International affairs

The tendency : The West’s adaptation to the compelling equations

The negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group with the active participation of Russia and China revealed that the United States has started to adapt to the international and regional equations produced by the failure of its imperialistic project expressed via the theory of unilateral hegemony over the world. Some analysts were under the impression that the negotiations which were carried out due to an American insistence might lead to what they dubbed a comprehensive deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, the facts show that the international and regional climate is heading towards a cold war, mainly characterized by the continuation of the conflict in a new form between the powers of colonial hegemony led by the United States on the one hand and the liberation and independence bloc which includes the superpowers competing with the United States and headed by Russia and China, the remaining BRICS countries and their strategic partners, namely Iran and Syria in the region and the Latin American group of states that is impossible to control by the Yankees.

The postponement of the negotiations for a new round does not mean a return to square one since the Iranian method in managing the conflict is based on the accumulation of gains and accomplishments. The Baghdad negotiations stressed Iran’s right to carry out enrichment by 5%, which was met by the Iranian negotiator with the condition of seeing all the international sanctions lifted. Moreover, Iran insisted on its right to carry out enrichment for peaceful purposes until 20%, a thing which the Americans are still determined to refuse due to their commitment to the Israeli redline which decided that this 5% was the accepted ceiling. There are numerous other issues discussed during the negotiations apart from the Iranian nuclear file and are linked to the relations between Iran and the West, as well as to the affairs of the region from the Gulf to Palestine.

The Moscow negotiations which will be held mid next month might witness progress in light of the United States’ effort to reduce the tensions and avoid wasting its remaining areas of influence in the region, in light of what American experts are dubbing the mounting Iranian influence that is due to the Iranian success in building a strong and independent state capable of earning the recognition of its archenemy, thanks to its superior capabilities and self sufficiency in all areas despite the blockade and the sanctions. Moreover, the Iranian positions reflect the defense of the independence and freedom of the region’s populations, as well as that of the resistance against the Zionist entity, which described as being an advanced colonial base in the East. There is no doubt that the American and Western adaptation to the new facts will be slow and that the preparations for the next cold war will go through the setting of ceilings preventing the eruption of major wars, without this denying the continuation of the contradictions and the conflicts.

Whoever wants to learn about the future of the Iranian course should review the Chinese course since 1970, i.e. back when the secretary of state in Nixon’s administration, Henry Kissinger, inaugurated a new stage of the relations between Washington and Beijing based on the recognition of the Chinese power and the continuation of the disputes, some of which still exist until this day due to the United States determination to proceed with its pressures and interferences in Chinese domestic affairs. In the meantime, the renewed dialogue between the Russian Federation and the United States to organize the new cold war following the defeat of the American imperialistic project did not deter the American interferences in Russia or in its traditional areas of influence and did not cause the retreat of the acute tensions which resulted from the missile shield project, one which was considered by the Russian command as being a direct threat to its national security.

Furthermore, the American submission to the reality of the mounting Russian importance in the international equation via the Syrian window is still prompting ongoing attempts led by the American administration via its partners and allies in the region and in Lebanon to sabotage Kofi Annan’s plan despite its approval of the Security Council resolution presented by Russia. The Western adaptation to the new facts is also featuring bitterness caused by the defeat and an arrogance which usually affects empires in parallel to the retreat of their influence. Therefore, the next stage of international and regional relations does not herald comprehensive deals or a move from hostility and confrontation towards embracing the allies and the partners.

The polarization witnessed in the world and in the region will escalate and the players will spread on all arenas between the two opposing camps, i.e. that of colonial hegemony and that of independence and resistance. As to the possible understandings, their impact will stop at the level of preventing the major explosions and ensuring coexistence within the circles of an ongoing conflict under low ceilings, through which each team is seeking to enhance its positions and immunize its gains in the face of the collapsing hegemony.

News analysis

The Istanbul council: a crisis or a bankrupt project?

The crisis of the Syrian Istanbul transitional council headed by Borhan Ghalioun has constituted a decisive point in the war on Syria and revealed a series of facts following the resignation of the council’s head a few days after his reelection. Indeed, this development confirmed the deteriorating state and the existence of disputes governing the political mess dubbed the Syrian opposition, which is unable to produce fronts worthy of the respect of their employers in Washington.
Firstly, the image which Ghalioun tried to depict featured great misleading and political hypocrisy, especially when he claimed that the disputes in the Istanbul council were between the Islamic and secular movements. Clearly, the Muslim Brotherhood organization is the backbone of and the most organized power in the opposition on the domestic and external arenas, directly followed by the takfiri team which is mainly responsible for the terrorism, killing and explosions on Syrian soil. Since the formation of the Istanbul council, the groups which Ghalioun refers to as being secular included political blocs and formations of oppositionists living in exile and enjoying communists and liberal backgrounds, as well as figures seeking roles. This entire opportunistic formation has accepted to act as a political front behind which the MB leaders can hide. The rowdy individuals who rose against Ghalioun were hoping to play important roles in this formation, ones which were prevented by the Qatari support offered to Ghalioun who was also embraced by the Western and French intelligence apparatuses along with his partner Basma Kadamani. Among the most important reasons behind the retreat of Ghalioun’s influence is probably the slow transformation affecting the French policy in light of the failure of the war on Syria and the current and future changes in the formation of the French intelligence apparatus and Foreign Ministry.

Secondly, Ghalioun’s recognition of the Istanbul council’s impotence and bankruptcy did not rise up the level of real self-criticism for the opposition which linked itself to external sides, is still demanding Syria’s occupation by NATO and subsequently the destruction of the country which it is claiming to be attempting to save, in order to act as a collaborating authority with foreign occupation. The Istanbul project which is demanding foreign invasion, the destruction of Syria’s strength and regional status and its transfer to the American-Saudi-Israeli trench in the region, is the main reason why the people are abstaining from supporting the Syrian opposition movements and why the wave of protests has retreated. Indeed, those who believed there was some credibility to the calls for reform reiterated by the symbols of the opposition, including Ghalioun himself and the MB leaders among others, discovered they were delusional after the opposition movements established armed terrorist groups at whose hands the citizens have suffered and are still suffering.

Thirdly, through its political behavior, the Istanbul council prevented the participation of some opposition forces in the national dialogue which was called for by the Syrian state. Moreover, it pressured, blackmailed and accused of treason many of its parties and figures and exercised all sorts of terrorization to prevent the other oppositionists from participating in this dialogue and from engaging in the reform process led by President Bashar al-Assad. Borhan Ghalioun thus implemented the instructions of the MB leaders with loyalty and discipline and was seeking –along with the remaining members of the council- an American and Israeli acceptance and Turkey’s, Saudi Arabia’s, and Qatar’s favors to earn additional funds, while believing that armed rebellion and terrorist operations can undermine Syria’s stability, topple the national state and prepare the country for foreign invasion without any consideration for the decisive factors enhancing Syria’s strength, immunity and the cohesion of its state and army.
Ghalioun’s resignation came to herald the end of a failed political framework, at a time when the Western illusions regarding the toppling of the Syrian national state that is immunized with regional and international partnerships and is supported by wide popular majority is retreating.

Ban Ki-Moon’s predicament

Ban Ki-Moon announced that violence in Syria was still escalating despite what he described as being the progress achieved by Annan’s mission and observers. In the meantime, Annan will be arriving to Damascus to review the implementation of his plan. The problem with the United Nations and its team is that the security facet is given priority over the political facet for considerations leading to the increase of violence, as they are treating the groups committing murder as being a reformatory bloc, while abstaining from politically heading towards a comprehensive solution. Annan pledged to Syria that the security steps were a prelude for the launching of political steps, at the head of which being political dialogue. However, he recanted that position because he knows it will force the implicated states to back down on their war and recognize the need for political settlement under the umbrella of President Bashar al-Assad, in exchange for a dialogue that would produce partnerships with the opposition and guarantee a parliamentary and presidential electoral competition within the two coming years.
Consequently, this would cause the annulment of the economic sanctions, the halting of the media campaigns, the reinstatement of the embassies and the unleashing of the state’s hands to eliminate the remaining armed pits after the participants in the political solution are given a deadline to surrender their weapons. The sustainment of the observers’ role, i.e. their counting of the number of victims and their insistence on equaling the state and the army to criminal groups, means the prolongation of the Syrian suffering. Hence, Ban Ki-Moon and Annan are partners in the shedding of Syrian blood.

Israeli file

The Egyptian presidential elections occupied the main headlines of the Israeli newspapers issued this week. The papers thus carried various perceptions of the most important event in Egypt following the January 25 revolution, agreeing however that the arrival of an Islamist to the presidency would mean Egypt’s transformation into a second Iran.

On the other hand, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s negotiations with Iran seized the attention of the newspaper, which assured that these negotiations would not defer the strike against Iran. In the meantime, the papers quoted the head of the research division in the Israeli military intelligence apparatus Colonel Ethan Bronner as saying that 3,500 Iranian and Syrian rockets were directed at Israel and that Hezbollah was developing assault unmanned aircrafts and rockets that can be launched from the Lebanese sea and shores against Israel.
On the other hand, the Turkish-Israeli crisis returned to the spotlight after a Turkish judge issued an indictment sentencing four former Israeli military commanders to life in prison for their role in the killing of nine Turks in an aid ship which was heading to Gaza in 2010. The papers also focused on the case of the African immigrants and the Israeli authorities’ shortcomings in dealing with them. For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced in a joint press conference with the Czech president last week that the African refugees coming via the Egyptian border constituted a serious problem threatening Israel’s future security.

Lebanese affairs

News analysis

Dialogue, the army and the weapons in the speech of the Sayyed

Once again, the leader of the Lebanese resistance, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, appeared as the holder of national consensus, and wishful to protect civil peace and the country’s stability, based on his major position as the head of the resistance movement that defeated the Zionist enemy and has been constituting a guarantee of protection since the great liberation in 2000 and the 2006 war which ended with a new victory for Lebanon and its people despite the colonial attacks and the Arab and local conspiracy.

Firstly, the recent events in the North and in Beirut, as well as the kidnaping of the Lebanese pilgrims by one of the armed gangs in Syria, marked a critical test and a threat to civil peace. Those who organized and implemented these incidents wanted to provoke sectarian reactions that would trigger strife in Lebanon or lead it towards civil war, as the American planners wish to drown Lebanon in such events under the headline of expanding the Syrian crisis to the Lebanese arena. To them, and their partners in the Gulf, their projects exceeded the illusion of toppling Syria and have moved towards securing compensations in Lebanon. Sayyed Nasrallah and Speaker Nabih Berri showed a great ability to prevent mayhem twice. The first time was during the Tarik al-Jdideh battles which were triggered by the militias of the Future Movement and its partners, and the second time was following the announcement of the kidnaping of the pilgrims whose case seems to be controlled by a Turkish intelligence apparatuses game.

Secondly, Nasrallah’s insistence on the prevention of strife was accompanied by a call for dialogue without any restraints or conditions following the call of the president of the republic who was contacted by the Saudi king in this regard, which pointed to the defeat of the wagers on detonating the Lebanese situation. This was also stressed by Saad al-Hariri’s action on the sidelines of the case of the kidnapped pilgrims. Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah overcame the controversy surrounding the behavior, the practices and the provocative positions to stress the importance of dialogue and civil peace and the necessity of enhancing national stability, stating that the Lebanese army was the guarantor of civil peace and national unity and calling for its enhancement and for the people’s rallying around it. In that same context, he rejected the attacks and campaigns targeting the army under whichever pretext, recalling the events in which the inhabitants of the Suburb were targeted more than once by the Lebanese army, while the prevailing position was to leave the issue up to the investigations and to prevent any attacks against the military institution.

Thirdly, despite the approval of dialogue without any restraints or conditions, Sayyed Nasrallah’s tackling of some propositions put forward by the March 14 forces following the events in the North regarding a trade off invented by Feltman between the weapons of the resistance and the weapons on the domestic arena, was based on evidence and logical arguments, especially when he asked about the accomplishments secured by the weapons on the domestic arena in the hands of both the March 14 and March 8 forces and the purpose of weapons that have no other goal but to undermine stability and security for whichever reason and motive. The Sayyed asked at this level about what prevented the unification of all the weapons in the people, army, resistance system which secured steadfastness and victory in the defense of the country, achieved major national accomplishments and represents a noble and dear cause for any sovereign Lebanese national.

Fourthly, in his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah tried to shed light on the elements of strength of the resistance that achieved liberation thanks to the Syrian and Iranian support, and the enemy’s inability to keep an occupied land after it was forced to flee without any conditions.

Lebanese file

Groups affiliated with the Future Movement and Salafi groups blocked the roads throughout Lebanon following the death of Sheikhs Ahmad Abdul Wahed and Khalid Mereeb on an army checkpoint in Akkar, after the army assured they failed to respond to the calls for them to stop their vehicle and after weapons were seen inside the car. The army added that those who were in the car started shooting at the military men which caused the injuring of one soldier.

Tarik al-Jdideh also witnessed armed clashes between the supporters of the Future Movement and elements from the Arab Movement that is headed by Shaker al-Birjawi, leading to the death of two elements from the Arab Movement and the fall of a number of injured as the armed men attempted to storm their offices. In a related context, Prime Minister Najib Mikati headed a meeting at the Government House between the ministers and security leaders, stressing that no one was immune and that the law remained above all. The Future Movement for its part considered that the Akkar incident was an assassination operation requiring its transfer to the judicial council, while its leader Saad al-Hariri called for the toppling of the government of civil war and the Akkar deputies for the resignation of Army Commander Jean Kahwaji and the ousting of the army from the area.
In the meantime, the judiciary released Shadi al-Mawlawi on bail and prevented him from leaving the country. Upon his release, he was received by Prime Minister Najib Mikati and one of the cars of Minister Mohammad al-Safadi drove him to Tripoli.

In a related context, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE asked their nationals to leave Lebanon and not to travel to it. The Beirut suburb, the South and the Bekaa regions saw their roads blocked by citizens following the spread of reports regarding the kidnapping of eleven Lebanese by an armed group belonging to the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, after they crossed the Turkish-Syrian border on their way back from a visit to the holy sites in Iran. This required direct intervention by Speaker Nabih Berri and Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah who spoke on Al-Manar television and said to the families of the kidnapped: “Speaker Berri and I are dealing with this issue with great responsibility and have started working on the file before the reports came out in the media. This issue is our responsibility as though the kidnapped were our children. The state should also assume its responsibilities and seek their liberation. Prime Minister Mikati and Speaker Berri have already launched their contacts and we have launched our sideline contacts. There are tensions in the country and we want everyone to collaborate, especially the families of the kidnapped who can stage a sit-in since this is their right, but should not block the roads as we fear that some external parties might provoke problems with the security apparatuses.” In the meantime, the contacts are still ongoing between the presidents and the Hezbollah and Amal command on the one hand, and the Syrian authority and the regional actors, particularly Turkey on the other, in order to ensure the release of the kidnapped.
In a speech delivered on the Resistance and Liberation Day in Bint Jbeil on Friday, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the resistance and the arms of the resistance were part of the equation protecting Lebanon against the Israeli threats and aggressions, assuring that this was the accomplishment and this was a cause. He added: “With all due respect to all those who claim it, there was never a national consensus over the resistance in Lebanon. Division has always existed at this level, as well as at the level of the arms of the resistance. I am surprised by some Lebanese politicians and journalists who say whenever an event occurs: now national consensus over the resistance and its weapons has collapsed. When was there a consensus so that it collapses? There has always been a division over this issue. Today there are ongoing discussions in the country in light of the weapons’ anarchy seen during the last few weeks. There is a new file called the weapons, the anarchy, and the spread of weapons. Some are trying to merge this issue with the weapons of the resistance and call it the file of the legitimate weapons outside the context of the Lebanese state, in order to approach it as such. But this is a grave mistake considering that I am talking about the weapons of the resistance and stating its accomplishments and its cause. Tell me about the accomplishments and the causes of all the other weapons, whether those in the hands of the March 8 or the March 14 forces. These other weapons which were never part of the deterrence equation in the face of the Israelis, what did they accomplish and what is their cause

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