International affairs

Editorial: Putin and the rise of the Russian power

The world is anticipating the Russian presidential elections, although
their outcome has already been settled in favor of the return of
Vladimir Putin to the presidency, in an event which will complete
Kremlin’s exit from the state of retreat which was characterized by
the humoring of the American unilateral hegemony project over the
world.
Firstly, Russia, the old empire, which is still a superpower due to
its geographic and economic reality and its historical composition,
was present throughout the last century at the level of the equations
and balances via its military fleet and armies. Moreover, its
continental surrounding always marked an area of influence and
interests which expanded and diminished based on the international
equations and the extent of the Russian strength, aggressiveness and
cohesion. The nature of the Russian political system altered the shape
of the action of the old empire, while the Russian role remained
strongly present throughout the world, especially in the nearby Arab
and Islamic East which overlooks the warm waters and in which Kremlin
maintained its presence in the face of the competing Western
imperialistic powers.
Secondly, the renewed competition which escalated at the level of the
Russian-American relations is neither a matter of ideology nor an
inherited political tradition. It is the result of the fact that the
modern Russian economic power is bound to compete with the United
States based on the global struggle over influence. Russia’s economic
relations with the world mainly rely on the oil and gas sectors, as
well as on the military industry. During the last few years, it
developed a more competitive sector vis-à-vis the United States, i.e.
the advanced nuclear technologies industry which was clearly seen in
the experience of the Iranian nuclear file. Hence, the struggle over
the energy sources, the weapons market, the international commercial
passageways, technological rivalry at the level of the arms industry,
the invasion of space and the nuclear energy sources is the content of
an escalating race between Moscow and Washington.
Thirdly, during the last two decades, the Russian behavior in the
post-Yeltsin era was characterized by the reconstruction of the
Russian global power in the face of the American arrogance and the
military displays of power carried out by the Pentagon throughout the
world. Ever since his assumption to the presidency for the first time,
Vladimir Putin became a symbol marking the return of the Russian power
in the face of the American empire, while the support of the Russian
popular majority allowed the leader to control the situation inside
his country based on new economic powers within the state and society
whose interests were affected during the stage of retreat and
decadence under the control of the Zionist lobby and the groups linked
to the American intelligence apparatuses under Yeltsin.
Vladimir Putin’s Russia will continue its counter offense in the face
of the collapse of the American monopolization project in the world,
while during the last ten months, the Syrian issue constituted the
political and strategic crane for the new Russian method in managing
the conflict with the Western camp that is led by the United States
and includes Western Europe that is quasi-completely controlled by
Washington.

Arab Affairs

News analysis: Syria will achieve victory over the world war

The ongoing developments on Syrian soil reveal that the Syrian
national state achieved great victory over one of the most dangerous
episodes via the Arab League, as its handling of the Arab observers’
mission placed it in the context and climate confirming the soundness
of the Syrian position and the veracity of the Syrian official tale in
regard to the presence of a foreign plan sponsoring the formation and
equipment of armed gangs aiming at spreading terrorism and anarchy and
at pushing the country towards civil war, for which massive
international, regional and Arab capabilities were mobilized.
During the presence of the observers throughout the last month, the
Syrian authorities exercised the highest level of cooperation and
offered all the possible facilitations to allow the mission’s movement
in all the Syrian regions, especially in the areas that witnessed
incidents and in which the observers met with the victims of the
terrorism and bloody violence waged by the elements of the armed gangs
in Hama, Edlib and Homs.
Regardless of the report that will be issued by the mission, it will
constitute a testimony confirming the Syrian national state’s
collaboration and credibility and a condemnation to all the Western,
Arab and regional governments implicated in the war on Syria and that
are moving from one failure to another. The Arab observers will not be
able to deny the reality of the crimes they saw and that are being
committed by the gangs of the Istanbul council and the so-called Free
Syrian Army, in order to divide the country, sabotage public and
private facilities and affect the lives of the Syrian citizens.
Hamad Bin Jassem is trying to buy off people and is spending the
massive budget allocated by Qatar to serve the American Israeli-plan
against Syria. But no matter how hard he tries, he will not be able to
secure the issuance of a falsified report backing up the fabricated
tale promoted by Al-Jazeera channel and its sisters and adopted by the
alliance that is hostile towards Syria, regarding the fact that the
current events were staged in the context of popular protests being
suppressed by the authorities.
The protests are retreating and the opposition’s demonstrations have
actually become limited to small gatherings in the countryside of the
central provinces. In the meantime, the Syrian popular majority took
to the squares by the millions throughout the past month to support
President Bashar al-Assad and his reformatory project and reject
foreign interference in the country’s affairs. It is up to the Arab
League’s mission to convey the urgent popular calls made upon the
Syrian state to hasten the military settlement against the gangs of
terrorism and rebellion which include murderers, terrorists and
takfiris and are jeopardizing Syrian security and stability to serve
the Israeli colonial plan and its Arab and regional tools. The great
predicament facing the alliance that is hostile to Syria is that the
observers’ mission is one of its last available cards. In the
meantime, all the threats issued by Hamad Bin Jassem in regard to
internationalization and the transfer of the Syrian file to the
Security Council are being obstructed by the Russian position, which
is growing stronger in the face of the conspiracy targeting Syria.

News analysis: Attempts to paralyze Iraq and isolate it from Syria

The political events recently witnessed in Iraq pointed to a high
level of political tensions caused by the Turkish and Saudi
interferences aiming at provoking a crisis in the face of the
government of Nouri al-Maliki, one which is not far away from the
attack waged by the Western alliance and these same regional tools
against Syria. In parallel to the political tensions and the
escalation which targeted the Iraqi government, the Iraqi authorities
revealed a series of facts regarding the mobilization of takfiri
groups based on a regional decision to launch a wave of bloody
attacks, aiming at undermining Iraq’s security and stability and at
drowning it in the swamp of sectarian strife.
The measures adopted by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki through the
discontinuation of the work of the security companies linked to the
occupation and the containment of the activities of groups of American
mercenaries on the ground, along with the political measures through
which Al-Maliki showed his determination to uphold the political
cohesion of the central authority, aimed at immunizing the domestic
situation and led to dissent within the bloc headed by Iyad Allawi,
Tarek al-Hashemi and Saleh al-Mutlaq. This camp had been engaged in a
conflict against Al-Maliki’s government and the wide national
alliance, while earning support from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and America.
The goal behind this campaign is clear, as it aims at paralyzing Iraq
and preventing it from becoming a strong player in the Arab and
regional equation. At the level of the Iraqi scene, there is an
exposed American attempt to neutralize Iraq and prevent it from
establishing strategic contacts with Iran and Syria.
This is the main issue since clear Israeli fears vis-à-vis the return
of the Eastern front are the ones prevailing over all the Western
strategic calculations in the region, at a time when the Saudi and
Western positions constitute the direct American tools for the
interference in Iraq following the end of the occupation. Through some
Iraqi symbols and groups, the Americans are trying to promote Iraq’s
neutrality towards the ongoing events in Syria, at a time when Iraqi
popular and political factions are aware of the fact that their
country cannot remain distant from the repercussions of the Syrian
incidents and that the Iraqis are facing the same plan as Syria.
Indeed, sectarian division and mobile civil wars have been adopted by
the Americans and the Israelis following their defeat in the face of
the Iraqi popular and military resistance, which benefited from the
regional balance established by the resistance and independence
system in the region, i.e. by Syria, Iran and the Lebanese and
Palestinian resistance movements.
Al-Maliki’s government is targeted by security and political attacks
under the pretext of conflicts over power and sectarian sensitivities.
However, these attacks are actually targeting this government’s
support to the Syrian national state, through its refusal to
participate in the sanctions on Syria, the measures it adopted to
prevent the smuggling of terrorists and weapons across the border and
the enhancement of Iraqi-Syrian security, economic and oil
cooperation. The planners of the conspiracy against Syria know that
the Iranian-Syrian communication bridge via Iraq is the course through
which a powerful regional system will be established to topple the
regional equations.

The Arab file

Syria
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a general pardon affecting all
the crimes committed against the backdrop of the incidents witnessed
since March 15, while batches of those on whom the pardon applied were
released in the presence of members from the Arab League observer’s
mission. For its part, Russia welcomed the pardon and assured it was
an important step contributing to the settlement of the situation in
Syria, far away from foreign intervention.
The Arab League announced that major general Mohammad al-Dabi, the
head of the Arab observer’s mission in Syria, will present his report
in regard to the developments in the country before the Arab
ministerial committee that is tending to the crisis, during its
meeting which will be held on Sunday.

Iran
Iran warned the Gulf States against the repercussions of their
compensation for any possible ban imposed on its oil exports against
the backdrop of its nuclear program. The Iranian envoy to OPEC,
Mohammad Ali Khatibi, stated: “If the oil states in the Gulf give a
green light to compensate for the Iranian oil and cooperate with the
states engaged in the venture, they will be held responsible for what
might happen in the region, including the Hormuz Strait. Such a
gesture on their part would not be friendly and the Iranian response
will be determined by the political and security circles. Our Arab
neighbors should abstain from cooperating.”

As for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, he cautioned that any
military attack against Iran will have dire consequences over the
region.
And in the context of the investigations into the assassination of the
Iranian nuclear scientist, Iranian Shura Council Speaker Ali Larijani
announced that a number of people had been arrested. He said: “We
found pieces of evidence and carried out arrests. The investigations
are ongoing, and we will not hesitate to punish the Zionist regime so
that it realizes that such operations will not be without a response.
We will respond, but not through a terrorist act.” However, he did not
reveal any additional details.

Palestine
Senior Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat announced that the Israeli
delegation only presented headlines during the Amman meetings, while
avoiding to put forward its official stand in regard to the so-called
final status issues. And apart from the daily attacks against the
Palestinian people, Israel arrested the head of the Palestinian
Legislative Council, Doctor Aziz Dweik, as well as another deputy from
Hamas.

Israeli file
The Israeli papers issued last week focused on what they dubbed the
Iranian challenge, in addition to issues related to the developments
witnessed on the Israeli political arena that is getting ready for the
next elections. The papers also shed light on the visit conducted by
American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey to
Israel at the end of the week, tackling the statements of Defense
Minister Ehud Barak in which he said that an Israeli final decision in
regard to the Iranian nuclear file was still very unlikely.
On the other hand, the papers carried a report issued by the European
Union and confirming that Israel was adopting continuous measures to
annex Eastern Jerusalem and increase its Judaization activities at the
expense of its Muslim and Christian population, which closed the door
before the two-state solution.
For its part, the Jerusalem Post revealed instructions issued by the
Israeli Chief of Staff to the Southern Command to prepare for a
possible large Gaza operation that could occur within the next several
months. And in the context of the electronic war between Israel and
Arab hackers, the Israeli papers indicated that the Saudi hacker tried
to hack governmental websites after it had done so with the stock
market website and the EL-Al airline company website. They also
indicated that governmental sites specialized in information security
thwarted an attempt to hack the sites of the Israeli infrastructure
and affect vital services.
The papers carried reports regarding the annulment of the joint
military manoeuvre which was supposed to be held in April between
Israel and the United States to avoid provoking Iran’s anger.

Lebanese affairs

News analysis
Those implicated in Syria’s targeting preparing an Israeli coup in Lebanon.
The ongoing debates within the Lebanese political circles in regard to
the performance of the government at the level of the positions
towards the ongoing events in Syria, are based on practical facts and
information. As for the interpretation promoted by some sources close
to Prime Minister Najib Mikati in the papers issued from Beirut, and
in which they hinted to the fact that some of Syria’s allies were
spreading a negative climate in order to raise suspicions between
Damascus and the prime minister, it featured an unmasked justification
for Lebanon’s hosting of the platforms of aggression against the
Syrian national state.
Firstly, the March 14 leaders - along with Deputy Walid Junblatt who
is part of the governmental coalition - showed a clear inclination to
cooperate with all the American calls to interfere in Syria through
the heated activities carried out by these sides in Lebanon and
abroad, in order to escalate the political and media campaigns
instigating against Syria. These sides, which are addressing the
Syrians with sectarian and denominational terms, are trying to
undermine the Syrian people’s national unity and impact the cohesion
of the Syrian Arab army based on clear American orders.
Secondly, through the targeting of Syria, these sides are actually
targeting the power equation on which the Lebanese resistance relied
in the face of Israel, and which allowed the Lebanese state to regain
its sovereignty over most of the Lebanese territories which were
occupied by the Israeli enemy. Samir Geagea is the official spokesman
for the latter group and is Saad al-Hariri’s candidate to the
presidency of the republic, in case the Israeli plans were to succeed.
He was very clear in revealing the Lebanese goal behind the plan to
sabotage Syria, which is practically the project of a civil war in
Lebanon through a political coup at the level of the composition of
the Lebanese authority, as it was stated by Ahmet Davutoglu in press
statements prior to his arrival to Beirut.
The American plan wants to see this war which aims at destroying and
disarming the Lebanese resistance, at a time when the Western colonial
alliance and all its tools and agents in the region believe that the
circumstances are ripe to attack all the Lebanese national powers that
are harboring the resistance following the changing of the regional
strategic environment through the civil war that is wanted in Syria.
Thirdly, the national security considerations, Lebanon’s stability and
its immunity in the face of Israel impose on the Lebanese government
the adoption of a clear and stringent position in the face of the plan
to target Syria. This should also be adopted in the face of the
Lebanese powers implicated in this campaign, against the backdrop of
an Israeli coup which they are planning to drown Lebanon in blood and
destruction and target Lebanon’s source of strength that is protecting
the country against Israel. The Lebanese government is responsible for
every activity undertaken by the Syrian groups conspiring against the
Syrian state starting from Lebanon, and this includes all the
political, media and security activities run by the Syrian oppositions
that are harbored by the Lebanese sides within their areas of
influence.
Fourthly, the smuggling of weapons and funds and the establishment of
training camps, especially in the border regions, constitute an entire
file revealing the frailty of the Lebanese institutions and their
disregarding of their responsibilities. This is a known fact with all
its chapters, while what is more dangerous is the collaboration of a
number of officials in the state apparatuses and high positions in the
protection of the security activities of the gangs of terrorism, but
also the weakness of the Lebanese governmental public positions
towards the Syrian incidents.
The criticisms addressed to Prime Minister Mikati’s government at the
level of this file are well based. And while it is natural for the
Syrian national state to call on its Lebanese counterpart to respect
the bilateral agreements between the two countries, pay attention to
what is happening on the border and end the Lebanese political, media
and security interferences in Syrian domestic affairs, the Lebanese
state for its part should end its humoring of the Israeli-Western
colonial attack targeting Syria. The Syrian command was very late in
expressing its blames because it wagered on the Lebanese leadership’s
sense of responsibility.

Lebanese file
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said during a dinner hosted in
honor of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that Lebanon was
stronger than the earthquakes coming from abroad “although some
internal divisions are weakening our domestic stand.”
He then called
“on everyone during this critical stage to cooperate and immunize our
country against the threats and the divisions,”
pointing to the
necessity of seeing international stringency to force Israel to end
its violation of Lebanese sovereignty and implement all the
international resolutions.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu assured during his meetings
with the three presidents and a number of political and religious
leaders that Lebanon’s stability was very important to his country,
warning against “any repercussions or negative impacts that might
affect it due to the crisis witnessed in the Middle East region.”

During his meeting with parliament Speaker Nabih Birri, he assured
that Turkey was not going to undertake any military operation against
Syria, which was welcomed by Speaker Birri who insisted nonetheless
that Turkey does not settle for negative non-interference and initiate
positive intervention.
For his part, former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri tweeted that the
main message carried by the UN secretary general’s visit to Lebanon
was “related to the international tribunal, the necessity of
implementing the international resolutions and the support of
Lebanon’s stability.”
In the meantime, the surprise was seen on
Saturday when it was announced that Al-Hariri who claimed to be
residing in Saudi Arabia due to threats to his life and who had
promised his supporters via twitter that he will return to Lebanon on
February 14 to commemorate his father’s assassination, was injured
while skiing in a luxury resort in the French Alps. His office
announced that he underwent a successful surgery in the leg.

Source
New Orient News