The defeat of the American empire, by Steve Benson

Arab Affairs

Editorial: The defeat of the American empire
When the United States decided to invade and occupy Iraq, its government firstly adopted this step to impose unilateral hegemony over the world. The planners of this war based it on the intimidation of all the international powers competing with the US, while tearing apart the United Nations’ formula and all its foundations since its establishment, in terms of partnership in the decision-making process and the adoption of choices. This was announced by the US government before and after the occupation, while stressing its determination to reshape the Middle East under colonial hegemony and establish a regional reality serving the two purposes of the American project in the region: the protection of Israel and the striking of the two independent states that are harboring the resistance in the region, i.e. Iran and Syria.
The moral collapse and the American strategic failure are confirmed while recollecting that moment and its preludes which were filled with lies, the falsified documents of Colin Powell and the theories of Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz about the necessity of annulling the United Nations and replacing it with a new framework to achieve total American hegemony.
Some American experts said that the war on Iraq achieved its purpose in terms of the money and war spoils reaped by the members of Bush’s administration and the revenues secured by the American oil and war cartels through generous contracts sponsored by former Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld. The war gang supported by the Zionist lobby achieved its purposes at this level. But if we were to take into account all the losses endured by the colonial Western-Zionist alliance since the occupation of Iraq - and especially during the wars on Lebanon and Gaza - one can conclude that the populations of the East, who fought with free will and defended their dignity and independence, afflicted this colonial alliance and especially this American empire with a historical defeat. The Baker-Hamilton report which was published in the fall of 2006 reached a conclusion summarized by one word: failure. Since then, the American policy has been trying to contain the failure and limit the losses through the strategy of soft power which relies on intelligence wars and sanctions.
In the meantime, the withdrawal of the American occupation from Iraq is the major event drawing up the outline of a new world with the rise of powers competing with the American empire, based on aspirations to instate a multipartite international partnership. This means the defeat of the American national security strategy which was based on the elimination of all competing powers around the world. At this level, Russia is ready to impose its return as a key player on the international arena while China is mobilizing its war fleets in the oceans and seas, after it used to be described as a land empire. Moreover, the rise of new international powers such as India, the Latin American group and South Africa confirms that the wealth and technology center of the world is moving from the West to the East and South. In this East, the Iranian regional power has become a reality after having ended the controversy surrounding the Iranian nuclear file since the Istanbul negotiations, while Syria is recovering from the crisis by blocking the windows and doors before any foreign intervention.
The American attempt to block the movements of independence and liberation by relying on the Muslim Brotherhood organization to produce ruling elite respecting Israel’s security and the conditions of Western hegemony will not compensate for the defeat and will not topple the equation. A new world will materialize in the first months of 2012 and a new region will make its way towards new political governance revolving around Palestine. This will not be prevented by all the fatwas of the MB leaders in regard to the pledges of the predecessors and the Israeli guest in the Cairo embassy, or by the theories of Borhan Ghalioun and Azmi Bshara about the alleged spring.

News analysis: The signs of the failure of the colonial campaign against Syria
During this past week, numerous signs emerged pointing to the obstruction of all the foreign intervention plans targeting Syria, after the efforts aiming at besieging it and subjugating it to impose the program proposed by head of the Istanbul council Borhan Ghalioun failed, thus casting their shadows over the French, American, Turkish and Qatari governments. Hence, what is left for the colonial Western-Zionist alliance and its regional affiliates is to reuse the remnants of Takfir and extremism in the region and push them toward the Syrian domestic arena to activate armed terrorism and sabotage operations targeting Syria’s economy and security. It has became a fact that the popular protests have massively retreated and are currently limited to gatherings staged by the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the groups of Takfir and the small formations including leftist and nationalists. On the ground, there were only five gatherings organized last Friday throughout Syria, in the countryside of Homs, Hama, Edlib and Daraa, where hundreds of participants came together and shouted a few slogans in order to have their pictures aired on the satellite channels.
The retreat of the protests and the abstinence of the crowds to meet the calls of the opposition movements have become a blunt reality on the Syrian domestic arena, which pushed Minister Alain Juppe to say that the Syrian regime was suppressing three million citizens. Knowing there are twenty three million Syrians, Minister Juppe is consequently assuming there are twenty million Syrians rejecting the programs of Borhan Ghalioun and the Istanbul MB council and want political change and reform in their country under the command of president Bashar al-Assad, based on the resistance and independence option.
On the other hand, a serious debate was launched within the American ruling institution over the purpose of the sanctions, reaching the conclusion that these sanctions which were imposed on Syria affected the Syrian people and increased the chances of seeing the strengthening of the Syrian state that has many alternatives. Two international experts on sanctions affairs considered that the measures adopted by the European Union conveyed political hypocrisy, assuring that had democracy been the goal, the Western governments would have presented a package of incentives to President Bashar al-Assad to urge him to lead democratic change. And what the two experts did not reveal about the purpose of the sanctions was uncovered by the Istanbul council’s program which was announced by Borhan Ghalioun, and through the clear and public adoption of terrorist activities and crimes carried out by this council’s militias on the ground.
On the opposite end of foreign intervention and terrorism, the vast majority of the Syrian people – which Juppe said was of around twenty million - is insisting on the national state, its army and president to safely exit the crisis through reform and national dialogue within the community. Obama’s blessing of the Iraqi government’s action along the Syrian track and Clinton’s welcoming of the discussion of the Russian draft marked the beginning of an American retreat imposed by the failure of the colonial campaign on Syria. It is a point of transition towards a new situation in which Syria will be stronger in the face of the challenges. The opposition on the domestic arena must quickly differentiate itself from this foreign campaign because time is running out, while the first month of the New Year will witness the Syrian national state’s advancement towards the elimination of the terrorism and murder pits and the full reinstatement of stability.

News analysis: The Bahraini revolution and the shame of the imposters
The slaughters, oppression campaigns, arrests and brutal torture are proceeding against the Bahraini people and their freedom fighters who belong to opposition movements which held on to peaceful methods since the eruption of the popular uprising. These crowds that are raising modest political slogans calling for transition towards constitutional monarchy are facing with their bare chests the killing and oppression machine led by the Saudi and British intelligence apparatuses against unarmed people. This popular revolution, in which the vast majority of the population participated, thwarted all the attempts to lead it towards sectarian conflict due to the insistence of the liberation elite in Bahrain on the national unity charter which brings together the democratic, liberal, leftist, nationalist and Islamist freedom fighters into one movement of change with unified goals and slogans.
The revolution of the Bahraini people is the only pure revolution in terms of its goals, tools and the nature of its powers that have gathered in political organizations and associations enjoying doctrinal, intellectual and structural plurality. Despite all that, and despite the brutality of the oppression, the condemnation by the investigation committee which was formed by the regime of what this regime’s thugs carried out and despite all that was done by the Saudi regime with American support in terms of the violation of the small country out of fear of seeing the transfer of the infection and the collapse of the lies regarding the Iranian interference which the Saudi officials fabricated, silence is being upheld towards the horrendous crimes being committed in Bahrain, in parallel to an intentional media blackout. It is shameful that media outlets are participating in the attempts to stifle this revolution, while fabricating scenes about Syria and exercising instigation day and night in regard to the Syrian situation upon American orders.
The Arab League which has turned - thanks to Hamad Ben Jassem and Nabil al-Arabi - into an American puppet, does not deem it necessary to discuss the Bahraini situation at a time when it is trying to open the door before foreign intervention in Syria. As for the GCC, which has appointed itself as the general commander of the Arab revolutions, it is drowning in the blood of the Bahraini people, and its rulers are delivering lectures about democracy from their tyrannical and backward forts that belong to the middle ages. Bahrain is the martyred arena which is exposing the great shame of all the futile and wretched elite preaching about American hegemony under the headline of democracy, but also the shame of the political organizations and governments revolving in this Western colonial space.

The Arab file

• The Syrians have elected their local administrative councils amid wide participation, neutrality and integrity under independent judicial supervision for the first time ever. Counselor Khalaf al-Azzawi, the head of the electoral commission, assured that the electoral process went by easily and smoothly based on legal conditions and requirements and in the presence of the candidates, their representatives and the media outlets. He said that the turnout was very good. On the other hand, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Doctor Jihad Maqdessi commented on the statements delivered by French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe who accused Syria of standing behind the explosion which targeted the UNIFIL troops in South Lebanon without any evidence, by saying: “The Foreign Ministry categorically denies Syria’s connection to this condemnable action. At the same time, it confirms that such statements issued by Juppe among others lack any proof and fall in the context of the French accusations being fabricated against Syria in order to falsify the facts. It seems that the French foreign minister has started exercising the conspiracy theory of which he is accusing the others.”
• The Iranian Shura Council ratified a free trade agreement with Syria while the head of the national security and foreign policy committee at the Iranian Shura assured that Syria was being subjected to a conspiracy and a fierce media campaign led by the United States and its Western allies via Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya channels, thus spending billions of dollars to undermine Syria’s steadfastness and resistance. He then reiterated his country’s support to Syria in the face of this conspiracy, conveying the Iranian people’s condemnation of the Turkish position towards Syria.
• On Saturday, the observers were surprised to hear the decision adopted by Hamad Ben Jassem and Nabil al-Arabi to transfer the Arab initiative to the Security Council, in an attempt to internationalize the Syrian crisis. This came after the meeting of the Arab foreign ministers at the Arab League to discuss the Syrian issue was postponed, which constituted an unprecedented and unjustified escalation.

• During the second stage of the People’s Assembly elections, the Freedom and Justice Party – the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood group - came first, while the Salafi Al-Nour party came second. As for the liberals, they came in third place.
• On Friday, the police and army forces clashed with the demonstrators in front of the Cabinet headquarters and on Tahrir Square, causing the death of nine demonstrators and the wounding of three hundred others. On Saturday the army was able to evacuate Tahrir Square by use of force.

• American President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki assured - following their meeting at the White House - that Washington and Baghdad were proceeding with the implementation of the strategic framework agreement and will open a new page at the level of the relations of the two countries following the pullout of the American troops by the end of the month. Al-Maliki stated that the pull out was a positive step and proved the success of Iraq and its government despite the need for political and security cooperation with the United States.
• Amid a massive military celebration organized in Baghdad in the presence of American Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the American flag was lowered by the US troops at the main American base near the Baghdad International Airport and the base was surrendered to the Iraqi forces in preparation for the final departure of the American troops from the country.

• The Tunisian ConstituentAssembly elected Moncef al-Marzouki as president of the republic, who in turn assigned the secretary general of Ennahda movement, Hamadi al-Jabali, to form the government.

Israeli file

• The Israeli papers issued this week tackled the escalation of the Jewish terrorism operations inside the occupied territories after some settlers sabotaged mosques, burned cars belonging to Palestinians, attacked Israeli army units and hit the officers with stones. They pointed out that these practices did not prompt Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn the settlers’ terrorism. Quite the contrary, he considered them to be mere hooligans and called for their prosecution before military courts. On the other hand, the second stage of the prisoners’ swap deal seized the attention of the Israeli papers with the imminent release of 550 prisoners from Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in addition to a number of women and minors.

• On the other hand, Haaretz revealed the content of a secret document drawn up but the ambassadors of EU states to Israel, recommending the return of the issue of the Arab citizens of Israel - or the so called Palestinians from the 1948 territories - to the table of discussions between the Israeli government and the European Union. Haaretz indicated that this document was unprecedented at the level of the tackling by foreign sides of sensitive internal Israeli affairs and the fact that it was drawn up without Israel being informed about it.

Lebanese affairs

News analysis: Electronic war between the resistance forces and the American-Israeli alliance
Following the American and Israeli failure in the region during the last few years, analysts and experts are talking about the inability of the United States and Israel to wage any major war for the time being against Iran and the resistance forces in Lebanon, due to what is dubbed the deterrence balance which was successfully imposed by the regional group opposing the Western-Israeli alliance and including Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.
Amid this climate, Washington and Tel Aviv waged a secret electronic war through the use of spy aircrafts linked to satellites and operations rooms on the ground and at sea, while these planes were dispatched to the Lebanese and Iranian airspaces in a way marking the beginning of a new type of war, i.e. the espionage and electronic intelligence war. On December 4th, Iran took over an unmanned American reconnaissance aircraft which was 250 km inside the Iranian airspace. At first, Washington tried to deny that its plane was brought down, before recognizing the development later on. For his part, President Barack Obama asked Iran to surrender the plane, while according to the sources, the American officials excluded the possibility that Iran might have managed to bring down the plane.
In Lebanon, and during that same period, Hezbollah revealed reports featuring facts and information about the American spy networks. It assured that the CIA was using one of the buildings of the American embassy in Awkar as its headquarters, announcing the name of a massive team of officers and the name of the head of the CIA post in Lebanon Daniel Patrick Mcfeely, who acted as a diplomatic employee. A few days later, the CIA recognized the veracity of the information revealed by the party, which had previously announced the thwarting of an Israeli espionage operation targeting the special communications network of Hezbollah in the Lebanese South. And during the last few weeks the Israeli papers spoke about the disappearance of an unmanned aircraft in the Lebanese airspace, saying that the war between Israel and Hezbollah had turned into an electronic one following the fall of the aircraft in the Froun valley about a month ago.
American expert Robert Baer, who handled during the eighties important responsibilities in the American intelligence apparatuses in Lebanon and Iraq, considered that Iran and Hezbollah’s superiority in the electronic war with the United States and Israel had started to constitute a serious threat due to the accomplishments secured by both sides in exposing spy networks, obstructing sophisticated devices, and dismantling their systems. This in his opinion will constitute the most prominent challenge facing Israel and the US in the region.

Lebanese file

• Last Thursday, strikes and the protests called for by the social and unionist committees were carried out in rejection of the Cabinet’s decision at the level of the wages’ file, while later on the State’s Shura Council approved a draft decree to correct the wages provided that this decree is amended before it is ratified. Minister of Labor Charbel Nahass welcomed the Shura Council’s recommendation, saying: “Today, it has not only become possible to improve the wages, but also to legally immunize them.”

• In regard to the Southern situation, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe accused Syria and its ally Hezbollah of being likely behind the explosion which targeted the French soldiers. For its part, Hezbollah condemned this behavior that is unbefitting of the foreign minister of an important country such as France, calling on him to amend his position and pay attention to the seriousness of such accusations which cause great injustice and are completely rejected. On the other hand, unknown elements launched a Katyusha missile from Wadi al-Kaysiah on the outskirts of the town of Majdel Selm in Marjyoun, but the missile apparently fell by mistake in the town of Hawla and injured one woman. For his part, former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri considered via twitter that the attack on the French unit in Tyre was not one of the things that just happened and was rather a message from Al-Assad’s Syria via its friends in Lebanon.

• The Maronite meeting which rallied the Maronite leaders in Bkerke in the presence of Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, adopted the proposal presented by the Orthodox gathering for an electoral law ensuring sectarian and denominational balance in Lebanon. The gathering assured that equality between Muslims and Christians exceeded all other considerations, whether demographic or political, and that relinquishing it would cause instability at the level of the Lebanese system.

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