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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

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 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.

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.

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