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Nasrallah: The new Netanyahu government will hasten Israel’s demise

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, on January 3, 2023, during the commemoration of the third anniversary of the assassination of Commanders Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Source : video.moqawama.org
Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

[…] I want to conclude on two points. The first point will be to address a message to the new Israeli government, and the second point concerns the presidential elections and the political situation in Lebanon.

First of all, this new government… Of course, we already have many years of experience with Netanyahu. If someone wants to scare us with Netanyahu, with the new (Israeli) Minister of War [Yoav Galant] or with anyone else, (he is wasting his time because) we have already dealt with them in the previous years. Yes, there is something new, namely that this government is a mixture of corrupt people – some of whom have been tried and sentenced to prison for corruption charges – and madmen and extremists, which is new. This level of transparency (in corruption and in fanaticism) is something new. So we are facing a government of corrupt, criminal and extremist fanatics. Of course, such a government does not scare us, and never such governments have been able to scare us in any way.

And more than that, we can even be optimistic about it, contrary to what most (analysts) say: when a new government is composed of corrupt and crazy people, with the grace of God, it will only accelerate the end of this temporary entity. These madmen, whom we have seen for a few days, and until this morning, (desecrate) the Al-Aqsa mosque in the early morning, their Minister of National Security (Ben Gvir), this administration, with the grace of God, will accelerate (the demise of Israel).

As you know, we have spoken many times about the internal dangers within the Israelis (themselves), the sharp divisions (of their society and elites), the lack of trust in the political and military leadership, and even in the religious authorities, the growing corruption, etc., up to the prevalent anxiety in Israel as to whether this entity will exceed 80 years of existence or not [never in history has a Jewish state exceeded 80 years], with the grace of God the Most High and Exalted, and by the grace of this new government composed of madmen, it will accelerate the end of this entity, through mistakes and stupid acts that could drag them to the bottom of the abyss. This is how we see things. In no way does the situation frighten us, on the contrary: we see a great hope in this evil (government). That’s the first point.

Second point, of course, these madmen and fanatics… Their first aim is internal, and concerns Palestine: the colonization of the West Bank, the question of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). What happened today (desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque by the new Minister of National Security), and the Palestinian stances as well as the reactions of some Arab and Muslim States and groups in the world confirm that these people are pushing for a (very) dangerous situation. I would like tonight to add the voice of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon (Hezbollah) to that of all the Resistance organizations in Palestine and declare this: desecrating Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Muslim and Christian holy places in Palestine and Bayt al-Maqdis in particular, on the part of these Zionists, will not only explode the situation inside Palestine, but can put the whole region on fire (by triggering a massive counter-strike against Israel). Our peoples will not tolerate such aggression by these madmen against the Muslim and Christian holy places. We have said this before, and we confirm it again. And we declare to all the countries of the world, and (especially) to those who protect this usurping entity, that if you want to avoid a second war in the Middle East in addition to the war in Ukraine, you must keep a tight rein on these extremist and fanatical madmen.

As for the rules of engagement with this new government, as I said, we already have experience with Netanyahu, there is nothing new, but also, since there is a new government, we reaffirm to them that we are alert, vigilant and ready (for anything), and that we will not tolerate any change in the rules of engagement and the balance of deterrence (between Israel and) Lebanon, whatever it may be. Let no one get any ideas or illusions. In any case, they could see a few months ago that we were ready, during the dispute over the maritime border and oil and gas resources, to go as far as possible in the confrontation (up to an all-out war) against this enemy (Israel). And they knew with certainty that we were ready for that (and that we were not bluffing). That is why we will not tolerate any alteration of the rules of engagement (between Hezbollah and Israel), nor any violation of Lebanon’s security, its capabilities or its sovereignty.

See Nasrallah: If Lebanon is denied its oil and gas resources, we will shut down all Israeli platforms

Likewise, we stress the importance for the Lebanese government to pursue its efforts to launch the extraction of (Lebanese) oil and gas. Some feared that Netanyahu’s rise to power would end the border agreement between Lebanon and Israel, but he announced that he would abide by it. The signs from the companies involved (Total, etc.) give cause for optimism. So we are not at all worried on that side.

In truth, with this government, our eyes must rather be turned towards the interior of occupied Palestine, towards Al-Quds (Jerusalem), towards the West Bank, and towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the first place. […]

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran against the West’s hybrid warfare

By Viktor Mikhin – New Eastern Outlook – 10.12.2022

Western countries, above all the United States, are seeking to replicate Afghanistan and Iraq scenario in Iran, creating chaos to destroy the country and loot its resources, Scott Bennett, a former US Army Special Operations Officer, said honestly and truthfully. “The West is fully committed to an absolute chaotic breakdown of Iranian government, religious, and military sectors in Iran, as they did in Afghanistan and then Iraq, in order for chaos to be created and Iran be divided up into regions for national resources theft,” Scott Bennett told the Tehran Times. He also stressed that Israel is the main instigator of Western hostility and maneuvers against Iran, using these tensions to carry out its attacks in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

It is becoming increasingly clear that a campaign of domestic terrorism is being unleashed against Iran under the guise of fake protests allegedly in defense of “human rights,” as has been done in Syria by the United States, Israel and NATO. The same powers are using similar methods and the same mercenaries to participate in the attempted color revolution, the operation to change the Iranian regime. Most likely, these terrorists are a combination of Wahhabi fanatics, Israeli Mossad, Likud party supporters, supported by the US CIA, British MI6 intelligence and some elements in Iraq, terrorists from al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, not destroyed ISIS (that is, the three banned in the Russian Federation), other mercenaries and thugs hired and paid for by the West.

The plan is for foreign terrorists to infiltrate Iran and cause internal strife, tribal and sectarian enmity, conflict between Shia, Sunnis, Alawites, Christians, Jews and Kurds living in Iran. The main areas targeted for fomenting unrest, conflict and violence are precisely in those parts of Iran where there is a mixed population. Mobile phones, social media and Western media are heavily used in the process. The beginning was the emergence of a women’s protest movement over a false allegation that a woman had allegedly died under police torture, when in fact she had died of medical complications caused by a previous serious illness.

The specifics of hybrid warfare, as Scott Bennett argues, are a combination of small-scale operations that take the form of diplomatic, information, military and economic action against Iran to create leverage that can then be used to destabilize the government and create chaos in Iran. On the diplomatic front, hostile statements in the United Nations, various NATO and European Union structures will increasingly be used to spread propaganda and disinformation to other countries about Iran, about alleged abuses of “human rights,” about nuclear programs aimed at undermining Western hegemony and security.

Numerous analysts acknowledge that NATO and the EU are strengthening their defense capabilities not only in Europe, but also abroad, including in the Gulf region. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen recently outlined elements of a new European security doctrine, the EU and NATO approach to security in the Persian Gulf. Her remarks at the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain on November 18 reflect what is widely seen as a new and aggressive approach aimed at further escalating tensions in the region, taking advantage of the extremely hostile attitude of many countries there towards Iran.

One can also see how Israel under the Netanyahu regime is stepping up aggressive air attacks against Syria and continuing to invade Iraqi and Persian Gulf airspace as probing maneuvers against Iran. The Israeli and US air forces will conduct their biggest joint air exercise in years, simulating strikes against Iran. Fighter aircraft from both countries will simulate long-range flights and strikes against distant targets, enhancing readiness for combat scenarios with Iran. In recent years, the Israel Defense Forces and US Central Command have already conducted several joint exercises, practicing strikes against Iran.

In July this year, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a joint declaration on the US-Israeli strategic partnership, also known as the Jerusalem Declaration. It emphasizes the US commitment “never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, and that it is prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure that.” Subsequent joint exercises were the subject of meetings in Washington between IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi and US officials, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and CENTCOM Commander General Michael Kurilla.

Some NIS 3.5 billion ($1 billion) has been allocated from the IDF’s NIS 58 billion ($17 billion) defense budget for military activities next year related to alleged strikes on Iran. Outgoing Minister of Defense Benny Gantz had earlier warned newly appointed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “consider issue very carefully” before launching a strike on Iran. “Israel has the ability to act in Iran. We have the readiness, development capabilities, and long-term plans we are managing. We need to prepare for this possibility, and we will also need to consider this issue very carefully before carrying it out,” he said.

All of the above quite clearly supports the argument that it is Israel that is the main source of Western hostility and maneuvering against Iran and is using these tensions to carry out attacks in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq.

Color revolutions are usually the target of aggressive campaigns by the West, and hybrid wars are smoke and fire to create cover and distractions to create conditions, chaos and tensions to launch these color revolutions. Hybrid wars include the conflict the US has created in Iraq between various tribes and religious sects, and in Libya and Syria, where foreign mercenaries from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and Turkey were hired, funded and trained by the CIA and Pentagon under General Lloyd Austin, now Secretary of Defense. The aim of these operations was to create tension, chaos, conflict and enmity between peoples in the regions so that natural wealth could be stolen. Suffice it to look at the history of these operations over the past 20 years: Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen. And now Ukraine and Iran of course represent the next target of this Western program of color revolutions, and therefore an international coalition is needed to counter such hostile actions.

December 10, 2022 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Interview with US Ambassador Peter Ford

Free West Media | November 18, 2022

Steven Sahiounie of MidEastDiscourse interviewed Ambassador Peter Ford to hear his expert analysis of important issues developing in the region.

Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey are neighbors in an increasingly unstable Middle East, in which Saudi Arabia plays a key role.

The US has meddled in the Middle East for decades and is responsible for the destruction of several countries who have not recovered from failed American policies.

Peter Ford served as the British ambassador to Bahrain from 1999 to 2003 and Syria from 2003 to 2006, and is currently the London-based Co-Chairman of the British Syrian Society. He is an Arabist with long established expertise in the Middle East.

Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies recently came back to power in “Israel”. In your opinion what does this mean for the Palestinians?

It makes no difference. Those who believe that one Israeli government is different from another are fools. Every Israeli government supports the occupation and practices repression. Any differences are purely optical.

That said, the participation of overt racists in Netanyahu’s government increases the chances that the US will distance itself from Israel in matters of secondary importance.

Lebanon is in the midst of a financial and social collapse. In your opinion, will the Israeli regime take advantage of the crisis and attack Lebanon?

Israel is already viciously attacking Lebanon – economically. The Israeli/US strategy is to avoid war, which they would lose, but instead to create enough suffering in Lebanon to make the Lebanese people turn against Hezbollah. In particular, they are trying to block oil reaching Lebanon from Iran. This is similar to their strategy towards Syria.

The UN Special Rapporteur has called for the end of sanctions on Syria because of the continuing suffering. Do you think there is any hope in removing the sanctions which are crippling the daily life of Syrians?

Sadly I see no prospect of sanctions on Syria being lifted or eased in the foreseeable future. It costs the US nothing to apply them and the US against all evidence persists in believing that sanctions weaken popular support for the Syrian government, or pretending to believe they weaken the government simply because it would be embarrassing to lift them. Lifting sanctions would look like an admission of failure and a concession to Russia and Iran.

Sanctions on Syria cannot be analyzed without taking the geopolitical situation into account. To some degree Syria is paying part of the price for US mishandling of its relations with Russia and Iran.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has not bowed down to pressure by US President Joe Biden. In your opinion, what will be the cost that Saudi Arabia has to pay?

The cost will be zero. On the contrary, Saudi defiance of the US over oil prices shows that the balance of power between the two has shifted and that the US is a paper tiger where Saudi Arabia is concerned. Let us not forget that the US arms industry has become highly dependent on sales to the Gulf, and the US has invested heavily in keeping Saudi Arabia away from rapprochement with Iran. Its leverage is minimal. It was different when MBS was an international pariah over Khashoggi, but time has done its work of prompting amnesia if not forgiveness. I expect to see more Saudi defiance of the US.

For the past few months, we have been hearing reports from the Turkish side of overtures at repairing the relationship between Turkey and Syria. In your opinion, will this have an effect on ending terrorist control in Idlib?

I am more optimistic about Idlib today than I have been for ages. Time is also doing its work here – demonstrating to the Turks that their Syria policy has been a total failure. That policy has failed to remove the Syrian government, failed to establish stability on Turkey’s border and failed to create conditions for the return of Syrian refugees. The burden of those refugees is felt especially acutely with the approach of presidential elections in Turkey. Whether Erdogan is serious about rapprochement with Syria remains however to be seen.

Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

November 18, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To curb Iran’s influence, Washington and Tel Aviv are preventing alleviation of Lebanon’s economic crisis

By Robert Inlakesh | RT | November 16, 2022

Despite the recent signing of a historic maritime border agreement between Tel Aviv and Beirut, tensions continue to remain high, with both Israel and the United States attempting to force Lebanon into compliance with their regional agenda.

Although Israeli and Lebanese leaders signed letters of intent earlier this month ending their long-standing maritime border dispute and averting a major escalation in their ongoing conflict, the two sides still remain technically at war. Beirut refuses to recognise Israel, maintaining the stance that first the Palestine issue must be resolved, as Tel Aviv maintains control over the Shebaa Farms area which Lebanon claims to be its territory.

Last week, drone strikes were reported to have killed up to 25 people after targeting a fuel aid convoy that had just passed the Al-Qaim crossing into Syria from Iraq. There are conflicting reports on who actually carried out the attack, with both Israel and the United States accused of having been behind it. The US military instantly distanced themselves from the incident, by denying they had carried out any strikes, whilst the Israeli government refused to comment and is now widely assumed to be culpable. According to Iraqi authorities, the fuel trucks, numbering 22 according to Iranian state-media, were approved for heading out of the country and seemed to be part of Iran’s new agreement with Lebanon to provide free fuel.

Despite opposition from top US officials, in August Lebanese Prime Minister Nijab Mikati accepted an offer from Tehran to supply Lebanon with fuel free of charge. Although the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, had warned Beirut not to take the offer from Iran, it was decided that going ahead with receiving the Iranian gift was in the Lebanese national interest. It is likely that the temporary US silence following this was in large part to do with the then-ongoing maritime border dispute between Tel Aviv and Beirut. The US has repeatedly attempted to counter Iranian influence in Lebanon, even going as far as claiming Beirut is not in need of the Iranian fuel, whereas the country is clearly in a state of economic collapse and suffers a shortage.

After Hezbollah, one of Lebanon’s most popular political parties, organized Iranian fuel shipments in 2021, Washington quickly took to countering any future attempts for Tehran to come to the aid of the Lebanese economy. A deal was then organized in September of 2021, under US supervision, for Egypt to supply natural gas through Jordan and Syria into Lebanon, in order to ease the energy crisis. However, the US government had pledged to amend its Caesar Act sanctions that it currently implements against Damascus to allow for the deal to go ahead, but has so far failed to do so. Although the Lebanese State is now quickly taking to exploring and, it hopes, extracting natural gas from the offshore Qana prospect, which it secured its rights to under its maritime border agreement with Israel, this process could take years to bear fruit.

In the short term, Beirut needs a solution to its energy crisis and Iran is offering free fuel to supplement part of its needs. Washington and its close ally Tel Aviv see this as a plot between Hezbollah and Tehran to take control over the Lebanese State. Although Lebanon is technically an independent state, the reality is that France, the US and the Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia, hold huge shares of influence in the political and economic affairs of the country, and none of them feel comfortable with the idea of Tehran having a significant influence.

The regional strategy of the United States government, which Israel is also in lockstep with, is to combat the influence of the Iranian government. Part of this strategy is to pressure more Arab States to normalize ties with Tel Aviv and to give up on the consensus amongst Arab League States to adhere to the Arab Peace Initiative. The initiative maintained that recognition of Israel by Arab states, along with the establishment of military, economic and political ties, could not come without the realisation of a Two-State solution under which the creation of a viable Palestinian State would be established. So far the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan and Jordan have all normalized ties with Tel Aviv, abandoning the Palestinian cause for Statehood. The US Biden administration is clearly seeking to add Saudi Arabia to the list, but eventually wants to go further than that.

At the recent COP27 climate meeting, held in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, Lebanese, Iraqi and Israeli representatives were all photographed standing near each other and had agreed to a distant cooperation on combating climate change. In Israeli and US media, this has been framed as somewhat of a breakthrough, despite being officially undermined by both Baghdad and Beirut. What is certain, however, is that the US and Israel are continuing to send a message to Lebanon, that they will not let it simply go about its business and thrive without adhering to their own agenda. Hence the US has not allowed for the Egypt-Jordan-Syria deal for transfer of fuel into Lebanon.

The most insidious part of the stance maintained by the US government is that Lebanon cannot simply leave the Iranian sphere of influence altogether and Washington is well aware of this. As long as Lebanese Hezbollah remains a popular force in the country, there will always be a link between Tehran and Beirut. This means that the US policy is designed to punish the Lebanese people for not getting rid of Hezbollah, something that neither the US nor Israel will dare try to do themselves. If Israel and the US are both in lockstep about preventing Iranian fuel from reaching Lebanon, then this means that they are simply depriving Lebanon of its ability to get back on its feet, all in the name of combating Iran and Hezbollah. In their eyes, if the Lebanese people perceive the Iranian fuel imports to be their saving grace, this runs counter to US hegemony and, together with the latest perceived victory for Hezbollah in forcing the Israelis to negotiate a maritime border settlement, Tehran would come off with greater support in Lebanon.

The US and Israel are proving incapable of allowing the Lebanese people to achieve a greater standard of life, due to the fact that Hezbollah and Iran are still there. Meanwhile, getting rid of Hezbollah would not only be militarily impossible, but there is also no evidence that such a move would actually bring stability – as evidenced with the case of Sudan, which normalized ties with Israel and earned itself a place in the good books of the US government, but the West is yet to aid the country, which endures a continuous state of crisis.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Made in Britain: How London handpicks Iraqi leaders

An investigation into how the British government groomed young, impressionable Iraqis to serve as their political agents.

By Kit Klarenberg | The Cradle | November 15, 2022

Throughout the 20th century, it was frequently said by residents of West Asia, “lift up a mullah’s beard, and you’ll see the words ‘Made in England’ written underneath it.”

Such cynicism is understandable, given Britain’s history of covertly co-opting Imams and sheikhs to further its malign interests across the region.

Yet explosive leaked files reviewed by The Cradle show that this time-tested clandestine strategy hasn’t waned as the traditional role of religious teachers in West Asia is increasingly supplanted, or at least challenged, by politicians ostensibly elected by democratic vote.

Rather, it has evolved and been asserted in more modern forms, which are just as insidious, but may perhaps be even more effective in ensuring West Asian leaders at every level can be reliably depended upon to do London’s bidding.

Another youth initiative

The documents reviewed by The Cradle relate to a Foreign Office project in Baghdad, dubbed “Youth Political Leadership, “set to run for at least a year from August 2016. An accompanying “statement of requirements” not for public consumption laid out its objectives in stark detail. In brief, London sought to “identify young Iraqis…who will join the political establishment,” and train them in “values; representation; and political skills.”

This schooling would “ideally” be complete by Spring 2017, so “successful graduates” could “participate as candidates in the 2017 (or 2018, circumstances depending) local elections.” The desired end goal was that Iraq’s parliament and government alike would be “replenished with a professionalised and young class of political figures” who could be depended upon to serve London’s interests.

“The influx of these young Iraqis,” the statement explained, stood to “benefit” Britain, in particular by facilitating the spook-infested National Security Council’s strategy for Baghdad.

‘No functioning government’

Construction and management of the training program was outsourced to private contractors who were tasked with putting together a “comprehensive plan” for “gender diverse” Iraqis aged 27 or below with “a realistic prospect of entering the political sphere,” including a dedicated “curriculum” that would inculcate “professional ethics” and “hard political skills” in students, to ensure they could optimally “influence” voters.

Trainees were to be subject to intensive “monitoring and assessment” both during and after the course, with top performers whisked to London for a state-funded “study tour,” where they would be assigned “individual mentors” to “help support their career ambitions.”

Subsequently, a “graduate network” would be operated on- and offline in cooperation with the British embassy in Baghdad, to ensure “regular contact” between students and the Foreign Office – and thus MI6 – “through their political careers.”

Prospective candidates would be rigorously vetted before enrolment to ensure they had “an appropriate vision for Iraq,” with a “realistic” prospect of, and plan for, entering the political sphere upon graduation, such as “being chosen as a parliamentary advisor or selected to run as a provincial council member.”

These individuals would then be rigorously taught the Foreign Office’s approved curriculum, so as to instill them with “the right [emphasis added] technical knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours” in candidates.

“Practical training on how to function as a political representative,” such as “campaign work (e.g. canvassing, usage of social media),” and “the skills needed to collaboratively function as a member of the legislature,” would also be provided.

Adam Smith International

London’s call was answered by Adam Smith International (ASI). The company clearly grasped the urgency of the project. In detailed submissions to the Foreign Office, it noted that “recent events clearly indicate there is pressing need to address the failure of the Iraqi political establishment to provide an effective government,” making repeated reference to large-scale protests in Baghdad’s historic Tahrir Square, which occurred in July 2016.

Those incendiary scenes were part of several wide-ranging upheavals that unfolded across Iraq that year, spurred by anger over high-level corruption, and never-ending government gridlock.

Incidentally, these were themselves by-products of the byzantine political structure imposed upon Baghdad in the wake of the illegal US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Western occupation forces enforced strict ethnic, sectarian, and party quotas on every office of state, ensuring perpetual division, inertia, and gridlock – essentially an inability to address basic public needs.

In the ensuing power vacuum, sectarian groups rose to the fore as the primary means by which average citizens could pressure parliament into implementing vital reforms. This development was no doubt extremely unwelcome to London – after all, many of these movements were Shia-led, raising the obvious prospect of neighboring Iran’s influence increasing considerably within the country.

This concern is reflected in ASI’s submissions. In bemoaning “the absence of a functioning government,” and emphasizing the resultant need to identify and groom future leaders promptly, the company noted firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was a leading figure in the 2016 protest movement.

“Unless steps are taken to provide avenues for the next generation of Iraqis to enter the legislature, the existing political cadres will continue to dominate the scene, leading to rising frustration and increasing social unrest,” ASI cautioned. “Practical assistance and continuing career support has the potential to stymy the rising tide of frustration among the youth of Iraq in the short term.”

Meddling in Iraq’s internal affairs

In a perverse irony, ASI purportedly played a pivotal role in shaping Iraq’s unworkable political system from its initial stages, enforcing the precise construction which the Foreign Office became resolved to shatter.

In sections of the leaked files outlining its experience of working in Iraq, the company noted that since 2004, it had on behalf of the British government “[provided] assistance to centre of government institutions in Iraq,” including “[developing] key parts of the machinery of government.”

Its in-country team was even said to have “worked closely” with representatives of the Prime Minister’s and Deputy Prime Minister’s offices, granting them a “detailed understanding of the functioning of the Iraqi political system.”

“ASI will leverage the contacts and experience from this project to help facilitate the outreach among political parties,” the contractor pledged. Little did those who ASI previously installed and shored up in office know, that in assisting their Foreign Office friends identify recruits for the leadership training program, they were signing their own political death warrants.

A region-wide strategy

Evidently, the assorted individuals and organizations serving British interests in West Asia at any given time are highly expendable – and should the governance structure they’re drafted to run on London’s behalf perform poorly, or become difficult to effectively control, another must be constructed in its place, filled with all-new representatives in order to create the bogus impression of “change.”

All along, the Foreign Office’s hand in steering a government’s composition and policies, and picking its public faces, will remain hidden, obscured by layer-upon-layer of private contractors, and lofty rhetoric about progress and democracy.

The leaked files exposed here represent a particularly candid insight into how Britain pursues its imperial ambitions in the modern day – but just one. The Cradle has previously exposed a similar connivance in Lebanon, wherein London covertly recruited “agents of change” from among the country’s youth, teaching them how to “maximise their impact” and boost their “name recognition and credibility,” in order to eventually elevate them to parliament.

It stands to reason that Baghdad and Beirut are far from alone in this regard. As such, it behooves all residents of West Asia to ask themselves for whom their elected representatives are truly working, and what interests they ultimately serve.

November 15, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Pentagon exploits post 9/11 laws to wage ‘secret wars’ worldwide: Report

The Cradle | November 9, 2022

A report released last week by the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice details how the US Department of Defense (DoD) has been allowed to covertly deploy troops and wage secret wars over the past two decades in dozens of countries across the globe.

Among the nations in West Asia affected by these so-called ‘security cooperation authorities’ are LebanonIraqSyria, and Yemen; however, they also include many African and Latin American nations.

Known as ‘security cooperation authorities,’ they were passed by the US Congress in the years following the 11 September attacks, and are a continuation of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), a piece of legislation that has been stretched by four successive governments.

According to the report, the AUMF covers “a broad assortment of terrorist groups, the full list of which the executive branch long withheld from Congress and still withholds from the public.”

Following in this tradition, the ‘security cooperation authorities’ being abused by the Pentagon are Section 333 and Section 127e of Title 10 of the United States Code (USC).

Section 333 authorizes the US army to “train and equip foreign forces anywhere in the world,” while Section 127e authorizes the Pentagon to “provide support to foreign forces, paramilitaries, and private individuals who are in turn supporting US counterterrorism operations,” with a spending limit of $100,000,000 per fiscal year.

However, thanks to the vague definition of ‘support’ and ‘training’ in the text of these laws, both Section 333 and Section 127e programs have been abused to target “adversarial” groups under a strained interpretation of constitutional self-defense; they have also allowed the US army to develop and control proxy forces that fight on behalf of – and sometimes alongside – their own.

As a result of this, in dozens of countries, these programs have been used as a springboard for hostilities, with the Pentagon often declining to inform Congress or the US public about their secret operations under the reasoning that the incidents are “too minor to trigger statutory reporting requirements.”

“Researchers and reporters uncovered Section 127e programs not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen,” the report highlights.

Researchers also point out that defense authorities “have given little indication of how [they] interpret Section 333 and 127e.”

Even more concerning, and ignoring the damage caused by these ‘anti-terror’ laws, the US Congress recently expanded the Pentagon’s security cooperation authorities, particularly with Section 1202 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Section 1202 allows the US army to allow “irregular warfare operations” against “rogue states” like Iran or North Korea, or “near-peers,” like Russia and China.

The report comes at a time when the US army and its proxy militias are accused of illegally occupying vast regions of Syria and Yemen, looting oil from the war-torn countries, just over a year after their brutal occupation of Afghanistan ended. Moreover, a former US official on Tuesday revealed that anti-Iran militias are being armed in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR), where both the CIA and the Mossad are known to operate.

November 11, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

US Siege Persists: Lebanon Prevented from Importing Iran’s Fuel Donation

Al-Manar | November 9, 2022

After several months of vagueness, the US administration announced clearly that sanctions will be imposed on Lebanon if it approves the Iranian fuel donation, according to a report posted by Al-Akhbar daily.

The Lebanese newspaper mentioned that the remarks made by the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara Leaf, indicated that the US siege on Lebanon persists.

Al-Akhbar added that the US vague stances pertaining the Iranian fuel donation during the past months aimed only at sustaining the positive atmosphere of the maritime border demarcation.

It is worth noting that Hezbollah secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah mentioned during his latest speech that the Americans will not allow Lebanon to import the Egyptian gas, Jordanian electric power, and Iranian fuel.

According to Al-Akhbar, the Lebanese caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, followed the US vagueness with time consuming steps, including sending a technical team to Tehran to study the fuel specifications.

The newspaper added that, after the energy minister Walid Fayyad sent a report about the Iranian fuel specifications to Mikati, the latter contacted the US administrations whose various offices told him that Washington rejects granting Beirut any waiver in this regard.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 10 Comments

Netanyahu says to ‘neutralise’ Lebanon maritime deal

MEMO | October 31, 2022

Israeli leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Monday he will “neutralise” a recent maritime border deal with Lebanon if he is elected prime minister.

“I will behave as I did with the Oslo Accords,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Army Radio.

He said that the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians “were not cancelled, they were neutralised.”

The former premier, however, did not detail his specific intentions for the border agreement with Lebanon during his Monday’s interview.

Last week, Israel and Lebanon signed a US-mediated deal to demarcate maritime border between the two countries. The deal covers an area in the Mediterranean Sea, which contains part of the Karish gas field and Qana, a prospective gas field.

Netanyahu had termed the maritime deal as “illegal”, saying he would not be bound by it. He argued that Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, and Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, “didn’t want to extract the gas in the first place, but now they want to surrender it to Hezbollah.”

Israeli voters will go to polling stations on Tuesday in the country’s 5th legislative election in less than four years.

Opinion polls suggest that Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Likud Party, could come within a single seat of an outright majority in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament).

October 31, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | 1 Comment

Lebanon and Israel finalize historic maritime border deal

The Cradle | October 11, 2022

Lebanon and Israel have agreed to a US-mediated maritime deal to demarcate the gas-rich blocks in the Mediterranean sea, seemingly putting an end to the prospect of an armed conflict.

In two separate statements by Lebanese and Israeli authorities, Beirut and Tel Aviv announced they have concluded all negotiations and will meet soon in Naqoura to sign the agreement.

“This is a historic achievement that will strengthen Israel’s security, inject billions into Israel’s economy, and ensure the stability of our northern border,” Israeli interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement on Twitter.

A statement released by the office of outgoing Lebanese President Michel Aoun claims the deal “is satisfactory to Lebanon and meets its demands,” adding that it “preserves [the nation’s] rights to its natural wealth.”

In details revealed by Lebanese daily newspaper Al-Akhbar, all obstacles that led to a recent spike in tensions have been resolved, as both countries compromised with regards to the legal language used in the final draft.

The newspaper reveals that both sides agreed that Israel will be paid royalties from the Qana prospect field. However, the money will be paid from the revenue generated from the French oil company Total, not Lebanon’s share of the revenue.

Map of the disputed maritime border between Lebanon and Israel. (Photo Credit: The Cradle)

As for the most pressing concern for both sides, Lebanon and Israel compromised in the legal language regarding the buoys deployed at sea to demarcate the various economic blocks.

According to the leaks, Lebanon insisted on adopting Line 20 while refusing to acknowledge that the line demarcates the maritime borders, but simply the blocks at sea.

Whereas Israel insisted on Line 31 which is going to be on the final draft between both countries.

Nonetheless, Lebanon will not acknowledge its effects on the land border demarcation, leaving the issue for indirect land-border negotiations.

In light of these developments, Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati met on 11 October with the Lebanese Minister of Energy, Walid Fayyad, and a delegation from Total.

The delegation included the Director of Oil Exploration and Production Laurent Vivier, who was informed about the results of the negotiations and received a request to start operations.

Total informed the Lebanese side that the logistics of exploration need time, promising to start “as soon as possible.”

Similarly, Israeli National Security Council Chairman Eyal Hulta announced that all of  Israel’s demands have been met.

“Israel’s security interests have been preserved. We are on our way to signing a historic agreement,” Hulta said.

According to Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, the current state of alert at the norther border with Lebanon came as a result of credible intelligence information about Hezbollah’s plans to launch an attack had Israel started to extract gas from the Karish gas field before a deal was concluded with Lebanon.

Similar assessments were made by the foreign intelligence services of several western countries.

This attack would have fulfilled the promise made by the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, who reiterated on several occasion that only mutual access to the gas reserves will be permitted.

“Israel, the US, and EU all know we are not bluffing. They have enough proof of that,” the resistance leader said during a televised speech in September.

October 11, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | 8 Comments

Will Lebanon and Israel go to war over the maritime border dispute?

By Robert Inlakesh | Samizdat | October 8, 2022

Israel has announced its readiness for war with Lebanon, as the ongoing US-mediated maritime border demarcation talks head towards a dead end. The issue, however, is not just causing dispute between Beirut and Tel Aviv, but also becoming more prevalent within Israeli politics as it heads into another round of general elections.

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid rejected Lebanese amendments to a US-proposed maritime border demarcation agreement. The previous day, Israeli officials had reportedly been briefed on the deal, which was the cause of much optimism, with an unnamed source telling Axios news that Lapid “made it clear that Israel will not compromise on its security and economic interests, even if that means that there will be no agreement soon.”

Later on Wednesday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the military establishment to prepare for an armed confrontation with Lebanon. A four-hour cabinet meeting, which was said to have been attended by major Israeli security establishment figures, was then concluded with a public announcement that the prime minister and defense minister had been granted permission to strike Lebanon without further cabinet approval.

Why are Lebanon and Israel on the verge of war?

In early June, a ship owned by the gas company Energean arrived at the resource-rich Karish field in the Eastern Mediterranean to begin preparations for natural gas production for Israel. Lebanese President Michel Aoun condemned the arrival, warning Tel Aviv against taking any further “aggressive action.” The Karish field, as well as the nearby Qana field, have for years been central to on-off US-mediated negotiations between Lebanon and Israel. The two nations have still not come to any agreement on the demarcation of their maritime borders, with Beirut seeing Karish and Qana as vital to reviving its collapsing economy.

While Lebanon maintains, due to legal arguments put forth in previous negotiations, that the entire area is to be considered ‘disputed waters,’ Israel has maintained that all of the Karish field and the majority of the Qana field are within its own ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’. The Lebanese political and military party Hezbollah, which claims to have 100,000 battle-ready troops at its disposal, then weighed in on the debate, vowing to protect Lebanon’s rights to its oil and gas.

Secretary General of Lebanese Hezbollah Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah declared that if no maritime border deal were reached and Lebanon is not able to secure its rights, then military action will be taken. Nasrallah vowed that the new reality would be “If we can’t have our resources, nobody can.” Hezbollah’s red line is Israeli extraction from the Karish field before any agreement is signed – if this happens, the group has threatened to strike not only Tel Aviv’s infrastructure at site, but every other Israeli oil and gas facility in the Mediterranean.

Israel has since responded with threats of its own, which have ranged from a vow to eliminate the entire densely populated Beirut suburb that serves as Hezbollah’s stronghold, to Benny Gantz’s recent warning that the whole of Lebanon would “pay a heavy price” for any military action by Hezbollah. Now that the negotiations have reached a “make or break” point, there are significant fears that military action will be taken, either by Israel or Hezbollah.

Empty threats?

The most recent threats issued by the military and political leadership in Tel Aviv have caused panic among Israelis living near the Lebanese border. However, there is a significant possibility that the rhetoric is aimed at a domestic audience. Israel will enter into a new round of national elections in November and the demarcation of maritime borders has recently been weaponized against the current Israeli leadership, causing ministers to act in order to save face.

Israeli opposition leader and former long-time prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu began to lash out at interim-PM Yair Lapid back in September, releasing a video in which he claimed that Lapid had “totally folded in the face of Nasrallah’s threats” and that Hezbollah had forced him to delay extraction from the Karish field. Netanyahu has continued to heavily criticize his political opponents’ handling of the demarcation-line issue, with similar claims that Israel is backing down over the threats issued by Lebanese Hezbollah.

Netanyahu’s words ring true in that Lapid has clearly been forced to take the issue of demarcation of maritime borders very seriously and has conceded on positions held by Tel Aviv in the past. In addition to this, the extraction of gas from the Karish field has also been delayed, as Energean, which owns the rights to extract from the site, was initially prepared to begin operations in late September and has so far refrained from doing so. However, had Netanyahu remained as PM, he would hardly have had any other choice but to do the same.

The threats made by Hezbollah are very serious, and the group apparently has the capacity to follow through with them and destroy all of Israel’s oil and gas facilities. At this time, however, the Israeli far-right camp headed by Netanyahu is blaming the situation on Lapid’s weak governance, saying he is prepared to give away territory that belongs to Israel. For this reason, it is likely that Yair Lapid will attempt to delay extraction of gas from the Karish field in order to sideline the issue until after the elections.

The necessity of a deal for Lebanon

Lebanon sees the Karish and Qana issue as integral to its survival. Some UN experts put the percentage of Lebanese living in poverty at around 80%, while the country endures round-the-clock blackouts, a rising crime rate, and civil instability. Some people have even been spotted searching for food in garbage bins, as well as fighting over loaves of bread at bakeries. Getting its hands on a possible multi-billion-dollar oil and gas field is a matter of life or death for Beirut – but not for Tel Aviv, which enjoys far more economic stability.

The US mediator in the Lebanon-Israel talks, Amos Hochstein, gave an interview to the American owned al-Hurra TV in June, laughing when asked about the prospect of trading the Karish field for Qana. Months later, after Hezbollah upped its threats and the group’s leader, Nasrallah, stated that the Lebanese people would not be laughed at, this issue has become a rather grave one. The US, which has a clear pro-Israeli bias, is now being forced to take the talks much more seriously.

Earlier this year, as the European Union looked for alternative gas suppliers, a deal was inked between Tel Aviv and Brussels, under which Israel would send gas through pipelines to Europe via Egypt. This has encouraged Tel Aviv to announce its plans to double its gas output, and the Karish field is key to achieving this.

The Qana field, however, has not yet been explored and will take time to develop. Despite this, one of the key reasons for Israel’s rejection of the Lebanese proposal is that Beirut refuses to pay Tel Aviv royalties for the gas it would extract from the Qana field should it be handed to Lebanon. Beirut cannot commit itself to such an agreement, because this would mean normalizing ties with the Tel Aviv regime, which still occupies Shebaa farms – an area that Lebanon claims as its rightful territory.

Whether war happens will now boil down to whether bickering between Israeli political parties and individual officials will cause Tel Aviv to adopt a belligerent approach and push forward with gas production in the disputed fields before an agreement is reached. If it does, there can be little doubt that Hezbollah will open fire if its red line is crossed. Israel’s stake in the matter is additional energy revenues, while for Lebanon it is potentially a matter of life or death. Neither side wants war, but one has much to gain and the other has everything to lose.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News.

October 8, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Europe’s Biggest Enemy Isn’t Russia Nor Islamic Terrorism, but Israel

By Martin Jay | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 25, 2022

When Joe Biden took office, many pundits said that at least relations between the U.S. and EU would be restored. But the Iran deal is the ultimate test of just how much he loves the old continent.

Just how far will Israel go to scupper the so-called Iran deal from being signed by both Iran and the West? And will it play a fair game or use underhand and covert tactics to achieve its goal of the deal never being signed? Recently, we have seen the talks in Vienna progress as even the Americans say that certain key negotiating points have been taken out of the deal from the Iranians which has made the negotiations move closer to an agreement; we have also seen though Israel pulling out all the stops, from a PR and lobbying perspective at least.

And then there is the murky subject of skullduggery to destroy the talks. If you’re one of these people who believes in fairies at the bottom of the garden or that certain toothpastes can make your teeth whiter, then you might not buy into Israel using Mossad to derail the deal. Attacks on U.S. forces for example in Iraq, supposedly carried out by Iran-backed militias would normally have most people pointing the finger at Iran, proclaiming that Tehran is not at all serious about the deal but just playing along for time so that it can roll out a nuclear bomb. Then there is the curious case of the Salman Rushdie attack, which, again, many would point out could be attributed to the Iranians who still have a very much ‘alive’ fatwa against the British writer. Indeed, even the Supreme Leader is reported to have made a comment against Rushdie when he heard of the knife attack.

Given even the Israeli media have speculated that Mossad did it, it would be easy to conclude an open and shut case right?

Yet the author believes, like the 9/11 attacks in New York, which was the dirty work of Mossad, that these previous attacks can also be attributed to the Israelis who may well be plotting a bigger attack in the U.S. which Iran can be framed for; in fact, Americans are so ignorant of Islam or anything to do with the Arab world, that such an attack doesn’t even need to be linked to Iran but simply “Islamic terrorists” which might have tenuous links with Tehran.

There is no limit for Israel in terms of how far it can go to block the deal as the elite there believes that the Iran deal would exponentially boost Tehran’s power given the impact of sanctions relief on the economy. But the emergence of Iran as a regional player, economically, will always be a threat to Israel especially as it throws the spotlight on the once pariah state and many will see the fraud of hatred between Israel and Iran for what it is. Just as for decades the West goaded the Gulf States about Iran, installing fear to such a point that it was America and the UK who cleaned up on weapons sales, Israel needs to keep this yarn alive that Iran is the threat both for internal politics with their own people and also to justify the obscene amount of military aid which is sent to Israel each year. But any hack in Lebanon who has connections with Hezbollah will tell you that this threat is phoney and that both sides have enormous respect for one another; in reality both sides are fooling their own people into buying into the threat of an attack as it’s good for political support. The recent claims by Matthew Levitt in the Israeli media for example that Hezbollah wants to start some skirmishes with Israel can’t be taken seriously from those who are close to the Shiite group in Lebanon who say simply that Hezbollah is too scared to do such a thing off its own bat; being directed by the Supreme Leader in Iran though is another matter.

Hezbollah and Indeed Israel’s game of smoke and mirrors in Lebanon makes some pundits question whether Iran is really serious about reaching out for a deal with the west to lift its sanctions, or just playing us all along to win time? Surely Israel can’t have it both ways as its desperate antics of late tend to contradict themselves.

Hezbollah serves Israel well as the latter can focus more of defence spending and other such border initiatives in preference for being held more accountable for its governance. For Hezbollah it’s exactly the same. The threat of Israel launching an attack, once again, is the very bedrock of Hezbollah support in Lebanon. Without that threat, the Shia group may well lose half of its support overnight. This is one of the reasons why Israel continues to bomb Syria, targeting Iranian and Hezbollah activities: to keep the dream alive. It’s another reason why Hezbollah has a despondent enthusiasm towards Lebanon securing gas drilling rights close to Israel’s maritime border.

Yet in this time of Europe’s economies diving into recessions, we should ask ourselves what is the bigger picture? If Israel fails to derail the Iran talks and once again the Iranians get a deal which appeases the Americans, then certainly their economy in Iran will return to the billion dollars a month trade with the EU. One minor detail though which is overlooked and carefully airbrushed out of mainstream media’s narrative is the impact on Europe if the deal goes ahead. Cheap Iranian oil being sent to most EU countries which are really suffering from the shortages of oil and gas and its present market price could be a godsend and would enrage the Israelis even further. Europeans and even the British would look at Iran through a more favourable prism. Many would argue that Iran should be brought back in from the cold, in preference to the loathing of Putin and the hatred generally towards Russia. At least we can talk to the Iranians, many will argue. This notion cannot have escaped the attention of the EU dogs of war in Brussels who seem to be detached from all realities about the Ukrainian war and their sanctions towards Russia. Is it that they are banking on cheap oil from Iran saving EU economies? Biden too must have been advised of how things will pan out. But cheap oil for EU countries doesn’t favour the U.S. directly whereas letting the Europeans sink in their own demise will actually boost the U.S. economy according to the Washington Post, So much for the special relationship with Europe. For both Israel and Washington.

September 26, 2022 Posted by | Economics, False Flag Terrorism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

US court orders Hezbollah to pay compensation over 2006 war

The Cradle | September 21, 2022

According to an AP report from 20 September, a group of US nationals won a case against Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah at the federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

In the ruling, Judge Steven L. Tiscione awarded the plaintiffs $111 million in compensation for alleged “physical and emotional injuries” sustained by Hezbollah’s rocket attacks in Israel in 2006.

“Only by exacting a heavy price from those who engage in the business of terrorism can we prevent the suffering and loss of additional victims to their violence,” said Darshan-Leitner, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

The court found Hezbollah’s actions, which were defending Lebanon from Israeli aggressions during the ‘Second Lebanon War,’ to be in violation of the US Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The ATA, better known as the Patriot Act, was established by the US in a bid to deter terrorist acts on US soil in addition to enhancing law enforcement tools against the perpetrators of such crimes.

Nonetheless, the plaintiff’s lawyers acknowledge that this was a psychological win, considering it unlikely for Hezbollah to give much thought to the court’s rulings.

Hezbollah’s media unit refused to comment on the ruling when contacted by AP.

The Israeli aggressions on Lebanon in 2006 resulted in the death of at least 1,191 Lebanese and the injury of 4,409 others.

Additionally, the Israeli attacks killed at least 56 foreign nationals, including 5 UN soldiers, while wounding at least 37 others.

Israel has not paid any compensations for the war, and neither has the US, which played an instrumental role in resupplying the Israeli army with weapons during the war.

The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in November 2021 in favor of a resolution demanding that Israel pay Lebanon $856.4 million as compensation for an oil spill caused by their attacks.

In July 2006, the Israeli air force destroyed the storage tanks at the thermal power station in Jiyeh, causing a 10 km wide oil spill covering half of Lebanon’s coastline.

Over 25,000 tons of heavy fuel oil were released into the eastern Mediterranean sea, causing the “worst ecological disaster in the oceans and the first time an oil spill happens outside the open sea,” according to the Lebanese Ministry of Environment.

“Israel bears the responsibility to pay immediate compensation to the government of Lebanon and to other countries that were directly affected by the oil spill, such as Syria, whose beaches were partially polluted,” the resolution indicated.

The resolution has not been acknowledged by Israel and has been continuously rejected by US representatives at the UN.

The US has voted against all UN resolutions that were intended to condemn Israel for its crimes during the 34-day war in Lebanon, despite the general consensus around the war’s aggressive nature.

September 21, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 9 Comments