By Ghaleb Kandil
Syria drawing up the new equations
The world and the region are turning the page of a year of consecutive disappointments which affected the global war on Syria throughout 2012. Indeed, all the illusions of the colonial Zionist alliance and the collaborating Arab and regional governments regarding the imminent fall of the Syrian national state, which played a pivotal role in the formation and command of the resistance axis that defeated the major American, Western and Israeli wars, and that of the head of this state Dr. Bashar al-Assad who raised the challenge in the face of the American empire since the invasion of Iraq have collapsed, although the colonialists hit a record high in their targeting of this state and its president in modern history.
Firstly, the Syrian Arab people showed strength and steadfastness, as well as an ability to endure and offer sacrifices. In addition, they are increasingly rallying around their national army and confirming their loyalty to President Al-Assad, while in the past year, many Syrian factions discovered the reality of the opposition movements that are linked to the colonialists and benefitting from the Syrian people’s blood. Today, the Syrians living in the troubled areas are suffering from the divisions affecting the ranks of the thieving and conflicting gangs that are fighting over the loot. These citizens are also being persecuted and depleted by the terrorism practiced by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, and demonstrating to demand the intervention of the Syrian Arab Army in their regions to reinstate security. This is the core of the Syrian scene during the last days of 2012, at a time when the Syrian Arab Army is moving forward with its campaign to cleanse many towns from the control imposed by the thieves and terrorists, after it tightened its grip over the capital and all the Syrian cities, including Deir ez-Zor, Aleppo and Homs.
Secondly, the year is ending in parallel to the continuation of the nonsense talk of United Nations Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and the NATO theoreticians from behind him, along with some who are collaborating with the French and British intelligence apparatuses among analysts and observers who are carrying reports and information to promote the American-Israeli-Gulf-Turkish demand for President Al-Assad to step down or not to run for the presidency again. This exposes the lies related to democratic transformation in Syria, knowing that this lie is being reiterated by the latter to cover up their bloody war led by Petraeus’ operations rooms from Turkey and the rooms of fabricated news from Doha, Dubai and Riyadh which hosts the channels of Takfir and slaughter. But in reality, such wretched talk has no room in Syrian reality, considering that President Bashar al-Assad is the symbol of the state, the army and the people, is the leader of the Syrian resistance against colonial aggression, anarchy and terrorism and is raising the challenge of the ballot boxes and popular will in the face of the colonial West and its agents who are implicated in the war on Syria. In the meantime, the latter are the ones eluding the challenge because they know the outcome in advance and are aware of the fact that Al-Assad’s popularity has doubled and not retreated with their own recognition, after it became clear he enjoyed the utmost credibility at the level of the attempts to introduce reforms and is the most capable of representing Syrian nationalism and of expressing the independence and resistance option in the Syrian people’s name. In his face, there are forces collaborating with foreign sides and factions carrying out theft and terrorism with the support of the colonial alliance. Between the two, there is a national opposition which collaborated with the course of dialogue, even if at various rates.
Thirdly, Syria’s friends and allies are upholding their positions, while the prevention of the attack on Syria was repeatedly stressed during the past year, based on the Syrian deterrence power and cohesion, as well as the strength of the resistance system and its organic ties. We add to that Syria’s international alliances which proved to be solid, based on Syrian persistence and the Russian-Chinese wager on this persistence to topple the international balance against American unilateralism. At this level, it seems clear on the field that major transformations in the Syrian, regional and international equations will characterize the new year, as it is witnessing the progress of the comprehensive attack being carried out by the state and the army, in parallel to the collapse of the aggression and the deepening of its predicament. Hence, the new year will witness American attempts to exit the predicament, after the failure of the aggression on Syria toppled the most prominent pillars in Obama’s administration, i.e. CIA Chief Petraeus and Secretary of State Clinton, both of whom coordinated the course of the attack and aggression on Syria. It is thus likely that Washington will use the first few months to proceed with the depletion of the Syrian capabilities, before implicitly recognizing the failure with Russia’s help and thanks to its directing and promotion ability.
Fourthly, the upcoming Syrian victory will generate wide-scale transformations in the region and the world, in parallel to the exposure of the Western colonial plans that are dedicated to Israel’s protection, in partnership with the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Turkish and Gulf governments. At this level, there are intensive efforts being deployed in Cairo to contain Hamas’s political command and push it towards a settlement that would liquidate the Palestinian cause, with the escalation of the depletion and pressures against the Syrian national state and its resisting leader.
The upcoming year will witness surprising possibilities. Israel fears a third Palestinian Intifada in the occupied West Bank, the colonial alliance and its agents fear the Turkish and Gulf repercussions of their defeat in Syria, while the Western capitals are about to endure major financial and economic crises starting from the American abyss, which could push the resistance camp to rush and seize the opportunity to attack. Nonetheless, the beginning and peak of all these expected transformations will reside in the persistent, free and victorious Syria over the colonialists.
By Ghaleb Kandil
Backdrop of Iraq’s targeting
Following the American failure in Iraq, new regional equations started to materialize, pointing to the Iraqi regime’s convergence with Syria and Iran based on the historical geographic, social and economic ties and Baghdad’s ongoing attempts to regain a status befitting of Iraq and its human and economic capabilities within the Arab community and the region. In the meantime, the chronic Zionist fears which have existed for dozens of years reemerged, over the danger of seeing Iraq communicating with the Eastern Palestinian front, especially in parallel to the establishment of the resistance system.
Firstly, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Erdogan’s Turkish government are deploying extensive efforts and political and security interferences in Iraq, to prevent the strengthening of the new authority and sustain the climate of division and conflicts left behind by the American occupation among the various Iraqi components. For that end, they used Al-Qaeda remnants which were redirected from Riyadh, while Istanbul fueled the dubious role which the command of the Kurdistan province in Northern Iraq was assigned to carry out at the level of the Syrian events. And based on direct American instructions, Erbil became a center for the coordination of the roles and interferences in Syria.
Secondly, the Iraqi position against any implication at the level of the Syrian developments constituted a real friction line between the government in Baghdad and the Riyadh, Cairo, Doha and Ankara governments. In the meantime, Syrian-Iraqi cooperation constituted a serious breakthrough which tore down the walls of the siege the Americans were seeking to suffocate Syrian economy, after they opened all the borders of Syria’s neighboring countries before the passage of weapons and terrorists while preventing the passage of goods. This new Iraqi dynamism in the region undermined one of the positions of the American-Saudi-Turkish-Qatari-Israeli alliance through the recent tightening of the relations between Amman and Baghdad, and the signing of commercial and oil cooperation agreements that confirmed the choice of the Jordanian regime to be more neutral in dealing with the Syrian events.
Thirdly, the recent Iraqi developments point to the coordination of the reactions inside Iraq by the Saudi-Turkish-Qatari alliance, in order to prevent the continuation of the transformations which resulted from the Iraqi regional action. This is being done along three major courses:
the Al-Qaeda terrorist operations that are supported by foreign sides and being carried out by groups in a way similar to the ones falling in the context of the plan to destroy the Syrian state.
the fueling of domestic sectarian and political division through Turkey’s and Saudi Arabia’s embracing of rebellious sectarian forces and convicted figures who were implicated in organized terrorist operations, while depicting these actions as being some sort of political and popular rebellion against the central government.
the encouragement of Kurdish secessionist tendencies, although Turkey is paying a hefty cost for that – seen in the repercussions of Erdogan’s sectarian instigation in Syria on the Turkish arena – in order to undermine the Syrian state.
Fourthly, the only way for Iraq to persist in the face of these destructive plans would be through the enhancement of the resisting course in the face of the plan to target Syria on the regional level. Indeed, the main link in the deterrence equation of the colonial plan was and still is Syria, and the Iraqi national solidarity in the face of the sabotage attempts requires urgent political understandings to protect Iraq’s independence and the unity of its people, and enhance its ability to face Takfiri terrorism. This is connected to the regional partnerships option, which serves the Iraqis’ interests and the rejection of the involvement in the plans concocted by the West and its aides to destroy Syria and undermine the unity of its people, its sovereignty and independence.
By Nasser Kandil
Dictatorships in the name of democracy
The situation in the region has become clear. We are in the presence of a 20% minority that is organized, funded and supported by an international siege imposed on its opponents, and economic sanctions imposed on their populations. It is holding the reins of power through killing machines, instigation and strife, and blackmailing its people and country with destruction to enter the authority heaven through death and foreign armies. And in the name of revolutionary legitimacy, governments are being formed without elections, constitutions of political exclusion are being drawn up and approved in referendums by 30% of the population, and elections are being held based on prohibitions, isolations and exclusions.
In Syria, the Syrians decided not to succumb to this game with the innocence of the naïve and the foolish, and to engage in their war until the world succumbs to their own conditions and discovers the size of the opposition which does not have a lot of death and killing machines, but rather a few voices. Syria will eventually deplete those waging war against it before they are able to deplete it, thanks to the steadfastness of its people and army, the refusal to give up any of the president’s constitutional prerogatives except through a referendum, and the refusal to grant any team a governmental or sovereign character except via the ballot boxes.
The situation is getting closer to the decisive moment, and whoever persists will achieve victory. And Syria will come out victorious, because it wishes to pay the price for its salvation once and for all, instead of paying it throughout decades to come. The regime changes in the region are based on the promotion of the slogans of freedom and democracy. But whoever looks closely into the texts being slipped into the new constitutions can quickly see we are facing the dictatorship of the 20%. In Syria, the opposition that is recognized on the official, international and regional levels, is linking any solution to President Bashar al-Assad’s stepping down. But if this is the goal, why not accept its achievement through the ballot boxes, in elections guaranteeing all the conditions of integrity and objectivity. And whoever achieves a majority can state his conditions and impose it on his opponents. But they are eluding this process.
In Egypt, and during the January revolution, we heard that the people wanted to topple the regime, but were surprised during the presidential elections to see the candidate of the regime earning 49% of the votes. Today, we are surprised that the constitution including articles featuring political exclusion and stipulating the prevention of the ruling party’s figures under the former regime from participating in political life.
In Libya and Tunisia, the same is happening, and it is similar to what was seen in Iraq under the slogan of Debaathification, and in Germany under the headline of Denazification. The issue in Germany, Iraq and Libya is understandable, considering that whoever is opposed by Washington should be prohibited from entering political life or even having a political thought for generations to come. But in Egypt and Tunisia, why should the democracies introduced by revolutions that complained about exclusion, practice that same exclusion? In all countries around the world, stripping someone of his civil and political rights requires a judicial decision issued against this person in particular, and against the backdrop of crimes he committed and not his opinion. So can the 49% who voted for Ahmad Shafik in Egypt for example be preventing from voting?
In Libya, it was clear that the revolution achieved victory thanks to NATO’s war and that those supporting the former regime and were disgruntled by foreign military presence were not a minority. Hence, we should know in advance that the articles stipulating political exclusion only aim at guaranteeing the victory of the new political class that was brought in by NATO’s invasion, and at protecting it against any democratic competition.
In the Syrian case, we should not be surprised by the ongoing fleeing of the opposition from any discussion surrounding the use of the ballot boxes, as they know that the side benefitting from a popular majority can achieve whatever it wants without subjecting the country to destruction, devastation, death and maybe even division and foreign intervention. Syria will eventually deplete those waging war against it before they are able to deplete it. And the equation now resides between two choices:
moral and media support to say that Syria and its salvation deserve having one person step down, i.e. the president, to launch the formation of a minority government introduced by a foreign side, control and sabotage the army, draw up a constitution of hegemony and tyranny and lead the country towards civil war and division.
the steadfastness of the people and the army and their rallying behind the insistence of the president on refusing to offer any concessions and relinquishing of any constitutional prerogatives except via a referendum.
Following his visit to Syria, United Nations Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi believed that the “Geneva Statement features enough ideas to solve the crisis in Syria in the next few months. These points are valid in any time and place, despite their need for a few amendments.” He added: “No one supports the actions of the extremist groups in Syria and the flow of weapons into the Syrian territories should stop.” For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed the necessity of reaching a solution to the crisis in Syria based on the Geneva statement, calling on the international community to act immediately to stop the violence.
On the field, units from the Syrian army continued to pursue the armed terrorist gangs, thus eliminating dozens of elements in Rif Aleppo and Rif Daraa, and injuring others who were carrying out killings, theft and pillaging in the region.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi assured that inter-Syrian dialogue was the only way to exit the crisis, adding it was unacceptable to see the imposition of foreign solutions on Syria. In a statement on the sidelines of the Iranian Cabinet meeting, he stressed: “Inter-Syrian dialogue is the only way to resolve the crisis in Syria, and let everyone know that Iran will not allow the imposition of foreign solutions on it,” pointing to Tehran’s efforts to settle the crisis and to the six-point Iranian initiative. He thus mentioned: “We hope that the settlement of this crisis will be conducted in accordance with this initiative.”
The higher committee supervising the referendum over the new Egyptian constitution announced the final official results of the referendum, revealing that 63.8% of the voters were in favor of the constitution, and 36.2% against it. For his part, Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi called on all the Egyptian sides to partake in a national dialogue following the ratification of the new constitution, stressing that the economy was a priority and that changes will be introduced to the government if need be.
The National Salvation Front, the main opposition coalition in Egypt, said that protests will be organized on Tahrir Square in Cairo and in other locations on January 25, to commemorate the second yearly anniversary of the popular uprising which toppled the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak.
Palestinian media sources mentioned that the Fatah movement faced a difficult financial crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories, and that members of the movement’s Central Committee were upset and complaining that their offices’ budgets were not reaching them. On the other hand, it is expected that the movement will cancel the celebration of the 48th anniversary of the launching of the Palestinian revolution – Fatah’s revolution in 1/1/1965 – especially in the Gaza Strip, after Hamas placed restraints on the festivities and prevented their organization in certain locations.
In the meantime, a delegation of activists supporting the Palestinians, mostly French and Egyptian, arrived to the Gaza Strip via the Egyptian Rafah border crossing, to show solidarity with the Strip’s population and distribute medical aid on the anniversary of the 2008 Israeli war on Gaza.
For its part, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper mentioned that the elections of Hamas’s politburo will be held next week, after they had been postponed due to the military aggression launched by the Israeli army on the Gaza Strip in November.
The Libyan Interior Ministry announced it will start dismantling the illegitimate armed military brigades and will restructure the Ministry. Spokesman for the Interior Ministry Majdi al-Arfi said in a statement: “The Ministry has formed a committee to restructure it and reform the Libyan General Intelligence apparatus.”
A tape showing a Bahraini policeman slapping a citizen carrying a baby in his lap without any clear reason went viral on the internet. The scenes constituted a media embarrassment to the authorities, pushing General Security Chief Tarek al-Hassan to announce the arrest of the security men who appeared on the tape, and his upcoming interrogation and prosecution. However, Al-Hassan anticipated the investigation and said that “many provoked situations are concocted by some to intentionally instigate the security men and depict them as being wrongful in order to harm the apparatus for which they work.”
On the other hand, a Bahraini court decided to release human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja who was accused of “instigating hatred towards the regime,” at a time when the same court postponed its session until January 15, to tackle the charges made against Khawaja.
The file of former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman continued to preoccupy the Israeli media outlets this week. Most newspapers agreed that Lieberman was summoned for interrogation once again, for having practiced his influence in a way opposing the law during the appointment of an Israeli ambassador to Latvia. For its part, Yediot Aharonot revealed that the main witness – without whom the General Prosecution could not have issued an accusations list – was Lieberman’s deputy, Danny Ayalon, who was removed by Lieberman from his party’s list in a surprising way a few weeks ago.
On the other hand, the papers tackled the visit of the prime minister to Jordan, saying that Netanyahu and King Abdullah discussed during their meeting the fate of the chemical weapons in Syria and the stalemate affecting the political process with the Palestinians.
Haaretz mentioned there were Israeli concerns over the possible attempts of the European states to actually push for the establishment of a Palestinian state in 2013, without any consideration for the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
On the electoral level, the most recent polls revealed that the attack launched by the Likud at the beginning of the week against Jewish Home Party leader Naftali Bennett miserably failed, considering that Bennett’s party earned 15 seats, in exchange for 35 seats to the Likud. According to the polls, the Likud lost two seats, while the Jewish Home Party gained four.
New Orient News (Lebanon)