Aletho News


The Lebanese Fall – Hezbollah’s Latest Challenge

By Ghassan Kadi | The Saker Blog | October 22, 2019

Hezbollah is facing a new challenge, and this time it is not a military one, but rather political.

Perhaps few countries need peaceful “popular revolutions” more than Lebanon does. In my simplistic way of thinking, Lebanon should actually be on the top of the list; followed by the USA.

Corruption in Lebanon is endemic. Its politicians are in reality the heirs of dynasties with self-given “birthrights”. Lebanon is ruled, owned, and manipulated by a few families and bloodlines that virtually own everything and have control on whatever happens in the country. This excludes the very few new comers such as the Hariri dynasty, Hezbollah, and the incumbent President Aoun, among others that one can count on the fingers of one hand.

Before President Aoun was finally elected, Lebanon had a presidential vacuum and had no head of state for 29 long months. It took all that time for the feuding Mafias to finally come to an agreement that guaranteed their positions and vested interests before they were convinced that Aoun was the right choice.

Aoun does not come from any of the political-feudal lineages. As a former Army Chief, and despite his history as a former enemy of Syria in the 1980’s who turned into a supporter twenty years later and eventually became a political partner of Hezbollah, he was finally endorsed even by his Christian Maronite arch-rival, Samir Geagea, the head of the rightwing “Lebanese Forces” as a conciliatory president. This was what finally gave him the numbers to be elected and ended the presidency vacuum crisis.

Aoun was perhaps the first Lebanese president to be elected by consent of many rivals and former political and strategic enemies. After all, he had the backing of Hezbollah and the approval of Geagea. He had all that was needed to embark on a journey of reform.

And “Reform and Change” was the motto of his political party.

As a former enemy of Syria, he took voluntary exile in France in 1984 and started his movement of alleged reform. As he returned to Lebanon in 1999, in the years leading up to his election, his rhetoric was that of holding politicians accountable for corruption.

In 2008 Aoun visited Syria, his former enemy, and was greeted by President Assad like a head of state. He had a huge reform agenda, but whether he was genuine or not, by the time he was elected as President in 2016, he was already in his eighties and suffering ill health.

As a president and if anything at all, he followed the footsteps of those he was meant to hold accountable by endorsing his son-in-law Gibran Bassil to become a Member of Parliament and a Minister. But this is not all, he acted in a manner as if he has passed on the presidency and the running of Lebanon to Bassil.

This would have gone well had Bassil been “clean”, but he soon proved to be corruptible as hell. Bassil is now perhaps the most hated Lebanese politician. He is believed to have amassed billions of dollars of corruption funds. The current Lebanese uprising in the streets of Lebanon and the world are aimed at many Lebanese politicians; but mainly Bassil.

What is pertinent is that the political backdrop that eventuated in guaranteeing Bassil’s position has originally come from Hezbollah who has secured the presidency of his father-in-law; President Aoun.

In hindsight, Hezbollah has made a bad gamble on Aoun, and this is forgivable perhaps, but what is unforgivable was turning a blind eye to thus far three years of unimaginable corruption of the Aoun tenure.

Admittedly, the Lebanese Cabinet, headed by Saad Hariri, an opponent of Hezbollah, is an all-inclusive cabinet. Politically, strategically and militarily protected by Hezbollah in a manner that represents all political parties of Lebanon, the ambient Lebanese cabinet has Nasrallah as its patron. Right or wrong, this is the general understanding in the streets of Lebanon now.

For the sake of giving itself a constitutional cover and parliamentary majority, Hezbollah’s gamble on Aoun is failing. Aoun is losing ground and for Hezbollah to continue to support him would be an act of political suicide.

Currently, everything about what looks like a “Lebanese Revolution” looks legitimate and worthy of support. Thus far, the protestors have been peaceful and civilized. Lebanon is a country rich in many ways; well-educated human resources, agriculture, water, tourism venues, untapped oil/gas, you name it. People are angry because their government has not yet been able to build up enough infrastructure after the 1975-1989 Civil War that destroyed much of it. The country is reeling from growing unemployment, the high cost of living and a lack of basic local services like water, power and garbage management. Add to this the factor of low income, it becomes understandable that the Lebanese are sick and tired of having to put up with a seemingly endless legacy of government incompetence and rising taxes.

So once again, Lebanon needs a peaceful popular revolution that can provide reform; not more destruction, and the current uprising, which hasn’t been given a name yet, will inevitably, for better or for worse, yield some outcomes.

What seems probable is that President Aoun will be forced into retirement at the very least. And, this may only be the prelude to further developments. However, what we are seeing now in Lebanon is not necessarily a “Lebanese Spring”. The seasonal aspect of it does not necessarily mean that it is a “Lebanese Fall” either. It is a Lebanese test; and most specifically a defining moment for Hezbollah.

Thus far, Hezbollah has been “faultless” in as far as deterring Israel, protecting its own ground base and providing enough popular support to guarantee its popularity.

And the support of, and well regard for Hezbollah did not only come from the Shiite sector of the Lebanese community. After all, Hezbollah represented resistance, and this ideological arm has no sectarian boundaries. But what Hezbollah seems to have failed to realize is that it cannot bank on ideology alone, all the while turning a blind eye on corruption.

It has to be said as it is. Hezbollah is becoming increasingly perceived in Lebanon as having a role in protecting its corrupt government. This situation is inviting the “Soros connected” forces to take control of the “Lebanese Revolution”.

But as events in Lebanon are changing on daily basis, we must look back at the Arab Spring and what came out of it.

There is a revolution in Lebanon and I support it. People on the streets are genuine and have legitimate demands. But this revolution is headless and has fingerprints of meddlers already. After all, as we see virtually millions of Lebanese flags appearing all over the world, including some that are 300 and 400 meters long, we ought to ask where did they come from and who paid for them? And, who is giving the greenlight for mainstream media coverage to this all?

After the Israeli war with Hezbollah in July 2006, Shiite Muslim Hezbollah had a huge popularity in Lebanon even in the Muslim Sunni as well as Christian regions. This changed soon after Hezbollah made the decision to control the streets of Beirut in May 2007. Ever since, Hezbollah lost a fair chunk of its popularity outside the Shiite sect.

Nasrallah must make his position clear in regard to the street protests and his stand on the ugly corruption that is bringing Lebanon to its knees. He had to urgently respond to the street rallies during the 2005 so-called “Cedar Revolution”, where protestors wanted Syrian troops out of Lebanon, and the counter pro-Hezbollah protestors demanded the opposite. The schism back then brought Lebanon close to civil war again. A repeat of such a scenario now is potentially more dangerous and inflammatory than back then.

Hezbollah rose victorious, both politically and militarily, and with victory in Syria, the position of Hezbollah in Lebanon has never been stronger. Hence a wise and appropriate response to the current crisis is paramount.

The situation occurring presently is quite different to the events of 2005. It is no longer ideological. People are literally unemployed, angry and hungry. They blame the corrupt government, and are pointing the finger at Hezbollah for its silence.

Hunger and popular anger do not stop at sectarian boundaries.

Nasrallah has been making the right decisions thus far, but he cannot afford to be complacent. Each and every camel has a straw that can break its back, and Aoun is not the one for Nasrallah to count on for political survival; quite the contrary in fact.

Even within the ranks of heartland pro-Hezbollah territory, there is an element of opposition to the Aoun administration and its political and economic bankruptcy.

The success of Hezbollah as a liberating force in Lebanon may well have reached a crossroad now. How the protests and the issues voiced are dealt with, will define the future of Hezbollah. It can cause it great damage or, if quickly respond to with sympathy and solutions to the issues raised by the groundswell of angry and fed-up protesters, Hezbollah can maintain the grassroots support they enjoyed. It is time for Hezbollah to revisit the viability of its political alliances.

The progress of the popular uprising thus far, sounds too good to be true. However the substantial support this uprising is receiving, both domestically and internationally is ominous. International support can only be based on political interests aimed at reducing the stronghold of Hezbollah and to weaken the position of the axis of resistance.

Without a figure head, without a clear agenda, the Lebanese uprising is likely to end up like the Egyptian uprising back in 2011. The street anger will be employed by the meddlers in order to serve their own agendas, and the suffering of the people will not be reduced. This is my fear.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Corruption | , | Leave a comment

My Dream

Al-Haq | October 22, 2019

This is the story of the Palestinian dream, Khaled Abu Joudeh, who decided to build a house for his seven children, in the Kafr Aqab neighbourhood; and under the pretext of its proximity to the Annexation and Expansion wall, the so-called Jerusalem Municipality decided to demolish it on June 12, 2019.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Ankara says ‘no need to start new Syria offensive’ after Erdogan-Putin talks

RT | October 22, 2019

Turkey will not be launching a new offensive against Kurdish militias in northern Syria, following a five-day pause in hostilities and high-level talks in Moscow, Ankara’s Defense Ministry said.

Following lengthy talks on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed that Russian military police and Syrian servicemen will be deployed to northeastern Syria, targeted by Turkey in their ‘Operation Peace Spring.’

The Turkish Defense Ministry then said in a statement that there was “no need to carry out a new operation at this stage,” adding that the creation of a “peace corridor” in the border area would ensure the safe return of millions of displaced Syrians.

Turkey’s latest incursion into the north began earlier this month, directed at Kurdish militias it says are linked to terrorism and its own domestic Kurdish separatist movement.

Until recently, around 1,000 American soldiers were stationed with the Kurdish fighters near the border, insulating them from a Turkish offensive, but a sudden US withdrawal last week cleared the way for Ankara’s operation, which it had threatened for months. Washington’s retreat paved the way for a deal between the Kurds and Damascus, allowing Syrian forces to regain control of territories in the northeast after over 7 years of war.

Even on Tuesday Ankara questioned if the US held its end of the deal and facilitated the withdrawal of Kurdish forces, but the Turkish ministry then said Washington told Ankara the Kurdish groups had all left the area by the end of the 120-hour ceasefire pause.

US President Donald Trump also weighed in on the development, calling it “good news” in a tweet on Monday night.

The deal struck between Ankara and Moscow on Tuesday will ensure the territorial integrity of Syria; allow the government to regain control over towns and cities in the northeast; establish Turkish-Russian patrols along the border; and revitalize the Adana Accord, a security pact struck between Damascus and Ankara in 1998. Dealing with captured Islamic State militants was also addressed in Tuesday’s agreement, which the Syrian government has endorsed.

The agreement underscores Washington’s waning sway in the region and represents a positive step toward winding down a bloody years-long conflict, independent political analyst Ali Demidras told RT.

“The Sochi agreement has cemented the Russian-Turkish cooperation in Syria also effectively reducing the American influence in the country,” Demidras said. “United Syria has been secured.”

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

A House of 12: Debate Four Shows Dems Have No Platform – Biden Stands No Chance

By Joaquin Flores | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 22, 2019

The DNC continues to promote Biden despite his not resonating with likely voters, undecideds, and swing-staters. Gabbard shone bright, but appears to have earned her place back by putting in work for Biden. The DNC must focus on fully socialized healthcare, as Trump’s foreign policy record is strong in the eyes of anti-war voters actually paying attention. But the DNC can’t, and so Trump will likely win.

It was Round Four of the Democratic debates on Tuesday, with 12 candidates squaring off in Westerville, Ohio.

Staged in the critical swing-state of Ohio, the small town of Westerville hosted Round Four of the Democratic Party primary race debates on October 15th. Democrats obviously are pinning hopes on being able to win a few of the swing states they lost to Trump.

The Democratic Party continues its strategy of maintaining a very high number of contenders in the race. In short, the party realizes that the front runner it wants to win – Biden – really lacks the grass roots support, big ideas, and mobilizing capacity that interesting candidates like Sanders, Yang, and Gabbard in fact have. So they keep these more interesting candidates in the race, so that potential voters are more invested in the process for longer. The idea is to try to transfer some of that Yang and Gabbard excitement and support, onto Biden. If that seems like a Herculean task and a strategy not likely to succeed, you would be right. But bear in mind that this is the same Clinton controlled DNC that came to believe that Hillary would win by a landslide.

Gabbard was no doubt the real-winner of this debate – because a victory in 2019 is whatever meme, soundbite, or viral clip you can produce from this sort of event. And Gabbard’s slicing and dicing of Warren was absolutely the highlight of the debate.

By European standards, the Democratic Party is a center-right liberal-austerity party, engaged in an abusive tactic of working against the mandate handed to them by their own more social-democratic constituency. Their programmatic aim is to reduce and tame the real demands of most of their voters, and present ‘pragmatic’ candidates with a ‘chance to win’. In reality, they force their own voters to bargain against themselves. The much weakened and diluted program that the pragmatic candidates take with them into office, is then in turn ‘bargained down’ in their negotiations with law-makers on the other side of the aisle. The result are candidates that no one really likes, going in and beginning negotiations with the position that one ought to arrive at in the end, and absolutely not begin with.


For example, on healthcare – as we saw again in debate number four – Biden promotes only nominal tweaks to Obamacare, which is a non-starter for the activist base of the party which knows that other developed countries consider healthcare both a right and a necessary foundation that makes all other profitable and industrious parts of socio-economic life possible and significantly more robust.

This base is required to generate excitement and launch candidates to wider audiences.

This is an entirely foolish position for many reasons, for nearly 60% of the general public according to recent Gallup polling, also believe that government must provide healthcare. Assuming that every voting Democrat supports a government mandate on healthcare, then nearly 60% means that about 20% of those are Trump voters, making this something of a non-partisan issue.

Interestingly, that polling data also shows that Obamacare ruined the public’s perception of government involvement in healthcare, and support for some kind of intervention dropped from all time pre-Obama high in 2006 of 69% in 2007, all the way down to some 46% in the time period that the travesty of Obamacare was passed into law in 2010. It would take another nine years for the support number to rise to where it is now, still 12 points below its 2007 high.

No Alternative to Trump’s Dovishness

The candidates in the Ohio debate took turns posturing tough on the need to beat Trump, but the DNC seems bent on backing any candidate who seems the least likely to. The reason that Trump will win if this continues – and win ‘big league’ – is that this is not only another ‘change’ election in the eyes of progressive and independent voters, but in fact a larger change paradigm.

Trump’s biggest weakness is his generally conservative position on social programs and healthcare, which is generally unpopular, even though his nominal trade wars with Europe and China were aimed at raising the position of the American worker.

The reality is that even during the administration of Bush 43, the Republican base was growing and voters were trending Republican. The victory of Obama was made possible around three factors: the unpopularity of the wars, which he promised to end, but did not; the massive new-voter registration campaign that was done through the back-door of ostensible labor organizing campaigns by SEIU in swing-states like Colorado; the massive energy at the base created around the prospect of a paradigm-shifting president, African-American no less, that would open the door to larger social-democratic movement – this also was spelled out in new-voter registration and turn-out.

Clinton attempted to use what the Obama energy had built, despite the 2016 election also having been a change election. But this need for ‘change without hope’ was absolutely at odds with the ‘hope + change’ campaign of 2007. Clinton was in the position of not being particularly inspiring to anyone, and needing to use the Obama energy and Obama machine to win an election which in all reality was a mandate against many of Obama’s actual policies and failings.

Without new voter turn-out, and without a genuinely populist campaign from the Democrats, Trump doesn’t have a serious contender to deal with.

Democrats have no real alternative program to offer to Trump, appealing instead to Trump Derangement Syndrome and the ‘Orange-Man-Bad’ mantra. But none of their supposedly front-runner candidates have anything of substance to counterpoise to Trump, with the exception of Warren on healthcare. But Warren will never escape the tag of being Pocahontas, and like Gabbard and Sanders, her anti-war positions may resonate against some of Trump’s rhetoric – if cherry-picked – but voters really concerned about war as a priority are more or less informed that it is Trump, and none other, that has been the first U.S president since perhaps Ford that has not begun a fresh U.S military campaign abroad.

We live in times where the entire U.S Empire is being dismantled, and being dismantled much to the chagrin of vested interests who may know better, but nevertheless insist on policies that stretch out the inevitable in the most short-term profitable way, to the extreme detriment of long-term thinking along strategic and national security/sovereignty lines. These ‘neoconservatives/neoliberals/whatevers’ have been using the vehicle of the Oval Office to see their plans through since the end of the Cold War. The policies of Clinton and Obama were practically indistinguishable from their Republican ‘opponents’ from the same era. All Trump will have to do is continue to run against the past Obama administration on foreign policy, deep state and all, since they’ve been so adamant about controlling and owning the process up to and until now. The numerous times he’s been threatened with impeachment was explicitly aimed at steering him back on track on aggressiveness on Syria, despite that their strategy failed nonetheless.

That means that what differentiates progressives from Trump is not the actual foreign policy positions as such – in this sense Trump feels and acts more like a dove than a hawk – but rather domestic policy on healthcare. Given the real state of inequality, costs, employment, and so forth, healthcare costs are simply out of hand, and too many Americans who have fallen ill have had to mortgage their homes, sell whatever earthly possessions they may have, wind up homeless, or simply die in hospice care.

This is the reality that Americans are facing, and it is therefore strategically ‘insane’, also being unconscionable as an aside, that Democrats continue to push characters like Biden and Harris who oppose single payer along ‘tax increase’ lines. Warren, as was on display in the debate, continues to support some kind of Medicaid for all, and rightly points out that any tax increases will be easily off-set by the end of insurance premiums. Everyone apparently knows this but Biden and Harris, so insurance companies and HMO’s continue to bankroll significant parts of the Biden and Harris campaigns.

We live in a ‘punishment’ paradigm, not a ‘lesser of two evils’ paradigm. Democrats on the fence are not ‘centrists’ as Biden backers insist, but rather ‘to the left’ of Democrats on foreign policy and healthcare, and will simply vote against any Democrat to punish them the way they themselves have been punished by Democrats for hitherto voting for said Democrats until now. Democrats in swing states will vote against Democrats, not vote, or vote for Trump for the very teachable moment that such a move creates.

For that reason, we continue to see 12 candidates all on one stage. Most of what is being written and read this week on the subject has a relatively transparent method and goal: to give a blow by blow of the debate and focus on the ‘horse-race’ angle of it, instead of how the candidates’ positions reflect things that actually matter to voters, and to promote Biden, Warren, and Harris as ‘front-runners’ simply by promoting this idea and repeating it until it becomes a matter of fact as a result. This, despite the fact that these three are among the least likeable candidates, and are indeed very uninspiring people with very little of substance to say.

It has to be said, and must be said again, that it is Sanders, Gabbard, and Yang that motivate and inspire the base. The DNC has no intention in allowing any of them to get the nomination, but need them in the running.

Nobodies like Buttigieg, whose political experience constitutes being a homosexual mayor of a town of three-hundred thousand folks, are in this race for no apparent reason. Except as some sort of latent insult to gay voters, implying that gay voters are interested in a gay candidate for their gayness alone, despite not having any political experience in state-wide, let alone national politics. That, and attempting to keep some sort of Democratic Party interest in Indiana, a state that Obama won in 2008, lost in 2012, and that Trump won in 2016. No wonder Buttigieg, in his ‘tremendous’ political experience at 37 years old and mayor of some place no one has heard of even in Indiana, wants to abolish the electoral college. Why is Buttigieg still in this race? This campaign has to be ‘fake news’ as nobody on the ground is excited about this lad.

Gabbard was the highlight, and she’s still in it

In our simulated and scripted reality, Gabbard ‘made a come-back’ after being excluded from the third debate, and qualified for the fourth. She has shown real utility on numerous occasions for being one of the three most interesting candidates on the one hand, but showing a particular acumen for landing punches on Biden’s opponents – punches that Biden himself can’t seem to land. She’s showing herself to be a very important part of this race, because our Kshatriya warrior princess keeps grass-roots Democrats engaged. The most interesting part of this debate was Gabbard taking aim directly at Warren’s inexperience militarily, that she has no experience to serve as Commander-in-Chief. Moderators cut her off right as she landed this punch, a punch which everyone heard nonetheless, and received an audible ovation from the audience. That clip will no doubt be viral for the coming weeks.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Zombie Nation: the Democratic Party Is Dead, and Everyone Knows It but Them

By Helen Buyniski | Helen of DesTroy | October 22, 2019

Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, thought to have finally retired from politics after an embarrassing electoral loss to a politically-inexperienced reality show personality, is threatening to enter the 2020 race, serving up reheated Cold War fearmongering and an ironclad sense of royal privilege to a Trump-weary populace. A morally and fiscally bankrupt Democratic Party is poised to enable this sick drama with the help of a spineless and compliant media.

How could this possibly happen? Surely Democrats learned their lesson after their decision to take Clinton’s money in order to stay financially solvent in 2016 required them to rig the primaries in her favor, a crime that likely tanked her candidacy when it was revealed by WikiLeaks? Surely the mainstream media realizes that, three years on, the preposterous Russiagate conspiracy theory they cooked up to defend her has ripped the last shreds of journalistic integrity out of the mainstream media establishment?

Just kidding – the Democratic Party and its media handmaidens bargained away their morals long ago. They’re aiding and abetting a Clinton comeback, wheeling her out to give her opinion on everything from the latest steps toward peace in Syria (bad, needs more war) to the 2020 candidates. Last week, she took aim at Tulsi Gabbard, the best hope the party has of getting voters excited enough to show up in 2020, claiming (without a shred of evidence) that the National Guard major and former DNC chair is being groomed by Russia to act as a third-party spoiler, handing the election to Trump. Had such a claim come from anyone else, the DNC would have slapped it down. But they know on which side their bread is buttered. They’d rather lose than defy their queen.

Let’s do the time warp again

This month’s primary debates proved that, if nothing else, the party has refused to move on from 2016. Candidates clamored to distinguish themselves as the biggest Trump-hater and impeachment zealot, with not one appearing to comprehend that next in line behind their favorite punching bag is Mike Pence. The vice president is a man so possessed by religious sexual phobia that he refuses to be alone in a room with a woman. A Christian Zionist, he is even more willing than Trump to send US soldiers to fight Israel’s battles – the better to hasten the Rapture. Only Andrew Yang – a party outsider – dared speak the truth: “When we are talking about Donald Trump, we’re losing.”

Indeed, everything about the 2020 election is signaling a repeat of the last one. The DNC is broke again, ripe for a Clinton rescue that will once again require the rigging of the primary in return for her kindness. Naysayers who once laughed at the idea of yet another Clinton candidacy are reconsidering their scorn, and former Trump strategist Steve Bannon insists she is, in fact, running – merely waiting for the right moment to officially declare her candidacy. Certainly the media blitz of the past few weeks – ostensibly to promote a book co-written with her do-nothing daughter, but in reality a string of opportunities for her to denounce the “illegitimate” president and remind America that the position is rightfully hers – looks like a campaign publicity tour.

For all that Clinton says she empathizes with current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, currently being accused of corruption, she has, in these interviews, always brought the conversation back around to 2016, insisting that “the most outrageously false things” were said about her as well (and lamenting that “enough people believed them” to rob her of the presidency). Biden, like Clinton, is still being pushed as the 2020 favorite, despite coming with decades of baggage including flagrant corruption (threatening to withhold $1 billion in IMF loans from Ukraine until it fired the prosecutor probing an energy company that gave his son a no-show job is only the tip of the iceberg).

Even the New York Times has pointed out the similarities between their two candidacies – both physically deteriorating before voters’ eyes, uninterested in changing the status quo, and embraced by the wealthy donors that keep the party afloat. Biden’s Ukraine problem is as massive and impossible to avoid as Clinton’s email problem. Biden, like Clinton, is positioning himself as not the best candidate, but the only one who can beat Trump – embracing his identity as, he hopes, the lesser of two evils. Both have a long history in politics, dozens of skeletons in the closet (literally, in Clinton’s case), and a string of failed presidential attempts. Both cringingly pander to working-class and minority voters despite a history of racism (“superpredators,” the 1994 crime bill, close friendship with segregationists) and classism (NAFTA).

If at first you don’t succeed…

Ever the strategist, Clinton is likely biding her time until the facts come out about Biden’s involvement in Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma during impeachment hearings and sink his candidacy. She’ll then swoop in, volunteering to take his place as the crusty old standard-bearer of the Democratic pack. Biden’s suicidal stubbornness all but ensures he’ll go down in flames (despite his son Hunter’s admitted drug problems and the obvious nepotism and corruption behind his receiving a $60,000/month directorship just months after being kicked out of the Navy Reserves for cocaine use, Biden insists Hunter will join him on the campaign trail).

Clinton feels the presidency is hers by divine right – that it’s “her turn” to take the reins, like she was promised after Obama snatched it out from under her in 2008. Having paid her dues as First Lady, the long-suffering wife and enabler of serial rapist Bill Clinton occupied a Senate seat just long enough to present herself to the public as a stateswoman in her own right, then made a run at the glass ceiling of the presidency – only to be rejected in favor of a spray-tanned novice without her baggage. Patiently serving as Secretary of State, she oversaw the destruction of Libya, once the jewel of the Middle East under Gaddafi with the highest standard of living on the African continent, turning it into the failed state with open-air slave markets it is today. Thwarted in her efforts to do the same in Syria, she left the White House in 2012.

Clinton transformed the State Department into an extension of the Pentagon via her misleadingly-named “smart power” philosophy. The agency once tasked with solving America’s foreign policy problems diplomatically now merely provides diplomatic cover for regime-change operations like the one she helped engineer in Ukraine in 2014 (while she left the State Department in 2013, the processes she set in motion would culminate in the Maidan revolution that saw actual Nazis take over in Kiev) and the one currently trying to pry Hong Kong from China’s grasp.

She also monetized the position, selling access to the presidency through the Clinton Foundation. The Clintons vastly enriched themselves at the expense of the rest of the world, having never met a dictator they didn’t like. But while they elevated corruption to an art form, their actions were wholly in keeping with the modus operandi of the Democratic Party. Swaddle oneself in the appearance of helping the less fortunate (Clinton has appeared with countless ‘save the children’ and ‘women’s empowerment’ type groups like Somaly Mam’s AFESIP, which notoriously invented Cambodian child brothel horror stories out of whole cloth) while exploiting them to within an inch of their lives (Haitians still protest outside Clinton events over the Foundation’s decision to give over 90 percent of the $13.3 billion given in response to the 2010 earthquake to foreign contractors and Foundation donors while Haitians starved and died).

The rot goes to the core

Clinton wouldn’t be able to get away with this sort of thing if her party wasn’t fully on board with such moral depravity. The current impeachment circus is merely the latest proof that they do not believe anything they say in public. For the entire party and its stenographers in the media to turn on a dime from accusing Trump of colluding with Russia to accusing him of engaging in quid-pro-quo with Ukraine (an enemy of Russia, if one is paying attention) suggests they don’t believe either scandal is necessarily based on facts, but that, to quote congressman and impeachment fanboy Al Green, “if we don’t impeach the president, he will get reelected.”

After losing its collective mind with the 2016 defeat, the Democratic Party, led by Clinton and outgoing President Obama along with CIA director John Brennan and FBI chief James Comey, cobbled together Russiagate as their revenge. Relying on a network of spooks and paid operatives, they conjured up a half-baked menace from the depths of Americans’ collective Cold War memories, light on facts but heavy on the implications, with just enough salacious material to ensure it would go viral. The intention was to cripple Trump’s presidency – if they couldn’t remove him from office, they could at least ensure he played by their rules rather than follow through on wild promises to end the wars in Syria and Afghanistan and normalize relations with Moscow. The status quo held until the release of special counsel Mueller’s Russiagate report meant the media could no longer claim with a straight face that Trump was scheduled to be executed for treason any second now. But top Democrats were unfazed when it was exposed as a hoax – they’d invented it in the first place.

If not a sense of moral outrage that the president is colluding with a foreign power, what has driven the party leadership and its enablers in the media to pursue Trump to the ends of the earth? Democrats’ choice of impeachment issues is proof they lack any sort of moral center – as fake as Russiagate and Ukrainegate are, there are dozens of issues that could potentially be used to skewer Trump. The sky-high civilian casualty rates and record number of bombs dropped on his watch don’t faze Democrats – after all, Bush and Obama started those wars, and neither were impeached for the atrocities committed under their watch.

If anything, Democrats are clamoring for more war, shrieking after Trump announced the latest attempt at a troop pullout from Syria that such an action was unthinkable. Weeping and gnashing their teeth over the impending “genocide” of the Kurds, they spun on a dime when Trump announced a five-day ceasefire with Turkey last week, claiming such a deal – which gave Kurdish militias ample time to vanish from the Turkish border area without being attacked – somehow “discredited” American foreign policy. The Democrat-controlled House even voted to condemn the troop pullout – perhaps forgetting they’d never authorized the deployment of troops to Syria in the first place, an easy mistake to make as the US military has been industriously building up a base infrastructure in flagrant violation of Syria’s sovereignty.

The Trump administration’s blatant nepotism – Jared Kushner, a pampered princeling who has never held a real job in his life, was tasked with making peace between Israel and Palestine, despite blatant partiality toward the Netanyahu government (Bibi slept at the Kushners’ home in New Jersey) – didn’t bat a single Democratic eyelash. After all, Hunter Biden got his own lucrative sinecure in Ukraine with as few credentials. The massive deregulation that has seen the deficit skyrocket as corporations and the wealthy pay even less taxes than they did before bothers no one – Democratic donors benefited as much as Republicans, even though billionaires now pay a lower tax rate than the working class. Trump spitting in the face of international law by “declaring” first Jerusalem and then the Golan Heights the property of Israel went down smoothly as can be – no surprise when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself has said that she would back Israel “even if the Capitol crumbles to the ground.” Democrats’ problem has always been finding an “impeachable offense” Trump was committing that they were not also guilty of.

The devil’s rejects

Perhaps Democrats’ awareness that they’re morally as well as fiscally bankrupt is what drives them to make the same mistakes they did four years ago. Just as they did with Bernie Sanders, the party is doing its utmost to sideline Tulsi Gabbard at every opportunity, barring her from September’s debate despite her polling higher than several candidates who were included and refusing to speak up for her in the face of Clinton’s baseless smear. Their hypocrisy is transparent, preaching identity politics until a Hindu woman emerges championing antiwar policies. Gabbard is the only one bringing fresh ideas to the table, ideas that have excited many voters sick of the shame they feel knowing their country is the number one killer since World War II. Spike her, and they’re almost guaranteed to lose.

As if to prove that point, Clinton pounced on the Hawaii congresswoman last week with her “Russian asset” smear – not referring to Gabbard by name, but making it clear she was talking about no one else. Her spokesman Nick Merrill, asked if Clinton was really saying Gabbard – who served in the Iraq war – was an agent, confirmed the smear: “If the nesting doll fits…” In a sane society, Clinton’s disapproval would be a badge of honor (and to her credit, Gabbard appears to be wearing it as such) – but in the mainstream media hothouse, it’s another strike against her – along with the guilt-by-association smears that come with a 4chan fan club and even her looks.

Sanders might be able to muster a win against Trump, but at 78, his health is failing, and his base is wary after he betrayed them in 2016. Despite stolen primaries in New York and California, he sat mutely, throwing his own supporters under the bus during the convention. After a solid year of slamming Clinton for giving secret speeches to Goldman Sachs, voting to bail out the banks in 2008, and backing every war in the past three decades, Sanders turned on his supporters and implored them to vote for her. He remained silent while his supporters demanded a legal reckoning. Some have forgiven him and returned to cheer him on in 2020, but many have not.

Nevertheless, he is head and shoulders above most Democrats, who are completely for sale to the highest bidder, whether it’s Israel, the arms industry or Big Pharma. They violate the Constitution on a daily basis, whether it’s by voting to make participation in boycotts of Israel illegal (a blatant violation of the First Amendment, as a Texas court recently found; passing a law permitting indefinite detention without trial for American citizens (as Obama did in 2011, backed by a supine Congress, in violation of the Sixth Amendment); or outlawing religious vaccine exemptions (a violation of both the First Amendment and the Geneva Convention).

In perhaps the most shocking betrayal of the party’s liberal and progressive wing, Democrats have embraced the CIA, the FBI, and the entire intelligence apparatus that has infiltrated and destroyed leftist movements since the 1960s. Once the home of the counterculture, the Party now clings to authority, enthusiastically licking the boots they believe will curb-stomp Trump. Bereft of historical perspective – even the torture revelations of the early 2000s have vanished amid the onslaught of Orange Man Bad – Democrats ironically calling themselves the Resistance wear slogans like “It’s Mueller time!” and “Comey is my homey,” broadcasting their allegiance to men who’ve covered up monumental crimes and even committed a few themselves. It’s no surprise to see the mainstream media taking the side of the intelligence agencies – assets like Anderson Cooper, Ken Dilanian, and Wolf Blitzer have been keeping newsrooms safe for democracy for decades. But never before have ordinary voters leapt to embrace their oppressors quite so openly. The phenomenon can’t even be described as selling out – because selling out implies getting something in return for one’s soul.

A hive of lesser evils

Even if Clinton does not run, her influence permeates the party. “I’ve talked to most of them,” she revealed on ABC’s The View earlier this month, slyly hinting that previous contests’ frontrunners a year before the election had failed to secure the nomination. Instead of Sanders and Gabbard, the Democratic National Committee is propping up Biden and grooming as his second Elizabeth Warren, the neoliberal wolf in sheep’s clothing trying to steal Sanders’ thunder by insisting she’s all he represents plus a pair of X chromosomes. Decked out in borrowed rhetoric and forged identity politics credentials, she earnestly presents herself as a leftist, hoping no one remembers she was registered as a Republican until her 40s.

Lest anyone be fooled by Warren’s “radical” act, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently gushed “I know she’s pragmatic, just wait.” Such an endorsement should be a death knell for her progressive support, especially after the revelation that she has been in constant contact with Clinton. Warren emphasizes in communications with donors that she doesn’t actually intend to upend the status quo, and has flip-flopped repeatedly on accepting big-dollar donors and PACs, only rejecting them once she’d stockpiled a healthy war chest from those very donors.

Many of Clinton’s 2016 campaign operatives have chosen California Senator Kamala Harris as their standard-bearer, and Harris exhibits many Clintonesque characteristics. Her enthusiasm for locking up black men for minor drug offenses (she bragged about increasing drug dealers’ conviction rate from 56% to 74% in just three years) – and black women for their truant children (she supported a law that imprisoned mothers if their kids skipped school, then lied about it on the campaign trail) – is worthy of the woman who called black kids “superpredators.” Harris has praised Clinton for “putting our country first” and “serving with distinction” while calling for Trump to be banned from Twitter for his “irresponsible” language.

The other candidates are largely distractions aimed at getting the selection process at the 2020 convention to a second ballot. With voters clamoring for reform after the 2016 disaster, the party obliged by doing away with superdelegates on the first round, but for any round beyond that, they’re fair game – and the DNC refuses to leave the selection up to chance, or anything so small-d democratic as a vote. With a handful of votes thrown to Pete Buttigieg – the anti-Gabbard, a gay pro-war vet – and Beto O’Rourke – the face of privilege whose Spandering caused the cringe heard ‘round the world in the first primary debate – the convention will progress to a second round, and the superdelegates will slither out of their holes to crown their king – or queen.

Status quo defenders

As much as those Democratic establishment stalwarts with presidential ambitions – Clinton and the two dozen-odd candidates determined to dislodge Trump in 2020 – want to get rid of the Bad Orange Man, the benchwarmers in Congress have learned to love him. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer can merely rail against Trump instead of actually governing, floating whatever irresponsible fantasy bills they want with the knowledge that they’ll die in the Republican-controlled Senate or – at worst – be vetoed by Trump. House Democrats got the chance to virtue-signal about ending the war in Yemen, helping voters forget Obama had gotten the US involved in the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century, knowing Trump would kill the bill to serve their shared Saudi paymasters. And pearl-clutching about kids in cages on the border (cages built, again, by Obama) while calling for open borders attracts the votes of recent immigrants while ensuring they’ll never have to cash the checks they’re writing.

Michael Moore, once a progressive darling, recently appeared on ‘comedian’ Bill Maher’s program to lambaste his fellow ex-progressive about abandoning his own liberal credentials. Maher complained that the “Squad” – progressive congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – were unpopular, that Medicare for All was less desirable than Obamacare, and that a leftward shift would sink the party. Moore whimpered that if the election was held today, Trump would win, just as he had predicted in 2016. But where was Moore in 2016? Pleading on Democracy Now! for Sanders supporters to go to the polls for Clinton, even though “she is to the right of Obama.”

The exchange between the two millionaire entertainers was a disturbing window on the utter alienation of the Democratic Party, insulated by layers of money, from its constituents – and increasingly ex-constituents, as nearly 40 percent of Americans disavow both parties. Maher represents the McCarthyite neoliberal centrism that has taken the mainstream media by storm, in which any flicker of anti-war or pro-working class sentiment is viewed as Russian. And Moore represents the thought-leaders who, despite knowing better, have led the party into its current moral sinkhole, insisting it’s the only pragmatic route.

Moore knows Clinton is – as Gabbard declared – the Queen of Warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long. He just doesn’t care as long as he gets paid. Moore, like Clinton, took money from casting couch predator Harvey Weinstein despite his predation being an ‘open secret’ in the industry. As late as 2015, he called the molesting mogul “one of the best people to work with in this town” in a tweet he quickly deleted after it was dug up in October 2017 following Moore’s belated decision to speak out against Weinstein’s crimes. Even after the New York Times story in which several actresses first went public with their accusations was published, it took Moore weeks to climb aboard the dump-Weinstein bandwagon, likely out of concern it would hurt his film – Fahrenheit 11/9 – about the Trump presidency. The bottom line – not morality, or even being factually correct – is his chief concern.

In that respect, Moore is the Democratic Party writ large. Caught in a vicious cycle of selling out to wealthy donors to keep the lights on, it has sealed itself off to the working class, the minorities whose voice it still claims a monopoly on, and the young people just now awakening to the fact that they’ve been cheated out of a future. There has been barely any pushback against the DNC’s relentless trudge to the right from the mainstream media and the party establishment. Van Jones appeared on CNN calling out Clinton’s red-baiting of Gabbard, pointing out the smear contained “no facts” and that Gabbard had been the party chairman before she was demonized for backing Sanders in 2016, but the rest of the #Resistance remained silent as Clinton insisted that opposition to war was anti-American. Even the few candidates who defended Gabbard from her slurs did not mention Clinton in their rebuttals. No one dares to oppose the party’s owners.

Until someone does, the Democratic Party is dead. And it’s all but turned Trump into the lesser evil.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Trump approves $4.5 million in aid to ‘White Helmets’ in Syria

RT | October 22, 2019

US president Donald Trump has authorized $4.5 million in aid to the so-called Syrian Civil Defense (SCD), aka “White Helmets,” calling their work “important and highly valued.” The group’s critics point to its terrorist ties.

“Over the course of the 8-year conflict in Syria, the SCD has rescued more than 115,000 people, including many ethnic and religious minorities,” the White House said, announcing the aid on Tuesday.

However, the source of this figure is the group itself, and it has not been independently verified. Likewise, the organization has only been around since 2013.

Washington pledged $5 million in aid to the group at a conference back in March. Last May, the Trump administration had announced it would stop funding the White Helmets, only to backtrack a month later and send the group $6.8 million.

The group’s name is highly misleading, as the White Helmets have operated solely in areas controlled by anti-government militants, such as the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, now called HTS. The actual Syrian civil defense is part of the government, and has been subjected to US sanctions as such.

Currently the White Helmets operate solely in the parts of Idlib province controlled by the militants. Photographs of armed militants with “White Helmets” insignia, participating in the Turkish-backed ‘Operation Peace Spring’ against the Kurds in northern Syria, have appeared on social networks over the past two weeks.

Still, the US continues to encourage “allies and partners” to join in its support of the White Helmets, and “efforts to protect civilians, religious and ethnic minorities, and other innocent victims of the Syrian conflict,” according to the White House.

In December 2018, the Russia-based Foundation for the Study of Democracy presented evidence of their investigations in Syria, showing the group to be engaged in staging false chemical and other attacks, harvesting organs of the people they pretended to rescue, and looting the bodies of the fallen, among other things.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , | 4 Comments

DFLP criticises continuous PA security cooperation with Israel

MEMO | October 22, 2019

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) has criticised the continuous security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli occupation, a statement said yesterday.

The DFLP wondered about the “feasibility” of the security cooperation in light of the Israeli aggression on Palestinians and the daily desecration of Islamic holy sites in the occupied territories by settlers and officials.

“The daily violations carried out by the Israeli Jewish settlers and Israeli officials against the Palestinians and their properties aims to uproot Palestinians from their historic land and destroy its political and national character,” the statement said.

The DFLP said that the Israeli occupation “is carrying out daily aggression on the ground and steals Palestinian land and property.”

The movement went on to call on the PA and its leadership “to move on from issuing warnings to the international community to tangible responses.”

The DFLP demanded the PA carry out the decisions of the Palestinian National Council regarding the immediate halt of security cooperation with the Israeli occupation.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Foreign agents torturing Palestinian prisoners in Saudi jails

MEMO | October 22, 2019

Palestinian prisoners inside Saudi jails are being interrogated and tortured by foreign agents, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said yesterday.

Speaking to the Shehab News Agency, Abu Zuhri said: “Sadly, the prisoners are being interrogated and severely tortured by foreign interrogators of different nationalities.”

“There are about 60 Palestinian prisoners inside the Saudi jails, including some pro-Hamas or Hamas members,” Abu Zuhri said, noting that some of them have spent more than three decades in Saudi Arabia and contributed to building the country.

“Their detention shocked us and them because it is not justified and not understood.”

Abu Zuhri said that his movement has exerted many efforts, including contacting Saudi and non-Saudi officials through direct and indirect means but has been unable to arrange the release of the prisoners.

He stressed that his movement has not given up working to end the crisis, stating “this is not justified because Saudi has been and is still a supporter of the Palestinians and their cause.”

Last month, rights groups and Hamas revealed that Saudi Arabia has arrested around 60 Palestinians over claims of links to the Palestinian resistance movement, stating that they had disappeared for months without their families knowing anything about their whereabouts. The NGO Euro-Med Observer reported one of the freed detainees as saying that he and the others were subject to verbal and physical torture.

Hamas also revealed that its main official in the kingdom, Mohammed Al-Khodari, 81, has also been arrested.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Hezbollah Firmly Denies Involvement in Beirut Downtown Motorcade

Al-Manar | October 22, 2019

Hezbollah stressed on Monday it has no relation with the motorcade which threatened protests in Beirut Downtown and was thwarted by Lebanese Army.

In a statement, Hezbollah’s Media Relations Office firmly denied involvement in the motorcade.

“The Media Relation would like to affirm that Hezbollah definitely has no relation with the motorcade which went about Beirut Downtown tonight,” the statement released late Monday said.

Lebanese media reported that a motorcade including alleged supporters of Hezbollah and Amal movement attempted to attack protesters in Beirut Downtown, with the Lebanese Army confronting them and saving the protesters.

A video showing the motorcade went viral on social media, with pro-resistance activists stressing that such moves are suspicious and aim at tarnishing Hezbollah’s image.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah expressed solidarity with protesters who have been since last Thursday staging demonstrations and rallies across Lebanon in protest against hard livelihood conditions and corruption in the state institutions.

In his speech in the Arbaeen commemoration in Baalbeck on Saturday (October 19, 2019), Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the resistance party stands beside the protesters urging all Lebanese parties including Hezbollah to bear the responsibilities in a bid to solve the long-term crises in the country.

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations (Translated by Al-Manar English Website)

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , | Leave a comment

How Russia’s Vision for the Middle East Is Rigged against Iran

By Agha Hussain | American Herald Tribune | October 22, 2019

Stanislav Ivanov writing for the prestigious Russian state-run Valdai Club recently described ‘Israel and most of the Arab countries’ as viewing Turkey’s military presence in Syria as a counterweight to that of Iran. He also added that Iran and Turkey both waged a ‘fierce struggle’ to install a ‘puppet government’ in Damascus.

The Russian perspective is usually channeled, directly or indirectly, by its assorted major think tanks and media outlets and a very clear cut yet under-noticed aspect of Russia’s views on Iran has been made clear as daylight here.

That ‘Most of the Arab countries’ consider Iran’s presence in Syria as something that requires a ‘counterweight’ is a fallacious notion for a number of reasons. Iran’s key allies in the region are Arabs, such as Hezbollah, the Syrian Arab Army and much of the Iraqi government, clerical establishment and de facto military in the form of the Popular Mobilization Units. The same goes for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups in Gaza.

To describe the Gulf Arabs (GCC) and their consensus on Iran’s ‘need’ to exit Syria as the consensus of ‘most of the Arabs’ is thus disingenuous. Notwithstanding the weakness of that consensus itself, given how the UAE quickly distanced itself from the fiasco in the Persian Gulf through assuring signals to Iran as things heated up there, it is not likely that the author is unaware of these issues with the ‘Arabs’ tag.

Nor is it likely that Russian policymakers are unaware of the illogical, dishonest basis of this classification of ‘most of the Arabs’. It remains, regardless of this vital reality, a key cornerstone of Russia’s current geopolitical approach to the Middle East. This can be seen from the Russian outreach to the GCC it began – together with other extremely important yet under-discussed strategic adjustments – in what can be described the ‘post-ISIS’ scenario in Syria.

The Russian-GCC ‘rapprochement’ was lightning fast, with Russia offering to Saudi Arabia and the UAE what it never did to its Iranian or Syrian ‘allies’ constantly attacked by the Israeli airforce: its much-vaunted S-400 anti-air defense system. As one of the earlier examples of Russian preference for the GCC over their Iranian rival, the clarity of the message Russia was sending was illustrated by the fact that it even pitched the system to the small, militarily-insignificant Bahrain.

Russia has taken clear steps to prop up the brittle GCC whenever it has suffered major setbacks, demonstrating its ties with them are not just cordial but strategic. Saudi Arabia, having last month suffered a deadly missile attack on its Aramco oil processing facilities at Abqaiq, received a boost on 11 October as Russia announced plans to invest $1 billion for a petrochemical facility there.

More than 20 deals were signed between Russia and Saudi Arabia during Putin’s state visit days later, including the purchase of a 30.76% in one of Russia’s leading companies, Novomet, by the two countries’ sovereign investment funds and Aramco.

The economic honeymoon, however, started after Saudi King Salman’s historic visit to Russia in 2017. Its progress since then compares starkly to Russia, contrary to expectations of its ‘Eurasianist’ supporters, having adhered to US sanctions against Iran when they were re-imposed last year.

The strategic element which drove Russo-GCC economic ties did influence the decisions of Russian giants such as Rosneft and LUKoil regarding their Iran investments, but to Iran’s detriment as they withdrew from Iran with Russo-GCC ties being a factor as well.

A team from Russia’s MGIMO university at the Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate in November 2018 days after re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran declared in no unclear terms that Russia was not aligned with Iran. The prestigious institution, famed for having top Russian diplomats such as current Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov among its alumni, declared political Islam problematic and Iran to be an expansionist power.

But what are these soft spots Russia tries to hit at in Iran’s geopolitical ‘Resistance Axis’ infrastructure, and is it the GCC’s subsequent empowerment [over] Iran that makes Russia’s ‘contain Iran’ policy dangerous?

The answer lies in Israel and the regional socio-political and military network Iran has forged and sustained since 1979 pivoted around the correct recognition of Israel and Israel Lobby-induced US foreign policy as the premier driver of Middle East wars.

It [Iran] has, thus, through the chaos of Middle East geopolitics since 1979 performed an important task in countering forces of destabilization. Vital to Iran has been its deep involvement in foreign affairs and disingenuously portraying this as ‘Iranian expansionism’ has been a cornerstone of Israeli and GCC propaganda against Iran.

Nobody knows the ‘start the story from the middle’ game better than the Israelis, be it claiming Israel was ‘attacked’ by ‘the Arabs’ in 1948 whilst ignoring the entire pre-planned ethnic cleansing campaign of the 1940s by the Zionists or claiming self-defense in Gaza. The GCC in recent times have latched onto this narrative as well, but with their own crude ‘Iran seeks to dominate the Arab world’ spin.

Had Iran not intervened, the Shia-dominated Lebanese resistance against Israel’s occupation would have lacked a material supporter against the modern Zionist army and Israel would have consolidated Lebanon for both its Jewish colonies scheme and seized its vital water resources. Such had been Zionist ambition as far back as 1919.

Gaza, where the armed resistance born following the First Intifada in the vacuum left by Yasser Arafat’s inept leadership (and subsequent sell-out during the Oslo ‘peace’ hoax) receives arms from Iran, would have by now been fully swallowed by Jewish colonies. It would have shared the fate of the ‘Iran-free’ West Bank, where Mahmoud Abbas carries on the legacy of Arafat’s surrender.

Instead, Lebanon today is far more stable than at any other time in its history and the bridges Hezbollah has built with other religious parties have helped augment internal cohesion. Gaza has shown in recent times increased capability to deal with Israeli military aggression, with its Iran-backed Sunni Islamist groups possessing improved weaponry and exhibiting greater unity.

It was not international mediation and ‘conflict-resolution’ attempts that stabilized – or, given the capacity of Israel’s cohorts to rig such attempts every step along the way, ever truly even could stabilize – the parts of the Arab world worst hit by war. It was Iran’s support to these states and state-less victims of Israeli expansionism that enabled them to weather the storm inflicted upon them and mount a thus-far successful resistance.

Few pundits would, retrospectively, describe past ‘peace deals’ be they Camp David 1978 or the Oslo process of the 90s as anything other than smokescreens for unhinged Israeli warmongering.

For containing Israel, Iranian forward-presence in countries near to Israel has always been a necessity. Iran’s elaborate supply chains, part covert and part overt in nature, going to allies such as Hamas and Hezbollah are transnational and involve supporters on the ground zealously committed to Iran or even just zealously committed to opposing Israel.

Syria is one such vital node. Without Syria, Iran could not supply Hezbollah. Russia is not unaware of this when it constantly pushes for Iranian withdrawal from Syria whilst passing this off as its ‘principled’ position that all foreign forces must leave the country. This most salient stance of Russia is deceptive, given that Russia has consistently implicitly excused Israel completely from adhering to this principle.

The Russian Defence Ministry right after Israel got a Russian aircraft downed in September last year reminded everyone of how Russia at Tel Aviv’s request had pushed for ‘Iran-backed groups’ to withdraw 140 km away from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel’s behavior since then remained the same, but Russian attempts at Tel Aviv’s request to distance Syria from its Iranian ally only intensified, even including lobbying for the removal of heavily pro-Iran officials from the Syrian military and incorporation of ‘ex-rebels’ into its ranks.

The façade is crystal clear: Israel gets to continue its attacks but Iran – who along with Hezbollah contributed to the defeat of terrorism in Syria even before Russia intervened in 2015 – must depart Syria. The constant Russian favors to Israel are here are even more see-through than were the fraudulent regional ‘peace-processes’ of the past which leveraged almost no obligations upon Israel to cease its warmongering yet comprehensively de-fanged and neutralized whatever stood in its way.

Propping up the GCC, working to weaken Iran and looking the other way when Israel attacks its ‘allies’ (or even publicly fawn over the Zionist state at events hosted by financial benefactors of Israel’s military) are all part and parcel of Russia’s geopolitical bigger-picture.

Validating the notion that the GCC – the normalization with whom of Israel’s ties Jared Kushner has fast-tracked since 2016 as an anti-Iran front and plan B following al Assad’s survival in Syria – represents ‘most of the Arabs’ has a specific purpose.

That purpose is to rig the selection of stakeholders for any potential region-wide ‘peace initiatives’ against Iran, sidelining it and declaring the pro-Israel GCC the representatives of ‘the Arabs’. Israel would be the benefactor of any ‘peace deal’ to end the ‘Arab-Israeli conflict’ since both sides would have long ago accepted the need to eradicate longstanding barriers to Israeli hegemony.

What follows next is obvious and has been seen repeatedly in the Middle East ‘peace processes’ in the past: no actual reigning in of Israel, but a thorough neutralization of its foes. For resistance-oriented states like Iran, there is no place in Russia’s vision for the Middle East.

Agha Hussain is a Research Analyst at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan, as well as an editorial contributor to the websites Eurasia Future and Regional Rapport. His writings have a particular focus on Middle Eastern affairs and history and Pakistan’s foreign policy.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trump: US military companies against bringing troops home from Syria

Press TV – October 22, 2019

US President Donald Trump says his plans to bring American troops home from Syria and other countries have been met with strong opposition from “military companies,” arguing that it is easier for him to let the soldiers get killed and sent back in coffins instead.

Trump said Monday that ending American military presence overseas was one of his two key campaign pledges — besides building a wall — and that he was intent to fulfill that promise despite facing opposition in Washington.

“We’re bringing our troops back home,” he told a cabinet meeting at the White House. “I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home. Now, it’s not very popular within the beltway because, you know, Lockheed doesn’t like it. And these great military companies don’t like it. It’s not very popular.”

Earlier this year, a report from the Security Assistance Monitor project of the Center for International Policy found that the Trump administration in coordination with US weapons manufacturers made $78.8 billion in arms deals in 2018 alone.

A quarter of those deals involved the production of American weapons overseas, the report stated.

Trump said bringing back the troops was what his supporters asked him when he appeared before a large crowd of 25,000 during a campaign rally in Dallas on Thursday.

“When I said we’re bringing our soldiers back home, the place went crazy,” the president said. “But within the beltway, you know, people don’t like it. It’s much tougher for me. Be much easier for me to let our soldiers be there, let them continue to die.”

He said “the most unpleasant thing” he has to do is meeting with the families of the soldiers who have been killed or sustained injuries while deployed abroad.

“I see that big cargo plane open and I see those coffins get rolled off,” he said.

He referred to his administration’s decision to redeploy forces from Syria to Iraq and said while he did not want to leave any soldiers behind, they should deploy elsewhere before returning to the United States.

“Well, they’re going to be sent initially to different parts and get prepared. Then ultimately we’re bringing them home,” Trump said.

In a major U-turn in the US military policy, the White House announced on October 6 that the US would be withdrawing its forces from northeastern Syria, clearing the path for an expected Turkish incursion into the region.

Three days later, Turkey launched the offensive with the aim of purging the northern Syrian regions near its border of US-backed Kurdish militants, whom it views as terrorists linked to local autonomy-seeking militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Saturday that the nearly 1,000 American troops pulling out of northeastern Syria following a military invasion of the area by Turkey would move to western Iraq.

News agencies reported that US troops had in fact crossed into Iraq from Syria through the Sahela border crossing in the northern province of Dohuk on Monday.

Footage was released of US armored vehicles carrying troops into Iraq, with Iraqi Kurdish sources confirming that American troops had crossed into the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.

Trump has announced similar troop withdrawal plans for Afghanistan but his administration has yet to take a step towards fulfilling that promise.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | 3 Comments