“Occupy Wall Street”

International affairs

Editorial: Predicament of cruel capitalism
October 15 was set as a date for the occupation of the international stock markets following the escalation of the “Occupy Wall Street” campaign in the United States. The step was agreed on during international forums that included activists from 71 states and activist groups in the majority of the Western industrial countries in particular. They all recommended the increase of the global protests against social injustice and Western colonial greed.
This development in the Western countries points to the rise of the economic and social crises and the widening of the rebellion against the cruel capitalist system established by neo-liberalism since the days of President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The colonial pillaging wars and the policies of hegemony via military power to impose American control over the world were not able to overcome any of the elements composing the crisis endured by cruel capitalism and the defeat which affected the United States following its invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and its wars against the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance movements. All these developments depleted the US strategic capabilities and enhanced the global tendency to rebel against American monopolization. This recently reached its peak at the level of the Syrian events through the voting seen at the Security Council.
The social turmoil inside the United States and some European countries against the financial junta and its symbol represented by the London, Paris, Frankfort and New York stock markets among others, is widely developing and spreading. This prompted many experts to describe the last three months of 2011 as being the arena for the detonation of the crisis in the most violent of ways.
It seems clear through the actions of Obama’s administration and its allies in Europe, that the Western states are seeking the escalation of their attacks and colonial steps in the Third World, to tighten more than one siege around the independent states which were always described by Washington by use of the worst adjectives. They are rising powers allying with competing empires such as Russia, China and India, at a time when the West is trying to conceal the reality of its crisis which will not be overcome any time soon.

Arab Affairs

News analysis: Beware, the real Syria is different than the one in the media
The manipulation of the citizens’ minds is ongoing at the level of the events witnessed in Syria. Last week revealed a high level of falsification and lies in the context of the media campaigns aiming at creating an impression that goes against the reality on the ground. Many Lebanese who recently visited Syria expressed their surprise towards the contradictions between what is being depicted by media outlets and influential political sides in the West and the region regarding the Syrian situation, and what they saw while they were touring Damascus, Aleppo and many Syrian cities. The Syrians thus started reiterating jokes to the visitors, such as “beware, you are visiting the real Syria and not the Syria you are watching on Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, Asharq al-Awsat newspaper and the other websites.”
 Firstly, while talking about the violence, the dead and the wounded, the media outlets are determined to use the expressions “protests” and “demonstrations,” while claiming that the clashes on the Syrian soil are the result of violence practiced by the Syrian state against peaceful demonstrators. The reports aired in this regard, especially on Friday, are disregarding the clashes between the army and the security forces with the militias affiliated with the opposition movements. Despite the uncovering of the facts at this level, these media are insisting on promoting the lie to turn it into an undeniable reality in the ranks of the viewers and the public opinion.
 Secondly, the media outlets participating in the choir targeting Syria were afflicted by the retreat of the response to the demonstration calls, thus rerunning old scenes, some of which are fabricated or stolen from other countries, to claim they were happening in Syria. A newspaper such as Asharq al-Awsat, which was turned by the Saudi royal family into a partisan pamphlet against Syria, was forced to change its headlines after seven months of talk about million-man marches in Syria and use the expression “Thousands demonstrate in Syria.” This was seen in its October 15 issue, while the picture accompanying the headline showed dozens of people in a gathering, without any sign of the alleged thousands.
Bensh is the name of a town in the province of Edlib, which was turned into a city with the help of Al-Jazeera. Armed gangs in it are occupying houses, blackmailing the citizens and carrying out attacks against public facilities and private property. In the meantime, the Syrian Arab army and the security forces are trying to disband these gangs which are being described by the media outlets as powers organizing demonstrations and protests. These media outlets have no problem falsifying the facts and turning the attacks of the gangs against the security forces into clashes between demonstrators and the alleged oppression machine.
Syria is recovering from the crisis thanks to the cohesion between the state and the people. But the battle which will be waged by Syria during the next stage will not be short and will evolve along two fronts: The front of the fight against terrorism, the pressures and the interferences, and the front of progress to reach reform and modernize the national state.

News analysis: The future of Iraq as a touchstone
It is clear through the American, Western and Israeli actions in the region, that the Iraqi predicament constitutes the pivotal point of the future balances in out part of the world.
Throughout ancient history, a strategic reality was revealed by all thorough readings into the wars, invasions and conflicts in the Arab and Islamic East, saying that the axes extending between Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus always heralded the establishment of a Middle Eastern empire that cannot be broken. This reality is the result of geographic, economic, demographic and cultural facts governing the reality of the three countries that are located on a strategic course, i.e. Iran, Iraq and Syria.
During the days of the Shah, Iran was the base for colonial hegemony and a stable ally for Israel. Back then, the main concern of the Western colonial states was to prevent any Syrian-Iraqi rapprochement because such a relation would lead to an active Arab power capable of establishing a new balance in the face of the Shah’s regime and the Turkish rule that represented a trusted ally for the United States.
The American and the Israeli strategic concerns affecting the stage which will follow the withdrawal of the occupation forces from Iraq are focusing on the Syrian-Iranian alliance and its role in embracing the resistance forces. Iraq’s joining of the regional league project which was agreed on by Damascus and Tehran and recently turned down by Turkey, seems to be the motor of all the political and strategic phenomena that emerged in the region. When the American accusations against Iran were issued last week, prominent Western media outlets dealt with them as being fabricated, while many in the region wondered about the fact that they could herald an upcoming war against Iran, after it has become clear that the pressures on Syria will not achieve anything further and that Syria is recovering from the crisis and preparing to exit it during the next few months.
The Americans and the Israelis wish to besiege the independence and resistance forces in the region before the withdrawal from Iraq, and the Saudi attempts to escalate the terrorist activities inside Iraq will increase during the next stage to prevent the instatement of stability and secure the right climate to aloow the US to maintain more than 100 thousand soldiers and mercenaries on Iraqi soil for years to come.
Many results will be linked to the nature of the Saudi and Turkish options during the next stage and the confrontation course which will be adopted by Iran, Syria and the resistance bloc. But more importantly, they will be linked on the content of the national position inside Iraq.

The Arab file

• Clashes between Coptic demonstrators and Egyptian army elements in Cairo led to the killing and injuring of dozens following the action that erupted in protest against the destruction of a church in the Aswan province in Upper Egypt. The military council assigned Issam Sharaf’s government to form a fact-finding committee in order to learn the details of what happened and the sides involved in the shooting on the army and security elements and on the demonstrators.
• The formation of this committee was decided by Cabinet on Monday during an urgent meeting.

• The official spokesman for the opposition Joint Meeting Parties, Mohammad al-Kahtan, said in a statement: “The world must realize that President Saleh is preparing to wage war, and we ask our brothers (in the Gulf), to end our embarrassment.” He assured that the opposition forces were capable of toppling the remnants of the regime within hours.
• For his part, Yemeni Deputy Information Minister Abdo al-Jundi stressed that President Saleh’s announcement of his relinquishing of power during the next few days, showed his commitment to the Gulf initiative. He assured however there was no intention to resign or transfer the prerogatives before the approval and signing of an agreement so that the country does not drown in a state of chaos or even war.
• The marches and demonstrations demanding the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime continued in most of the Yemeni provinces and called for a UN intervention. The country also witnessed pro-Saleh actions. In the meantime, the Security Council is proceeding with the discussion of a draft resolution presented by Britain and the other European states at the Council in regard to the situation in Yemen.

• On Tuesday, the Islamic resistance movement Hamas reached an agreement with Israel over a prisoners swap deal which will ensure the release of Palestinian detainees and in exchange for the release of soldier Gilad Shalit. The deal will be carried out over two stages, the first including around 450 male detainees and 27 female detainees and will be carried out within a week, while the second includes 550 detainees and will be implemented within two months.
• Based on the agreement, a group including 163 detainees will be deported from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, while around forty others from the West Bank will be sent abroad to states that have not yet been announced.

• During his meeting with a delegation from the member states of ALBA, President Bashar al-Assad assured that the steps undertaken by Syria were focusing on two axes, i.e. political reform and the ending of the armed activities. He added: “The reforms were widely welcomed by the Syrian people and the foreign attack on Syria escalated when the situation started to improve, considering they do not want reforms, rather seeing Syria paying the price for its positions and its deterrence of the foreign plans in the region.” For their part, the members of the delegation conveyed to President Al-Assad the solidarity of their states’ presidents and people with Syria, condemning the political and media campaign to which it was being subjected due to its positions and assuring that their states will always support Syria in the international forums.
• Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem warned the countries around the world against recognizing the opposition National Council. He added: “Any state that recognizes the opposition Syrian National Council will be subjected to strict measures.”
• In the meantime, the European Union welcomed the founding of the Syrian council.
• The Al-Sabah Bahrat Square in the center of Damascus witnessed a million-man march with the participation of all the social factions to convey the solidarity of the Syrian people, the insistence on the independent national decision, the rejection of foreign interference in Syria’s domestic affairs and the expression of gratitude to Russia and China for their supportive positions.
• On Sunday, President Bahsar al-Assad issued a decision to form a committee for the drafting of a new constitution for the country.

Iran-Saudi Arabia
• The American authorities accused Iran of attempting to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubair in the United States. White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the United States was working with its allies at the United Nations to “proceed with Iran’s isolation,” while Washington warned it will hold Tehran accountable for its plan to kill the Saudi ambassador in it.
• Many analysts specializing in Middle Eastern affairs questioned the pieces of evidence and the timing of the American announcement of the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. In that same context, Iran denied the American accusations and called on Riyadh not to fall in the trap of these accusations, assuring that this issue only served the interests of the United States and Israel and aimed at creating divide between Tehran and its Arab neighbors.
• Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami warned president Mahmud Ahmadinejad against a possible American military attack.

Israeli file

• Five years after the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, the Cast Lead Operation waged by Israel against the Gaza Strip and the blockade imposed by Israel on the Strip throughout the last years, the situation has reached its end and forced the Israeli government to ratify the swap deal based on which the Israeli soldier will be released in exchange for the release of one thousand Palestinians from the Israeli prisons.
• According to the Israeli reports, there are many valid reasons to oppose the deal based on which kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit will be released. These reports believe this was a deal of surrender to terrorism, that it will strengthen Hamas and weaken the head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmud Abbas, the Palestinian authority itself and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
• On the other hand, the Israeli papers issued this week talked about the reduction of training by the Israeli army, as well as the reduction of the development and purchase of sophisticated weapons, indicating that the army will find it difficult to maintain the mobilization and the readiness of it units for more than a year.

Lebanese affairs

News analysis: On Jumblatt and Syria
It has been clear, ever since what was dubbed the August 2 turn, that Mr. Walid Jumblatt based his political move from the March 14 ranks on the American failure to target Syria and the steadfastness of the Lebanese internal equation which emerged following the famous May 5 decision to undermine the resistance via its land communication network.
The moment of surrender that was mentioned by Jumblatt more than once to justify his joining of the American project was a moment in which he believed that the US was leading the region toward a definite fate. Hence the leader of Mokhtara rushed to adjust to this fate at any price, thus drawing his internal political decisions on that basis before and after the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.
In his televised interview on Friday night after his meeting with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Jumblatt stressed his insistence on the new majority alliance and the relationship with Hezbollah. But Jumblatt seemed reluctant at the level of the Syrian issue against the backdrop of what was conveyed to him by Western and Arab sources in a way affecting his political calculations. Jumblatt is supportive of reforms in Syria and this does not go against Hezbollah’s position or that of President Bashar al-Assad. But as usual he did not take a clear stand.
It has been known for months that upon his return from his trip abroad, he was affected by what he heard from the Prince of Qatar, Jeffrey Feltman and the French and Turkish officials regarding the Syrian situation. These sides are all living in a great illusion at the level of their assessment of the internal situation in Syria, while deploying extensive efforts since the formation of Najib Mikati’s government to bring Walid Jumblatt on their side, earn a political cover to use Lebanon as an arena to target Syria and create a Lebanese internal climate that would immunize the involvement of the Lebanese Forces and the Future movement in Syrian affairs.
Mr. Jumblatt’s denial of any foreign interference in Syria goes against the facts which he himself knows in light of the payment of billions of dollars to fund media, political and security campaigns targeting Syria and its national state. Mr. Jumblatt knows from the 2005 experience that the Al-Bayanouni and Abdul Halim Khaddam front which has now become the Istanbul transitional council, approached him at the time to get facilitations to establish military and security bases in Lebanon. Today, Mr. Jumblatt knows many details about the conspiracy of the prince of Qatar, about the implication of his “friend” Saad al-Hariri in funding, supporting and arming the plan to sabotage Syria.
Jumblatt knows that President Bashar al-Assad is adopting a comprehensive reform project based on political plurality and journalistic freedoms and has issued the necessary laws whose implementation mechanisms are currently being prepared.
It was clear that the message of the leader of Mokhtara regarding the situation in Syria aimed at carrying out misleading and at presenting justifications to maintain enough room to blackmail the allies with his position towards the Syrian events. His talk had no integrity or credibility, especially when he praised the tyrannical monarchies that are cooperating with foreign states and conspiring with Israel in secret and public, and when he painted a positive image of the Libyan transitional council which is affiliated with the Western intelligence in exchange for his disregarding of the Syrian reforms and the conspiracy against Syria.

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