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Dissecting The Unfathomable American-Iranian War

By Ghassan Kadi | The Saker Blog | May 21, 2019

As the American military build-up continues around the Strait of Hormuz, and as a potential American-Iranian war looms, many analysts are convinced that war is imminent. I beg to differ.

Ever since the “War on Syria” started, I kept reiterating that America would never launch a full-on attack on Syria, and for very good reasons, and not long ago, I finally felt compelled to write a series of articles explaining that in as much as America would love to be able to pillage Syria, it is unable to do so.

Those predictions, which stood the test of time, were made long before the Russian involvement in Syria, and now, after Syria’s triumph, the chances of a decisive victory that America is able to score by way of a military gamble anywhere in the Middle East have been shrinking and reduced to the level of zero chance. If anything, the “War on Syria” was the surrogate war that America could not launch directly either on Syria or on Iran, and even by turning its war into a war by proxy, America was still unable to win.

To recap briefly, some obstacles that stood against an all-out American NATO-led assault on Syria back in 2013, I argued that America would never risk a retaliatory attack against Israel by both Syria and Hezbollah.

An American attack on Iran will not eliminate the risk of a Hezbollah retaliatory attack on Israel, and if anything, it will bring in a new risk; the risk of a retaliatory Iranian attack on Saudi soil.

Whether or not an American-Iranian show down will directly involve Saudi troops, given that Saudi Arabia is still unable to win in its war against Yemen, even though it has the third largest military budget after the USA and China, a direct Saudi role will have little in effecting any significant input. However, with or without a direct Saudi intervention, an American attack on Iran will immediately put American interests in Saudi Arabia under the Iranian target list.

In the event of such an attack, the first thing that Iran will do is close marine traffic in the Strait of Hormuz. As a result, the whole world will be affected and the price of a barrel of oil may jump to $200 and beyond, but the relevant issue here is the impact on the feasibility of American military success.

An American attack on Iran cannot be seen as an event that is independent from the wars on Syria and Yemen. It will be seen as an upscaling that directly involves Iran. Any such turning point will sooner or later involve Saudi Arabia directly. And given that Iran will more than likely close the Strait of Hormuz and thereby putting all Saudi oil exports to halt, whether or not Iran intended to intimidate America alone, the Saudis will see it as an act of war; and they will be “forced” to retaliate.

But the moment the Iranians see that Saudi forces are involved in military action against them, they will have a huge array of critical soft Saudi targets to hit; all the way from oil wells, ports, and more importantly perhaps, water desalination plants that are all scattered on the east coast of Saudi Arabia; ie across the gulf from Iran.

Those sites are undoubtedly protected by ground to air defence shields, but in the face of thousands, tens of thousands of cheap rockets fired from Iran, much more expensive and harder-to-come-by Patriot missiles will not be able to totally stop waves and waves of Iranian rockets.

The Saudi desalination plants feed all cities in the east; including the capital Riyadh. Without them, Saudi citizens will have no water. And without oil exports, they will also lose their income.

Power stations are also in the east, if they get hit, eastern Saudi Arabia will plunge into darkness, and as summer approaches, without air-conditioning, today’s Saudis who are not any longer attuned to the harsh climate of the desert, will suffer greatly from heat exhaustion; especially without water and fuel.

America may not give a damn about Saudis, but it cannot afford to lose Saudi revenue.

But this is only on the eastern front.

On the southern front, a weaker Saudi Arabia will have to relent in its attack on Yemen. Where will this leave the battle front?

On the western front however, an all-out American attack on Iran will be seen as a bigger existential threat to Hezbollah than the “War on Syria”. Hezbollah will retaliate by hitting back at Israel; not only using its rocket power in a retaliatory manner, but also for leverage and the ability to trade-off a cease fire against Israel by an American one against Iran. A scenario like this can become a game of playing chicken and seeing who blinks first; and more than likely, faced by potential civilian casualties, Israel will be the party to relent.

An onslaught of Hezbollah rockets on Israel has been something that the USA has thus far managed to avoid; despite its deep role in the “War on Syria”. But if the carnage eventuates, America will be “forced” to supply Israel with a massive number of Patriot missiles. But these cost more than a million dollars each at least. Such figures are easy to estimate even according to sources such as Wikipedia. But the question is, who is going to fork out the cost? Furthermore, Hezbollah is estimated to have over 150 thousand rockets poised at Israel. Does America have enough Patriots to intercept them? And if THAAD missiles are to be used here and there, the economy becomes more daunting with batteries costing over a billion dollars each, according to Wikipedia again.

This of course brings in the bigger question of economy; ie the economic front. If the invasion of Iraq has cost the American treasury something between 2 and 4 trillion dollars, how much will a war with Iran cost? With the American economy on the brink, can America financially afford a new war with an enemy that it hasn’t tested the fighting prowess of?

Trump was quoted saying that a war with Iran will be the official end of Iran. But the United States of America has thus far lost all of its post WWII wars, even though they were all launched against foes of seemingly much less military readiness than Iran. As a matter of fact, if one looks at the regional strategic risks, the military risks, plus the economic risks, an American war against Iran could well become the straw that breaks America’s back.

The above analysis does not even take into account the economic impact of such war on the EU and/or the possibility of Russian, Chinese and Indian roles.

As an energy exporter, Russia may gain from inflated petrol and gas prices, but strategically, it is not going to sit idle as America wreaks havoc and imposes superiority in an area that is of high interest to Russia. But China and India, and the EU, are highly dependent on fuel that has no way out of its origin to their ports other than via the Strait of Hormuz. Some EU nations may give America some grace if convinced by big brother that the attack will only last a matter of days, but what if it takes weeks, months, or years? What if the norm becomes a $200 oil barrel? Which world economy can survive such a calamity?

The only logical scenario here is that not unless America is able to incinerate Iran in a single knockout blow, any attack on Iran will result in a series of independent repercussions that have the potential of turning the attack into a nightmare for America.

The days of bottomless pockets that allowed America to launch wars on Korea and Vietnam under the guise of fighting Communism are no more.

The days of the so-called “New World Order” of the post-USSR period and which gave America a carte-blanche to attack Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again and Libya was put on hold in Syria, and Russia has marked her redlines for any such future offensives.

Without international impunity, without a successful military track record, without the risk of retaliation against Israel, with the prospect of losing EU support, with the prospect of turning the Saudi war on Yemen in favour of the Houthis, destroying the Saudi economy and leaving Saudis without power and water, and above all, without enough funds to fight a war that can last a very, very long time, and finally, without being able to hit Iran with a single knockout blow that can avoid all of the above, how can America enter this venture?

Hawks like Bolton may think that any military action is a walk in the park, but the top brass in the American military know better. Love him or hate him, Trump is a pragmatic man, financially pragmatic perhaps, but this is alone enough reason for him not to take stupid financial decisions; and any war against Iran will be judged by Trump on its financial merits.

On paper, Trump will see that this war is impossible to win, and just like his White House predecessors who have eyed Syria in the hope of being able to attack it, he will be the chicken who will blink first and find a face-saving exit. At the end of the day, if on the scale of one to ten, America’s decision to not attack Syria scored eight, the decision not to attack Iran will score ten.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

When North Korea’s Air Force Fought Israel

The Beginnings of Pyongyang’s Military Involvement in the Middle East and its Evolution Over Half a Century

Military Watch Magazine | October 7, 2018

While the Yom Kippur War is a well known Cold War engagement between Soviet and Western aligned forces which took place in the midst of the Vietnam War, pitting the forces of a number of Arab states including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Algeria against their longstanding adversary Israel, the role played by personnel deployed from external powers remains less well known. One party which played a significant role in the conflict, the beginnings of its extensive involvement in the Middle East to undermine the Western Bloc’s regional interests which continues to this day, was the Korean People’s Army (KPA) – the armed forces of North Korea. Having waged an intensive and brutal war with the Untied States and its allies in the 1950s, where an estimated 20-30% of its population was lost primarily due to the American bombing campaign, North Korea well understood the importance of air superiority and set about rebuilding its air and air defence forces with the most capable Soviet made weapons systems available. North Korean pilots and air defence crews were tasked not only with guarding the country’s airspace in the event of a future war with the Untied States, but also of contributing to the war efforts of a number of friendly countries – which they continue to do to this day. North Korean pilots played a considerable role in the Vietnam War, and according to Korean sources downed several U.S. fighter jets over the country. As the air war over Vietnam neared its end in the early 1970s, the KPA Air Force dispatched pilots to Egypt to aid the Soviet aligned country’s own war effort.

North Korean pilots had been stationed to aid Egyptian forces in defending their airspace months before the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, and according to the Egyptian Military’s Chief of Staff Saad Al Shazly, Korean assistance provided critical assistance at a time of great need. Recalling that personnel from the USSR had been flying approximately 30% of the Egyptian MiG-21 fleet and operating about 20% of the country’s surface to air missile batteries, he noted that following the departure of Soviet forces under the decree of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat the Egyptian Air Force had struggled with a significant shortage of trained MiG pilots. Regarding North Korea’s role in solving this issue, the General stated in his memoirs:

“The solution occurred to me in March 1973, during the visit to Egypt of the Vice President of the Democratic (People’s) Republic of Korea (official name of North Korea.) On March 6, while escorting their Vice Minister of War, General Zang Song, on a tour of the Suez front, I asked if they could support us – and give their pilots useful combat training – but sending even a squadron of men. I knew at that time that his country flew MiG-21s. After much political discussion, in April I went on an official visit to president Kim Il Sung to finalise the plan. My fascinating ten day tour of that extraordinary republic, an inspiring an example of what a small nation of the so called Third World can achieve with its own resources is, alas, rather outside the scope of this memoir, as is my stopover in Peking (former English name for Beijing.)

Korean pilots – all highly experienced, many with more than 2,000 hours, arrived in Egypt in June and were operating by July. Israel or her ally ( the United States) soon monitored their communications, of course, and on August 15 announced their presence. To my regret, our leadership would never confirm it. The Korean s were probably the smallest international military reinforcement in history: only 20 pilots, eight controllers, give interpreters, three administrative men, a political advisor, a doctor and a cook. Bu their effect was disproportionate. They had two or three encounters with the Israelis in August and September and about the same number in the war. Their arrival was a heartwarming gesture. I mention the story here mainly to pay tribute to them and to apologise for the churlishness of our leadership in not also doing so.”

While Egyptian forces had long claimed that the MiG-21 was poorly suited to engage the F-4E, Israel’s prime air superiority fighter, and that the Soviet jet lacked the necessary survivability against the heavier American made platform, they were proven wrong not only by the successes of North Vietnamese pilots against the United States – but also by North Korean pilots operating against Israeli Phantoms over Egyptian airspace itself. According to Israeli sources, reporting on an engagement between North Korean piloted MiGs and their own Phantoms, the Korean pilots demonstrated considerable skill and were effectively untouchable in close range engagements – taking full advantage of the MiG-21’s superior manoeuvrability to evade multiple Israeli strikes with impunity. Whether North Korean pilots downed any Israeli fighters remains unknown, though reports indicate that no Koreans were shot down by Israeli jets. A number of reports do indicate however that the poorly trained Egyptian surface to air missile (SAM) crews mistook returning Korean MIG-21 fighters for Israeli jets, and proceeded to fire upon them. This was a common error made by Egyptian SAM crews, one which cost the country a number of fighter jets.

North Korean pilots’ participation in the Yom Kippur War represented only the beginning of the country’s military involvement in the Middle East, nor the last time the country would aid Arab states at war with Israel. While Egypt pivoted towards the Western Bloc in the war’s aftermath, abandoning the Soviet Union and its Arab allies, the country would pursue a number of joint weapons projects with North Korea and continues to import significant quantities of arms from the country. The Egyptian ballistic missile arsenal has North Korean origins, and the Korean Rodong-1 remains the country’s most capable platform in service today. North Korean assistance was also commissioned to construct a war museum in Egypt commemorating the Yom Kippur War, which was based heavily on the larger Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang commemorating the Korean War. North Korean forces have since the Yom Kippur War also formed close ties to Syria and Yemen, and the KPA is involved in wars against Western aligned forces in both countries.

Korean assistance has been key to upgrading Syria’s surface to air missile network, while special forces have reportedly been deployed for ground operations. KPA personnel were also reportedly involved in the Lebanon War in alongside their Syrian allies, and were later responsible for aiding the Lebanese militia Hezbollah to construct underground fortifications key to its military success against Israel in 2006. A number of key figures in Hezbollah’s leadership, including its leader Hassan Nasraallah, reportedly travelled to Korea for military training in the 1980s. Korean assistance has been key to strengthening the missile capabilities of Libya, Syria and Yemen, as well as Iran and Hezbollah, with all these parties relying heavily on a wide variety of the country’s missile designs until today. The East Asian state has since the Yom Kippur War played a considerable role in supporting regional forces against the Western Bloc and their allies, and is set to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

May 19, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Zainab Walks On Her Feet, Ivanka Uses Government Money for Secret Services

Image: Hezbollah Flag (L), Ivanka Trump (R). Credit: Public Domain/ Fortune Conferences
By Heba Mourad | American Herald Tribune | May 10, 2019

I entered the hotel apartment where a dozen ladies were sitting together. They were in Tehran for a conference on the status of women in Islam. Among the ladies sitting was a young lady in her 30s. I had seen her before in a public event in Beirut some two years ago. I went to the hotel to see a friend, and then I thought, why not see if I can socialize and get to know her up close. I had to go soon, loads of unfinished work was waiting for me at my office.

The next day, I decided to take some distance from office work and go on a short trip to accompany the ladies who were traveling to another Iranian city. And I did get lucky when I had the seat right next to her on the flight. Well, I forgot to introduce her to you; she is the daughter of the man Israel fears to death. Zainab, the daughter of Hezbollah Chief Sayed Hassan Nasrallah and I spoke all the way during that flight. We later had a long talk as well during the night after dinner.

She told me about her childhood memories, her relationship with her dad, her brother who was martyred while defending Lebanon in face of Israeli occupation, her mother who she thinks highly of, her life as a woman, a mother and a Lebanese citizen, and the list goes on.

Let all the details aside, what is so amazing about this young lady who is 33 years old and a mother of four children is that you totally forget she is the daughter of the Hezbollah chief. She is so humble and friendly. My plan was first to write about her memories with her dad in particular, especially that she does not usually talk to the media. I thought many might be curious to know more about this Nasrallah family member. I stayed with the group for one day at the hotel; we socialized and had food together. And again, I kept forgetting she is the daughter of so and so.

Rumors about this lady and her family have been circulating throughout the years. Some say she is arrogant, others say she and her family enjoy a luxurious life and spend the money of the people. Other times I hear some claiming that she lives somewhere underground and she does not go out without escorts and body guards.

She keeps a smile on her face all the time and she makes sure she is an average person in her society in terms of finances and spending.

“I go out alone, I do my own shopping and I do not have any bodyguards to escort me,” she told me. She likes keeping a simple life style and she says she is not poor, but would say she lives like any other middle-class person in her country. She joined the group of ladies all the time in the lunches and dinners, and shared a room with a couple of ladies. It felt like I had known her forever.

On that day, she was wearing her neat black gown known as the ‘Abaya’ and a pair of Sketchers. Taking pictures with the group here and there, they made jokes on how these should remain out of media’s reach to keep a low profile. She does not like being in the lime light and she likes having a normal and simple life. She told me how she enjoyed moments with her father, and how she looks up to him not only as a father but also as a leader.

She told me that the trait she likes the most about her father is how humble he is, and she tries to be always like him and teach this to her kids as well. Maybe I will not write down what I decide to keep to myself for the time being; a long and colorful discussion with the First daughter of the resistance movement.

For a second, I stopped to think: this young lady who can abuse the power of her father respects people and their feelings so much and practices what her father preaches. Her father, put on the terror list by the US is the one who taught this girl good manner. She said she always listens to his advice. “When it comes to society, I listen to his advice a lot. He knows what is best and always urges us to be respectful of the people and their feelings and that we should always set a good example.”

“I can say we are considered as middle-class. We are not poor and I thank God for providing us a decent life. However, even if we were super rich we would not have use that money to live a luxurious life. We are part of our society and we should share a similar living.”

On the other side of the planet, there exists another daughter of a famous man who has become notorious in the eyes of many, Ivanka Trump. First daughter and US presidential adviser Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, vacationed at a luxury resort in the Dominican Republic over a long weekend in August. The cost to US taxpayers: more than $58,000.

Also, a week-long Aspen ski vacation taken in March 2017 by Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and their families cost taxpayers at least $330,000 in security costs, plus thousands more in ski equipment rentals for the agents assigned to shadow the family on the slopes, according to records obtained by CBS News.

That other side of the planet is the one that keeps trying to impose “otherness”, wars, supremacy across the globe, and is inconsiderate of its own people. As Ivanka and the American ruling family enjoy luxurious hotel rooms and secret services, the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) said in a new report that about 13 million American children are living in homes with incomes below the poverty line, depriving many of a decent education and proper nutrition, and putting them at risk of homelessness and violence.

The US Secret Service has allocated more than $90,000 for golf cart rentals in South Florida in the winter of 2018, ostensibly to protect President Donald Trump while he hits the links. Critics call the family’s frequent travel exorbitant and wasteful and insist the Trump family can afford their own security. It is okay for a president to use secret services but not to go (cheat) on golf courses, travel for the weekends or even allow his family to use that for personal and business trips.

This is while the head of the Hezbollah resistance movement lives a normal life and does not seek any luxuries, but rather dedicates all his time to protect Lebanon and the Lebanese in face of the US’s number one ally; the Israeli apartheid regime.

And the Israelis seem to fear Hezbollah more than ever. Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Minister of Energy, saying that “Hezbollah missiles may target all of Israel. Zionists consider Hezbollah a very dangerous and highly experienced enemy.”

The Israeli Defense Forces, referring to the precision of the Lebanese Hezbollah missiles, writes: “Hezbollah is capable of targeting Israel’s critical facilities, and the 2006 Lebanon War seems nothing compared to a conflict with Hezbollah in future.”

Daniel “Danny” Rubinstein, an Israeli journalist, said that “Hassan Nasrallah is a great figure. Gamal Abdel Nasser fought for six days, but Hassan Nasrallah kept Israelis four weeks in their place in 2006.”

Now if you do not read history or keep up with the news, do not mistakenly think that Hezbollah is behind all the trouble in the region as Western mainstream media try to put it. Hezbollah is a Lebanese political party, as legitimate as any other in Lebanon. It was formed only when the Israeli apartheid regime decided to attack Lebanon, what people in the region used to call the ‘bride of the Middle East’.

Hezbollah has been defending the region in face of Israeli attacks and it has been standing firm in the face of terrorist groups like Daesh, al-Qaeda and al-Nusra front.

Back to where this all started; great people enjoy humility. Many say humility is weakness; however, a short but sufficient explanation would be that of Dr. Robert Hogan, founder and president of Hogan Assessments who was quoted by Forbes as explaining “Humility is the psychological opposite of narcissism.”

It is an underrated leadership quality. To be humble is not to think less of oneself, but to think of one-self-less, and this is what I think my story today should be all about.

May 11, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

US Iran sanctions amount to aggression against entire world: Nasrallah

Press TV – April 22, 2019

The secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has denounced US economic sanctions against Iran, describing the punitive measures as “an act of aggression” against all world nations.

“US efforts to increase economic pressure on Iran, especially its pledge to drive the country’s oil exports to zero, will have negative repercussions and will affect the entire world, including the US itself,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said as he addressed his supporters via a televised speech broadcast live from the Lebanese capital Beirut on Monday evening.

He then called on world nations to stand up against “US arrogance,” pointing out, “The tyrannical US government has no respect whatsoever for international law and regulations.”

Nasrallah also lashed out at Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for following in US footsteps and joining Washington’s economic pressure campaign against Iran.

The Hezbollah chief also roundly rejected media allegations that the Israeli regime is planning to launch a surprise war against Lebanon this summer.

“There is very little likelihood that Israel would launch another war on Lebanon. The Israeli army is not prepared for any aggression against the country. I personally don’t think such a thing would happen,” Nasrallah highlighted.

The Hezbollah chief also dismissed claims of infighting between Russian and Iranian forces in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr as well as the northern province of Aleppo, stating that Saudi-owned al-Arabia television news network has “disseminated such lies.”

“Saudi-backed media outlets are spreading lies and fallacies about Hezbollah, Iran and the region to a large extent,” Nasrallah said.

The Hezbollah secretary general then slammed Saudi Arabia and the UAE for spreading terrorism and chaos in countries like Yemen, Sudan and Libya.

Nasrallah also blamed Wahhabism for the emergence of regional terrorism and Takfiri terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Daesh.

Wahhabism is the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia, freely preached by government-backed clerics there, and inspiring terrorists worldwide. Daesh and other Takfiri terror groups use the ideology to declare people of other faiths as “infidels” and then kill them.

“There are many agents in the Middle East, who are pushing for sectarian strife to serve the interest of the Zionist regime (of Israel). All those seeking to colonize the region will only raise public awareness,” the Hezbollah chief said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Nasrallah touched upon the economic crisis in Lebanon, demanding greater cooperation and unity among Lebanese political factions.

“All Lebanese parties agree that Lebanon is suffering from serious financial woes. They are all involved in coping with the economic crisis. Resolving Lebanon’s problems requires patience and efforts by all political parties. Ministers affiliated to Hezbollah, lawmakers as well as specialists have already prepared a number of draft solutions for Lebanon’s economic crisis,” Nasrallah underlined.

April 23, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maximum Pressure on Iran Still Isn’t Working

By Paul R. Pillar | LobeLog | April 2, 2019

Almost a year after President Trump reneged on U.S. commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, there is not the slightest sign that this move is achieving the declared objective of Iran crawling back to the negotiating table to negotiate a “better deal.” Tehran instead has been exuding perseverance and hardline resistance. The most recent high-level Iranian statement, a speech by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei marking the Persian new year, was full of recalcitrance. Khamenei’s themes included self-sufficiency and boosting Iran’s defense capabilities.

It is not surprising that determined opponents of the JCPOA—the most vocal of whom are determined opponents of any agreement with Iran—have been trying hard to spin this situation to make it look as if something positive is being accomplished.  Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, for example, suggests that the new year’s speech was “not the confident Khamenei of days past” and that the speech indicated that “the Trump administration has had considerable success convincing Khamenei that the pressure will continue, and that Iran cannot count on outlasting U.S. hostility.”

It also is not surprising that when The New York Times ran a story by Ben Hubbard, reporting from Beirut, about the financial strains that Hezbollah and other Iranian clients are feeling, columnist Bret Stephens jumped into action. “Heavens to Betsy,” Stephens exclaimed in a column in the next day’s Times, arguing that this must mean President Barack Obama was wrong when he said sanctions relief “wouldn’t make much difference in terms of Iran’s capacity to make mischief in the Middle East.”

Actually, Obama was right. The fallacy that Stephens, and others who defend the Trump administration’s re-imposition of nuclear sanctions, are promoting is that making life more difficult, costly, or painful for someone else somehow advances U.S. interests—at least if the U.S. government sufficiently hates whoever that someone else is. That would be true only if schadenfreude were a U.S. national interest, which it isn’t. Pain infliction serves U.S. interests only if it changes the targeted country’s behavior in a desired direction, by either limiting its capabilities or inducing it to change its policies. Regarding Iran over the past year, this is not happening.

It’s Not All About the Money

Most of Hubbard’s article—the part Stephens doesn’t mention—describes how and why Iran and its clients are not changing their policies and operations despite the financial pinch. The reporter notes that the client groups “are relatively inexpensive, remain ideologically committed to Iran’s agenda and can promote it through local politics in ways that the United States struggles to thwart.” Many of the groups “have income streams that give them some financial independence.” That certainly is true of Lebanese Hezbollah, which also benefits from having achieved broad acceptance as a political actor. Hubbard recalls how much pushback Secretary of State Mike Pompeo received on this point when he recently met with senior Lebanese officials. Foreign Minister Gibran Basil, standing next to Pompeo at a subsequent public appearance, said, “From our side, for sure, we reiterated that Hezbollah is a Lebanese party, not terrorist. Its deputies are elected by the Lebanese people with great popular support.”

The article mentions that, to the extent Iran is scaling back militia operations in Syria, this may be due less to financial reasons than to the fact that Iran’s ally Bashar al-Assad has largely won the war. In Iraq, financial stringency has led Iran not to curtail involvement but instead to seek stronger economic ties with its next-door neighbor. Militias that Iran sponsored “are now paid by the Iraq government, giving Iran leverage in Iraqi politics at little cost to itself.”

Hubbard quotes an anonymous Hezbollah fighter as saying that a financial pinch would not push members away from the organization. “You’re not in Hezbollah for the money,” he said. Something similar could be said about Iran in the Middle East. Iran’s activity in the region is shaped not by the money but instead by Tehran’s perception of what is in Iran’s security interests.

None of this should be surprising. Hubbard notes that “recent history suggests that financial pressure on Iran does not necessarily lead to military cutbacks.” As multiple independent studies have concluded, that also is true of the recent and not-so-recent history of Iran’s overall activity in the Middle East, including activity that the United States finds objectionable.

Continued Iranian Compliance with the JCPOA

Stephens tries to milk another supposed accomplishment out of the administration’s pressure campaign by pointing to the fact that Iran is still observing its obligations under the JCPOA despite the United States having reneged on its own commitments. While acknowledging that Iran outwaiting Trump has something to do with this, Stephens also says the Iranian compliance “suggests an edge of fear in Tehran’s calculations. The U.S. can still impose a great deal more pain on the Islamic Republic if it chooses to do so.”

Reflect first on the irony of an anti-JCPOA voice like Stephens pointing to Iran’s continued rigorous observance of its obligations under the JCPOA—the terms of which Stephens and other opponents have been excoriating for three years—as a supposed accomplishment of the Trump administration’s pressure campaign. Reflect further on how much Iran’s compliance with those obligations undermines opponents’ rhetoric about how Iran supposedly has been hell-bent on getting nuclear weapons, with the JCPOA just a way-station where it gets an economic fillip. If that really were Iran’s intention all along—and given that it is not now getting the fillip—Iran would have renounced the JCPOA as soon as the United States reneged.

Think also about what sort of diplomacy Stephens’s suggestion implies: that the way to get another state to stick to agreed terms is not to stick to them oneself but instead to renege and then to threaten something worse. That would be a bizarre brand of diplomacy, to put it mildly, and one that neither the United States nor anyone else could use to get much business done.

“Tehran’s calculations” are unlikely to be anything like what Stephens suggests they are. The Trump administration, through both its actions and its rhetoric, has given Iranian leaders ample reason to conclude that the administration is determined to punish Iran as much as possible no matter what Iran does. Any hesitation within the administration not to push the sanctions pedal all the way to the metal appears to be a reaction not to Iranian restraint but instead to economic concerns about how elimination of waivers for importing Iranian oil would affect the world oil market and ultimately the price of gasoline at the pump.

Iranian Patience Not Unlimited

Iran’s continued compliance with the JCPOA despite U.S. reneging definitely involves an Iranian decision to outwait Trump. This is partly, but not solely, a matter of some Democratic presidential candidates, as Stephens correctly notes, stating their intention if elected to bring the United States back into compliance with the agreement. Iran is making its decisions about nuclear policy within a larger context in which not Iran, but instead the United States under Trump, is the isolated actor. It is not just Iran but all the non-U.S. parties to the JCPOA that are committed to its preservation. So is the larger world community, as expressed in the unanimously adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.

Iran may continue to outwait Trump, despite not getting the economic relief it bargained for, until the end of the current U.S. presidential term. Politics inside Tehran probably would make it impossible to wait any longer. This is where the 2020 U.S. presidential election comes into play. Former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, when asked about this subject recently, replied, “My sense right now is that this Iranian regime would like to try and wait out the Trump administration. But if the president was elected to a second term, then their interest in doing that probably goes out the window.”

If that happens, the damage from the pressure campaign will not be limited to the consequences that Stephens ignores, such as how economic warfare against Iran has become economic warfare against Western allies and has contributed to the poisoning of U.S. relations with them. The damage will include a new Iranian nuclear crisis that was totally avoidable if only the administration had not embarked on its destructive course a year ago.

April 23, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Declare war on Lebanon, take out Syria’s S-300s’: Outgoing Israeli general on handling neighbors

RT | April 20, 2019

Israel has the full arsenal needed to take on Hezbollah in Lebanon and eliminate the Iranian threat in Syria, the outgoing IDF Northern Command chief boasted, warning Damascus against using S-300s to protect its sovereignty.

“If our freedom of movement is threatened, we will remove the threat. We know how to do that,” General Yoel Strick told Ynet News, adding that Israel will soon introduce “advanced weapons systems” to ensure it can continue to violate neighboring states’ airspace and to strike targets in Syria with impunity.

If the Syrians employ Russian S-300s against our planes, and we take them out, it will be seen as a legitimate move on our part.

While acknowledging that such a drastic move might damage Tel Aviv’s relations with Moscow, Strick expressed hope that it wouldn’t come to that. Moscow had supplied the Arab Republic with S-300 air defense systems following the downing of a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane with 15 airmen on board in mid-September, during an Israeli raid.
Also on rt.com Israel took out ‘Iranian missile site’ in Syria… or something like that

Moscow also warned Israel that it will suppress all satellite navigation, radars and communications systems of combat planes over the Mediterranean Sea if their maneuvers threaten Russian forces. Since then, Israel has been staging its intrusions via Lebanon, where the Jewish State is trying to keep Hezbollah in check.
Also on rt.com Netanyahu confirms Israeli military shelled Syrian province to prevent ‘Iran entrenchment’

Hezbollah is inseparable from Lebanon as a country, due to the militant group’s strong political presence, the general argued. Thus, he claimed, “if it were up to me, I would recommend declaring war on Lebanon and Hezbollah” – not out of bloodlust but only to thwart the group’s alleged plot to “invade” Israel.

I have no doubt what the outcome will be… It will be a decisive victory.

April 20, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 4 Comments

Nasrallah Warns: US Moves Will Not Remain Without a Response

Al-Manar – April 10, 2019

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stressed that victories achieved in Lebanon are not the result of US and its allies’ tenders, indicating that the US sanctions and measures against Iran and its allies in the region “will not remain without a response.”

In a televised speech commemorating the day of Resistance Wounded Fighters, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that the security and peace “we are enjoying were made by our men, women, detainees and wounded, and these terrorists do not have the right to show that they are the ones who gave us stability.”

Sayyed Nasrallah considered that the US is humiliating an entire nation for the sake of terrorist ‘Israel’ and terrorist groups which it’s providing all facilities to.

As he voiced support to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, His eminence condemned and decried the US decision to classify the IRGC as a “terrorist organization,” saying the US insolence and folly set a precedent. “This decision shows that the US audacity and folly went beyond limits.”

“Blacklisting the IRGC is an evidence that it is strong and not weak and this is an expected move by the Great Satan,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that it was also a proof of the US failure and fiasco in the region.

His eminence dismissed reports about possible sanctions against Speaker Nabih Berri and other Hezbollah allies as “mere intimidation.”

We’ll Respond at the Right Time

The Hezbollah S.G. stressed that the Revolutionary Guards has a great role in defending the peoples of the region and had sacrificed a large number of martyrs and wounded for the sake of people of our region, indicating that it occupies a central, advanced, and the most influential place regionally.

“Until now we have only settled with condemnation, denouncement, patience, and managing the situation calmly in the face of sanctions and terror lists, but our patience does not mean that we, the axis of resistance, do not have the cards of strength,” Hezbollah’s S.G. warned, indicating that options remain open.

“It seems that the US blacklists will be prolonged. Our choices are open but we will act calmly, with a cool head and at the right time, in all battlefields and arenas,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. It is our natural right and ethical, religious and humanitarian duty to confront all those who might threaten our country, resistance and achievements through their sanctions and measures, he added.

Sayyed Nasrallah expressed his solidarity and support to the Iranian people who have been plagued by floods which hit Iranian areas. He said that Trump, who is bragging about humanitarianism, is blocking aid for Iranians suffering from the hurricane, expressing gratitude to all humanitarian efforts to collect aid to flood victims in Iran.

Yemen’s Steadfastness Protects the Palestinian Cause

Regarding the war on Yemen, His Eminence pointed out that four years have passed on the war and no one sees that the unarmed and oppressed people who are still steadfast and growing stronger are still fighting armies, pointing out that the war on Yemen is an American-Saudi-British-Israeli aggression.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that had Bin Salman won in Yemen war, he would have forced the Palestinians to sign on the deal of the century, stressing that Yemeni’s steadfastness throughout these years have protected the Palestinians. “What would have happened to Gulf countries and leaderships had the authoritarian Bin Salman won the war on Yemen?” he wondered, “he would have been presented as the great historical leader and victory will be presented in a misleading way.”

The Hezbollah leader indicated that there was an American insistence by Trump personally to continue the war on Yemen, pointing out that the steadfastness of the Yemeni people protects the Palestinian cause and Palestine and every occupied Arab land.

US Move to Blacklist Hezbollah Allies a Scarecrow

Sayyed Nasrallah briefly addressed the internal situation. He criticized what he called the US provocative policy of instigating strife in Lebanon, pointing out that it was continuing despite the failure of Pompeo’s recent visit.

He pointed that it was surprising that some Lebanese in Washington were working on blacklisting Hezbollah’s allies and friends in Lebanon. “The US move of blacklisting Hezbollah allies in Lebanon is just a scarecrow till now. There is not a single indication about an intention to place Nabih Berri and other allies on the terror list and we sense that there are Lebanese in Washington who are working in this direction, but so far this remains an intimidation campaign. When the matter reaches our allies, this means that they are targeting all our people.”

Unity, Resistance Only Way for a Free Lebanon

As for Lebanese concerns that Trump’s decision on the Golan Heights might affect the status of the Shebaa Farms and the Kfarshouba Hills, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “Our territorial border is linked to our national will and not to Trump’s decision.”

“We were killed and wounded and massacres were committed in our villages and cities through Israel’s aggression and the US support. Our peace, security and achievements were made by our people, martyrs and wounded. The achievements that were made in Lebanon are not from the blessings of America.”

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed the importance of the current spirit of cooperation among the political forces in addressing the current situation regardless of any tensions here or there. “Lebanese should choose between keeping Lebanon in the safe zone or responding to those who are leading it towards sedition,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that the only way for keeping Lebanon free, sovereign and stable is through unity and resistance.

“I voice my support to Speaker Nabih Berri who has repented in Doha in front of the world’s parliamentarians to say the truth with a loud voice and show everyone the path of salvation: unity and resistance,” his eminence said.

Sayyed Nasrallah began his speech by hailing all wounded fighters who suffered and sacrificed themselves for the sake of this nation, saying: “thanks to your sacrifices, we are enjoying victories, security and the power of deterrence. The enemy doesn’t dare to wage any war because of your wounds and sacrifices.”

He said there was no place for neutrality in the battle of truth and in defending the oppressed.

Throughout his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled the martyrdom anniversary of Sayyed Mohammad Baqer Al-Sadr and his sister, and hailed his enormous intellectual achievements.

April 11, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Secret Document Reveals Plans for Civil War in Lebanon, Israeli False Flags, and Invasion

By Randi Nord | Geopolitics Alert | April 5, 2019

Beirut – During his visit with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, Lebanese President Michael Aoun reportedly received a US-Israeli document detailing plans for creating a civil war in Lebanon with covert false flag operations and possible Israeli invasion.

Although the source of the document is Israeli and created in partnership with Washington, no one knows who presented it to Aoun. The Lebanese TV station, Al-Jadeed, initially reported the document on Lebanese TV and a video on its website. Geopolitics Alert translated the report for this article.

Israel and the United States Foment Civil War in Lebanon

The document details American plans to splinter the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, a domestic institution separate from the Lebanese Army. The plans involve Washington investing 200 million dollars into the Internal Security Forces (ISF) under the guise of keeping the peace but with the covert goal of creating sectarian conflict against Hezbollah with 2.5 million specifically dedicated to this purpose.

The document states the ultimate goal is to destabilize the country by creating a civil war in Lebanon which will “help Israel on the international scene.” The United States and Israel plan to accomplish this by supporting “democratic forces,” sounding remarkably similar to the same strategy used in Syria, Libya, Venezuela, and elsewhere.

According to the document, although “full load of our firepower will be unleashed,” they somehow do not anticipate any casualties. They do, however, expect the civil war to “trigger requests” for intervention from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) which Israel must only agree to after extreme reluctance.

The document says Israel will also play an important role by creating “covert false flag operations” as the conflict progresses. Perhaps these operations would include chemical attacks similar to the chemical attacks on civilians in Syria or even direct attacks on Lebanese or Israel civilians to blame on Hezbollah and justify international intervention.

The document admits that the United States and Israel will need an unprecedented amount of credibility to pull this off and also admits that the Lebanese Army may be an obstacle, likely due to the Army’s diverse makeup. As a legitimate political party with members throughout all aspects of Lebanese society, Hezbollah already has members and allies throughout the ISF as well as the Army.

April 5, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Venezuela FM takes Middle East tour, set to meet Nasrallah

Press TV – April 3, 2019

Venezuela’s foreign minister has embarked on a Middle East tour taking him through Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria, amid US measures to prop up the Latin American country’s opposition figure and self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaido against President Nicolas Maduro.

Jorge Arreaza arrived in Turkey on Monday and was assured by his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu of Ankara’s support for the Latin American nation in the face of US pressure. “It should not be in a way that ‘I am a big country and I can determine entire rules,’” Cavusoglu said, referring to Washington’s sanctions against Venezuela and its efforts to oust Maduro, Turkish paper Hurriyet reported.

On Tuesday, the top Venezuelan diplomat traveled to Lebanon on a two-day visit. Lebanese President Michel Aoun received him at the presidential Baabda Palace in Beirut. Arreaza, who conveyed a message from Maduro to Aoun, also met with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil.

He was also slated to meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri, Lebanese news portal Naharnet reported. According to Lebanese daily al-Joumhouria, he will also be holding a meeting with the Hezbollah resistance movement’s Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Back in January, Hezbollah conveyed its support for Maduro amid mounting US pressure for him to resign and hand over power to Washington-backed Guaido. Hezbollah-associated lawmaker Mohammad Raad was cited by Lebanese TV channel Al Manar as saying at the time that “Nasrallah stands with the Venezuelan people and with its free leadership.”

The Venezuelan foreign minister, meanwhile, expressed satisfaction with the visits to the countries in remarks to Prensa Latina. “They are two countries that respect international law and with which there are friendly and fraternal relations,” the Cuban news agency cited him as saying.

The visit to Lebanon “opens a new stage in bilateral ties with the possibility to expand economic cooperation, especially Venezuela’s advisory in the country’s energy sector,” the agency added, citing the top diplomat.

Also in January, the US took the lead in recognizing Guaido as Venezuela’s president after the head of the opposition-ruled Congress named himself the country’s interim chief executive. Washington has been pressuring other countries into following suit and has not ruled out using the military option to oust Maduro’s government.

Many countries, including Iran, Russia, China, and Cuba, however, back Maduro, spurning the subversive American efforts targeting Venezuela’s sovereignty.

Arreaza is next to travel to Syria, with which Caracas has similarly warm relations.

April 3, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 1 Comment

Lebanon Decides to Confront Israel And The US in Shebaa, Kfarshouba And Syria

By Elijah J. Magnier | American Herald Tribune | March 28, 2019

Lebanese Judge Ahmad Mezher has given orders that a survey be conducted of Lebanese occupied territories in the Shebaa Farms, Kfarshouba, Huneen, Ideise and Bleeda. These villages are bordering Hasbaiya, Rashaya al-Fukhar and Kiyam and have been under Israeli occupation since 1981, as Syria’s Golan Heights have been since 1967. This step coincides with the illegal “gift” of the Syrian Golan Heights offered by US President Donald Trump to his closest ally Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Although Trump’s move was verbally condemned by the international community, no other state or international body seems likely to openly oppose Trump’s move at the moment.

However, Lebanon has decided to confront this move on the ground, showing its readiness to defend its territory if US “gifts” were ever seen to include Lebanese occupied territories. The Lebanese presidency, the Parliament and the government agreed that it is the right of Lebanon to regain its occupied territory and that the equation “the army, the people, the resistance” is united under one umbrella. Thus, the possibility of confrontation between the Resistance – i.e. Hezbollah in this case – and Israel is now on the table.

The level of tension and chances of confrontation increased during Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s visit to Moscow. During meetings with his homologue Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Christian President Aoun rejected US pressure on his country. The US establishment, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his envoys to Lebanon, wants to prevent the over one and a half million Syrian refugees in Lebanon from returning home. President Aoun also rejected Trump’s gift to Netanyahu, stating clearly that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory illegally occupied by Israel, and not the property of  the US to dispose of as it will.

It remains unclear whether the Shebaa Farms, Kfarshouba and neighbouring villages are part of Trump’s gift to Israel. This is why Lebanese authorities have requested the judiciary authority officially survey the southern Lebanese territories occupied by Israel. If, in response to the survey, any attempt is made to assert that these areas are part of Israel, then the Lebanese triad (the army, the people and the resistance) will be bound to recover its occupied territory. The timing of the decision is important because it shows the readiness of the Lebanese government to raise the subject and to confront Israel in the wake of the US decision on the Golan Heights, a territory closely linked to the Lebanese farms and villages. As recently as 2009 some of these lands were contested between Syria and Lebanon, but now that Lebanon is in a better position than Syria to vindicate its claims against Israel, the Syrian government will be happy for it to do so.

President Aoun raised these issues with President Putin in the context of Trump’s previous gift of Jerusalem, by virtue of his recognition of an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Lebanon fully supports the right of return of Palestinians to their land, particularly since there are over 800,000 Palestinians living in Lebanon. Just as the US would prefer these Palestinians to remain in Lebanon, the US now seems to want Lebanon to accept an ongoing presence of Syrian refugees on Lebanese soil. The US policy of keeping Syrian refugees in Lebanon has several goals.

The first is to shift the religious balance of power in Lebanon. Most Syrian refugees are Sunni (mainly hostile to Assad and to his allies) and the US would like to see a Sunni plurality in Lebanon to confront Shia Hezbollah and the society behind it. All Israeli wars have failed to curb Hezbollah and could not reduce its strength. On the contrary, Hezbollah military power is increased to an unprecedented level domestically and regionally. Moreover, in the last Lebanese Parliamentary polls, Hezbollah won more votes than any religious party, surprising everyone. Support for Hezbollah goes beyond any one religious confession; it has proved itself as a force defending Christians and Shia against Wahhabi takfiri extremists. Confronting Hezbollah face to face would lead to certain failure, hence the US need to strategically build another society to stand against it.

President Aoun insists on the return of Syrian refugees to Syria, notwithstanding the financial incentives being offered by the US and Europe to keep them in Lebanon. The presence of the refugees upsets the religious equilibrium in Lebanon, and accelerates the process by which Christians are becoming a minority on Lebanese soil. The religious terrorism that hit the Middle East over the last decade targeted regional minorities, notably the Christians. The same NATO leaders whose governments sponsored takfiri terrorism against Christians in the Levant proposed to Lebanese Christian leaders that they leave the land of their ancestors and settle in the west. Christians who were raped, murdered and terrorized by ISIS and al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria would have suffered the same fate in Lebanon had Hezbollah decided to entrench themselves in the south of Lebanon, in the Beirut suburbs, or in selected villages of the Bekaa Valley.

Moreover, the Lebanese President considers the Syrian refugees a security and a financial burden that is placing a heavy burden on the fragile and chaotic Lebanese infrastructure. These refugees currently represent a third of the total Lebanese population.

Another objective of US refugee policy in Lebanon is to recover from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad what it failed to achieve by arming militants to overthrow his government over the last 8 years. The US establishment would like to keep over 5 million Syrian refugees outside Syria, mainly in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Europe. This, in US thinking, could impede forthcoming presidential elections in Syria, and prevent both the rebuilding of the Syrian Army and the reconstruction of the country. Syrians are skilful craftsmen; keeping them away from home impedes rebuilding. All these US objectives do not help Lebanon in any way. On the contrary, they weaken Lebanon, which needs a healthy relationship with neighbouring Syria for its security and commercial development.

Trump has made the Middle East less secure. He has offered Israel an illegal and unnecessary gift. Israel was already controlling the Syrian Golan Heights; Syria posed no threat to it. Syria had not fired a bullet against Israeli occupation of the Golan for 30 years and will be busy for the next ten years rebuilding its destroyed infrastructure. Moreover, the late President Hafez Assad had engaged with Israel, through US mediation, to negotiate a peace deal in exchange for the Golan Heights. It was Israel who rejected the deal at the last minute. Assad then said he would leave liberation of the territory to the generation to come.

The US establishment is undermining Lebanon’s security and peace by imposing one and a half million refugees on the country, destabilizing the local society, and threatening to impose sanctions if Lebanon does not submit to US bullying.

Trump gave Jerusalem to Israel and can no longer be considered a partner in any peace process. This realization has given new urgency to the Palestinian cause. He is not willing to give a state to the Palestinians, but he is disposing of their rights.

US forces are unwelcome in Syria, occupying a third of the country and a bordering passage, while ISIS no longer controls any Syrian territory in the north-east. At the same time the US is keeping tens of thousands of Syrian refugees at the al-Rukban camps from returning home.

In Iraq, the parliament is divided between those willing to see the last US soldier depart and those who want to maintain some training and intelligence collaboration. Iraqi politicians are afraid of asking the US to stay or to leave permanently for fear of seeing ISIS return with US support in either case (if US forces stay there is fear of seeing the US support for ISIS, an eventuality Iraqis also fear if the US were to leave).

Finally, the US is now seen as a superpower ruled by a thug sucking wealth from the oil-rich Arab countries, forcing them to buy US weapons so that Middle Easterners can continue killing each other at their own expense. Arab countries, once very rich, are imposing local taxes they have never imposed before on their own nationals and are going through a financial crisis unheard of for decades. Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine and Lebanon are on the floor financially and even Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain are not in their best financial shape. Iran’s nuclear deal was revoked and since Trump took power the country is facing the harshest sanctions ever.

It is unclear when the next war may erupt to challenge US hegemony in this part of the world. It is clear that Russia and China are already present in the Middle East, ready to take the place of a US establishment which is no longer regarded as a friendly nation by any state but Israel.

Elijah J. Magnier is a veteran war correspondent Senior Political Risk Analyst with over 35 years’ experience covering Europe, Africa & the Middle East.

March 28, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sayyed Nasrallah: “Liar” Pompeo Visited Lebanon to Incite against Hezbollah

Al-Manar – March 26, 2019

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah lashed out at “liar” US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who visited Lebanon last week, stressing that the US official’s remarks didn’t contain just single true issue.

In a speech broadcast via Al-Manar on Tuesday, Sayyed Nasrallah commented on Pompeo’s joint press conference with Lebanese Foreign Minister, Gebran Bassil last week.

The resistance leader stressed that the US official had visited Lebanon to incite the Lebanese people against Hezbollah, noting that had it not been for Hezbollah, Pompeo would have not made his visit to Lebanon.

On the other hand, Sayyed Nasrallah commented on the US decision to recognize the so-called “Israeli sovereignty” on the occupied Golan Heights, describing the move as “crucial and decisive event in the Arab-Israeli struggle.”

Recognition of ‘Israeli Sovereignty’

Sayyed Nasrallah started his speech by offering condolences to Iraqis over the Mosul ferry disaster which killed dozens of people earlier last week.

His eminence then saluted Palestinian people over their steadfastness in face of continued Israeli aggression in Gaza and West Bank.

Sayyed Nasrallah also didn’t forget to salute Yemeni people, over their heroic achievements throughout four years of Saudi-led war on the Arab impoverished country.

Hezbollah S.G. described the US move to recognize ‘Israeli sovereignty’ over Golan Heights a crucial and decisive event in the Arab-Israeli struggle, noting that “condemnation statements are no more enough.”

Talking about the indications of the US move, Sayyed Nasrallah said President Donald Trump’s decision means that he doesn’t care about millions of Muslims and Arabs- including his allies-, as well as about international laws, noting that the entire world recognizes the Syrian sovereignty on the Golan Heights.

“The entire world recognizes Golan as a Syrian land. Only Trump was the exception, just for the sake of ‘Israel’. This proves that the US administration neither recognize the United Nations nor the international laws, and uses these organizations just to serve its own interests.”

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the international organizations and laws are incapable of restoring the rights of the people.

“The top priority of the US administrations and especially the current administration is ‘Israel’. There is no consideration for any other issue when it comes for the interest of ‘Israel’.”

Sayyed Nasrallah meanwhile, recalled when Trump administration recognized Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of the Zionist entity, stressing that the silence of the Muslim and Arab world “opened the door for all these violations.”

“After the move to recognize Al-Quds what was been left more? The Arabs and Muslims stance towards Al-Quds has encouraged Trump to take similar actions regarding the Golan,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Sayyed Nasrallah called on Arab states to withdraw the 2002 Arab initiative during an upcoming Arab summit in Tunis. On the other hand Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the only way to regain Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian occupied lands from the Zionist entity is the resistance.

“Liar” Pompeo

Sayyed Nasrallah the commented at statement made by Pompeo last week at length, discussing most of the points mentioned by the US official during his press conference with FM Bassil.

“First, in shape: Pompeo was reading a written statement in which Hezbollah was mentioned 18 times while Iran was mentioned 19 times. He refused to answer the reporters’ questions.”

“We feel happy when an official from the world’s most powerful state is concerned over our role. We feel happy when the administration of The Great Satan is annoyed by Hezbollah.”

Sayyed Nasrallah said that Pompeo’s remarks on Hezbollah “made us more faithful that we are in the right position.”

“Second, in the content: I didn’t find in Pompeo’s remarks a single true and right statement. The US is fighting in the region on behalf of ‘Israel’.”

“Pompeo talked about stability and prosperity in Lebanon. He described Hezbollah as the main problem in the country and the region for the past 34 years. However he didn’t mention massacres and crimes committed by the Israeli occupation throughout these years. According to Pompeo, ‘Israel’ poses no threat to Lebanon and the region, but Hezbollah does, and this is a big lie.”

“Pompeo said that Hezbollah is an obstacle in front of the Lebanese people’s dreams. Is that true? The Lebanese people dream of securing peace in their country, dream of regaining its land and in preventing other countries from violating its wealth, dream of building a powerful state and countering corruption. Does Hezbollah pose an obstacle in this regard, or it is a party that has been working to achieve these dreams?” Sayyed Nasrallah wondered.

Commenting on Pompeo’s remarks that Hezbollah is seeking destruction through its “terrorists wing”, Sayyed Nasrallah lashed out the US official, stressing that the US itself has been for many years seeking destruction and committing crimes across the world.

Touching upon Hezbollah’s engagement in the Syrian war, Sayyed Nasrallah said that Pompeo in his remarks last week in Beirut was addressing Hezbollah’s incubating environment, stressing that the Lebanese resistance party had defended Lebanon against Takfiri terrorists supported by the US.

“All know what Lebanon’s fate would have been if ISIL and Nusra had controlled Syria.”

Commenting on Pompeo’s question on how Hezbollah missiles can save Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah described such remarks as “stupid”, stressing that Israeli attacks against Lebanon have been since years ago.

“An official from the most terrorist state in the world came to Lebanon to incite the Lebanese people against Hezbollah’s resistance.”

Sayyed Nasrallah then described Pompeo as a “liar”, recalling the US official remarks on Syrian refugees.

“The US has been preventing Syrian refugees in Rukban camp and other areas from returning to their land.”

Commenting on Pompeo’s remarks when he asked “what Hezbollah and Iran have offered to Lebanon,” Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the US official as saying: “Had it not been for Hezbollah, you would have not made your visit to Lebanon.”

March 27, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trump Gives Away What Is Not His or Israel’s

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | March 22, 2019

Hubris grips Israel. Absolute power has had its usual effect of absolute corruption, of morality, legality, and justice as well as the money deals that have enriched corrupt Israeli politicians.

No one dares stop Israel. Not the UN and not western governments. They can but they don’t or they won’t. Israel can kill Palestinians on the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in Gaza, without any meaningful intervention by the ‘international community.’

On the West Bank, a corrupt Palestinian Authority has done much of its dirty work, administering the occupied territory on behalf of the occupier, not the occupied. In East Jerusalem, it has acted as the conduit for the sale of Jerusalem properties to Zionist settlers, with straw men, Palestinians, and bogus companies set up to transfer properties without owners knowing that the real purchasers are Zionist settlers.

Most of the money for these purchases comes from the US, where Donald Trump has now followed up his “recognition” of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital with his “recognition” of the occupied Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory.

He did this in a tweet, without telling the relevant arms of his own administration beforehand. The State Department was taken by surprise and so was everyone else, except the Israeli government. It knew because Trump had passed on the word. Behind the scenes, John Bolton and the US ambassador to Israel, David Freedman, effectively Israel’s American ambassador to Israel, worked to set this up.

The parallel to Trump’s unilateral White House action is US recognition of Israel in 1948. Because of the probability of extreme bloodshed, early in 1948 the US had backed away from the 1947 partition plan and was seeking a UN trusteeship over Palestine. That was the policy followed until Truman upended it on May 14 by recognizing Israel de facto, without informing the State Department or the US delegation at the UN.

The UN Secretary-General had been informed, and it was in the wastepaper basket in his office that the screwed-up ticker tape message sent to him was found. The US delegation ’s head, Warren Austin, was so disgusted he walked out of the UN building and left it to his deputy to make the formal announcement of recognition. The enraged Cuban delegation threatened to pull Cuba out of the UN.

The US has never been an honest broker but at least in the 1940s and 1950s, there were sensible people who recognized the great dangers for the US in supporting Zionism and the state of Israel.

Loy Henderson, a senior State Department official, responsible for Middle Eastern policy, wrote that support for a Jewish state would violate US policy of allowing a majority vote by the population of any territory to determine its form of government.

He warned that support for Israel would involve the US “in international difficulties of so grave a character that the reaction throughout the world as well as in this country will be very strong.”

Secretary State George Marshall opposed partition and wrote that if Truman recognized Israel, he would vote against him in the next elections.

Truman’s double-dealing was to repeated by Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s when he told the Israeli ambassador, Yitzhak Rabin, that he need not worry about being forced into signing the nuclear-non proliferation treaty in return for the supply of US planes and tanks.

Johnson would make sure they would be provided without any conditions, blindsiding his own officials, who thought they were going into negotiations with a strong hand, only to be treated with discourtesy by Rabin.

Israel got the lot then, the tanks and the planes and the freedom to develop nuclear weapons without having to sign the NPT, and it has got the lot ever since. Military and economic grants have now reached unprecedented levels. On top of the $3.8 billion aid, Israel will receive for 2019 it is now the beneficiary of a ten-year $38 billion ‘defense’ package, signed into law in August 2018.

These sums of money, enabling the occupation of Palestine and the killing of Palestinians, are augmented by smaller grants, $50 million here or $50 million there, the icing on an enormous and very tasty cake. Israel still has the freedom to develop nuclear weapons without US interference.

In December 2017, Donald Trump “recognized” Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, on the same day that Zionist snipers were killing unarmed Palestinians along the Gaza fence line.  He has now followed this by “recognizing” the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory.

The banality of the man is summed up in the means of communication, not a White House press conference, not a State Department communique, but a tweet, the same conduit he uses for talking about his children or abusing his political opponents or telling the world how great the Mexican wall will be.

Of course, there can be no “recognition” because both East Jerusalem (‘at least’ as there is no good reason to separate the occupation of the east in 1967 from the occupation of the west in 1948) and the Golan Heights are occupied territories in fact and under international law.

With these two announcements, the US has finally ruled itself out as any kind of honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians. It never has been, of course. Some presidents tried hard to bring balance into the relationship – Jimmy Carter for example – but all eventually caved in.

The Golan Heights is part of Syria. In 1967 it was seized by Israel during its war against Egypt and Syria. This was no “pre-emptive” attack as the Zionists have claimed ever since but a blitzkrieg aimed at destroying Arab military capacity, destroying Egypt’s leader, Gamal Abd al Nasser and seizing the rest of Palestine.

The seizure of the Golan involved the expulsion of 90,000-130,000 Syrians and Palestinians. Some fled, others were driven out but, just like 1948, no one was allowed back. About 100 villages were destroyed and ploughed over.

In 1974, after a war which Egypt and Syria would have won on the battlefield had not Anwar al Sadat betrayed the Syrian president, Hafez al Assad, new lines of demarcation were drawn up on the Golan, leaving about 70 percent in the hands of the Zionists.

Before withdrawing from some of the territories they had occupied, Zionist units deliberately destroyed the city of Quneitra. It was never rebuilt, the ruins standing as testimony to the complete bastardry of the army which had occupied it.

Since that time Israel has filled the occupied Golan with about 30 settlements and 25,000 settlers. Archaeological relics are plundered, the Golan’s vital water resources are drained off and Israeli and foreign tourists contribute to the economy of occupation.   In recent years the occupied Syrian communities, mainly Druze, have had to put up with wounded terrorists being transported across their land from Syria to receive treatment in Israeli hospitals.  On occasion, they have attacked these convoys.  Most Druze remain committed to their Syrian identity.

In his tweet, Trump wrote that the “recognition” of the occupied Golan as Israeli is important to “regional stability.” The opposite is true, of course. ‘Regional stability’ is even more seriously threatened. With these announcements, Trump has put his administration entirely in Israel’s pocket.

Trump may well give Netanyahu’s election prospects a boost by turning his tweeted intention into a formal policy statement before the Israeli elections in early April. Both the Jerusalem and the Golan declarations, however, are a sign that Israel and its lobbyists in the US have seriously overplayed their hand and that in buckling to their pressure, Trump has worsened Israel’s standing in the US.

The US groveling to Israel over many decades would now seem to have reached its apogee. All that remains is the plan being cooked up by Trump, John Bolton, Jared Kushner, and David Freedman, in continuous consultation with the Israeli government, to bury the Palestinian question forever.

Americans are aware more than ever of how Israel dictates US foreign policy. Jewish Americans know it in increasing numbers, especially on university campuses. They have the same moral consciousness as anyone else and are appalled by Israel’s atrocious record over many decades. They are distancing themselves both from Israel and Zionism and of course, they completely abhor the Netanyahu government and Israel’s even more openly racist and fascist parties.

Two Muslim members of Congress have recently sharpened the debate with exposure of the lobby’s vote-buying political influence. Senior Democrats, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have declared they will not be attending the annual AIPAC conference in Washington on March 24-26. In years gone by, such defiance by a US politician would be regarded as suicidal but not now. This is partly the measure of how the wind is blowing in the US.

Trump’s two declarations end all illusions. Even in the minds and the hearts of those who desperately cling to the hope of a genuine peace process, there can surely be no hope left. One would have to be completely deluded to see something in nothing. What is left is surrender or resistance. Either you or us. Not a peace of the brave as pronounced on the White House lawns in 1993 but a peace of the grave.

Many Palestinians never thought peace with Israel was possible. They have been proven right. Those who continued to place their trust in the “international community” or in the application of international law or the bona fides of the Israeli government have been proven wrong. George Habash read the situation correctly back in the 1950s and 1960s. Hasan Nasrallah reads it correctly now.

The abandonment by the US of the remnants of a peace process that was never a peace process in the first place creates grave dangers, not regional stability, especially when taken in the context of a possible Israeli war with Hizbullah or Iran or on both of them.

The US has left the supporters of a genuine peace process with nothing in their hands. There is no two-state solution in sight, only a bogus one-state ‘solution’ which turns all of Palestine into Netanyahu’s apartheid Jewish state.

If Palestine, any part of it, is to be redeemed, only the option of force seems left for those who will not surrender. After more than seven decades of chicanery, lies, and brutality from Israeli governments, this conclusion would be self-evident.

It is not a question of wanting it or wishing for it.  Force is abhorrent but there has never been a time in history when an occupied people have not resisted the occupier to the utmost limits of their endurance.

Both the Palestinians and the Zionists conform to the historical pattern, one as the occupied and the second as the occupier. Israel thinks it can break the Palestinians down by the application of brute force but after more than seven decades it has still not succeeded. Instead, in the minds of many, it has only strengthened the lesson that what has been taken by force, ultimately can only be taken back by force.

When there is no peace, no remote possibility of peace, the pendulum must swing back to war. When it comes, and sooner or later it will come, Israel is going to take such punishment that it might finally see reason, if by then it is not too late to see reason. It would be better to see reason before the event but that is not going to happen.

Hizbullah has the capacity to inflict great damage on Israel. The Iron Dome and the Arrow anti-missile ‘defense’ systems will stop only a fraction of the volume of missiles that will pour into Israel in the event of war with Hizbullah or the war with Iran which Netanyahu has wanted for years. Even Hamas now says it has rockets that can reach any part of Israeli territory. Even if Israel ‘wins’, a nebulous concept in the context of such a destructive war, it will be seriously wounded.

Israel’s greatest defense system would have been to reach a generous settlement with the Palestinians long ago but what it has actually settled for is ideology, the fulfillment of the Zionist dream that is a Palestinian nightmare, and the continued theft of Palestinian land over the security of its Jewish citizens.

They are in the Middle East and want to stay there. They want a future for their children, but what kind of future is on offer from Israel’s racist politicians, settlers and rabbis? The answer? The same kind of violent future that is on offer for the Palestinians. Is this the choice any sane person would want to make?

March 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 5 Comments