Thursday 23rd of September 2021

admiral arthur cebrowski's middle-east...

US middle east

Finding a way out of the war against Syria

 

by Thierry Meyssan

 

The White House is unable to extricate itself from the war in Syria. President Trump is hindered both by the self-proclaimed « stable state » (according to the anonymous op ed in the New York Times), which continues to pursue the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski strategy, and by the reactivated ambitions of his Israëli, French, British and Turkish allies. The logic of these interests could displace the war instead of resolving it.

Although the White House and Russia have agreed to end the proxy war fought by jihadists in Syria, peace is a long time coming. Why?

Why is there a war against Syria?

Contrary to the idea carefully sown by seven years of propaganda, the war against Syria is not a « revolution which went wrong ». It was decided by the Pentagon in September 2001, then prepared for many years, admittedly with a few difficulties.

A war in preparation for a decade

A reminder of the main stages of the planning of the war: 
- In September 2001, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld adopted the strategy of Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, which specified that the state structures of half of the world had to be destroyed. For those states whose economy is globalised, the United States would control the access to the natural resources of those regions not connected to the global economy. The Pentagon commenced its work by « remodelling » the « Greater Middle East » [1]. 
- On 12 December 2003, George Bush Jr. signed the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act. From that moment on, the President of the United States enjoyed the right to go to war with Syria without having to ask Congress for approval [2]. 
- The Lebanese civil war (1978-90) ended with the Taif Agreement. At the request of the Arab League, and with the approbation of the UN Security Council, the Syrian Arab Army came to the assistance of the Lebanese army in disarming the militias, then, acting as a Peace Force, stabilised the country. Thereafter, Israël accused Syria of having occupied Lebanon, which makes no sense at all. [3
- In 2004, during the summit of the Arab League in Tunis, President Ben Ali attempted to push through a motion authorising the League to legitimise the use of force against member states who refused to respect the League’s brand new Human Rights Charter. 
- In 2005, the CIA organised the Cedar revolution in Lebanon. By assassinating Sunni leader Rafic Hariri and blaming the Christian President of Lebanon and the Alaouite President of Syria, they hoped to trigger a Sunni uprising against the Syrian Peace Forces. With the Marines ready to disembark in Beïrut, Syria withdrew on its own initiative, and the tension was dissipated [4]. 
- In 2006, Dick Cheney tasked his daughter Liz with creating the « Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group ». They organised the Israeli attack against Hezbollah, thinking that they would be unable to resist for long. US Marines were then intended to disembark in Beïrut and continue their march of « liberation » on Damascus. However, the operation failed, and after 33 days of combat, Israël had to retreat [5]. 
- In 2008, Washington once again tried to create conflict with Lebanon as its flash point. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora decided to cut the internal communications of the Resistance and to interrupt air transport with Teheran. Within a few hours, Hezbollah had inverted the Western military system and replaced all of its infrastructures. 
- In 2010, Washington adopted the strategy of « leading from behind ». The Obama administration handed the attacks on Libya and Syria to France and the United Kingdom respectively (Lancaster House agreements). 
- In 2011, beginning of military operations in Syria.

It is therefore absurd to speak of the war against Syria as a spontaneous event sui generis [6].

Indirect war

The original feature of the war against Syria is that although it was declared by states (the « Friends of Syria »), it was in reality fought almost exclusively by non-state armies, the jihadists.

During the seven years of this war, more than 250,000 combatants arrived from overseas to fight against the Syrian Arab Republic. They were without doubt little more than cannon fodder, and insufficiently trained, but during the first four years of the conflict, these soldiers were better armed than the Syrian Arab Army. The most important arms traffic in History was organised in order to keep the jihadists supplied with war materials [7].

The Western powers had not used mercenaries on this scale since the European Renaissance [8].

It is therefore absurd to speak of a « revolution that went wrong ».

A war supervised by allies who have their own objectives

By asking Israël to attack Lebanon on their behalf, then by handing over the wars on Libya and Syria to France and the United Kingdom, and finally by using the NATO installations in Turkey, the Pentagon allowed its plan to be confounded by its allies.

Just as in all wars, the leading country has to promise its obedient allies that they will be awarded a return on their investment. However, with the entry of Russia into the war, Western victory became impossible. Every one of the United States allies turned progressively back towards its own strategy in the region. With time, the war objectives of the allies gained the upper hand over those of the United States, who refused to invest as much as they should have done, militarily speaking.

Israël

Pursuing the colonial ideology of some of its founding fathers, Israël implemented a policy of division intended to split its larger neighbours into a collection of small countries which were to be ethnically or religiously homogeneous. It therefore supported - in vain - the division of Lebanon into two states, one Muslim and one Christian, or again the creation of a Kurdistan in Iraq, then later in Syria. We do not have the Israëli strategic documents, but retrospectively, the line followed by Tel-Aviv corresponds to the « Yinon plan » of 1982 [9] or that of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies of 1996 [10].

The Israëli strategy stayed within the limits of the « remodelling of the Greater Middle East » designed by Rumsfeld and Cebrowski. However, it did not have anything like the same objective - the Pentagon wanted to control the access to the region’s riches by the developed countries, while Israël wanted to ensure that none of its neighbours could become strong enough to challenge it.

The United Kingdom and France

The United Kingdom and France fell back on their colonial policy, as it was defined at the moment of the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the division of the Middle East (the Sykes-Picot agreements).

The British used a replay of the « Great Arab Revolt of 1915 » that Lawrence of Arabia had set up against the Ottomans. At that time, they had promised freedom to all Arabs if they would throw off the shackles of the Ottoman Empire and place the Wahhabites in power, This time they promised freedom if they would overthrow all their national governments and replace them with the Muslim Brotherhood. But neither in 1915, when the British Empire replaced the Ottoman Empire, nor in 2011, did the Arabs find their liberty. That was the « Arab Spring » plan of 2011 [11].

The French were seeking to re-establish the mandate on Syria which had been handed to them by the League of Nations. This was explained by Picot’s great-nephew (as in the Sykes-Picot agreements), ex- President Giscard d’Estaing [12]. And that is what President Hollande demanded during his visit to the United Nations, in September 2015. Just as in 1921, when France stood for the ethnic separation of the Kurds from the Arabs, it therefore defended the creation of a Kurdistan, not on its historic territory in Turkey, but anywhere, so long as it was on Arab land in Syria.

Turkey

As for Turkey, it dreamed of realising the promise of its founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the « National Pact » (Misak-ı Millî) [13], adopted by the Ottoman Parliament on 12 February 1920. Its intention was to annex Northern Syria, including Aleppo, and also to eliminate the Christians, including the Catholics in Maaloula and the Armenians in Kessab.

Turkey entered into conflict with the other allies – with the Israëlis because they sought to annex Northern Syria rather than making it autonomous – with the British because they wanted to re-establish the Ottoman Caliphate - and with the French because they sought to create an independent Kurdistan in Syria. Above all, it entered into conflict with the United States themselves because they made no secret of wanting to destroy Syria after having dismantled it [14].

How to escape from this war?

After seven years of combat, the Syrian state is still standing. The Syrian Arab Republic and its allies, Russia, Iran and the Hezbollah, are victorious. The foreign armies (the jihadists) have suffered a crushing defeat, but not their commanders – the United States, Israël, the United Kingdom, France and Turkey.

Not only has the war re-awoken the ambitions of the beginning of the 20th century, but none of the protagonists who have not paid for their defeat in blood are ready to abandon the fight.

It may seem stupid to want to start over with a war which has already been lost by the jihadists. The presence of the Russian army makes impossible any direct confrontation. Far from being eliminated, the Syrian population is now battle-hardened, ready to suffer even more hardship, and is much better armed than before. Above all, it has given the situation some serious thought, and is less manipulable than it was in 2011. However, just as before, Western political rhetoric has once again taken up its refrain « Bachar must go ».

Logically, therefore, the conflict will have to start again on another battle-field. While in the past, Admiral Cebrowski had planned to take the next stage of the war to Central Asia and the South-East, his successors will first have to finish the job in the Greater Middle East. They are currently studying the possibility of relighting the fire in Iraq, as we see with the spectacular about-face of the Rohani administration and the riots in Bassorah.

Thierry Meyssan

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

 

 

 

 

Trump, an expert in false facts...

Before the 2016 election, candidate Donald Trump told voters he would ‘find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center.’ His promise may turn out to be as empty as his predecessor’s undertaking to close down Guantánamo Bay. Or he may be prevented from keeping it by those who know the truth.

Trump, an expert in false facts, questioned the version of events provided by the 9/11 Commission Report. More significantly, so did many scientists, engineers, and intelligence analysts. Experts from a wide range of countries at The Toronto Hearings on 9/11 in 2011 produced a DVD two years later, subtitled ‘Uncovering Ten Years of Deception’. The facts are presented in several books, including those by David Ray Griffin, Peter Dale Scott, Paul Thompson and Nafeez Ahmed: but many still can’t believe them.

When Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was asked in 1996 if the deaths of half a million Arab children following Gulf War I was justified, she infamously replied, ‘I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it’ (US ‘60 Minutes,’ 12 May 1996). Most of the people who died on and after 11 September 2001 were not Arabs or children, yet their 3000-plus deaths caused much greater international outrage than those in Iraq. It set off a war of retribution that killed hundreds of thousands in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, and Syria, injured many more, and is still doing so. On a rough calculation, each of the New York and Washington deaths was worth at least 30 Iraqis.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/09/14/conspiracies-are-not-all-theoretical/

rumsfeld should be in prison for life...

On the afternoon of September 11, Rumsfeld issued rapid orders to his aides to look for evidence of possible Iraqi involvement in regard to what had just occurred, according to notes taken by senior policy official Stephen Cambone. "Best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." – meaning Saddam Hussein – "at same time. Not only UBL" (Osama bin Laden), Cambone's notes quoted Rumsfeld as saying. "Need to move swiftly  – Near term target needs  – go massive  – sweep it all up. Things related and not."[61][62]

That evening, after President Bush spoke to the nation from the Oval Office, Rumsfeld recalled musing about the President's intended response to attack terrorists from whatever territory they planned and operated. He reported questioning whether that would include attacking American allies, and suggested that the problem be magnified and viewed from a broader scope. He recommended that state sponsors of terror, including Sudan, Libya, Iraq and Iran, be considered as possible places of sanctuary if the U.S. were to attack Afghanistan.[63]

Rumsfeld wrote in Known and Unknown, "Much has been written about the Bush administration's focus on Iraq after 9/11. Commentators have suggested that it was strange or obsessive for the President and his advisers to have raised questions about whether Saddam Hussein was somehow behind the attack. I have never understood the controversy. I had no idea if Iraq was or was not involved, but it would have been irresponsible for any administration not to have asked the question."[64]

Read more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Rumsfeld

 

That premise by Rumsfeld that it would have been "irresponsible" not to ask the question, is "irresponsible" as the US administation would have known about the culprit and their relationship with the Saudis, rather than with Saddam, but Saddam made a "better story". One year after 9/11, Bush was still publicly blaming Saddam for it. Bush, Howard, Blair and their minions, such as Rumsfeld and Cheney, should be rotting in jail.

means, motive, and opportunity...

Published on: Sep 19, 2018 @ 01:06 – 

Russia appears to be involved in an appropriate and strategically prudent disinformation campaign to avoid any further irreparable damage in Franco-Russian relations. FRN will analyze why it is most probable that France took down the Russian Il-20 military aircraft, and not the SAA air defense systems as first Israeli, and then Russian media have today begun to officially report.

It will be critical of course to establish the key necessities in making the case. Means, motive, and opportunity. Once these are established, we then proceed to establishing that this is the most probable case even as others had one, two, or even all three of these and this will be done in part by countering some of the nevertheless intelligent but imperfect reasoning now being printed regarding possible theories. In general, the pro-Russian media sphere is at this time ‘following up’ on the quite recent Russian official pronouncements that the SAA themselves accidentally shot down the Il-20, even while nominally blaming Israel and naming it ‘responsible’ for the incident.

What the Russians claim is that Israeli craft using the Il-20 for cover ‘confused’ the SAA system and that the SAA system hit the Russian Il-20. We will explain that while this is possible, it is unlikely, and in fact the least likely of any realistic scenarios given the tremendous preparation and planning that goes into these events.

Why France?

The US wants to further damage Franco-Russian relations. France under multiple governments since 2011, has called for Assad to step down, and has already threatened ‘military action’ against Syria, so relations between these two countries are already ‘ruined’. But relations between France and Syria aren’t critical for peace, stability, and the general project for Eurasian-European integration. However, Franco-Russian relations are very critical, and while it’s been noted previously by experts that the aim of the U.S is to permanently poison EU-RF relations, Russia therefore is the obvious party that has the least interest in escalating tensions or further souring relations with France. 

We can see this in any number of cases, but specifically  in how they dealt with the Turkish downing of the Russian plane a few years ago over Syrian skies. Their aim was to de-escalate, and ultimately show that the Turkish pilot involved was part of a directly NATO controlled part of the Turkish military that was operating, essentially ‘rogue’ and not under Erdogan’s orders. When the coup attempt happened later, this same Turkish pilot was named in that group of anti-Erdogan coup-plotters. Russia did not use the opportunity to try to further worsen ties with Turkey. In fact, they used the opportunity to eventually strengthen ties with Turkey. This was wise, and most prudent, regardless of what actual facts were in play.

Last night Lattakia was attacked by navy assets off the Syrian coast, as well as Israeli airforce, and Russia appears to be saying it was ‘also’ France insofar as they report that ‘French missile launches were detected’ during the attack. FRN is clear that Russia ‘appears’ to be saying it was France that hit Lattakia, but isn’t saying this conclusively. This point will be explained.

This is an observational approach to information sharing, rather than deductive or conclusive. It also runs the two lines of information together, without necessarily connecting them. Russian official announcements, and Russian state run or synergy media like Sputnik, have all run the story the same way – running the two lines of information together, back to back, without necessarily connecting them causally or deductively. This will be important in untangling what Russia is officially, vs. not officially saying regarding the downing of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft off the coast of Syria and the death of 15 of its crew. The following screen shot with arrows and explanation added by FRN is meant to help prove and illustrate how Russian media is approaching this question.

So we have a Russian plane downed possibly by French Naval ship, or by the SAA air defense forces protecting Lattakia itself. The second proposition is least credible. So let’s now look at how the story looks specifically about the downed Russian Il-20 military aircraft. Hopefully, in terms of the veracity of FRN’s claims, Sputnik refrains from changing its textual presentation here, so nevertheless we provide screen shots immediately below which will allow us to see two things.

One, that the pattern fits the same as the screen shot above, an event is registered as happening, and the activities of another party are named, but no connection is specifically made. Fact 1 and Fact 2 are divided. The reader is left to make of it what they will.

If this led some readers to ‘mistakenly’ conclude at first that France had something to do with the take down of the Il-20, they would, by Russian accounts, be ‘officially’ wrong, but most probably right. We can see the same Russian official method of information dissemination is used in the above screen shot, but in fact and indeed, Russia is not specifically ruling out that the registered missile launches had something to do with what hit Lattakia.

At the same time, (and this gets more complicated, but referring to the above map will help,) we propose instead that something else happened. Israeli warplanes hit Lattakia, and perhaps Israeli ground systems were also aimed and hit Lattakia (we have no reports of the latter), and perhaps also French naval vessels’ missiles hit Lattakia, but again this last point is not in fact established by Russian media per se. If Russia later revises or updates this story has events emerge, and diplomatic interactions take a certain, or more clear, or more definable direction, then perhaps Russian reportage on this will change, retroactively. But this is where the infowar stood at the time of the events, and through the early afternoon of September 18th, Belgrade time.

Secondly, readers will take note of the inclusion of the French denial. This French denial is bizarre and entirely out of place, since no one accused France. Do innocent parties randomly and yet officially deny involvement in things of which they are not formally accused? In most cases, no they do not.

 

Read more:

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/09/full-analysis-russian-disinfo-campaign...

 

 

 

blaming the victim of aggression...

The tragic loss of a Russian military aircraft with 15 personnel onboard, off the Syrian coast, has to be seen in the context of the Arab country being attacked.

Attacked by the Israeli air force and facing an unprecedented buildup of NATO warships.

Yet, Syria – the victim of aggression – is the one being blamed.

What’s more, the Western news media are shamefully silent on condemning the aggression. Their silence is giving cover for further violence.

What exactly happened to the doomed Ilyushin IL-20 recon plane on Monday night is still being investigated. It appears to have been accidentally shot down by Syrian air defenses as it approached the Russian base at Hmeimim in northwest Syria.

READ MORE: Il-20 Accidentally Downed by Syria: Putin Calls Incident Tragic Chain of Events

Russia’s defense ministry blamed Israeli forces for putting the Il-20 in danger by flying four F-16 fighter jets in the vicinity, thereby possibly confusing Syrian radar signals to fire on an allied Russian plane. Was that a deliberate move by the Israelis?

But here’s the infuriating thing. Israel is saying that the “Assad regime” is fully to blame for the shoot-down of the Russian aircraft, adding that it “regrets” the loss of Russian lives.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/blaming-victim-aggression/

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Yep... But read above comment (means, motive, and opportunity...) where a very plausible explanation has been exposed. The way the Russians are "playing the diplomacy" might actually save the planet from a full-on conflict.

 

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the US recycle their terrorists...

 

The use of terrorism according to John Bolton


by Thierry Meyssan


After having taken back from Daesh the State they had promised, straddling parts of Iraq and Syria, the United States now intend to recuperate some of their mercenaries in order to make use of them in a different manner. National Security Advisor John Bolton has designed new goals, new partners and new methods. Since this new system is secret, we know about it only insofar as parts of the plan have already been implemented. Thierry Meyssan explores this world of violence.


In 1978, President Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbignew Brzezinski, decided to use the Muslim Brotherhood against the Soviets, and sent Arab combatants to support the Afghan opposition against the Communist régime. Responding to a call for help from the Afghan government, the Red Army became bogged down in an unwinnable conflict.

In Afghanistan, the Muslim Brotherhood were not armed by the CIA, who were unable to obtain the authorisation from Congress for an operation of that magnitude, but by Israël. In view of their success, the Arab-Afghans were later mobilised in many other theatres of operation. It followed, amongst other things, that the Brotherhood, armed both by Israël and Iraq, took a shot at the Syrian Arab Republic, in 1978-82. One thing leading to another, a representative of the Brotherhood was incorporated into the staff of NATO during the attack in Kosovo against Yugoslavia.

The position of the Muslim Brotherhood as auxiliary troops for NATO was cancelled at the end of the Clinton presidency, but the collaboration of the Brotherhood with the CIA has never been terminated. It was clearly re-instated with the attack on Libya under the Obama presidency, where it furnished almost all of the ground troops for the Atlantic Alliance. One of their representatives was even incorporated into the US National Security Council. Then, during the attack on Syria, NATO’s LandCom, situated in Izmir, coordinated the jihadist troops.

Since the Trump administration opposes on principle the use of terrorist groups by the US Armies, the moment arrived for the White House to redefine the role of the Muslim Brotherhood.

We do not yet know the new strategy defined by National Security Advisor John Bolton. However, several elements enable us to guess its general form.

Daesh

At the beginning of 2018, US Special Forces illegally stationed in Syria exfiltrated thousands of Daesh combatants overseas. In May 2018, General Yahya Rahim Safavi, military advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei, accused the USA of organising the transfer of Daesh combatants to Afghanistan.

Currently, approximately 7,000 of them are still on Afghani soil. Contrary to their past position, they do not support the Taliban, who are currently opposed to all foreign presence, but now oppose them.

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According to the spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (in other words the Taliban), Qari Muhammad Youssuf Ahmadi - 
« The American invaders and their lackeys carried out a raid last night [12 January 2019] against a Mujahedin camp where members of Daesh were being held, situated in Pani Bus in the district of Jwand, Bâdghîs province. The joint enemy forces martyred two guards and left with 40 Daesh-affiliated prisoners. Apparently the American invaders and their henchmen from the Kabul administration launched this raid in order to help the Daesh prisoners. Every time the Mujahedin of the Islamic Emirate [the Taliban] have fought Daesh, the American invaders have assisted Daesh and bombed Mujahedin positions. Exactly the same way that when Daesh was uprooted by the Mujahedin of Darzab, in the district of Jowzjan, and was about to be destroyed [last August], the American invaders and the Kabul administration jointly assisted 200 members of Daesh by helicopter ».

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It was at this moment that the Combating Terrorism Centre of the military Academy of West Point published a historical study of the divergences between the Mujahedin during the war against the Soviets. This document noted that in 1989, during the retreat of the Red Army, and when Oussama Ben Laden had returned to Saudi Arabia, certain young members of the Muslim Brotherhood questioned the laxism of their senior officers. They created the « Jalalabad School », which was much more strict, and began to accuse various people of impiety and excommunicated them (takfir). This, they say, is the conflict that blew up again in 2014, provoking the split between Al-Qaïda and Daesh.

This flashback should not blind us to the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood continued to welcome not only the Taliban, but all Afghani resistants, until the assassination of Ahmed Chah Massoud (himself an ex-member of the Muslim Brotherhood), on 9 September 2001 (two days before the attacks of New York and the Pentagon). For two decades, Afghanistan became the training ground for jihadists from all over the world, particularly the combatants from the Russian Caucasus. Today the Taliban are much more careful with their choice of allies and their friends. It is true that today they control 60 % of the territory. They no longer base themselves on theological grounds, but on nationalist criteria.

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Brother Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is the war commander for Pakistan and Turkey in Afghanistan 

During the war against the Soviets, the Muslim Brotherhood were mainly aligned with ex-Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was their representative in the country. On 22 September 2016, with the support of the Obama administration, he was awarded the pardon of the new Afghan state and was removed from the UN list of terrorists.

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The siege of the Taliban in Qatar 

The arrival of Daesh in Afghanistan occurred at the time when the Trump administration had been trying - since July 2018 - to negotiate with the Taliban. Preliminary contacts took place in Qatar with ambassador Alice Wells, assistant to Mike Pompeo for Central Asia. The negotiations were headed by ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad in September and October, despite the anxiety of the Afghan government, which sent a representative but were not admitted. Khalilzad had fought alongside the Talibans, Pachtuns like himself, against the Soviets, before taking US citizenship. He was trained in neoconservatism and became ambassador to the UNO in 2007, when the Senate opposed the nomination of John Bolton.

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Built by Israël between 2013 and 2015 close to Tirana, the secret town of Manza is the military base for the People’s Mujahedin in Albania. 
The People’s Mujaheddin

Last week, the head of the People’s Mujaheddin (MEK) of Iran, Maryam Radjavi, travelled to Kabul on an official visit, from Tirana, where she lives. She met specifically with the President of the National Security Council and ex-ambassador to the United States, Hamdullah Mohib. Within the next few days, she should be travelling to Herat, in the district of Shindand, to establish a military base for her organisation. According to the Pakistani newspaper Ummat, the Pentagon has already trained 2,000 of the People’s Mujahedin there, in October 2012.

Despite their apparent similarity in name, there is no connection between the Mujahedin (with one d) of the Muslim Brotherhood (who are Arabs and Sunnis) and the Mujaheddin (with two d’s) of the MEK (who are Persian and Chiites). The only objective link between the two groups is that they have both been used by the United States and both practise terrorism.

As from 2013, the MEK has been transferred from Iraq to Albania with the support of the United States. A small town has been built for them by Israëli companies. However, on 23 June 2014, Maryam Radjavi, in a long speech given before 80,000 members of the sect and 600 Western personalities, spoke of her satisfaction that Iraq had been conquered by Daesh. We should remember that this victory had been organised with the help of General Ezzat Ibrahim al-Douri, ex-right-hand man for President Saddam Hussein, and as such, protector of the People’s Mujahedin.

John Bolton’s links with the MEK date back to the Bush administration. They were strengthened by his presence - for a price of 40,000 dollars - during their annual meetings at Villepinte (France), in 2010 and 2017. Having become the National Security Advisor, he now unites the jihadists from Daesh and the loyal followers of Maryam Radjavi against their common objective.

The most immediate of the targets of this terrorist alliance should be Iran, with whom Afghanistan shares a long frontier, hard to defend.

Thierry Meyssan

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

Source 
Mint Press News (USA)

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article204804.html

 

 

 

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is trump slowly bringing in peace to the world?

Will Donald Trump Bring Peace?

by Thierry Meyssan

After two and a half years in power, President Donald Trump is about to impose his views on the Pentagon. The one who put an end to Daesh’s "Sunnistan" plan is to end the Rumsfeld / Cebrowski doctrine of destroying state structures in the wider Middle East. If it succeeds, peace will return to the region as well as to the Caribbean Basin. However, the peoples who have survived military imperialism will still have to fight for their economic sovereignty.

For two and a half years, the United States has pursued two contradictory and incompatible strategies [1]. 

- On the one hand, the destruction of state structures in large areas - the enlarged Middle East since 2001, then the Caribbean Basin since 2018 - supported by the Department of Defense (Rumsfeld / Cebrowski doctrine) [2]; 

- On the other, the control of the world energy market (Trump / Pompeo doctrine), supported by the White House, the CIA and the State Department [3].


It seems that President Donald Trump is about to impose his thoughts on his administration, still dominated by officials and military from the Bush and Obama eras, and to announce the consequences on September 19, at the 73rd Assembly United Nations General Assembly: Peace in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and Nicaragua.


Announced during its election campaign in 2016, the transition from a bellicose logic of conquest to another, peaceful, economic hegemony is still not formally decided.


Even once recorded, such a turnaround will not happen in a day. And it will come with a price to pay.


Regarding the current main conflict, Syria, the principles of an agreement have been negotiated between the United States, Iran, Russia and Turkey. 

- We will not touch the borders of the country and we will not create a new state (neither the "Sunnistan" of Daesh [4], nor the "Kurdistan" of the PKK). But the country will be neutralized: the legal military bases of Russia on the Mediterranean coast will be balanced by permanent US posts - for the moment illegal - in the North-East of the country. 

- No pipeline will cross the country, be it Qatari or Iranian. Russia will exploit hydrocarbons, but the United States will have to be associated [5]. 

- Syrian reconciliation will be allowed in Geneva, when a new constitution is drafted by a representative committee of the various forces to the conflict. 

- US companies will have to participate, directly or indirectly, in the reconstruction of Syria.


The preparatory process for this agreement is still in its infancy. For the past two months, the Syrian Arab Army has been authorized to recapture the al-Qaeda-occupied Idleb governorate [6] and the United States has helped by bombing the headquarters of the terrorist organization [7]. Then, the United States began dismantling the fortification of pseudo-Kurdistan ("Rojava") [8] while developing those of their illegal military bases, including Hassaké. For the moment, the economic part of the plan has not started. The United States has besieged Syria since the fall of 2017 and sanctioned foreign companies - with the exception of the Emirati - who dared to participate in the 61st International Damascus Fair (August 28-September 6, 2019). [9] The reconstruction of the country remains impossible.


Simultaneously, in the Caribbean Basin, negotiations began quietly in June 2019 between the United States and Venezuela [10]. While Washington still repeats that Nicolás Maduro’s re-election in May 2018 is null and void, there is no longer any question of diplomats denigrating Chavismo or "judging the dictator", but offering a way out to "Constitutional president" [11]. The United States is prepared to abandon its plans to destroy state structures if they are involved in oil exploitation and trade.


It will be easy for pseudo-intellectuals to explain that the United States has led all these destabilizations and wars only for oil. But this theory does not account for what has happened for eighteen years. The Pentagon’s mission was to destroy the state structures of these regions. It did it in Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen, partly in Iraq and not at all in Syria. It is only today that the oil issue is back on the agenda.


The Trump / Pompeo strategy is a new calamity for the oil regions, but it is infinitely less damaging than that of Rumsfeld / Cebrowski which has devastated the broader Middle East for two decades with its tens of thousands of tortures and hundreds of thousands of murders.


Thierry Meyssan

Translation 

Roger Lagassé

 

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article207503.html

 

 

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is turkey "doing" the admiral doctrine on the US behalf?...

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when "peace" is a war with invasion...

According to Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, Turkey's actions have exacerbated the already-complicated humanitarian situation in Syria and could potentially spark a new refugee crisis.

Finland's centre-left government, led by the Social Democrats, has condemned the Turkish offensive in Syria, pledging to stop all arms exports to Ankara.

Just three weeks ago, the Finnish government approved drone exports to Turkey. Now, Helsinki has stopped all such weapons exports and strongly condemned Turkey's actions.

“The situation is serious. For my own area of responsibility, I note the following: Finland does not export defence material to countries that wage wars or violate human rights”, Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen of the Centre Party tweeted. “No new arms export licenses from Finland to Turkey will be granted for the time being. The situation is also being investigated for the arms export licenses already granted”, Kaikkonen added.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201910101077004703-finland-halts-arms-exp...

 

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Europe against criticizing his country’s newly-launched military incursion into Syria, claiming he could allow millions of refugees to pour into the EU if he so chooses.

In a speech to lawmakers from his AK party, Erdogan warned that there would be repercussions if Europe viewed Turkey’s operation in Syria as an invasion.

Hey EU, wake up. I say it again: if you try to frame our operation there as an invasion, our task is simple: we will open the doors and send 3.6 million migrants to you.

The threat comes after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Ankara “must cease the ongoing military operation” in northeast Syria. He said that the incursion would “not work” and that Turkey should not expect Europe’s help with creating a so-called “safe-zone.”

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/470610-turkey-syria-military-invasion-eu/

 

Note: Turkey hosts more than 4 million refugees in camps....

 

 

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Ankara’s operation against Kurdish-led militias in northeastern Syria has been criticized across Europe and the Middle East, as one country after another sounded the alarm over the impact to the Syrian peace process.

The offensive by Turkish army and affiliated Syrian “opposition” militants kicked off on Wednesday with massive air and artillery strikes, followed by a land invasion dubbed ‘Operation Peace Spring.’

The EU has condemned the invasion and urged Turkey to halt it, expressing doubt the proclaimed goal of establishing a “safe zone” where refugees could return would be reached. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Ankara should not “expect the EU to pay for any of” the said zone.

“The EU calls upon Turkey to cease the unilateral military action,” the 28 members of the bloc said in a joint statement. “It is unlikely that a so-called 'safe zone' in north-east Syria, as envisaged by Turkey, would satisfy international criteria for refugee return.”

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his Turkish counterpart to “gauge the situation comprehensively” so that Ankara’s actions would not undermine the peace process in Syria.

An extraordinary UN Security Council meeting to assess the situation in Syria has been called by France and the UK and is expected to be held behind closed doors on Thursday, according to media reports.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the Turkish actions were “jeopardizing the anti-Islamic State coalition's security and humanitarian efforts,” while his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok condemned the invasion and summoned Ankara’s envoy over it.

Egypt has urged the UNSC to halt “any attempts to occupy Syrian territories” and condemned the Turkish aggression in the “strongest terms,” calling for an emergency meeting of the League of Arab States as well. Similar reactions came from Saudi Arabia, Bahrein, Iran and others.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/470575-turkey-invasion-worldwide-condemnation/

 

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Admitting that Turkey “invaded” Syria, US President Donald Trump called the attack “a bad idea” and said the US does not endorse it. Turkey is now responsible for guarding all the Islamic State captives in the area, he added.

“Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place—and we will hold them to this commitment,” Trump said in a statement published by the White House on Wednesday.

Turkey is now responsible for ensuring all ISIS fighters being held captive remain in prison and that ISIS does not reconstitute in any way, shape, or form.

The US president announced on Monday he would be pulling back the 50 or so US troops from the area controlled by Kurdish militias allied with Washington. The US backed these militias as part of an effort to defeat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), and blocked the return of the liberated areas to Syrian government sovereignty.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/470558-trump-turkey-syria-isis/

 

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Members of the US Congress have threatened to kick Turkey out of NATO if it sent troops into northern Syria against Washington’s Kurdish allies. What would be the consequences of such a step?

If Ankara launches a military operation against the Kurds in Syria, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said he would submit a bill that would suspend Turkey’s NATO membership. 

Similar statements have been made in the US before – in January 2018, for example, when Turkish forces were engaged in fighting near Afrin, and Fox News aired an opinion that Turkey should be pushed out of NATO. The channel is known to have the ear of US President Donald Trump. The call was repeated in July 2019, during another escalation over Cyprus. 

It is not yet clear what procedures will be invoked to execute the ruling. The NATO treaty does not provide for a clear procedure of expulsion. There is Article 13, which reads as follows:

“After the Treaty has been in force for twenty years, any Party may cease to be a Party one year after its notice of denunciation has been given to the Government of the United States of America, which will inform the Governments of the other Parties of the deposit of each notice of denunciation.”

No word of expulsion, only ceasing to be a member at one’s own initiative. To date, the only example of this was France’s voluntary suspension of any engagement in the bloc’s military structures, under Charles de Gaulle. It appears Brussels (or Washington) would first have to draft the expulsion procedure, get it approved by all the NATO members, and then use the legally binding act to somehow push Turkey out. So far, it is unclear how US threats versus Ankara could materialize.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/470575-turkey-invasion-worldwide-condemnation/

 

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is turkey "doing" the admiral doctrine on the US behalf?...

 

 

See also:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/470406-kurds-turkey-trump-syria/

the bottomless well of afghanistan...

3,000 billion dollars into the bottomless well of Afghanistan

by Manlio Dinucci

The documents that the Washington Post has managed to make public concerning the war against Afghanistan do not show that the United States have failed to pacify that country. On the contrary, they show that the Pentagon is still faithfully following the strategy of « endless war » elaborated by Donald Rumsfeld and Admiral Arthur Cebrowski. The military operation which was supposed to last no more than a few weeks has been deliberately prolonged for 18 years.


The Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy is a plan to adapt the mission of the Pentagon to the globalisation of capitalism. Thus, state structures must be destroyed in several regions of the world, beginning with the Greater Middle East, for the benefit of « constructive chaos ». This is the « endless war » announced by George Bush, pursued by Barack Obama and denounced by Donald Trump.

In the London Declaration [1], the 29 member countries of NATO reaffirmed « the engagement for the security and long-term stability of Afghanistan ». One week later, on the basis of the Freedom of Information Act, (used to empty a number of aging skeletons out of the closets, according to political necessity), the Washington Post managed to force the declassification of 2,000 pages of documents which reveal that « US civil servants fooled the public about the war in Afghanistan » [2]. Basically, they hid its disastrous effects, including the economic effects, of a war which has been dragging on for 18 years.


The most interesting data that emerge are those concerning the economic costs. 1,500 billion dollars have been spent for military operations, a figure that « remains opaque » - or in other words, underestimated – no-one knows how much the secret services have spent on the war, or the real cost of the contractors, the mercenaries recruited for the war (currently about 6,000).


Since « the war was financed with borrowed money », the accrued interest has risen to 500 billion, which brings the total expenditure to 2,000 billion dollars. To this must be added other posts – 87 billion for the training of Afghan forces, 54 billion for « reconstruction », of which a large part was « lost to corruption and failed projects ». At least 10 billion more were spent for the « struggle against narco-trafficking », with the triumphant result of a strong increase in the production of opium – today Afghanistan supplies 80 % of the heroin on the world market.


With the interests which continue to accumulate, (in 2023 they will rise to 600 billion), and the cost of the operations currently under way, expenditure easily overtakes 2,000 billion. We also need to consider the cost of medical assistance for the veterans returning from the war with serious or invalidating wounds. So far, 350 billion dollars have already been spent for those who fought in Afghanistan or Iraq, and this sum will rise to 1,400 billion dollars over the next 40 years. Since half of this sum is spent for veterans of Afghanistan, the cost of the war for the US is more than 3,000 billion dollars.


After 18 years of war, and an unquantifiable number of civilian victims, the results at the military level are as follows - « the Talibans control a major part of the country, and Afghanistan remains one of the greatest sources of refugees and migrants ». The Washington Post therefore concludes that the declassified documents reveal « the brutal reality of the errors and failures of the American effort to pacify and rebuild Afghanistan ».


In this way the prestigious news outlet, which explains the way in which US civil servants have « fooled the public », now fools the public once again by presenting the war as « the American effort to pacify and rebuild Afghanistan ». The true goal of the war in Afghanistan waged by the USA, in which NATO has been participating since 2003, is the control of this region, which is of capital strategic importance – at the crossroads between the Middle East, Central, Southern and Eastern Asia , particularly taking into account the proximity of Russia and China.


Italy is also participating in this war, under US command, since in October 2002 Parliament authorised the delivery of a first military contingent as from March 2003. The cost for Italy, paid from the public treasury, as is the case in the USA, is estimated to be approximately 8 billion Euros, to which must be added various other costs. In order to convince the population, hard hit by cuts in social expenditure, that further sums are necessary for Afghanistan, they are told that the money is used to guarantee better living conditions for the Afghan people. And the Brothers of the Sacro Convento of Assisi handed President Mattarella « San Francesco’s Lamp of Peace », thereby recognising that « Italy, with its missions and its soldiers, collaborates actively in the promotion of peace everywhere in the world ».


Manlio Dinucci

Translation 

Pete Kimberley

Source 

Il Manifesto (Italy)

 

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article208612.html

 

 

 

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the demise of saudi arabia?...

As Washington takes stock of the Saudi defeat in Yemen and rumors in Riyadh of a possible coup d’etat are rife, Victoria Coates has been nominated US Special Envoy for Energy. She is reported to have arrived in Riyadh where she will reside.


Ms. Coates is suspected of having penned the column published in 2018 by the New York Times, "I am part of the resistance within the Trump administration" [1] and of having written the book: A warning (Une alert) [2].


Reputed to be close to Donald Rumsfeld, the Pentagon and Israel, she served as advisor to Senator Ted Cruz during his election campaign. In her latter position as deputy to current National Security Advisor, Robert O’Brien, Coates was in charge, in particular, of the Iranian dossier.


The White House is reportedly considering taking direct control of Aramco (Saudi Arabian Oil Company) which was privatized in the order of 1.5% last December. Such a move would deprive the Saouds of their only source of income in exchange for being kept in power in one of the five states that would emerge from the dismantling of the country.

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article209545.html

 

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MORE TO COME...

saudi/russia agreement...

After purchasing a $ 3 billion package of arms manufacturing rights from Russia in 2017 and subsequently backing out of a deal to acquire S-400 anti-missile systems, on 24 August 2021, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement of military cooperation with the Deputy Minister of Defense, General Alexander Fomin in Moscow.

Although the exact content has not been revealed, the fact that the agreement was concluded after the victory scored by the Syrian Arab Republic and in the wake of the fall of Kabul, is an indication that Riyadh no longer perceives the balance of power in the same way as before..

Let’s keep in mind that following its defeat in Syria, the Pentagon intends to pursue the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy of destroying state structures in the region, including Saudi Arabia.

One by one, many regional actors have stopped considering the United States as a protector, but as an overlord who will not hesitate to crush them when the time comes.

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article213925.html

 

 

Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy map

 

mapmap

 

 

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assangeassange

sunni/shia rapprochement...

 

by F. William Engdahl

 

The ignominious US withdrawal from Afghanistan has blown a global hole in the post-1945 American Century system of elaborate world domination, a power vacuum that likely will lead to irreversible consequences. The immediate case in point is whether Biden’s Washington strategists—as he clearly makes no policy—have already managed to lose the support of its largest arms buyer and regional strategic ally, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since the first days of Biden’s inauguration in late January, US policies are driving the Saudi monarchy to pursue a dramatic shift in foreign policy. The longer-term consequences could be enormous.

Within their first week in office the Biden Administration indicated a dramatic shift in US-Saudi relations. It announced a freeze in arms sales to the Kingdom as it reviewed the Trump arms deals. Then in late February US intelligence issued a report condemning the Saudi government for the killing of Saudi Washington Post journalist Adnan Khashoggi in Istanbul in October, 2018, something the Trump Administration refused to do. That was joined by Washington’s lifting the anti-Saudi Yemeni Houthi leadership from the US terrorist list while ending US military support to Saudi Arabia in its Yemen war with Iran-backed Houthi forces, a move that emboldened the Houthis to pursue missile and drone attacks on Saudi targets.

Post-911 Pentagon Policy

While Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has so far been careful to avoid a rupture with Washington, the motion of his feet since the Biden regime shift in January has been significant. At the center is a series of secret negotiations with former arch-enemy Iran, and its new President. Talks began in April in Baghdad between Riyadh and Teheran to explore a possible rapprochement.

Washington geopolitical strategy for the past two decades has been to fire up the conflicts and bring the entire Middle East into chaos as part of a doctrine first endorsed by Cheney and Rumsfeld after September 11, 2001, sometimes referred to by the George W. Bush Administration as the Greater Middle East. It was formulated by the late US Admiral Arthur Cebrowski of Rumsfeld’s post-911 Pentagon Office of Force Transformation. Cebrowski’s assistant, Thomas Barnett , described the new strategy of deliberate chaos in his 2004 book, The Pentagon’s New Map : War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century, just after the unprovoked US invasion of Iraq. Recall that no one ever found evidence of Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. 

Barnett was a professor at the US Naval War College and later strategist for the Israeli Wikistrat consultancy. As he described it, the entire national boundaries of the post-Ottoman Middle East carved out by the Europeans after World War I, including Afghanistan were to be dissolved, and present states balkanized into Sunni, Kurd, Shiite, and other ethnic or religious entities to ensure decades of chaos and instability requiring a “strong” US military presence to control. That became the two decades of US catastrophic occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond. It was deliberate chaos. Secretary of State Condi Rice said in 2006 that the Greater Middle East aka New Middle East would be achieved through ‘constructive chaos’. Because of a huge backlash from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region the name was buried, but the chaos strategy remains.

The Obama “Arab Spring” Color Revolutions, which were launched in December 2010 with the CIA and Clinton State Department destabilizations of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya by US-backed networks of the Muslim Brotherhood, were further implementation of the new US policy of chaos and destabilization. The proxy US invasion of Syria then followed, as did Yemen with the covertly US-backed Houthi revolution against Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012.

The ongoing Teheran vs Riyadh conflict has its roots in that Cebrowski-Barnett Pentagon-CIA strategy. It marked and fed the split between pro-Muslim Brotherhood Qatar and anti-Brotherhood Riyadh in 2016, after which Qatar sought support from Iran and Turkey. It has marked the bitter proxy war in Syria between forces backed by Saudi Arabia against forces backed by Iran. It has marked the Saudi vs Teheran proxy war in Yemen, and the political stalemate in Lebanon. Now the Saudi regime under MBS appears to be embarking on a major turn away from that Shiite-Sunni war for domination of the Islamic world by pursuing peace with its foes including Iran.

Teheran is key 

Under the Trump Administration, policy shifted from an apparent US backing of Iran under Obama with the 2015 nuclear JCPOA, and to the disadvantage of Saudis and Israel, over to a one-sided Trump-Kushner backing for Saudi Arabia and Israel, exiting the JCPOA, and imposing draconian economic sanctions on Teheran and other moves last embodied in the ill-conceived Abraham Accords aimed against Teheran. 

MBS and the Saudis are clearly reading the handwriting on the wall from Washington and are moving to defuse multiple zones of conflict which had led it down a US-scripted dead end. Washington under Trump had fed MBS with arms galore (paid for with Saudi petrodollars) to fuel the conflicts. It has been a catastrophe for the Saudis. Now as it became clear that a Biden Administration also means no good for them, MBS and the Saudis have begun a strategic pivot towards ending all its conflicts within the Islamic world. The key to it all is Iran.

Back-channel talks

In April the Saudis began the first of what now have been three bilateral negotiations on stabilizing their relations with Iran, back-channel secret talks first in Iraq, then Oman. Baghdad has a major stake in such a peace as US policy in Iraq since 2003 has been to create chaos by pitting a majority Shiite against a 30% minority Sunni to sow civil war. In July Prime Minister al Kadhimi secured a Biden pledge to end US troop presence by year-end. 

The Teheran-Riyadh back-channel talks reportedly involve Iran’s stance towards Washington under Biden Pentagon policies, as well as Iran’s willingness to de-escalate military presence in Syria and Yemen and Lebanon. Indirect talks between the US and Iran about a return to the 2015 nuclear deal were suspended after the Iranian elections in June. Iran also announced it was stepping up uranium enrichment. 

The Saudi-Iran talks have included high-level persons from both sides, including Saudi chief of General Intelligence Directorate Khalid al-Humaidan and Iranian Deputy Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council , Saeed Iravani. Ongoing protests inside Iran over the economic costs of deployment of troops and aid to groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria and Houthis in Yemen, are reportedly growing. This, at a time economic hardships caused by the US sanctions are severe, creates a strong incentive for Teheran to eventually compromise in a rapprochement with Riyadh. If it happens it will be a huge blow for US regional chaos strategy. 

While no agreement is yet at hand, a fourth talk has just been announced which indicates a will to forge a compromise as soon as the government of newly-elected Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is approved by the Majlis or parliament. A deal will not be easy, but both sides realize the status quo is a lose-lose proposition. 

At the same time Iran under Raisi is playing hardball with Biden negotiators. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is reportedly demanding that the Biden administration lift all sanctions on Iran and compensate it for the damage they caused, and have Iran recognized as a nuclear threshold state with the ability to produce a nuclear bomb within a short time. The US sanctions imposed in 2018 have caused a 250% annual rise in food prices and a free fall in the currency as oil revenues have plunged. Raisi is under enormous domestic pressure to change this, though Biden’s Washington to date refuses to lift sanctions as precondition to resuming JCPOA talks. 

For Teheran the question is whether it is better to trust a rapprochement with the Saudi-led Arab Sunni Gulf states, or rely on Washington whose track record of broken promises is underscored by their catastrophic exit from Kabul. 

Most recently Teheran has mended relations with the Afghan Taliban and US military equipment from Afghanistan taken by Taliban reportedly has been seen in Iran, suggesting a close Iran-Afghan cooperation that further works against Washington. At the same time Iran has agreed a $400 billion, 25-year economic strategic cooperation with China. However so far Beijing is apparently being cautious not to challenge US sanctions in any major way and is also pursuing closer ties with Saudi Arabia, Gulf Arab states as well as Israel. A Saudi-Iran rapprochement would further ease pressures on Iran. 

The dramatic collapse of US presence in Afghanistan gives all parties a clear idea that, regardless of who is US President, US institutional powers behind the scenes pursue an agenda of destruction, and can no longer be relied on to be true to their promises of support. 

The implications of a genuine Saudi-Iran agreement would be a major pivot in geopolitical terms. In addition to ending the Yemen war and the proxy Syrian war, it could end the destructive stalemate in Lebanon between Iran-backed Hezbollah and major Saudi interests there. Here is where the recent arms talks between Riyadh and Moscow become more than interesting.

Russia’s pivotal role

Into this geopolitical cocktail of competing interests, the role of Russia becomes strategic. Russia is the one major foreign military power that has aimed at ending the Sunni-Shiite proxy wars and creating stability across Eurasia into the Middle East, a direct challenge to Washington’s Cebrowski-Barnett strategy of deliberate instability and chaos.

In April this year Russian President Vladimir Putin and a delegation of business leaders made a rare visit to Riyadh, the first by Putin in 12 years. It was billed as an energy partnership meeting, but clearly was far more. Deals worth $2 billion were reported with agreements covering oil, space and satellite navigation, health, mineral resources, tourism and aviation. Both countries agreed to cooperate to stabilize oil prices, a major step. Putin and MBS stressed that oil and natural gas would continue to play a major role for years to come, a slap in the face of the Davos Great Reset green agenda. Russia’s RDIF Sovereign Wealth Fund also opened its first foreign office in Riyadh.

Taken alone it was interesting, but the fact it has been followed four months later by a visit by Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman to Russia to the annual International Military Technical Forum (ARMY 2021) near Moscow, gives new significance to growing Saudi-Russian ties as well at a time Biden & Co. are “recalibrating” US-Saudi ties as the State Department put it, whatever that means. Khalid tweeted, “I signed an agreement with the Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Colonel General Alexander Fomin between the Kingdom and the Russian Federation aimed at developing joint military cooperation between the two countries.” Bin Salman also added, “Met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu to explore ways to strengthen the military and defense cooperation and discussed our common endeavor to preserve stability and security in the region.” Notably, Russia has conducted joint military exercises with Iran for the past several years and is also well suited to foster a Saudi-Iran detente.

The Moscow talks came only weeks after the Pentagon and Biden Administration announced it was removing eight Patriot anti-missile systems from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, and Iraq, as well as removing a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system from the Saudi Kingdom, and accelerating the withdrawal of US troops from the region, moves that hardly boost confidence in Washington as protector of Saudi Arabia. The world’s finest anti-missile defense technology, the S-400 air defense system, happens to be made in Russia, as do a broad array of other military equipment. 

All these moves by the Saudis are clearly not going to lead to an overnight break with Washington. But clear is that the Saudi monarchy has understood, especially in the wake of the abrupt Biden abandonment of Afghanistan to the Taliban, that continued dependence on a US security umbrella it has enjoyed since the 1970’s oil shocks, is a fading illusion. MBS clearly realizes that he has been played by both Trump and now Biden. The tectonic plates of Middle East and Eurasian geopolitics are shifting and the implications are staggering.

 

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

Read more:

https://journal-neo.org/2021/09/06/has-biden-now-lost-saudi-arabia/

 

"buttering one's bread on the other side..." was my second title...

 

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FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW..!!!!>>>>µµµµ

making sense of lebanon...


A NEW WORLD ORDER TAKES SHAPE (PART III)

 

The political architecture of the new Middle East

 

by Thierry Meyssan

 

 

The post-Syrian war Middle East is taking shape. Everything would change: Syria would join the Russian-led military coalition and be de facto protected by it. Lebanon would be placed under joint Russian-US tutelage but occupied militarily by France. Iraq would replace Lebanon as a regional mediator. Iran would be admitted to the Mediterranean.

 

This article is a follow-up to 


 "Why a Yalta II?", June 15, 2021. 


 "Biden-Putin, a Yalta II rather than a new Berlin", June 22, 2021.

 

Moscow and Washington are preparing the reorganization of the Levant that they drew up during the Geneva meeting (known as "Yalta 2") on June 16. The aim is to draw conclusions from the terrible Western military defeat in Syria without humiliating the United States.

According to this peace agreement, Syria would be placed in the Russian zone, while Lebanon would be shared between the West and Russia.

 

THE BAGHDAD AND CAIRO SUMMITS

We are moving towards a withdrawal of the US army from Iraq so that this country becomes a mediator, a neutral zone, instead of Lebanon. Iraq has therefore convened a summit in Baghdad with seven of its neighbors (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Emirates, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey). France managed to join the participants both as a representative of the West and as a former colonial power.

The former director of the Iraqi secret service and now Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kazimi, showed his great knowledge of regional issues and his ability to maintain the balance between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran. Despite several contacts over the past year and more conciliatory rhetoric, these two powers have not known how to resolve their multiple disputes, particularly in Yemen.

The Baghdad meeting was an opportunity to display an alliance between President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi (Egypt) and King Abdullah II (Jordan) to manage (not solve) the Palestinian problem. It was immediately followed by a meeting in Cairo of the two heads of state with their Palestinian counterpart, President Mahmoud Abbas. The latter was all the more conciliatory as he is aware that, from now on, no Arab country will come to the aid of his people. It is not possible to demand justice for 70 years while betraying all those who help you.

The French presence has been interpreted as an announcement of a military intervention by Paris after the U.S. withdrawal. President Emmanuel Macron is said to have ambitions to deploy troops in Lebanon to defend western interests as the country comes under joint US and Russian tutelage.

Turkey was dragging its feet throughout the summit. It does not intend to leave the regions of Iraq and Syria that it has invaded without receiving a Western compensation. But it does not want the Kurdish mercenaries, who are also allies of the United States, to be treated in like manner. Yet France continues to believe that the Turkmen and Kurds of northern Syria could each obtain some form of autonomy within the Syrian Arab Republic. Russia, which is an ethnic federation, seems to be in favour of this, but Damascus still does not want to hear about it because its population is so mixed. Before the war, Turkmen and Kurds were not in the majority anywhere. Rojava, a territory "self-administered" by the Syrian Kurds, is only a front for the US military presence. The United States fears that its military withdrawal from Iraq will mean the same panic for its Kurdish collaborators in Syria as its withdrawal from Afghanistan did for its Pashtun collaborators.

Syria was the big absentee at the rumored summit. A secret Syrian delegation was reportedly seen in Washington. Moscow is reportedly considering Syria’s membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Russian equivalent of Nato.
Dotted line, the Baghdad summit was haunted by the issue of hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean. Oil and gas fields have now been identified. Their exploitation remains largely impossible because it is necessary to fix the borders that have not been fixed, then to grant authorizations to companies capable of drilling deep under a large quantity of water and finally to secure the installations. The division between the pro-USA and pro-Russia is still not clear. It will depend on the docility of each party to melt into the political mold that is proposed.

THE IMPOSSIBLE CASE OF LEBANON

The future of Lebanon was not mentioned in Baghdad, but it is becoming clearer. In theory, this country, which participated in the war against Syria on the Western side, will be the only one where the Pentagon will not apply the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski doctrine of "endless war".

It seems impossible to reform the current electoral law, which divides the country into multiple constituencies linked to each of the 17 religious communities between which the territory is divided. Yet this system has run out of steam and has shown its inanity. But if a democratic system of political representation were to be adopted, there is no doubt that Hassan Nasrallah would be elected President of the Republic and that Hezbollah would have a majority in Parliament. No one wants that.

Perhaps, however, the power sharing between the President of the Republic (Christian), the President of the Government (Sunni) and the President of the Assembly (Shiite) could be reached. With this in mind, on July 30 the European Council adopted a framework of sanctions against Lebanese political leaders who refuse to accept any structural change. For the moment, no one has been named, but this weapon is ready to be used.

The matter is further complicated by the fact that the division of power in the administration is between three super-communities, but not equally so: 50 per cent Christian, 30 per cent Shia and 20 per cent Sunni. However, the composition of the population has not stopped changing since the civil war of the 1980s. Today, as far as we know, the Christians are only 20%, the Sunnis 35% and the Shiites 45%. The President of the Republic, the Christian General Michel Aoun, defends his "prerogatives" tooth and nail, i.e. the historical domination of his community over the others.

France is planning to send a contingent for the legislative elections scheduled for May 8 (just after the French presidential election). Its soldiers will guarantee the security of the polling stations. No one doubts that they will succeed, if nothing changes. But at the first reform, those who arrived with applause will become occupiers and will be chased away. What a bizarre idea to have legislative elections secured by the former colonial power! Everyone remembers that in 1983, two terrible explosions simultaneously destroyed the headquarters of the French and American forces in Beirut -while the regional heads of the CIA were meeting there-; two acts of war that left 299 dead. Bernard Emié, the director of the DGSE and also in charge of Lebanon for the Élysée Palace, was optimistic and assured that the Cold War was over and that this kind of event would never happen again; the Cold War was certainly over, but the desire for independence of the people persisted.

Without realizing it, France is laying the groundwork for its next fiasco: President Macron keeps repeating President Biden’s rhetoric: he will not help any state to build itself, but all of them to fight against terrorism. This is the slogan of the International Coalition in Iraq and Syria, which has not stopped for 7 years to massacre civilians and guide the jihadists. It was also the doubletalk of President Biden to justify the takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the resurgence of Daesh. In short, it is always the way we talk when we want to ravage states.

The Lebanese have built a system of corruption that bears no relation to what exists elsewhere. The various leaders of the 17 confessional communities get along very well to collectively extort as much money as possible from their respective protectors. Then they more or less redistribute this money to their base. For example, if you want to build a big infrastructure, you usually have to pay bribes to compensate the people whose rights you are violating or the officials who are responsible for enforcing local laws. Not in Lebanon. In Lebanon, in order to help one community, you have to compensate the other 16 for not helping them. Each aid has to be paid twice: once to the recipient, and once to the 16 leaders of the other faith communities. This works as long as the outside powers are embroiled in their rivalries but becomes tragic if they also agree among themselves. Suddenly, there is no money at all.

Hoping that the agreement between the United States and Russia will last, France intends to rebuild Lebanon. It awarded the port of Beirut and the port of Tripoli (and its refineries) to Russia. Moscow had proposed to rebuild everything in leasing, but some Lebanese do not want the Russians and they refuse to pay twice. So why not the French proposal? But the Israelis thought that the port of Haifa would replace the port of Beirut. They too will ask for their tithe.

In any case, nothing can be built until Lebanon has a government. Hassan Diab’s government has resigned since... August 10, 2020. Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who was expected to succeed him, finally threw in the towel. Another former Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, who has since been approached, may also throw in the towel. Both face the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, who intends not only to keep a blocking minority in the government, but also to hold the Ministries of the Interior and Justice so that his men cannot be tried, and those of Social Affairs and the Economy to control negotiations with the IMF. The Sunnis want to rebalance the institutions, protect their men and gain access to the IMF’s golden goose. Ditto for the Shiites.

Although he has been the darling of the global financial circles, Riad Salamé, whose mistresses and their incredible lifestyles are discovered every day, would make an ideal scapegoat for the Lebanese ruling class.

 

The only way out would be to sacrifice a scapegoat, Riad Salamé, the head of the Central Bank, a Christian who has put himself at the service of the Sunni Hariri family. He would be made to bear the responsibility for the collective crimes and the bankruptcy of the country in exchange for maintaining the privileges of the Christian community.

The only personality above the rest, the Secretary General of Hezbollah (but apparently not the other leaders of his party) is trying to save his country. Hassan Nasrallah has been buying Iranian oil, despite US sanctions, so that his fellow citizens can fuel their cars, heat their homes and work. 82% of Lebanese now live below the poverty line according to the United Nations, whereas their country was so rich that it was nicknamed the "Switzerland of the Middle East". Immediate outcry from the 16 other communities that will not be paid the bribes required by the system.

Two Iranian oil tankers are currently in the Mediterranean. The United States did not seize them, nor did it sink them, as it usually does without anyone protesting either the act of war or its environmental consequences. A delegation of US senators visiting Lebanon last week mildly condemned this violation of the US embargo and praised the initiative of the US ambassador. She proposed to import Egyptian gas. A Lebanese ministerial delegation visited Damascus, the first since the beginning of the war in 2011. They discussed this project insofar as the Egyptian gas should transit through Syria. She also discussed a project to buy electricity from Jordan, again via Syria. And perhaps, but it should not be said, the landing of Iranian tankers at the port of Banias rather than in Lebanon.

In reality, it is not possible to reform the functioning of Lebanon as long as each community lives in the memory of the Civil War and fears being massacred. The only solution is to guarantee civil peace and then change the whole system at once. This may be the ambition of France, but it will not be possible because of its past. Another solution would be to organize a military regime, since the army is the only institution that all Lebanese appreciate. However, the military is at the bottom of the social ladder, even lower than the immigrant domestic workers. Soldiers get $60 a month compared to $200 for women who are forced to work. In any case, their leader, General Joseph Aoun (no relation to the President) was trained in the USA. He is standing by.

 

Thierry Meyssan

 

Translation 
Roger Lagassé

 

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