestinians of the right to worship at Al-Aqsa.
Israel has lobbied to have Jerusalem removed from the list of endangered heritage sites. Alongside the US, it has whipped up a frenzy of moral outrage, berating UNESCO for failing to prioritise the Hebrew names used by the occupation authorities.

Upholding international law

UNESCO’s responsibility, however, is not to safeguard the occupation or bolster Israel’s efforts at Judaisation. It is there to uphold international law and prevent Palestinians from being disappeared by Israel.
Trump’s decision to quit UNESCO is far from his alone. His predecessors have been scuffling with the agency since the 1970s, often over its refusal to cave in to Israeli pressure.
Now, Washington has a pressing additional reason to punish UNESCO for allowing Palestine to become a member. It needs to make an example of the cultural body to dissuade other agencies from following suit.
Trump’s confected indignation at UNESCO, and his shrugging off of its vital global programmes, serve as a reminder that the US is not an “honest broker” of a Middle East peace. Rather it is the biggest obstacle to its realisation.

A version of this article first appeared in The National, Abu Dhabi. The version here is published by permission of Jonathan Cook.

Europe Should Stop Trump from Starting Another War in the Middle East

As was expected, President Trump has decertified Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal or, to give it its full name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite the fact that he certified it twice before. As recently as 14 September 2017, Trump also waived certain sanctions against Iran as required under the terms of the deal.
Yet, in an extremely belligerent and hostile speech, he put out his new policy towards Iran.
The certification of the deal is not part of the agreement, but as anti-Iranian hawks in both parties wanted to undermine President Barrack Obama and create obstacles on the path of the deal they required the president to recertify every 90 days that Iran was still in compliance with the provisions of the deal. That certification has no international validity.
Trump provided a long list of contentious issues about Iran’s alleged malign influences in the region and her presumed violation of the JCPOA, while totally ignoring America’s long record of unilateral wars and war crimes and initial support for terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and beyond.
By law, Congress has 60 days to reimpose sanctions on Iran, which would violate the provisions of the JCPOA, or leave matters as they are. Given the predominance of hawks in Congress, it is likely that they will follow Trump’s lead and will try to kill the deal.
During the campaign, Trump often criticized the deal as the worst agreement in history and promised that he would tear it up. In his inaugural address to the UN General Assembly, Trump proclaimed that the Iran deal “was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States had ever entered into,” even declaring it “an embarrassment to the United States.” He ominously warned that the world had not “heard the last of it, believe me.”
Now, by decertifying Iran’s compliance with the deal, Trump has lived up to his hyperbolic rhetoric about the agreement that was regarded as one of the most remarkable diplomatic achievements since the end of the Cold War.
He is doing this at a time when his administration is in disarray, when none of his major bills has been ratified by Congress, when the threat of terrorism in the Middle East has not yet ended, when US-supported Saudi Arabia’s disastrous war against Yemen is still continuing killing and wounding scores of people in that poverty-stricken country every day, and above all when Trump’s threat of “fire and fury the like of which the world has never seen” against North Korea has not worked and that dangerous standoff still continues.
In the midst of all this, he has decided to add yet another completely unnecessary conflict to the list and to isolate the United States further in the world.
First of all, it is important to point out that the JCPOA is not a bilateral agreement between Iran and the United States that can be unilaterally abrogated by a U.S. president. It was an agreement reached between Iran and all the five permanent members of the Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) plus Germany.
As the result of that landmark deal, Iran has removed two-thirds of its centrifuges and has stopped building more advanced centrifuges that she had started installing. She has altered its heavy-water nuclear reactor to remove its capacity to produce weapons-grade plutonium, has surrendered 98 percent of its nuclear material, has joined the Additional Protocol, and has submitted to intrusive inspections by the IAEA to verify compliance.
Since the implementation of the agreement, on eight different occasions, the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, has certified Iran’s full compliance with her commitments under the deal. After the so-called sunset clauses expire, Iran as a member of the NPT and the Additional Protocol will continue to remain under IAEA inspection and will be prevented from building a nuclear weapon.
In return for that major compromise in her nuclear program, all nuclear-related sanctions were supposed to be lifted, enabling Iran to have normal economic and banking relations with the rest of the world. This landmark non-proliferation deal was achieved without a shot being fired and without another devastating war in the Middle East.
The fact that Trump has probably not even bothered to read or understand the agreement, which was the result of many years of intense and painstaking discussion and debate by the best experts from seven countries, including the U.S. Energy Secretary who is a nuclear expert, is beside the point. Some of those who surround him and write his speeches, and most notably his mentor, the right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, have told him that it was a bad deal and that is enough for him.
Trump’s decision goes against the other five leading global powers, which according toWolfgang Ischinger, the former German ambassador to the United States, “will show total disrespect for America’s allies.” (1)
It also goes against the entire EU that sponsored that deal and that has been united in its support for the JCPOA. EU High Representative Federica Mogherini has repeatedly stressed that the deal is delivering and will be implemented as agreed.
Only a day before Trump’s decertification, Ms. Mogherini stressed that the deal was working and the EU would remain faithful to it (2). Trump’s action is also in violation of the U.N. Security Council that unanimously endorsed the deal with Resolution 2231 in 2015.
It is interesting to note that while all European countries and the vast majority of the rest of the world have condemned Trump’s belligerent speech, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been the only two countries that have praised it. Netanyahu congratulated Trump for his “courageous decision”, while Saudi Arabia’s support has been more muted.
When Trump chose Saudi Arabia as the first country to visit after his inauguration to take part in a lavish reception and sign a $400 billion deal on arms and other American goods, and then flew directly to Israel to lavish praise upon Israeli prime minister, it was clear what direction he would take during his presidency.
He has consistently sided with autocrats and regimes that wage wars against their neighbours and has tried to undermine all the democratic achievements of his predecessor.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has put a brave face on Trump’s outburst, saying:
“Today the United States is more than ever isolated in its opposition to the nuclear deal and in its plots against the Iranian people. What was heard today was nothing but the repetition of baseless accusations and swear words that they have repeated for years.”
He said of Trump:
“He has not studied international law. Can a president annul a multilateral international treaty on his own? Apparently, he does not know that this agreement is not a bilateral agreement solely between Iran and the United States.”
However, the speech has definitely strengthened the hardliners in Iran who see Trump’s hostility to Iran as a vindication of their warnings that America could not be trusted. It has also harmed relations between the two countries and has made the Middle East less secure.
As Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the IAEA, has tweeted
“Trump ignoring IAEA inspection findings re Iran’s compliance w/ nuclear deal brings to mind run up to Iraq war. Will we ever learn?”
This is not the first of President Obama’s major achievements that Trump has tried to undermine.
He scrapped the critical health care subsidies to hit Obamacare, while the bill that he sent to Congress was not approved. He has taken America out of the Paris Climate Accord, which is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which 195 members have signed and 168 members have already ratified.
He has taken the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and on 11 October he announced that the US would drop out of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The United States and Israel announced that they would withdraw from UNESCO because of its alleged anti-Israeli bias.
Domestically, Trump has fallen out with American intelligence, comparing them to the Nazis. He has attacked most of the media as “being the greatest enemy of the people” and producing fake news.
He has attacked “the so-called judges” for trying to block his unconstitutional executive order banning Muslim refugees or immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
However, we should not lump Trump’s latest decision on Iran with all his other wild policies at home and abroad, because by decertifying the nuclear deal Trump is posing a major threat to international peace and security and violating a Security Council resolution.
There are many people, including many Iranians, who wish to see a change in Iranian policies, especially in its poor human rights record. However, the only meaningful change in Iran will be one brought about by Iranians themselves, not imposed from outside by those with malign intentions and on the basis of concocted excuses.
Nobody wants to see a repetition of US policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria that have resulted in horrendous bloodshed and have given rise to the terrorist scourge and the refugee problem in Europe.
It is interesting to note that the United States has kept itself immune from the outcome of her violent policies by banning any immigrants from the Middle East, while Europe and the countries in the Middle East have had to bear the brunt of the problem.
The renegotiation of the Iran deal is only a ruse by those who wish to pave the way for war with Iran.
Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that while they are ready to discuss other issues with the international community, the nuclear deal will not be renegotiated. President Rouhani told NBC News in September: “Every word was analyzed many times by countries involved before its ratification, so if the United States were to not adhere to the commitments and trample upon this agreement, this will mean that it will carry with it the lack of subsequent trust from countries towards the United States.”
There is no doubt that Trump’s new policy towards Iran bears the hallmark of Netanyahu and his supporters in the White House who write Trump’s speeches for him.
There are three main issues at stake.
The first question is whether U.S. politicians are finally prepared to overcome their 40-year hostility towards Iran and resolve their differences through negotiations, as was done with the Iran deal, or whether they persevere with the dream of toppling the Iranian government by violent means.
The second is whether European countries and the rest of the world allow themselves to be held hostage to U.S. and Israeli policies or will they stand up to Trump and safeguard their national interests.
The third and a more fundamental point is whether – for the sake of appeasing Israel’s ultra-rightwing prime minister and his U.S. supporters – they are prepared to drag the Middle East through another devastating war and perhaps start a global conflict, or whether the time has finally come to tell Israel to resolve the Palestinian issue and put an end to this long-simmering conflict, which is at the root of all the other conflicts in the Middle East.
Let us not make a mistake, war is the inevitable logic of Trump’s and Israeli policies, and they will be solely responsible if another conflict breaks out in the Middle East.
Farhang Jahanpour is a British national of Iranian origin. He was a former Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Languages at the University of Isfahan. He spent a year as a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar at Harvard and also taught five years at the University of Cambridge. He has been a part-time tutor at the Department of Continuing Education and a member of Kellogg College at the University of Oxford since 1985, teaching courses on Middle East history and politics. Jahanpour is a TFF board member.
Notes
1- Roger Cohen, “Trump’s Iran Derangement” New York Times, Oct 11, 2017.

رسائل إيرانية نارية من دمشق معاً نقاتلكم أيّها الأميركيون… ومعاً نحبط مكركم!


جانب من الوصول

محمد صادق الحسيني

أكتوبر 19, 2017

للمرة الأولى منذ بدء الحرب الكونية على سورية يزور موفد عسكري وسياسي وأمني إيراني رفيع المستوى هو الأعلى مرتبة العاصمة دمشق في خطوة لها دلالاتها الاستراتيجية في زمن النصر والتحرير.

والرسائل التي حملها من الوزن الثقيل، منها ما هو قابل للإعلان ومنها ما هو أخفى وأمرّ وأدهى على العدو..!

أولاً: لم تأت هذه الزياره كردّ فعل على العدوان الجوي «الاسرائيلي» على الأجواء اللبنانية، وعلى موقع عسكري سوري قبل أيام، كما يُشاع، وإنما هي زيارة مبرمجة ومُعَدّ لها سابقاً ضمن المشاورات المتواصلة بين الجيشين الإيراني والسوري، واللذين يقاتلان العدو الصهيوأميركي نفسه ومشاريعه الإجرامية في المنطقه العربية والإسلامية.

زيارة رئيس أركان الجيش الإيرانى

ثانياً: إنّ وصول الجنرال باقري إلى دمشق واستعراضه لحرس الشرف، وهو يرتدي بزّة الميدان يحمل الكثير من المعاني، وعلى رأسها أنه لم يأتِ إلى دمشق في زيارة بروتوكولية تقتصر على التقاط الصور التذكارية الاستعراضية وتجاذب الأحاديث العامة المحتوى مع نظيره السوري.

وهذا يعني أنّ هذه الزيارة هي زيارة عمل واجتماعات مكثّفة جاء ليجريها مع القاده العسكريين السوريين وإخوانهم الإيرانيين الذين يقاتلون معهم في مختلف جبهات القتال في سورية.

لا، بل إنّ هذا الحضور يشي بأنّ القيادتين العسكريتين الإيرانية والسورية بصدد وضع اللمسات الأخيرة على خطة إعادة الزخم لمواصلة الهجوم الاستراتيجي لقوات الحلف، بما في ذلك التعاون مع القوات المسلّحة العراقية، لاستكمال حلقات هذا الهجوم بعد الانتهاء من تحرير دير الزّور والبوكمال وإحكام السيطرة، بالتعاون مع القوات المسلحة العراقية، على الحدود العراقية السورية وتأمين الطريق الاستراتيجي البري الرابط بين موسكو وغزة، عبر طهران فبغداد فدمشق فبيروت.

ثالثاً: بالنظر الى النظرة الثاقبة للمرشد الأعلى للثورة الإسلامية، وقراءته الاستشرافية الدقيقة لاحتمالات تطوّر وتغيّر أساليب العدوان الصهيوأميركي على العالمين العربي والإسلامي، وإلى اختياره هذه الشخصية العسكرية الفذة والتي تتمتع بالخبرات العسكرية والأمنية الضرورية لمواجهة أشكال العدوان الجديدة، فإنه من الواضح أنّ أعين الإمام خامنئي كانت ترى مؤامرة مسعود البرزاني تلوح في الأفق قريباً، عندما قام بتعيين الجنرال باقري رئيساً لأركان الجيش الإيراني في شهر حزيران سنة 2016.

وهنا، فإنّ من الجدير بالذكر أنّ الجنرال باقري قد تقلّد في وقت سابق منصب مساعد القائد العام للقيادة المشتركة في القوات المسلحة الإيرانية سابقاً لشؤون الاستخبارات والعمليات، إلى جانب توليه مسؤولية مساعد لرئيس الأركان للشؤون المشتركة في القوات المسلحة ومنسق بينها وبين الحرس الثوري.

رابعاً: وبالنظر الى المسؤولية الحساسة التي كان يتولاها الجنرال باقري، إبان فترة التمرّد الكردي المدعوم صهيوأميركياً في شمال غرب إيران، والذي استمرّ حتى أواخر عام 1983 والتي تمثلت في الإشراف على شؤون الاستخبارات خلال العمليات التي نفذها الحرس الثوري في تلك المنطقة وانتهت بالقضاء على ذلك التمرّد.

وانطلاقاً من هذه الخلفية، وبالنظر إلى وقائع الميدانين السوري والعراقي، واقتراب تحقيق النصر في هذا الفصل من فصول الهجوم الاستراتيجي لقوات الحلف وضرورة الاستعداد لتنفيذ المرحلة النهائية باتجاه تأمين المحافظات الشمالية الشرقية في سورية وغرب العراق. أيّ وضع اللمسات الأخيرة على خطة حماية المواطنين الأكراد في المناطق المشار إليها أعلاه من عبث مسعود برزاني وبقية جوقة العملاء هناك، وصولاً إلى تفكيك التشكيلات العسكرية العميلة والتي تديرها وزارة الحرب الأميركية وتلك «الإسرائيلية» وبتمويل إماراتي.

اذن، هي زيارة عمل ميداني بامتياز سيتبعها سيل من المفاجآت الكبرى التي لن تتوقف إلا بتحقيق الهدف النهائي المتمثل بإجبار المحتلّ الأميركي على تجميع مرتزقته والهرب من شمال شرق سورية وتحقيق أهداف الهجوم الاستراتيجي الكبير.

لذلك كان باقري واضحاً كلّ الوضوح في رسائله الأساسية التي حرص على إطلاقها من دمشق تحديداً:

 ـ نحن وسورية نقاتل سوياً عدوّنا المزدوج الصهيوني والتكفيري.

 ـ لن نسمح للعدو الصهيوني بالعدوان على سورية.

 ـ خطيئة البرزاني ممنوع أن تتكرّر…!

أيّ لا حرب على سورية أو لبنان من جانب العدو الصهيوني، ولا تراجع إيرانياً عن تلاحم قواته مع قوات الجيش السوري في جبهة الحرب على داعش وأخواته، ولا لمؤامرة التقسيم…!

وهكذا يكون الجنرال باقري قد أبلغ رسائل القائد العام للقوات المسلحة الإمام السيد علي خامنئي للصديق كما للعدو، كما وردت على لسانه في آخر خطاب له في طهران في الوقت نفسه الذي كان فيه مبعوثه يستعرض ضباط وجنود الجيش السوري بلباس الميدان ألا وهي:

لقد هُزمتم في سورية والعراق ولبنان. وهذا سبب غيظكم وحنقكم…

وإننا نعرفكم جيداً، بأنكم أنتم سادة الصهيونية والتكفيريين معاً، ولذلك سنقاتلكم جميعاً…

ولما كنا نعرف أنّ مكركم ومكائدكم مستمرّة، رغم بلاهة ترامب، فإننا لن ننام، بل نرقد ونحن لكم بالمرصاد في كلّ ساحٍ.

والكلام للسيد علي الخامنئي أمام جمع من النخب الطالبية العلمية المتفوقة في شارع فلسطين في طهران.

بعدنا طيّبين، قولوا الله…

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