Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

What is Behind Algeria’s Severance of Diplomatic Ties with Morocco?

By Vladimir Odintsov – New Eastern Outlook – 29.08.2021

“Algeria has decided to sever diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Morocco as of August 24,” Algerian Foreign Minister Ramdan Lamamra told a news conference, accusing the neighboring kingdom of “hostile actions.” Although the termination of diplomatic relations has already taken effect, consulates in each country will nevertheless remain open, Ramtane Lamamra said. Algeria is considering suspending air traffic with Morocco, according to the newspaper Algérie Patriotique.

Algeria accused Rabat (capital of Morocco) of threatening stability and security at the instigation of Israel. Morocco is increasing its military presence on the borders, and some regional observers have assessed that tensions could lead to military clashes.

Morocco’s foreign ministry said it regretted the “unjustified decision” and said it would remain a “reliable and loyal partner” to the Algerian people.

Relations between Algeria and Morocco have been tense for the past few decades, with the border between the countries closed since 1994. One of the reasons for the tensions is disagreement over Western Sahara: Morocco considers this territory its own, and Algeria has supported the Polisario Front for decades, insisting on the establishment of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). This dispute is also reflected in the current history of the breakdown of diplomatic relations: Algeria has also accused official Rabat of failing to honor its bilateral commitments on the Western Sahara issue.

Further escalation of tensions between the two states over this issue largely occurred late last year for two reasons. In November, after years of relative quietness, the pro-independence Polisario Front announced that it was re-arming. In December 2020, the United States recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Saharain exchange for improved relations between Rabat and Israel.  The problem of Western Sahara is now challenging to solve, as both countries have strong positions. Algeria’s capacity to assist Polisario Front remains. This conflict will last for many years, and this should be the starting point.

Moreover, in mid-August, Algeria accused Morocco of “supporting two terrorist movements” operating on Algerian territory: the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylia (MAK) and the opposition Rashad movement. Algerian authorities believe the activists of these organizations were involved in the forest fires last month in northern Algeria. These fires have already killed about 90 people, and the country’s government has repeatedly claimed that arson was the cause of the disaster. Algeria had previously reported the arrest of 61 people on suspicion of involvement in the fires in the country, stressing that the detainees belong to two specified terrorist groups backed by Israel and Morocco. According to local media reports, some of those arrested admitted their membership in the MAK. Algeria had already recalled its Ambassador from Rabat in July after a Moroccan diplomat in New York expressed support for the right of the Kabylian people to self-determination. For those reasons, Algeria’s Supreme Security Council had already considered reviewing relations with Morocco on August 18.

Overall, the Israeli factor has played a significant role in the current context of deteriorating relations between the two countries in North Africa. Last year, Morocco became one of the Arab countries that concluded peace agreements with Israel under Washington’s influence. As part of an agreement to normalize relations, the US, which mediated the talks, agreed to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, which caused resentment in Algeria and increased criticism of Washington. At the end of July this year, Algeria opposed Israel’s accession to the African Union as an observer country for the first time since 2002, carried out with Morocco’s support. Earlier, in 2002, Israel was expelled from the union on the initiative of Libya.

Moreover, the Algerian authorities, who do not officially recognize Israel, reacted negatively to the remarks of the Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid during his recent visit to Morocco. He expressed concern about the role of Algeria in the region, “veiled threats” to Algeria, and pointed out his fears about Algeria’s rapprochement with Iran.

Algerian Foreign Minister Ramdan Lamamra has also accused Morocco of using Pegasus spyware to spy on several Algerian officials. According to him, “Morocco has massively and systematically committed acts of espionage against Algerian citizens and officials.”

But behind all these accusations, there is a clear opposition of the current Algerian authorities to Washington’s attempts through Israel and Morocco to prevent Algeria from strengthening its leading role in the Maghreb and cause political instability in the country. An undoubtedly real impetus for the aggravation of Algeria’s relations with Morocco was the African Lion 2021, a military exercise conducted by the US command in North Africa from June 7 to June 18, 2021. Military Watch, an American magazine specializing in military analysis, reported that these ground and air maneuvers simulated an attack in Algerian territories on two fictitious countries, Rowand and Nehone.

Therefore, the British publication Rai Al Youm noted for a reason that these military exercises were undertaken in preparation for an invasion of Algeria. The US believes that Algeria threatens its influence in Africa because it has gas, oil, water, and areas suitable for agriculture. In addition, Algeria covers an area of 2 million square kilometers, has extensive reserves of mineral resources, and its control of the Sahel region of Africa and its people is hard to beat. A European military expert said this in an interview with Rai Al Youm.

Under these circumstances, the Algerian leadership learned lessons from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s fatal mistakes. It became more critical of the policies towards Algeria on the part of the United States, Israel, Morocco, and several other states that had supported Washington’s plans to overthrow the Gaddafi regime it hated in the past. For this reason, Algeria has made it an absolute priority to create a strong army equipped with advanced land, air, and naval weapons and to develop military cooperation with Russia. As Rai Al Youm noted, the Algerian authorities have not trusted the West since the victory of the revolution over French colonialism. They are well aware of the plots being prepared against them. Algeria does not want to be the next target after Syria. Especially, according to Algeria, in the context of the ongoing preparations for the invasion and destruction of the countries in the League of the Arab States and the Persian Gulf countries. The United States, Great Britain, and France, which previously stood behind the conspiracies against Libya, Syria, and Iraq, sent NATO aircraft to bomb these countries, hiding behind loud statements about the “protection of democratic values.”

August 29, 2021 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Calls for France to reveal location of nuclear waste dumped in Algeria

MEMO | October 5, 2020

France should take initiative to solve the problem of the nuclear waste buried in the Algerian Sahara in the early 1960s, as no one knows its exact location, which is a classified military secret, the head of the Paris-based Observatory for Armament said.

In an interview with Radio France Internationale yesterday, Patrice Bouvre said: “When France suspended its nuclear tests in 1966, it simply buried the waste of the 17 experiments it conducted over the years.”

He added that Paris classified the location or locations of the buried nuclear waste and the documents related to the affair as “a military secret”, which remains to date.

As a result, there is no information available about the exact location of the nuclear waste buried in the Algerian desert, Bouvre explained.

He called on the French authorities to reveal the truth about this file and to cooperate with Algeria to clean up the areas contaminated by the nuclear waste that still exposes these regions to serious environmental damages.

France conducted 17 nuclear tests between 1960 and 1966 in the Algerian Sahara, and the waste from these experiments is buried in an unknown location in the area, hindering attempts to remove the radioactive materials and protect the population and the environment.

October 5, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Jacob Cohen: “The Zionists Have Become Masters in The Art of Propaganda”

Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen | American Herald Tribune | June 12, 2020

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is your analysis of the annexation of the West Bank this July 1?

Jacob Cohen: The Zionist regime is not crazy enough to annex the entire West Bank, because then it would have to naturalize all Palestinians. It only wants to annex the “useful” West Bank, i.e. the Jordan Valley, thus preventing a possible Palestinian State to control its own borders and the large Jewish settlement blocs. It would thus continue to have a submissive and cheap labor force at its disposal, and the cooperation of a docile Palestinian police force to maintain colonial order.

It is not sure that this annexation will take place on July 1. Zionists are pragmatic people and know how to step back to jump better.

But in any case, annexation or not, the Zionists will never give up these territories they claim. The Jordan Valley is already implicitly recognized to them by all the great powers, even Russia, to ensure “the security of Israel”. And no one can imagine that the Zionist regime would bring 700,000 settlers below the Green Line.

These are the main lines of a possible Israeli-Palestinian agreement, and the Palestinian Authority pretends to believe, madly or stupidly, that it could recover the whole of the West Bank.

How do you explain that twenty ministers of the Israeli government are of Moroccan origin? Israeli security and defense companies are based in Morocco. How do you analyze these facts? Is not Morocco a real launching pad for the normalization policy advocated by the Zionist entity of Israel?

Only ten ministers have a distant connection with Morocco, which they do not care about. It is the Judeo-Zionist lobby in Morocco, led by the “sayan” (Mossad agent) André Azoulay, advisor to the monarchy for forty years, who does everything to maintain the illusion of perfect understanding between Morocco and its former Jewish citizens. Everything is done in Morocco to rekindle an almost extinguished flame. This to allow the visit of Israelis to Morocco, tourists, artists, businessmen, to push towards an official normalization of Israeli-Moroccan relations.

It is true that Morocco, since the installation of Mossad in that country in the 1950s to send Moroccan Jews to Israel, and the agreement obtained from Hassan II in 1961 for this purpose, is Israel’s de facto ally and support for its legitimization in the Arab world. In 1986, in the middle of the Intifada, the King received with great pomp the Israeli leaders Rabin and Peres.

Furthermore Morocco, on the other hand, which needs American diplomatic support to ensure its stranglehold on Western Sahara, does everything possible to please Israel, whose influence on American institutions is known.

How do you explain the strategic redeployment of the Zionist entity of Israel throughout Africa?

This redeployment had begun in the fields of construction and agriculture as early as the 1960s, after African independences. A redeployment stopped by the June 1967 war and the military occupation of vast Arab territories. The non-aligned movement at the time was still very influential.

The Oslo Accords restored some good repute to the Zionist regime, because it was assumed that it would give a State to the Palestinians in the long run.

Africa from the 1990s was no longer this non-aligned bloc sensitive to a form of international justice. It had joined the globalist circuit and security issues had become paramount.

Israel had become an important and feared partner. Did it not contribute to the amputation of the southern part of Sudan? Its networks in East Africa are very active and their strike force is well known.

Finally, little by little, the Zionist regime has managed, something inconceivable 20 years ago, to win the diplomatic support of many African countries in crucial votes in international institutions.

Algeria is one of the few countries that does not recognize Israel. Doesn’t Algeria still remain a permanent target of the Zionist entity of Israel?

All Arab countries are a permanent target of the Zionist entity. Even countries that submit are not definitively spared. Thus, even Morocco is not immune to Mossad’s attempts to stir up separatism in the Berber areas. If for no other reason than to keep the pressure on this country and make it understand that it has an interest in keeping its nose clean.

Let us remember the fate of Iraq and Syria, which the Zionist regime contributed to destroying.

Algeria will not escape the Zionist vindictiveness, which will try to reach it in one way or another. But this country is far away, not very sensitive to foreign influence, sitting on a large income, with a long history of national resistance, and a strong sense of patriotism. This is what makes it one of the few countries to stand up to the Zionist entity. And because of its geographical position and size, it is a country that is essential to regional security and therefore preserved.

We know the weight of the Zionist lobby in the United States through AIPAC. What is the weight of the Zionist lobby in Europe?

No difference except from a formal point of view. In the United States, the Zionist lobby has a legal existence, with its recognized networks of influence, its buildings in Washington and elsewhere, its congresses, where any candidate for an important post, be it senator or president, must appear and express his support to Israel.

Whereas in Europe, the lobby is more discreet but no less effective. Practically all European countries have banned the BDS movement, and adopted the definition of anti-Semitism proposed by a Jewish organization fighting against the “Shoah”. With this in particular that any criticism of Israel is equated with anti-Semitism. European countries have not even been able to implement their resolution to label products that come from the Zionist settlements in the West Bank.

In France, at the CRIF (note: Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France) dinner, the entire establishment of the French Republic, including the President, bowed down and received instructions from the Judeo-Zionist lobby.

The European Union has set up a body to combat anti-Semitism headed by the German Katharina Von Schnurbein. How do you explain the fact that the European Union is setting up a body to defend Israel’s interests with European taxpayers’ money and that there is no hesitation in condemning all those who are against the criminal and fascist policies of Israel by calling them anti-Semites?

“Antisemitism” has been an extraordinary discovery of the Judeo-Zionist lobby in Europe. Of course, we know the history of the Second World War. But for the past 30 years or so, this lobby has been working hard to make it the greatest scourge of the 21st century. A few arranged or staged attacks, a few so-called verbal aggressions, a few desecrations that come in at the right time, a swastika lost here or there, and all the media networks are being used to make it look like there’s a resurgence of anti-Semitism. European governments are under pressure. They cannot afford any weakness.

But from criticism of Israel, we move on to anti-Semitism. The argument is fallacious, but it works. When you criticize Israel, you stir up “hatred” against that country and European Jewish citizens, and thus anti-Semitic aggression. Therefore, Israel should not be criticized. Anti-Zionism becomes an offense because it is equated with anti-Semitism. Pro-Palestinian demonstrations are banned because they lead to anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism has become a kind of blank cheque given to the Zionists to do whatever they like in Palestine without being worried, condemned or criticized.

You are a great anti-Zionist activist and a defender of the just cause of the Palestinian people. In your book “Le printemps des Sayanim” (The Spring of the Sayanim), you talk about the role of the sayanim in the world. Can you explain to our readership what sayanim are and what exactly is their role?

The “sayanim”, in Hebrew “those who help”, are Jews who live outside Israel and who, by Zionist patriotism, collaborate with the Mossad in their fields of activity.

They were created as early as 1959 by the Mossad chief at the time, Méir Amit. They’re probably between 40,000 and 50,000. Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent and refugee in Canada, talks about it for certain cases. He estimated that in the 1980s, in London alone, there were 3,000 sayanim.

What is their utility? Mossad recruits sayanim who work voluntarily in all major areas. For example, the media: these Jewish journalists or press bosses around the world will orient information in such a way as to favor Israel at the expense of Arabs.

In the United States, the Jewish power in the film industry is well known. Just an example. In 1961, Hollywood produced the film “Exodus” with Paul Newman, which tells the story of the birth of Israel in 1948 from a Zionist point of view. This film has shaped Western consciousness for at least a generation.

The same could be said for the financial institutions based in New York and dominated by Judeo-Zionists.

In France, advertising, publishing, the press, television, university, etc. are more or less controlled by “sayanim”.

It is therefore easy to understand the Zionist lobby’s strike force, a strike force that remains moreover invisible.

Isn’t Zionism, which is the direct product of the Talmud and the Jewish Kabbalah, an ideology that is both racist and fascist?

If we take Zionism in its political sense, that is, in the nationalist vision of the political movements of the 19th century, it was a secular and progressive ideology. It had seduced tens of thousands of activists, particularly in Russia and Poland, who sought to realize their revolutionary ideal outside the progressive movements of the time. They wanted to transform the Jewish people, to make it “normal”.

Despite these characteristics, these activists, upon arriving in Palestine, had excluded the Arabs from their national project from the outset. The seeds of racism were already planted. The Arabs had to be expelled or got rid of somehow. Even the kibbutzim, the flagships of “Zionist socialism”, did not admit Arabs within them.

Wars and conquests, especially of the “biblical” cities in the West Bank, have plunged Israeli society into a messianic fascism and racism that is no longer even hidden. The latest “Law on the Nation of the Jewish People” clearly establishes racist elements, such as the possibility for a Jewish municipality to refuse Arab inhabitants, even though they have Israeli nationality.

Doesn’t the just cause of the Palestinian people need a more intense mobilization in the face of the criminal offensives of the fascist Israeli colonial army? Don’t you think that the role of BDS is very important to counter Israeli fascism?

For the reasons I mentioned earlier, the Zionist regime has managed to stifle, at least in part, the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people. As far as the media and relations with the governments of the major powers are concerned, the balance is tipped in favor of Zionism. That’s a fact. Even the majority of Arab countries, for reasons that cannot be confessed, are turning away from it.

BDS is an extraordinary weapon, but as I said, it is increasingly banned in the West because it is considered as an ” anti-Semitic ” movement. It’s absurd, sure, but it’s so. Example: Germany withdrew a European prize from a woman writer because she had tweeted pro-BDS a few months before.

How do you explain that at a time when freedom-loving Westerners support BDS, Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Qatar, etc. are normalizing their relations with the Zionist entity of Israel as part of the “deal of the century” spearheaded by Jared Kushner?

Historically, these monarchies have never supported the Palestinians, or at least with lip service, because they feared the revolutionary potential of the Palestinian movements in the 60s and 70s. The Arab world was then divided between “conservatives” and “progressives”. Following the example of Hassan II mentioned above, these monarchies were just waiting for the historic opportunity to normalize their relations with the Zionist regime. It is in their interest, the interest of the castes in power. We have seen what could happen to nationalist or progressive Arab regimes (Iraq, Syria, Libya). They were given a choice: fall in line and collaborate with Israel or some “Daesh” or separatist movements will drop on them. These monarchs do not have the suicidal instinct for a Palestine that has become an increasingly evanescent myth.

What is your opinion about the infamous blockade that the Palestinian people are suffering in Gaza while the world is in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic?

The Zionist regime is submitting the people of Gaza to a concentration camp quasi-regime. Why quasi? Because the Zionist conqueror remains just below, cynically and intelligently, the level that could no longer leave the world indifferent. The blockade is not hermetic, allowing to pass through it in dribs and drabs at the occupant’s discretion, just enough to not sink. The fishing area is reduced or increased so as to keep this sword of Damocles on any fisherman who dares to go out. Electricity is limited to a few hours a day. Information from the inside is reduced, travels are limited. Israel even took the liberty about two years ago of banning European parliamentarians from entering the Gaza Strip. All the more so as Egypt’s complicity makes it possible to maintain this situation, and the Palestinian Authority withhold all payments to officials in Gaza. The world is given the impression that the Gazans are struggling, indeed, but that they had something to do with it, because they launch a few rockets from time to time and Hamas is considered a “terrorist” organization. The Zionists have become masters in the art of propaganda, with the complicity of Western governments. And Gaza is paying a terrible price.

You have been threatened and attacked on several occasions, including by the LDJ (Jewish Defense League), for supporting the cause of the Palestinian people and for being anti-Zionist. How do you explain the fact that in France, a country that prides itself on being a State governed by the rule of law and which is a champion of human rights and freedom of speech, fascist militias like Betar (note: radical Zionist Jewish youth movement), LDJ, CRIF, which defend the interests of Israel can act with impunity?

First there is the history of the Second World War and the Vichy regime, which leaves a sense of guilt, a feeling cleverly exploited by the Judeo-Zionist lobby with the multiplication of films on the Shoah which are shown over and over again on French channels.

Then there is the action of the “sayanim” very presents in the media and other institutions, and who terrorize, the word is not too strong, all those who deviate even a little. Take Dieudonné (note: French humorist, actor and political activist), he has been made the devil to such an extent that he can be assassinated with impunity. On the other hand, saying two or three wrong words to Eric Zemmour (note: French political journalist, writer, essayist and polemicist) in the street, and the President of the Republic calls him on the phone for 40 minutes.

Finally, there is great cowardice on the part of French intellectuals, journalists and politicians who do not say what they think. The fear of the CRIF is paralyzing them. Remember Etienne Chouard, a very famous intellectual who became well known during the referendum on Europe in 2005 and for his support for Yellow Vests. He was summoned to explain himself about the gas chambers on the site “Le Média“. The unfortunate man tried to clear out. He’s been bombarded with insults. He went to apologize on “Sud Radio“. He has since lost all credibility.

How do you explain the fact that all the media remain silent about the crimes of the Zionist entity of Israel and do not give voice to people like you? Where is the freedom of speech those western countries brag about? In your opinion, doesn’t the mass media serve an oligarchy?

Modern media are not supposed to track down the truth and proclaim it. See the way they treated covid19 and big-pharma. See also the coverage of Presidents Trump and Putin by these media, or the Syrian case. The major media belong either to the State (public radio and television) or to the financial oligarchies, all of which are, as I have shown, close to the interests of the Zionist lobby. So, when they boast about being free and promoting freedom of speech, they’re just self-promotion by brazenly lying. Moreover, the tendency in the name of this “freedom to inform” is to track down the so-called fake news, in fact the information that don’t fit the mould. And as long as this balance of power lasts, the crimes of the Zionist entity will be silenced or diminished, and the rights of the Palestinian people will be ignored.

In your opinion, weren’t the Oslo Accords a big scam that harmed the Palestinians by depriving them of their rights?

The Oslo Accords were one of the finest diplomatic scams of the century. With the Palestinians’ consent. In a SM (sadomasochistic) relationship, the master and the slave freely assume their role. The Zionist master found in Arafat the ideal slave to play the role.

I say this with great sadness and rage. But the reality is there. Arafat disappeared from the international scene in 1992. When Rabin beckons him, he no longer holds back. He was about to come back into the limelight.

It’s Rabbi’s stroke of genius. Israel was in a very difficult, let’s say catastrophic situation. The Intifada showed an over-armed and brutal army of occupation in the face of stone-throwing kids. The Palestinian cause was at the top. If Rabin had contacted Barghouti, the leader of the Intifada, the latter would have had strict and inflexible demands: Independence or nothing.

Arafat has given up everything. On all the sensitive issues, the refugees, Jerusalem, the settlements, the borders, the independent State, Rabin told him: “we will see later”. And Arafat agreed.

And furthermore, he delivered 60 % of the West Bank under the total sovereignty of Israel. This is the Zone C, on which the major cities of occupation are built.

Ultimately, Arafat could have realized after 2 or 3 years that he had been manipulated, that the Zionists will never give him a State, and slam the door, and put the occupier back in front of his responsibilities. But no, he continued until his death and Mahmoud Abbas is continuing along the same path, which lead to the progressive strangulation of what remained of Palestine.

But for Rabin, and the Zionist regime, the gain was fantastic. Israel was no longer the occupant. The whole world was pretending to proclaim the need for 2 States. It was just a matter of being patient and negotiating. The Zionist regime has thus restored much of its international credibility and legitimacy.

We saw the United States and the whole world shocked by the way George Floyd was murdered by a police officer. However, Palestinians suffer the same abuses on a daily basis, as this hold (a technique known as strangulation) is often used by the Israeli army, Tsahal. How do you explain the fact that nobody protests this? The world was rightly moved by the murder of George Floyd, why does it not react when Palestinians are murdered?

We keep coming back to the same problem. It is the media that make the news. And who controls the media? The Palestinians do not have a voice for the reasons mentioned above. Because when the media decides to inflate a problem, they do.

Who is Jacob Cohen?

Jacob Cohen is a writer and lecturer born in 1944. Polyglot and traveler, anti-Zionist activist, he was a translator and teacher at the Faculty of Law in Casablanca. He obtained a law degree from the Faculty of Casablanca and then joined Science-Po in Paris where he obtained his degree in Science-Po as well as a postgraduate degree (DES) in public law. He lived in Montreal and then Berlin. In 1978, he returned to Morocco where he became an assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Law in Casablanca until 1987. He then moved to Paris where he now focuses on writing. He has published several books, including « Le commando de Hébron » (2014), « Dieu ne repasse pas à Bethléem » (2013), « Le printemps des Sayanim » (2010), « L’espionne et le journaliste » (2008), « Moi, Latifa S. » (2002).

He has a blog and performs on YouTube where he discusses various topics.

Mohsen Abdelmoumen is an independent Algerian journalist. He has written for several Algerian newspapers such as Alger Républicain and in different sites of the alternative press.

June 12, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Algeria wants to become a satellite of Western interests in Africa

By Lucas Leiroz | June 1, 2020

The current geopolitical situation in North Africa and the Sahel can be radically changed and hardened if the new Algerian constitution allows the army to participate in operations outside its national borders. Paris and Washington are already supporting this change.

Article 95 of the new Constitution under review will open up the possibility for the “National People’s Army” to participate in “efforts to maintain peace at the regional and international level”. None of the five previous Algerian constitutions since independence from France in 1962 offered this possibility. As it appears in the constitutional project, the decision of this eventual military participation abroad must be approved by two thirds of the Parliament and it would not depend on the unilateral decision of the president, who is also the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces.

According to the text, Algeria would always act in response to the mandate of the UN, the Arab League or the African Union. The interpretations of the measure, however, go far beyond what is formally written on paper. In this specific case, a careless interpretation and an imprudent decision could generate terrible risks.

Algeria participated in two of the Arab-Israeli and Libyan wars against the United States’ incursions. In peace missions, the African country also sent forces to Cambodia, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Haiti and Lebanon.

Some opposition voices interpret the new initiative more as “an act of servitude to the imperialist powers” than as an “evolution of the concept of national security”, which must be taken into account in the study of the project. After all, is Algeria really guaranteeing its own interests by sending troops abroad in advance? Or would it be serving foreign interests as well?

Several specialists on military topics are criticizing the reform and point to it as absolutely anti-strategic in a particularly delicate “transition” period in the history of the country and the entire region. Others add to this circumstance the concern about the global pandemic of COVID-19. In the specific case of the country, the new coronavirus has left the streets free from the protests that were calling for a regime change since February 22, 2019.

The new Algerian constitutional project appears to be particularly interesting for French interests in the country, from different perspectives. For example, one of the innovations brought by the new law is the possibility for citizens with dual nationality to occupy high positions in the public administration, which has never been possible since the country’s independence and will particularly benefit France, due to the large number of French people in the region.

On a military level, Paris is particularly interested in Algerian aid in the Mali issue, since France is the foreign country most active in fighting this country’s jihadists. Now, under an international mandate, Algiers could send troops to Mali and, due to its clear interest in seeking closer ties with France (as seen in the constitutional project), everything indicates that the country could occupy a position of satellite of the French interests in Africa. It is also necessary to remember that, due to the geographical proximity, many times, Mali terrorists have made incursions into Algerian territory, which also raises the Algerian interest in the fight against the jihadists. Recently, the government of Emmanuel Macron provided a symbolic aid of 400,000 euros to Algeria. Finally, everything indicates a convergence of interests between Algeria and France.

By its part, the United States is taking the opportunity to show solidarity with Algeria. Washington recently sent two million dollars in aid to fight the coronavirus in Algeria. Amid the global dispute for medical and health diplomacy, Washington does not want to give space to Russia and China – which has also joined the group of Algeria’s main arms suppliers; Algeria is Africa’s main arms buyer, with 6% of its product for this sector.

Lately, bilateral trade between the United States and Algeria has increased significantly, with Washington interested in being more deeply involved in current issues in North Africa. Indeed, the new Constitution, if passed, will be the perfect opportunity for Americans. The same means that try to favor French interests can serve for American ones; and, possibly, they should favor even other world powers that come to invest in political and economic questions of Africa.

In fact, if Algeria ends its non-interventionist doctrine, the diplomatic impact on North Africa and the Sahel could be considerable. The new Algerian leadership seems ready to regain the international weight it lost in the Buteflika era. Being closer to France and opening such possibilities for Washington is a current strategic path for Algeria to become a western military satellite in Africa, increasing its role in international relations. The consequences of such decision will be revealed soon.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

June 1, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Arab Spring returns home to uncertain welcome

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | April 12, 2019

The Arab Spring has returned to the Middle East after nearly six years in exile. It was in July 2013 that reversing the tide of democracy in Egypt that swept away the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi led a coalition with the backing of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to remove the elected President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, from power and suspended the the country’s constitution of 2012.

The Arab Spring never quite recovered from that trauma. There is a nifty aphorism of obscure origin that ‘History does not repeat itself but it often rhymes.’ The return of the Arab Spring to Algeria and Sudan in the recent weeks fits into that description. The similarity with the past lies in the undeniable fact that the Arab Spring is riding the wave of anti-regime protests in both Algeria and Sudan, triggered spontaneously by enormous public hatred of the regimes for their brutal repression, corruption, indifference to poverty and the intolerable conditions of day-to-day life.

In Sudan, the tipping point came four months ago over the government decision to triple the price of bread. In Algeria, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back came in February when then President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he would seek a fifth-term in office, whereupon tens of thousands took to the streets.

In the sheer spontaneity of the Arab Spring revolt in Sudan and Algeria, time seemed to stand still since 2013. First in Algeria, after some six weeks of protests, and in Sudan within days, after four months of protests, the dictators got ousted. But in reality, things are never quite the repetition of the past — protests this time around are on a significantly higher scale. Lessons may have been learnt from the tragic example of Egypt where a heroic popular struggle that brought the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohammed Morsi to power ended in the blood-soaked 2013 coup led by General Sisi. The tragic saga of the Arab Spring in Egypt showed that entrenched ruling elites do not relinquish power simply because of militant mass protests.

Thus, both in Algeria and Sudan, there is popular resistance to the all-too-familiar pattern repeating — the army generals stepping in as the apparent saviours to remove the unpopular, detested dictators from power — Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir — but then, only to usurp power and establish military dictatorships, as had happened in Egypt. In Algeria, the protestors are openly shouting ‘No repeat of the Egyptian scenario.’ In Sudan, the exhortation to the protestors is: ‘Stay put and guard your revolution. To comply with the curfew (imposed by the generals) is to recognise the clone rescue government (led by the army.)’

However, the spectre that is haunting the masses in both Algeria and Sudan is the danger of bloody counterrevolution. Leadership is lacking among protestors and they lack the machinery or cadres to coordinate opposition to military-police repression. Meanwhile, the entrenched elite is co-opting the middle class and trying to lull protestors to sleep with (false) promises of a democratic capitalist future. The military junta in Algeria is promising to convene a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution, while the counterpart in Sudan has voiced its intention to hold democratic elections in two years.

In Sudan, there is also the added factor of foreign interference. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi openly said this week, “We cannot afford a leadership emerging in … Sudan that tolerates, or even worse condones, militant Islamic activity. This is why … we are keeping a close eye on any possible transition of power in Sudan.” The reference is to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Of course, it is a phoney argument, since the Brothers in Sudan have historically rejected union with the Egyptian branch (forming an alliance instead with the Sudanese Ansar-Ummah political bloc in support of Sudanese independence.) Sisi’s real worry is that if Sudan takes the democratic path, Muslim Brotherhood that has dominated Sudanese politics will surge to take the elected leadership, as had happened in Egypt in 2011, and that would rekindle the clamour for democracy in his country too.

Alex de Waal at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University writing for the BBC assesses that “the cabal (that usurped power in Sudan) is aligned with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, Qatar and Turkey have lost out. The new leadership dissolved the ruling National Congress Party and reportedly arrested many veteran Muslim Brothers.”

“They are busy telling Western countries that the Islamists had planned a coup, which needed to be forestalled by the army takeover, and that the protesters demanding democracy are also Muslim Brothers in disguise. It’s not a very convincing story, but it points to future tensions because the Islamists still have a strong following in Sudan.”

Sadly, in the emergent “multipolar world order”, there are hardly any takers for democracy or the Arab Spring — except, arguably, Turkey, Qatar and Iran — especially if it smacks of political Islam The big powers feel cozy with dictatorships. On Wednesday, the US and Britain issued a statement effectively backing the pre-emptive military coup in Sudan. At a meeting with Sisi on April 9 (who was on an official visit to the US at the invitation of President Trump), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked the dictator “for his leadership in advancing Egypt’s and the region’s security and stability, including through counterterrorism efforts and countering the Iranian regime’s malign influence.”

April 12, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kremlin Urges No Foreign Interference in Algeria

Al-Manar | April 3, 2019

The Kremlin on Wednesday said it hoped for a transition of power in Algeria without foreign “interference” after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in the face of massive street protests.

“We expect that the internal processes that are happening in this country and are exclusively the internal affair of Algeria will take place without the interference of any third countries,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

He added that Russia has “mutually beneficial, friendly relations” with Algeria and that the two countries share “many joint projects in the economic sphere.”

Bouteflika, 82, had ruled the former French colony for two decades and had long been accused of clinging to power.

The veteran leader faced mounting pressure to step down following his decision to seek a fifth term, despite rarely being seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.

His decision to stand aside was announced on state television late Tuesday.

April 3, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

How 1960’s French Nuclear Tests Are Still Claiming Lives in Algeria

Sputnik – 15.02.2018

On February 13, 1960, France carried out its first nuclear test in Algeria’s southern Reggane region. According to official statistics, 17 nuclear tests were carried out in total over the next 6 years. The area remains affected, and local scientists say that radioactive contamination has caused genetic mutations and irreversibly changed the region.

There are no official statistics on the number of victims. The only figures can be found in the records kept by the French representative of the local church, which lists 42,000 victims of nuclear tests. Three years ago, the French Ministry of Defense issued a statement, putting the number at 27,000 people. The victims include French soldiers as well as local Algerians who lived in the surrounding areas.

However, these figures do not take into account the untimely deaths of the descendants of these people, who were affected by cancer and other nuclear radiation-related illnesses. To this day, the contaminated areas pose a danger to life and health.

A representative of the ‘Desert Detainees’ (a community of people who served sentences in prisons located in the desert regions of Algeria from 1992 to 1996), Nureddin Mauhub, said that many prisoners were exposed to radiation while serving their sentences in jails in the desert.

Nuclear engineer Ammar Mansuri told the newspaper Arabi al-Jadid, that in fact, there were more nuclear tests carried out in Algeria.

“France conducted 13 underground nuclear tests, 4 ground tests, 4 plutonium tests and 35 other tests,” he said.

According to him, the nuclear tests documentation was passed on to the Algerian government only 10 years ago.

Some of the documents are still classified. For these reasons, no systematic observations or studies have been conducted in the area in the past century. Therefore, no timely measures were taken to reduce the negative impact on the environment. It is difficult to say how the level of contamination has changed over the past decades and what to expect in the future.

The Algerian government claims that the contaminated area is more than 100 square km, according to the Al-Arabi al-Jadid website. However, problems aren’t limited to this exclusion zone. The desert winds carry contaminated particles to formally clean areas. There’s now a need to study the level of radiation in the desert to accurately determine the boundaries of the contaminated area.

February 15, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Inside the Battle of Algiers: Memoir of a Woman Freedom Fighter – Book Review

Reviewed by Vacy Vlazna | Palestine Chronicle | November 9, 2017

(Inside the Battle of Algiers: Memoir of a Woman Freedom Fighter, Zohra Drif, Just World Books, 2017)

“Colonialism creates the patriotism of the colonized. Kept at the level of a beast by an oppressive system, the natives are given no rights, not even the right to live. Their condition worsens daily. And when a people has no choice but how it will die; when a people has received from its oppressors only the gift of despair, what does it have to lose? A people’s misfortune will become its courage; it will make, of its endless rejection by colonialism, the absolute rejection of colonization.”  –  Albert Memmi

Stylishly dressed in a lavender blue summer dress with small stripes, Algerian student Zohra Drif, 22, in a state of surreal disassociation yet guided by ‘absolute necessity, the sacred duty to succeed in my mission so that my people would not despair’, planted a bomb concealed in a beach bag to be set off 6.25 pm in the Milk Bar cafe on the elegant Rue d’Isly, a 10 minute walk from the Muslim Casbah held captive under the oppressive French military siege.

Across town, on the same sunny afternoon of September 30, 1956, Zohra’s friends, Samia Lakhdari and her mother, Mama Zhor, successfully targeted the Cafeteria on Rue Michelet and Djamila Bouhired planted a faulty bomb in the Air France agency in the Mauritania building.

As an activist for Palestine, I was eager to understand the mind, soul and motive of a young freedom fighter. Zohra Drif’s profoundly personal and nationalistic autobiography is a precise holographic sliver of the whole 1954-1962 Algerian struggle for independence from 130 years of France’s brutal colonization; a struggle that claimed over 1,000,000 Algerian lives.

Daughter of Qadi Ahmed and Saadi Drif, Zohra’s destiny from childhood in rural Tiaret to schoolgirl and university law student in Algiers and her dogged determination to join the National Liberation Front (FLN) in the Algiers Autonomous Zone 5, to her stressful clandestine life, subsequent arrest and imprisonment is a compelling read.

Its power lies in a tense dramatic immediacy, intriguingly heightened by the voice of the young Zohra, not the 82-year-old Zohra, the author who splices Algeria’s tragic saga underscored by French colonial privileged racism with the idealism and valiant acts of young revolutionaries….

And herein lies the rationale and honor of the revolutionary identity:

“Perhaps the reader of today expects me to regret having placed bombs in public places frequented by European civilians. I do not. To do so would be to obscure the central problem of settler colonialism by trying to pass off the European civilians of the day for (at best) mere tourists visiting Algeria or (at worst) the ‘natural’ inheritors of our land in place of its legitimate children. I will not adopt this position because I hate lies and their corollary, revisionism, whatever they are and wherever they come from. Samia and I did not regret our actions in 1956 or 1957, nor do we today, nor will we ever. I speak here in my own name and on behalf of my friend and sister Samia Lakhdari, who died in the summer of 2012. What’s more, if today, God forbid, my country were to be attacked and occupied by a foreign force, I know that even at my advanced age, propped up on a cane, I would be with all those (and I know there are many of them, in Algeria and elsewhere) who would offer their lives to liberate our land and its people. In declaring this, I seek neither to boast nor to challenge anyone. I am simply trying to convey an idea, a simple conviction related to the concept of responsibility.

“As for the civilians who perished during the war of national liberation, if they are Algerian, I would propose that they go to the ALN fighters and ask them, “Why did we die?” I know that the ALN will reply, ‘You are dead because your lives were part of the price we had to pay for our country to be free and independent.’ And if they are French, I would propose that they go see the French authorities and ask, ‘Why did we die?’ I do not know what the French authorities would say, but I would propose to them the one real truth there is: ‘You died because you were among the hundreds of thousands of Europeans that we used to subjugate and occupy a foreign country, Algeria, so that we could make it our settler colony.’ In any case, this will not make me forget all the French who chose justice and the values of freedom and dignity (of which their own homeland boasted) and joined our camp.”

The rightness and justice bolted to Zohra’s vindication of her mission intensifies when you consider the barbarities that the French regime perpetrated against Algerians – whole scale massacres and napalm bombing in Setif, Kherrata, North Constantinos, the massacre of thousands of men in the Skikda stadium, collective punishment, humiliations, lynchings, impalings, collective rape, annihilation of villages and their occupants, mass arrests, disappearances, concentration camps, tens of thousands of summary executions, bombings of trade unions, terrible tortures in prisons and in homes in front of the family, curfews, checkpoints, rampant raids, looting, psychological warfare, blowing up homes, the relentless incitement fear and terror, military courts replaced civil courts, decapitation by guillotine, the Paris massacre of 300 Algerian protestors – all executed with merciless French arrogance and indifference to the humanity of the ‘natives’. An arrogance that masks the moral inferiority of the colonist.

French colonial sadism exists to this day thus explaining why since 1947, Presidents from Auriol to Macron ( with the exception of Pompidou and d’Estaing) have enthusiastically supported the savage colonialism of their Israeli frères d’armes:

Auriol: approved Partition Plan, voted for the Israel’s membership to the UN.

Coty: France and Israel cooperated “in research and production of nuclear weapons,” and build Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor.

de Gaulle: “I raise my glass to Israel, our friend and our ally.”

(Pompidou and d’Estaing)

Mitterrand: “Indeed, the French nation is a friend to the nation of Israel.”

Chirac: “France is determined to strengthen Israel and I say that it is important that the process move forward towards full development and assure full security for the people of Israel.”

Sarkozy: “On behalf of France, we would like to declare our love for Israel – we love you! “

Hollande “I will always remain a friend of Israel”

Macron – “French law prohibits … boycotting [Israel]. There is no question of changing that law and no question of acting indulgently on this. For me, these [BDS protests] are anti-Zionist moves, thus profoundly anti-Semitic … I condemn this approach both legally and politically.”

The timeless universality of Zohra’s insurrectionary call to dignity and freedom has invaluable resonance for Palestinian resistance. Reading Zohra’s memoir is Palestine’s story and the lessons are electrifying:

1. Maintain focus on the occupiers fault lines:

“First, France was not invincible. Not only had she not resisted the German occupation but, even worse, over 80 percent of the French parliament had voted for the armistice – France’s abdication to Germany – and what’s more, the majority of the French elite had even collaborated with the occupiers, supporting the Vichy regime and its Marshal Philippe Petain. We were well aware that without Britain and the United States, France would never have been liberated.” Also France had been defeated in WWI and later defeated in Franco-Thai War and the Indochina War.”

Israel, for all its army, navy, airforce, vast cache of nuclear and high tech military hardware ( France ties with Germany in arms exports to Israel) is not invincible. Its European Jewish immigrants, apart from the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, like the French submitted to the Nazis. The 1973 Yom Kippur War resulted in the Israeli return of its Sinai gains to Egypt, and in the 2006 Lebanon War Israel failed to destroy Hezbollah. Israel’s three wars on Gaza, 2009/10, 2011 and 2014 have incrementally caused heavy losses to Israel’s credibility and fabricated victim reputation. In 2014, without an army, navy, airforce, Hamas inflicted 67 ZOF deaths and wounded 468.

2. Resistance is justice and a right.

“We are not killers. We are fighters for a just cause, moved by the most sacred of duties: to liberate our land and our people. It is the colonial regime that kills -torturing, oppressing, and repressing to perpetuate its system of occupation on our land and our people, trying to convince everyone that Algeria is French. That is why each of our attacks, each of our ambushes, each of our lives sacrificed must serve to unmask France before the world, to show that our people are at war against a foreign power occupying us by force.”

The Zionist occupier also tries to convince the world that Palestine is Israel via western media and lackey governments spreading its false propaganda: that its daily war crimes in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention are acts of defense, that its daily theft of Palestinian land, livelihood and dignity was decreed by a god, that Palestinian legitimate armed and BDS resistance to foreign domination is ‘terrorism’ and ‘antisemitic’.

In Algeria, all settlers had to “know that Algeria was at war and understand that they could no longer sit back and enjoy life while watching us die.”

In historic Palestine, according to Miko Peled, all Israelis are settlers. At arms length from their inflicted suffering on indigenous Palestinians, the settlers move freely on apartheid roads sans 500 plus checkpoints, many live in coersively vacated Palestinian homes, they enjoy cafes with views of beaches that the majority of Palestinians have never seen. In their illegal settlements, they bathe in private swimming pools while Palestinians are rationed water for necessities. Colonists enjoy first class medical care while at a stone’s throw away, desperately ill Gazans are denied access to dialysis and cancer treatment.

3. Against great odds, independence can be achieved.

“Knowing that ‘We all knew that each day we lived was a victory over a possible arrest or a probable death,’ the poorly armed Algerian guerrilla resistance movement was up against ‘an army of nearly half a million highly equipped men’ and despite lethal internal divisions between the FLN and the MNA and collaborators such as the Harkis and Bachagha Ait Ali who ‘was notorious for his public condemnation of our national liberation struggle and for his participation in France’s fierce repression against our people’, Algeria achieved independence in 1962 and many of its fighters went on to serve Algeria in government. Zohra became the Vice-President of the Algerian Senate.”

Palestine too has its Bachagha Ait Ali in Mahmoud Abbas and his Zionist PA/PLO band of traitors to Palestinian resistance who uphold, “The security relationship [with Israel]… security coordination is sacred, is sacred. And we’ll continue it whether we disagree or agree over policy.”

Zohra shares the upheaval of betrayal by a comrade:

“Safi’s obvious, devastating betrayal stood out for its violent clarity, like the flash of a bomb. I shuddered. A new pain that I had never experienced until then wracked my insides: the very unique pain of betrayal. Not only is its intensity particular, but also its extent and the way it destabilizes you and your whole world. Suffering a betrayal destroys your points of references, the certainties necessary for life and for trust in the human race, including in yourself.”

She realizes that betrayal as a tool of the oppressor is intended “to annihilate our humanity.” However, she states that judging a victim of torture as a traitor would exonerate “his torturers and the colonial system” and that “would be the true betrayal.” Self-serving betrayal was rabidly punished after independence.

Ultimately, France’s tactics of disproportionate violent repression, racism, lies, deception, defiant abuse of the rule of law and international law courted defeat by raising the bar of Algerian resistance.

And so it is with Israel. Every Israeli war augments international support for Palestine’s legitimate right to sovereignty and independence. Israel’s settlement expansion is ironically the wrecking ball destroying the Zionist dream of Eretz Israel, the occupation’s strangulation of Palestinian society has birthed the counterinsurgency of BDS worldwide.

Decades of Israeli cruel repression have never made a dent in Palestinian sumoud- the resilient soul of Palestine and her children:

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I will rise and soar above your matrix of control
With the strength of my will your walls will fall
And this concrete that segregates us will be used to rebuild homes
Your bulldozers and tanks will dissolve into the earth
The sap will run in the olive trees
The gates will open wide for the refugees
We will be free
I will be your equal
And only then you will be mine
My other self
My fellow human being. (Samah Sabawi)

As with French colonialism, Israel is imploding under the violent pressure of Zionism. The death of Zionism will inevitably herald what Svirsky calls ‘the noble ‘one state’ of equal partnership.’

 – Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters and editor of a volume of Palestinian poetry, I remember my name. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was convenor of Australia East Timor Association and coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Middle East: Rapid Tectonic Changes on Regional Chessboard

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 30.01.2017

The Middle East geopolitical scenarios are going through rapid changes with new factors emerging on the regional chessboard.

Cairo’s foreign policy has been given a new twist. It has been announced recently that Egypt is set to receive one million barrels of petroleum per month from Iraq. Saudi Arabia had informed Egypt that shipments of oil products expected under a $23 billion aid deal have been halted indefinitely, suggesting a deepening rift between the countries. From now on, Egypt will enjoy as much oil as it needs at a lower cost, compared to Saudi pricing.

Egyptian President Al-Sisi rejected the Saudi-backed efforts to overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. He is also reaching out to former-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh and to his Houthi allies Saudi Arabia is fighting since March 2015. Cairo opened diplomatic channels with the pro-Iranian Lebanese Hezbollah, fighting on the side of President Assad in Syria against the rebel groups supported by Riyadh.

Iraq will provide Egypt with 1 million barrels of Basra light oil each month. The agreement involves extending an oil pipeline from Iraq to Egypt via Jordan. In December, Iraqi petroleum minister Ali al-Luiabi met with the heads of major oil and natural gas companies in Cairo, inviting them to contribute into developing the industry in his country.

Egypt is about to train four Iraqi army units on war against terrorism, in light of the rapprochement between Egypt and the Iraqi-Iranian axis in the region.

It also mulls sending peacekeeping troops to Syria during the coming days to support the ceasefire agreement under the auspices of Russia, Iran, and Turkey. It has been reported that a unit of Egyptian ground forces might deploy to Syria this month. Last October, Syrian National Security Bureau head Ali Mamlouk visited Cairo to meet Khaled Fawzy, the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service. The two sides agreed to coordinate political positions and strengthen cooperation in «the fight against terror».

Egypt is a predominantly Sunni nation. Its open support of the Russia-backed coalition in Syria is a game changing event of fundamental importance. It makes the sectarian interpretation of the Syria’s conflict not valid anymore.

Middle East Observer quotes Nziv Net, an Israeli outlet close to intelligence sources, saying that «Egypt has sent a group of officers to Syria for the first time since the relations have frozen during Morsi’s reign».

Last December, Ibrahim al-Eshaiker al-Jaafari, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, called on Egypt to participate in a «strategic project to fight terrorism», which includes Iran.

In September, Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih Shoukry met for the first time with his Iranian counterpart, Jawad Zarif, during their visits to New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

In October, Egypt backed a Russian-backed motion in the UN calling for a ceasefire in Syria. The move angered Saudi Arabia, which suspended oil shipments to Cairo.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi publicly affirmed his support for the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The relations between Russia and Egypt have been on the rise. In February 2015, Egypt signed a breakthrough agreement on establishing a free trade zone with the Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union.

The progress in military cooperation is tangible. Egypt signed arms deals with Russia worth up to $5 billion by 2015 to include 50 MiG-29M combat aircraft, Buk-M2E and Antey-2500 long range air defense systems and about 50Ka-52K helicopters for Egypt’s new Mistral-class assault ships bought in France. The ships will receive the originally planned Russian helicopters and electronics suite.

The two countries signed several agreements for the renovation of military production factories in Egypt. A protocol is signed to grant Egypt access to GLONASS, the Russian global satellite positioning system. In September, Minister of Defense Sedky Sobhy visited Russia to discuss the issues related to long-term close security relationship. Last October, the militaries held a joint exercise.

Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa and the fifteenth-most populous in the world. Last year, the country’s population has just reached 92 million. Its policy shift is well-substantiated. Cairo is fighting the Islamic State on the Sinai Peninsula. The fierce fighting there seldom hits media headlines but the IS poses a grave threat to Egypt. IS militants can also strike Egypt from Libya. The IS presence in Libya brings Egypt and Algeria together as the two great nations face the same threat.

The emerging Iran, Iraq, Russia and Turkey alliance may also include Algeria. In response to the growing menace, Algiers is strengthening ties with Moscow. It has recently purchased 14 Su-30MKA fighters and 40 Mi-28 «Night Hunter» attack helicopters from Russia. Last February, Russia and Algeria laid out a road-map for deepening bilateral economic and military cooperation during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Algeria.

Russia’s cooperation with Egypt, Algeria and other countries of the Middle East and North Africa reflects Moscow’s growing clout in the region.

With the Astana process making progress, other large and influential actors, such as Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Algeria, may join the emerging Russia, Iran, Turkey coalition to make the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region face tectonic and dramatic changes.

January 30, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘US airstrikes in Libya can worsen the situation’

RT | February 19, 2016

NATO and US plan attacks against Libya under the pretext of rooting out Islamic State in an effort to fix what they had broken in the country and to restore security and stability, said political commentator Abdel Bari Atwan.

Following the US Congress considering re-launching military action in Libya last month, US warplanes have targeted an alleged Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) camp in the Libyan city of Sabratha on Friday. The mayor of Sabratha, Hussein al-Thwadi, told Reuters the planes hit a building in the Qasr Talil district, adding that 41 people were killed and six others wounded. The NYT reported  the strike targeted a senior Tunisian operative linked to terrorist attacks in Tunisia last year.

RT: Is this the official start of US military action in the country?

Abdel Bari Atwan: Yes, I believe that now NATO and America in particular is planning all-out attacks against Libya under the pretext of rooting out Islamic State from certain areas. I believe now the Americans are trying to fix what they had broken in Libya, which is the security and stability, the establishment, the government… I don’t know why they are rushing towards Libya like that because they haven’t had any mandate from the UN to go to Libya and bomb as they like. The second thing is that neighboring countries of Libya like Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, all of them actually said clearly that they are against any American or Western intervention in Libya because such intervention will create more problems than they solve.  I think it is surprising and it could make the situation worse in Libya.

RT: NATO supported the uprising against Gaddafi in 2011, now the US is back to bomb Libya. Will it help to stop ISIS or expand the chaos further?

ABA: Actually, this proves clearly that the first intervention was not necessary and it was completely counterproductive. Because this kind of military intervention created that environment, the best environment for Al-Qaeda and other armed militia to prevail in Libya. And also we can say that the NATO intervention prepared the ground, the incubator for the Islamic State to set up bases in Sirte, in Sabratha, in Benghazi, in the south of Libya… This is the outcome of uncalculated or miscalculated American and NATO intervention in Libya…

February 19, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding the Islamic State a Safe House

By Ulson Gunnar – New Eastern Outlook – 16.02.2016

Every villain needs a safe house and the Islamic State (IS) is no exception. Luckily for IS, it has two, possibly three waiting for it, all of them courtesy of NATO and in particular the United States.

The war in Syria has been going particularly poor for IS. With Russian air power cutting their supply lines with Turkey and the Syrian Arab Army closing in, it may soon be time for them to shop for a new home.

If the war is going bad for IS, it is going even worse for the supporting powers that have armed and funded them. To understand where IS might go next, one must first fully understand those supporting powers behind them. The premeditated creation of IS and revelations of the identity of their supporters were divulged in a Department of Intelligence Agency (DIA) memo first published in 2012.

It admitted:

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

The DIA memo then explains exactly who this “Salafist principality’s” supporters are (and who its true enemies are):

The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.

Before the Syrian war, there was Libya…

The DIA memo is important to remember, as is the fact that before the Syrian conflict, there was the Libyan war in which NATO destroyed the ruling government of Muammar Qaddafi and left what one can only described as an intentional and very much premeditated power vacuum in its place. Within that vacuum it would be eventually revealed through the death of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens that from the Libyan city of Benghazi, weapons and militants were being shipped by the US State Department first to Turkey, then onward to invade northern Syria.

And it appears the terrorists have been moving back and forth both ways through this US-sponsored terror pipeline. IS has since announced an official presence in Libya, and Libya now stands as one of several “safe houses” IS may use when finally pushed from Syria altogether by increasingly successful joint Syrian-Russian military operations.

Before Libya, there was Iraq… 

Iraq, devastated by a nearly decade-long US invasion and occupation, has teetered on the edge of fracture for years. Sectarian extremism is eagerly promoted by some of the US’ strongest regional allies, particularly Saudi Arabia. The US itself has been cultivating and encouraging the separatist proclivities of select Kurdish groups (while allowing Turkey to invade and torment others) in the north, while Wahhabi extremists seek to dominate the north and northwest of Iraq.

IS itself has made its way into all of these trouble spots, coincidentally. And should the terrorist organization be flushed for good from Syria, it may find these spots yet another “safe house” that surely would not have existed had the US not intervened in Iraq, divided and weakened it and to this day worked to keep it divided and weak.

Before Iraq there was Afghanistan..

Of course, and perhaps the most ironic of all of IS’ potential “safe houses,” there is Afghanistan. Part of the alleged reasoning the United States embarked on its war in Afghanistan, stretching from 2001 to present day, was its supposed desire to deny terrorists a safe haven there.

Yet not only are terrorists still using the country as a safe haven, as pointed out in great detail by geopolitical analyst Martin Berger, the US intervention there has created a resurgence of the illegal illicit narcotics trade, and in particular a huge resurgence of opium cultivation, processing and exporting. This means huge financial resources for IS and its supporters to perpetuate its activities there, and help them project their activities well beyond.

Berger’s analysis lays out precisely the sort of narco-terrorist wonderland the US intervention has created, one so perfect it seems done by design, a blazing point on a much larger arc of intentionally created instability.

Where Russian bombs cannot follow… 

Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan would be ideal locations to move IS. Libya’s state of intentionally created lawlessness gives the US and its allies a fair degree of plausible deniability as to why they will be unable to “find” and “neutralize” IS. It will be far more difficult for Russia to organize military resources to effectively strike at IS there. Even in Iraq, Russia has significant hurdles to overcome before it could begin operating in Iraq to follow IS there, and only if the Iraqi government agreed.

Afghanistan would be problematic as well. The ghosts of Russia’s war in Afghanistan still linger, and the US is already deeply entrenched, allegedly fighting a terrorist menace that seems only to grow stronger and better funded by the presence of American troops.

But while IS will be safe from complete destruction in Syria, where it looks like finally Damascus and its allies have begun to prevail, relocating outside of Syria and its allies arc of influence in the Middle East will drastically reduce its ability to fulfill its original purpose for being, that is, the destruction of that very arc of influence.

Furthermore, its reappearance elsewhere may change regional geopolitical dynamics in unpredictable ways. It is very unlikely IS’ new neighbors will wish to sit idly by while it broods. Libya’s neighbors in Egypt and Algeria, Afghanistan’s neighbors in Pakistan, China and Iran, and Iraq itself along with Syria and Lebanon, all may find themselves drawn closer together in purpose to eliminate IS in fear that it may eventually be turned on any one of them as it was on Syria.

What is least likely is that those “supporting powers” realize this is a trick tried one time too many. While that is certainly true, it appears to be the only trick these powers have left. They will likely keep IS around for as long as possible, if for no other reason but to exhaust its enemies as they attempt to chase it to the ends of the earth.

February 17, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Algeria calls for direct talks between Saudi and Iran

MEMO | December 21, 2015

An Algerian diplomat has revealed that his government has suggested that Saudi Arabia and Iran should hold direct talks to solve regional conflicts and regain stability in the Arab world, Anadolu reported on Sunday.

“Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika offered an initiative to Eshaq Jahangiri, the first deputy of the Iranian president,” explained the anonymous official. Jahangiri visited Algeria last Wednesday and Thursday. The same suggestion was made to Saud Bin Mohamed Al-Saud, an aide of the Saudi monarch, who was also in Algiers last week.

The initiative apparently includes an invitation to both countries to sit for direct talks in order to solve the armed conflicts in the Arab region. Neither government has responded as yet.

Bouteflika met with Jahangiri on Thursday at the end of his two-day visit to Algeria, during which he attended a meeting of the High Cooperation Committee which discusses matters of direct relevance to Algiers and Tehran. According to Jahangiri, the situation in Syria and Iraq was on the agenda for the talks with the Algerian president.

December 21, 2015 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment