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Friday, June 23, 2017

Yahoudi Arabia & allies demand Qatar close Turkish base, shut Al-Jazeera and more within 10 days


Saudi Arabia & allies demand Qatar close Turkish base, shut Al-Jazeera and more within 10 days
Originally appeared at RT
The Arab states which have imposed an economic blockade on Qatar over its alleged financing of terrorism have issued a severe list of demands, which includes giving Doha 10 days to cut ties with Iran, shutting down Al-Jazeera, closing a Turkish military base and paying a fine.
The Kuwait emissary, which is serving a mediator in the diplomatic standoff, has reportedly presented the list of 13 demands from the Arab states to Qatar. Doha has 10 days to comply, according to Associated Press which has seen the list.
The ultimatum demands that Qatar abandon its cooperation with Iran, close down its military base where Turkish troops stationed and disbands its Al-Jazeera news network.
The countries led by Saudi Arabia also demands Doha to cut all ties with terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Al-Qaeda. The list also demands that the monarchy stop funding all extremist groups designated as “terrorist” by the US.
The Gulf nations are also seeking detailed information about “opposition figures that Qatar has funded,” AP said. In addition, Qatar must surrender all nationals who are wanted on terrorism charges by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with Qatar in early June, accusing their neighbor of sponsoring terrorism. Some other countries outside the Gulf region also downscaled ties and partially joined in imposing economic sanctions on Qatar.
Before Kuwait delivered the ultimatum, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cautioned that demands against Qatar need to be “reasonable and actionable.”
“We support the Kuwaiti mediation effort and look forward to this matter moving toward a resolution,” Tillerson said Wednesday.
This is the Kuwait emissary’s second mission aimed at restoring diplomatic ties between Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations.
During the previous attempt, Doha rejected the laid out preconditions, with Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Thani who serves as the Qatari foreign minister, stating emphatically that no outside power can interfere with Doha’s foreign policy or dictate its media politics. The Sheikh also made clear that Qatar could survive “forever” under sanctions.
The ongoing crisis was triggered in early June following a report on the state run Qatar News Agency (QNA) website, in which the country’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, criticizes Saudi Arabia’s anti-Iranian rhetoric among other controversial statements. QNA immediately retracted what it termed “fake news,” and following an investigation said the channel had been hacked by “neighboring” states which then used the QNA report as a pretext to impose the economic blockade.
As the crisis developed, Doha found itself increasingly isolated and dependent on aid from Turkey and now Iran. Both countries have sent food supplies to Doha, currently under a tough trade and travel blockade. Meanwhile, Ankara fast-tracked the ratification of an earlier sealed deal to send troops to the Gulf nation to train Qatar’s police force.
With no resolution to the stalemate imminent, Washington has questioned the motives behind the punitive measures imposed on Qatar.
“Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism, or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries?” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert asked Tuesday.
Since the start of the ongoing rift, Qatar has insisted that its innocent.
“Our government has maintained, from Day 1, that the blockade has nothing to do with the accusations that have been leveled against Qatar,” Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to the United States wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday.
“The allegations that Qatar supports terrorism and that Qatar is a secret ally of Iran are, as the State Department suspects, just a smokescreen for an attempt to infringe upon Qatar’s sovereignty and punish Qatar for its independence,” the ambassador wrote.
He called for negotiations to end the crisis, but accused the belligerent states of “seeking to drive a wedge between Qatar and the United States for their own political gain.”
“Qatar has the right to chart its own course, without the interference of other nations, and that is what we can and will do. The door to the negotiating table will stay open,” Al-Thani emphasized.
The envoy said the Saudi-led nations know all too well that Qataris “do not, have not and never will support terrorism,” and accused Doha’s detractors of orchestrating a “smear campaign” when it comes to accusations that Qatar is a “secret ally” of Iran. He added that Doha is providing support to Syrian rebels who are battling against the Syrian government and Iranian troops.
“The Saudis, the UAE and every government in the Gulf maintain diplomatic and trade relations with Iran,” the ambassador pointed out. “In fact, Iran’s biggest trading partner is the nation now leading the anti-Qatar blockade, the UAE.”

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من حلب إلى درعا… قريباً إدلب


من حلب إلى درعا… قريباً إدلب

يونيو 23, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– تستطيع إدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب أن تزعم الفضل لها بتأجيل مفاعيل انتصار الجيش السوري وحلفائه في حلب، ونجاحها بتجميد مفاعيل مسار أستانة لستة شهور وجعله خلالها إطاراً مرتبكاً يخضع للتجربة والاختبار بانتظار ما سيحدث على جبهة الأوهام باسترداد الجماعات المسلحة زمام المبادرة. وهو ما كان ليحدث لولا التشويش الذي أدخلته عنتريات الرئيس الأميركي ورسائله النارية، التي تكشّف مضمونها عن ألعاب تكتيكية لا عن خيار استراتيجي، حيث يصير الجواب الأميركي عن سؤال حول ما بعد انكسار داعش وفرضية تعرّض القوات الكردية لهجوم من الجيش السوري وهل ستدافع عنها القوات الأميركية، بالقول بالتأكيد لن نفعل ذلك.

– كلّ الذين قتلوا وأصيبوا وكلّ الخراب الذي وقع، خلال فترة ما بعد معارك حلب، نتاج لهذه الأوهام التي زرعتها إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب، ودفعت حتى الأتراك الذين ذاقوا مرارة هزيمتهم في حلب إلى التوهّم بأنّ زمناً جديداً يبدأ، وأنّ العودة لرهانات الخيار العسكري في سورية ممكنة، حتى انقضت كلّ اختبارات القوة، وثبت أنّ المعادلة التي أنتجت نصر حلب هي المعادلة الاستراتيجية الثابتة، وأنّ التشويش عليها سياسياً وعسكرياً ليس إلا أفعالاً تكتيكية يريدها الأميركي لقطاف من الأغبياء الذين يقعون ضحايا وهمِ قوّته. كما قالت قمم ترامب في الرياض وحصاده بمئات مليارات الدولارات.

– جاءت معارك درعا، وجاء كلام الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون كصفعات موجعة للجماعات المسلحة التي وقعت ضحية الوهم، لإعادتها إلى رشدها الحلبي، والتيقن من أنّ شيئاً لم ولن يتغيّر، وأنّ العناد والمكابرة لن ينتجا سوى رفع الأكلاف للتسليم بنتائج يمكن التسليم بها بخسائر أقلّ. ومعلوم أنّ ميزان الردع بعد سلسلة معارك يصير مكثفاً، فلا حاجة لمرور الحرب بكلّ مراحل المرة الأولى لتظهر نتائج مراحلها الأخيرة في المرة التالية. وتكفي مؤشرات التذكير بالموازين لفرض المسار الذي رسم من قبل على حالات أشدّ قوة ومتانة، في حالات أشدّ ضعفاً وهشاشة، وما كانت تبغيه الخطة الأميركية هو تعطيل موقت لفعل هذه القاعدة لتعيد الجماعات المسلحة ورعاتها الإقليميين المرور بالنكسات ذاتها وبأكلاف مضاعفة، حتى تتحقق من أنّ شيئاً لم يتغيّر، لكن كسب الوقت يكون نزيفاً قاتلاً لها، ومكاسب في الجيب الأميركي، تتحقق في الخليج وليس في سورية.

– درعا تدخل اليوم الزمن الحلبي، وتتدحرج مكونات تسوية تشبه تلك التي انتهت بها حرب حلب، ومن درعا إلى حلب، شمال وجنوب سورية وشمال وجنوب الحرب السورية وبوابات العبور منها وإليها، من هاتين البوابتين عبرت الحرب إلى سورية ومنهما تعبر سورية للخروج من الحرب. وبرفع العلم السوري فوق خط الحدود الأردنية ولاحقاً التركية تسدل الستارة على الفصول الأشدّ بشاعة وخطراً في هذه الحرب. وبعد درعا ستكون إدلب قريباً، وبعدهما لن يطول زمن عودة دير الزور، فتلك هي معادلة حسم أمرها، بين حلفين حلف يزداد تماسكاً وحلف يزداد تفتتاً. حلف يزداد ثقة وحلف يزداد شكوكاً وإحباطاً. حلف يزرع الانتصارات وحلف يحصد الهزائم. دمشق تنفض غبار الحرب عنها وتحتفل بيوم القدس وتراه قريباً، والرياض تتقلّص طموحاتها من انتظار يوم سقوط دمشق لتهتف إنه يومك يا ابن نايف ويومك يا قطر.

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Russian Submarine And Warships Launches Cruise Missiles At ISIS Terrorists In Syria (Video)

Russian Submarine And Warships Launches Cruise Missiles At ISIS Terrorists In Syria (Video)
A screenshot from the Russian Defense Ministry
Admiral Essen, Admiral Grigorovich frigates and Krasnodar submarine of the Russian Navy have launched six Kalibr cruise missiles on ISIS targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
According to the statement, the submarine performed a submerged launch of the cruise missiles.
“As a result of a surprise saturation missile attack, Daesh [ISIS] command posts, as well as large ammunition depots, have been destroyed in the vicinity of the town of Akerbat in the province of Hama, where a militant arsenal detonated after a pinpoint hit by the Kalibr cruise missile,” the ministry said. “The remaining Daesh [ISIS] terrorist fighters and targets have been destroyed by Russian Aerospace Forces bombers’ airstrikes.”

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Understanding Russia: The Continuum of History

June 20, 2017
The United States is actively committed to bring Russia into submission via encirclement and a two pronged attack.
NATO’s expansion of bases in vassal states right up to Russia’s borders, coupled with an attempt at encroachment in Syria, should allow The Hegemon to undermine Russia’s underbelly from the Caucasus to Central Asia.
To understand how Russians usually respond to Western power a little time travel, starting 1219 AD, is more than useful.
This was a time when a cataclysmic event left deep scars on the Russian character; an abiding fear of encirclement, whether by nomadic hordes then or by nuclear missile bases today.
Russia then was not a single state but consisted of a dozen principalities frequently at war with each other. Between 1219 and 1240 all these fell to the Genghis Khan hurricane, whose lightning-speed cavalry with his horse-borne archers, employing brilliant tactics unfamiliar to Europeans, caught army after army off guard and forced them into submission.
For more than 200 years Russians suffered under the Golden Horde of the Mongol – named after their great tent with golden poles. They left the Russian economy in ruins, brought commerce and industry to a halt, and reduced Russians to serfdom. Asiatic ways of administration and customs were superimposed on the existing Byzantine system.
Taking full advantage of its military weakness and of its reduced circumstances, Russia’s European neighbors started to help themselves to its territory, starting with German principalities, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden. The Mongols couldn’t care less so long as they received their tribute. They were more concerned with their Asiatic dominions.
Still, European cities did not match the riches of Samarkand and Bukhara, Herat and Baghdad, whose incomparable wealth and splendor outshone wooden-built Russian cities.
Russia’s greatest fear begins here – crushed between their European foes to the West and the Mongols to the East. Russians were to develop a paranoid dread of invasion and encirclement which has tormented their foreign relations ever since. Hardly ever has an experience left such deep and ever-lasting scars on a nation’s psyche as this cataclysm did on Russians. This explains, among other things, their stoical acceptance of harsh rule at home.
And then came Ivan III – the man who freed the Russians from the Golden Horde.
Muscovy then was a small provincial town overshadowed by and subservient to its powerful neighbors. In return for allegiance and subservience locals were gradually entrusted with more power and freedom by the unsuspecting Mongols. Over time the Principality of Muscovy grew in strength and size, eventually to dominate all its neighbors.
In 1476 Ivan refused to pay the customary tribute to the grand Khan Ahmed. In a fit of rage Ivan trampled the portrait of Ahmed and put several of his envoys to death.
The showdown came in autumn 1480 when the Khan marched with his army to teach a vassal a lesson, but was astonished to find a large well-equipped force awaiting him on the far bank of the River Ugra, 150 miles from Moscow. For weeks the two armies glowered at one another, neither side wanting to make the first move.
The stakes were clear. Ivan did not need to cross the river. He would change the course of history if he did not lose. A stalemate could become a turning point in history.
For Ahmed Khan there is no choice. He must cross the river and engage. Win or die like Tariq ibin Ziyad in 711 AD, another age and time, when a brilliant Arab general landed on the ‘rock of Hercules’ subsequently called by Arab Historians ‘Jabal Tariq’, meaning the ‘mountain of Tariq’ and later anglicized as Gibraltar.
Tariq, by one master stratagem, with a much smaller force (12,000 against 90,000 Spaniards) at the Battle of Guadalete defeated Roderic and thus opened the road for the subsequent Arab commanders to march all the way to Tours in France.
With the arrival of winter, the river began to freeze. A ferocious battle appeared inevitable. And then something extraordinary happened. Perhaps a miracle. Without warning both sides turned and fled in panic. Despite their inglorious act, the Russians knew that their long subservience was over.
The Khan had lost his stomach for a fight. The once invincible Mongol might had evaporated. Their centralized authority in the West had now collapsed, leaving three widely separated khanates (Kazan, Astrakhan and Crimea) as their last remnants of the once mighty and the largest contiguous land empire in history.
It was in 1553 when Ivan the Terrible, a successor of Ivan III, thirsting for revenge, stormed the fortress of Kazan on the upper Volga, slaughtered its defenders and thus ended the Mongol rule. Two years later the Khanate of Astrakhan, where the Volga flows into the Caspian met with similar fate.
Starving Napoleon’s army
Fast forward to June 1812, and the fateful day, the 24th , when Napoleon’s Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army.
Napoleon’s aim was to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to stop trading with British merchants through proxies and bring about pressure on the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The overt political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia (as the US claims of Eastern Europe today). Thus the campaign was named the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretense for his actions.
The real aim was domination of Russia.
The Grande Armée was massive; 680,000 soldiers. Through a series of marches Napoleon rushed the army rapidly through Western Russia in an attempt to bring the Russian army to battle, and in August of that year winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk.
Any invading army must consider war in Russia as a war at sea. It is futile to occupy land or city or cities. The aim of an invading force must be to destroy the military machine of Russia. The aim of Russian commanders has always been to survive and use its vast land mass to exhaust its enemy, learn from him and defeat and annihilate him with his own tactics and stratagems, only better executed.
Napoleon engaged the Russian army for a decisive battle at Maloyaroslavets. The Russians would not commit themselves to a pitched battle. His troops exhausted, with few rations, no winter clothing, and his remaining horses in poor condition, Napoleon was forced to retreat.
He hoped to reach supplies at Smolensk and later at Vilnius. In the weeks that followed the Grande Armée starved and suffered from the onset of “General Winter”. Lack of food and fodder for the horses, hypothermia from the bitter cold and persistent attacks upon isolated troops from Russian peasants and Cossacks led to great losses in men, and a general loss of discipline and cohesion in the army.
When Napoleon’s army crossed the Berezina River in November, only 27,000 fit soldiers remained. The Grand Armée had lost some 380,000 men dead and 100,000 captured. A riveting defeat.
All those Afghan overt – and covert – wars
Four centuries after the cataclysm of the Mongol invasion, the Russian Empire had been steadily expanding at the rate of 55 square miles a day – or 20,000 square miles a year. At the dawn of the 19thcentury only 2,000 miles separated the British and the Russian empires in Asia.
Both the Russians and the East India Company (as in the British Indian Empire) sent their officers, businessmen in disguise, as Buddhist priests or Muslim holy men, to survey uncharted Central Asia.
One such chap was Captain Arthur Connolly of the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry in the service of the British East India Company. The East India Company was the British version of America’s Halliburton.
Connolly ended up beheaded as a spy by the orders of Alim Khan, the Emir of Bukhara. It was Connolly who coined the expression “The Great Game”, which Kipling immortalized in his novel “Kim”.
By the end of the 19th century the Tsars’ armies had swallowed one Khanate after another and only a few hundred miles separated the two empires. In some places the distance was only twenty miles.
The British feared that they would lose their Indian possessions – the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ – to the Tsar; and two theories emerged to defend the frontiers of British India.
The ‘forward policy’ and its proponents (hawks, today’s US neocons) argued to stop the Russians beyond India’s frontiers by getting there first, either by invasion, or by creating compliant ‘buffer’ states, or satellites, astride the likely invasion route.
But there were those who did not buy this proposition and did not believe that the Russians would invade India. The opponents of the ‘forward policy’ argued that India’s best defense lay in its unique geographical setting – bordered by impassable mountain ranges, mighty rivers, waterless deserts, and above all warlike tribes.
A Russian force which reached India surmounting all these obstacles would be so weakened by then that it would be no match for the waiting British Army. Therefore, it was more sensible to force an invader to overextend his lines of communications than for the British to risk theirs. And above all this policy was cheaper.
NATO today has a forward policy of deploying troops all over Eastern Europe and creating bases around Russia in an effort to encircle it. The final straw for the Russian Federation has been the occupation of Ukraine, by proxy, by Washington.
Guess who won the policy debate in 19th century Britain? The hawks (the US neocons of today), of course.
In 1838 Lord Auckland decides to replace the current Emir of Afghanistan, Dost Muhammad Khan with Shuja-ul-Mulk.
One could easily replace Dost Muhammad of Afghanistan in 1838 with today’s Gaddafi of Libya or Saddam Hussein of Iraq or Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Or Putin of Russia. Or anyone who becomes an obstacle to the West’s geopolitical, geoeconomic domination.
And yet the British suffered a massive defeat after a year’s occupation of Afghanistan. The only soldier who eventually reached Jalalabad was William Brydon. The Afghans may have spared him so he would be able to tell the tale of this horrific defeat.
You would think the British would have learned from history. Not at all. They did it again.
Tension between Russia and Britain in Europe ended in June 1878 with the Congress of Berlin. Russia then turned its attention to Central Asia, promptly sending an uninvited diplomatic mission to Kabul.
Sher Ali Khan, the Emir of Afghanistan (the son of Emir Dost Muhammad Khan) tried unsuccessfully to keep them out. Russian envoys arrived in Kabul on July 22, 1878, and on August 14, the British demanded that Sher Ali accept a British mission too.
The Emir not only refused to receive a British mission under Neville Bowles Chamberlain, but threatened to stop it if it were dispatched. Lord Lytton, the viceroy, ordered a diplomatic mission to set out for Kabul in September 1878 but the mission was turned back as it approached the eastern entrance of the Khyber Pass, triggering the Second Anglo–Afghan War.
After several defeats in various battles except one, and thus abandoning the provocative policy of maintaining a British resident in Kabul, the British were forced to withdraw.
One would think the British would have enough sense to cease with the stupid policy of occupying Afghanistan. Not at all. They tried it for the third time.
The Third Afghan War began on May 6, 1919 and ended with an armistice on August 8, 1919. An Afghan victory, again.
The British finally abandoned their forward policy. It had failed – just as the American neocons “policy” is failing.
And yet, roughly 60 years later the Russians would don the madman’s (British) hat and on December 25th, 1979, launched a vertical envelopment and occupied Kabul.
Their main aim was the airbase at Shindand, about 200 miles as the crow flies from the Straits of Hormuz, the choke point of the Persian Gulf, through which at the time 90% of the world’s oil was flowing.
They placed 200 Bear Bombers – the equivalent of the US B-52’s – as if sending a message to President Carter: “Checkmate”. A certain game was over – and a covert war was about to begin.
As our historical trip takes us from The Great Game to the Cold War, by now it’s more than established that the United States took on the mantle of the British Empire and filled in the power vacuum left by the British. If Connolly were to come back during the Cold War he would be right at home – as the Cold War was a continuation of the Great Game.
In between, of course, there was a guy named Hitler.
After Napoleon, it was Hitler who considered the Russians as barbarians and despite a nonaggression pact invaded Russia.
The Second Great European War (GEW II) was in fact fought between Germany and the USSR. Germany deployed 80% of its economic and military resources on its Eastern Front compared to 20% against the rest of the allies on the Western Front, where it was merely a ‘fire brigade operation’ (Hitler’s words).
Paul Carell describes the moment when, at 0315 on June 22nd 1941, the massive ‘Operation Barbarossa’ over a 900-mile front went under way.
“As though a switch had been thrown a gigantic flash of lightening rent the night. Guns of all calibres simultaneously belched fire. The tracks of tracer shells streaked across the sky. As far as the eye could see the front on the Bug was a sea of flames and flashes. A moment later the deep thunder of the guns swept over the tower of Volka Dobrynska like a steamroller. The whine of the mortar batteries mingled eerily with the rumble of the guns. Beyond the Bug a sea of fire and smoke was raging. The narrow sickle of the moon was hidden by a veil of cloud. Peace was dead.”
Bagration revisited
Russians are masters of Sun Tzu: “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”
These principles were recently applied in Ukraine and Crimea. For background, one just needs to study the battle of Kursk as well as Operation Bagration.
The Soviet military doctrine of maskirovka was developed in the 1920s, and used by Zhukov in the 1939 Battles of Khalkhin Gol against Japan.
The Field Regulations of the Red Army (1929) stated that:
“Surprise has a stunning effect on the enemy. For this reason all troop operations must be accomplished with the greatest concealment and speed.”
Concealment was to be attained by confusing the enemy with movements, camouflage and use of terrain, speed, use of night and fog, and secrecy.
Operation Bagration – the Soviet destruction of the German Army Group Centre – was, arguably, the single most successful military action of the entire war. This vital Soviet offensive is symptomatic of the lack of public knowledge in the West about the war in the East. Whilst almost everyone has heard of D-Day, few people other than specialist historians know much about Operation Bagration.
Yet the sheer size of Bagration dwarfs that of D-Day.
“Army Group Centre was really the anchor of that whole German front,’ writes Professor Geoffrey Wawro, ‘blocking the shortest path to Berlin; and the Russians annihilated it at the same time as we were landing on D-Day and marching on, liberating Paris and then heading towards Germany. But the scope of the fighting was much bigger in the East.
You had ten times as many Russians fighting in Bagration as you had Anglo/American/Canadian troops landing on the Normandy beaches.
And you had three times as many Germans in action fighting trying to hold up the Russian advance as you had defending the Atlantic Wall.
So, it’s a perfect encapsulation of the problem (of lack of appreciation of the scale of fighting on the Eastern Front). I mean, think about it, when D-Day and Bagration jumped off, the allied armies in Normandy and the Russian armies on the Eastern Front were equidistant from Berlin, and in the German view they were sort of equal threats.
After Operation Bagration, Russia is seen as being the principal threat because they just kicked down the door altogether and reoccupied all the ground that was lost in 1941. They take most of Poland and they move into East Prussia and they’re at the very gates of Berlin while we’re still slogging our way through Normandy and towards Paris.”
Operation Bagration was a colossal victory for the Red Army. By the 3rd of July Soviet forces had recaptured Minsk, capital of Belorussia, a city which had been in German hands for three years. And by the end of July the Red Army had pushed into what had been, before the war, Polish territory, and had taken Lwow, the major cultural center of eastern Poland.
Before Operation Barbarossa, the German High Command masked the creation of the massive force arrayed to invade the USSR and heightened their diplomatic efforts to convince Joseph Stalin that they were about to launch a major attack on Britain.
Maskirovka (deception) was put into practice on a large scale in the Battle of Kursk, especially on the Steppe Front commanded by Ivan Konev.
The result was that the Germans attacked Russian forces four times stronger than they were expecting.
The German general Friedrich von Mellenthin wrote, “The horrible counter-attacks, in which huge masses of manpower and equipment took part, were an unpleasant surprise for us… The most clever camouflage of the Russians should be emphasized again. We did not .. detect even one minefield or anti-tank area until .. the first tank was blown up by a mine or the first Russian anti-tank guns opened fire”.
Broadly, military deception may take both strategic and tactical forms. Deception across a strategic battlefield was uncommon until the modern age (particularly in the world wars of the 20th century), but tactical deception (on individual battlefields) dates back to early history.
In a practical sense military deception employs visual misdirection, misinformation (for example, via double agents) and psychology to make the enemy believe something that is untrue. The use of military camouflage, especially on a large scale, is a form of deception.
The Russian loanword maskirovka (literally: masking) is used to describe the Soviet Union and Russia’s military doctrine of surprise through deception, in which camouflage plays a significant role.
There are numerous examples of deception activities employed throughout the history of warfare, such as: feigned retreat leading the enemy, through a false sense of security, into a pre-positioned ambush; fictional units creating entirely fictional forces or exaggerating the size of an army; smoke screen – a tactical deception involving smoke, fog, or other forms of cover to hide battlefield movements; Trojan Horse – gaining admittance to a fortified area under false pretenses, to later admit a larger attacking force; strategic envelopment – where a small force distracts the enemy while a much larger force moves to attack from the rear (that was a favored tactic of Napoleon’s).
And that brings us to Syria, and its importance to Russia.
The deep state in Washington wants to keep the entire spectrum from the Levant to the Indian sub-continent destabilized – shaping it as the platform to send sparks of terrorism North to Russia and East to China. At the same time the US military will keep a physical presence (if China, India and Russia will allow it) in Afghanistan, from where it can survey the Eurasian land mass. As a master geopolitical chess player, Putin is very much aware of all this.
Syria is right at the underbelly of Russia and would be strategically important if it were in the hands of remote-controlled thugs like Ukraine is today. It has the potential to destabilize Russia from the Caucasus to Central Asia – generating as many Salafi-jihadi terrorists as possible. The region from the Caucasus to Central Asia holds about 80 million Muslims. Russia has enough reasons to stop US advances in Syria and Ukraine. Not to mention that in Iraqi Kurdistan the Pentagon is aiming to build a mega base, a springboard to create mischief in Central Asia for both Russia and China, in the form, for instance, of an Uyghur uprising in Western China, like it has done in Ukraine for Russia.
Once again; it may be helpful to look back to the continuum of history. It tells us these current efforts to encircle and destabilize Russia are destined to fail. (edited by Pepe Escobar)
Selected bibliography:
Carell, Paul: Hitler’s War on Russia (George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., London, 1964).
Fraser-Tytler, W.K.: Afghanistan: A Study of Political Developments in Central Asia (Oxford University Press, London, 1950).
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Palestinian Prof on US Speaking Tour Harassed by Airport Security


ماكرون والأسد وبن سلمان

ماكرون والأسد وبن سلمان

يونيو 22, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– عندما يتحدّث الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون عن أنّ الرئيس السوري هو الرئيس الوحيد المتاح لسورية بمعزل عن موقف الأطراف معه وضدّه ومنهم فرنسا، وأنّ بقاءه بات مسلّماً به، بل بات مطلباً للحفاظ على وحدة سورية وإعادة الاستقرار إليها ومنع تحوّلها دولة فاشلة ستتسبّب بالكوارث للعالم كله. وعندما يأتي هذا الكلام مشابهاً في الحصيلة لكلام السفير الأميركي السابق في دمشق روبرت فورد، معتبراً أنّ الرهانات على إسقاط الرئيس السوري كانت ضرباً من الغباء الأميركي والعربي، وأنّ نصر الرئيس الأسد بات قاب قوسين أو أدنى، فهذا يعني أنّ الدولة التي اجتذب الصراع عليها كلّ دول العالم والمنطقة، وقالت الحرب فيها وعليها إنها قلب العالم الاستراتيجي، قد حسمت رايتها لقائد شاب أظهر قدراً نادراً من الشجاعة والحكمة والوطنية، وأثبت ترفّعاً وزهداً بالمال والحكم، ولكلّ منهما طريق يعرفه الراغبون يبدأ بتل أبيب وينتهي بواشنطن، فتنفتح خزائن الذهب الأسود من الخليج، وتنهمر «رقيبات التحايا» لزعيم الديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان.

– بالتوازي مع الصعود الحتمي لزعامة الرئيس الأسد في عالم عربي قلق، لا تزال القضية الفلسطينية رغم كلّ الفتن والحروب تشكّل القضية الوحيدة الجاذبة والقادرة على إنزال الناس إلى الشارع،

يمكن ببساطة مقارنة تجربته بتجربة جمال عبد الناصر، الذي كان موضع جدل وتشكيك وتساؤلات قبل العام 1956، حيث كان العدوان الثلاثي الذي سطع بمقاومته له ونصره في مواجهة تحدياته نجمُ زعامته. ولن يمرّ انتصار سورية ورئيسها عابراً في سماء العرب بعد سنوات التيه والضياع المسمّاة بالربيع العربي. ويعلم كلّ متابع للتحوّلات في مزاج ومناخات النخب العربية الصادقة في البحث عن مستقبل ورؤية، والتي تتجسّد في اكتشاف المكانة التي يمكن للرئيس الأسد احتلالها في الوجدان العربي للسنوات المقبلة.

– من تداعيات الحرب على سورية وفيها، كانت هزيمة الخليج وتركيا، وتراجع أوروبا، وكلّ منها تحاول التأقلم مع الهزيمة وتخفيف آثارها، وفيما تركيا تتلمّس طريقها للتموضع بوجه مخاطر على أمنها القومي مع انقلاب في الموقف الأميركي على حسابها، لتجد نفسها غداً أمام قدر التقرّب من سورية ورئيسها والسعي للتعاون ودفع الأثمان التي تترتّب على التكفير عن الصفحة السوداء التي تسبّبت بها لسورية وللعلاقات التركية السورية، تسعى أوروبا بقوّتها المحورية المعنية بشؤون المنطقة التي تمثلها فرنسا لإنتاج مشروع قادر على التأقلم يمثله إيمانويل ماكرون، بالتصدّي لمخاطر العبثية الأميركية في الشرق الأوسط، عبر رسم مسار فرنسي أوروبي تتلقفه روسيا تحت عنوان منصة الإعمار وعودة النازحين التي ستتشكل تحت عنوان مؤتمر في باريس لهذا الغرض.

– يخرج الأميركيون و«الإسرائيليون» بمشروعهم الشاب الهادف لمواجهة مرحلة عربية مقبلة اسمها مرحلة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، فيتنازل طوعاً رجل واشنطن في الرياض ، وفي الذهن الأميركي «الإسرائيلي» استعادة تجربة الملك فيصل مع جمال عبد الناصر، بينما فوارق التاريخ والمقدرات وزمن الهزائم والانتصارات، حيث لا أميركا هي تلك التي كانت يومها ولا «إسرائيل» هي التي كانت يومها، وكلّ شيء مختلف، وكلّ الاختلافات قبل التحدث عن زمن إيران الجديد وزمن روسيا المتجدّد وزمن المقاومة وسيّدها المتوقد، تقول إنّ محمد بن سلمان سيقود تفليسة سياسية ومالية وعسكرية، اسمها السعودية، وسيقوده تهوّره المسمّى بحيوية الشباب لأخذ بلده نحو الحرب الأهلية بعد حربين فاشلتين تسبّب بهما في الجوار، واحدة في اليمن وثانية مع قطر، وسقف ما سيستطيعه بن سلمان هو منافسة شاب خليجي مثله هو أمير قطر.


Saudi Hijinks, US Policy Stinks

June 22, 2017
US President Donald Trump - Saudi King Salman
The whimsical Saudi rulers are playing musical chairs again, with the king’s favorite son jumping the succession queue in what some observers have called a “soft coup” to become heir to the oil kingdom throne.
The medieval-like House of Saud has always been a lynchpin in US foreign policy for the Middle East. More so under President Donald Trump who has struck up a chummy relationship with the young Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This relationship is like the blind leading the blind. No wonder US policy is fast becoming a disaster for the restive region.
America’s deepening and reckless military involvement in Syria is a result of Trump cozying up with the Saudi despots. That, in turn, is leading to the US brazenly flying air force cover for Saudi-sponsored terrorists in Syria at the risk of going to war with Russia and Iran. Russia has warned that any more US shoot-downs of Syrian jets will not be tolerated.
This week the obscurantist Saudi rulers decided to shake up their bizarre rules of succession in the kingdom. The ailing King Salman (81) decreed, overnight, that his heir Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef would no longer be the heir. Bin Nayef was pushed aside, to be replaced by the king’s own son, Mohammed bin Salman.
At age 31, the new Crown Prince could soon become the future Saudi ruler who will govern the country for the next half century. On one hand, the shake-up is aimed at giving the impression of stability in a strategic American ally, given that, potentially, Mohammed bin Salman could rule for several decades to come, owing to his youthful age.
On the other hand, however, the upending of Saudi succession rules is fraught with risk that the Arab state could become even more unstable from internal power rivalries and social discontent. Not to mention that the country has already become more embroiled in regional problems with neighbors Yemen, Qatar and Iran. All of which stems from the rapid elevation of the young prince to a position of immense autocratic power.
The United States’ decades-long “special relationship” with Saudi Arabia has always carried major downsides. Yes, the Saudis are a pillar in maintaining the American petrodollar system to prevent the collapse of the US economy; and, yes, the Saudi rulers are lavish spenders on US weapons, which props up the Pentagon military-industrial complex – another lifeline for American capitalism.
However, the Saudi rulers are also longtime sponsors of Wahhabi fundamentalism which has injected deadly sectarian poison into the Middle East region and beyond. Washington is complicit in fomenting sectarianism through its relationship with Saudi Arabia, and the price for that Faustian pact is a world in turmoil from terrorism.
Donald Trump’s presidency is an unfortunate marriage of interests with Saudi Arabia. Trump is capricious, ignorant and impetuous. His understanding of international relations and history seems woefully inadequate. He also appears to be unscrupulous and reckless. It’s all about making money that matters to him.
From the earliest opportunity, the Saudi prince wheedled his way into Trump’s court. He was greeted in the White House back in March, one of the first foreign leaders to do so. Then two months later, Trump ventured on his maiden foreign trip as president in which he made Saudi Arabia his first stop. Trump was royally received by the House of Saud with sword-waving ceremony. And then the Saudis signed record arms deal with the US worth up to $350 billion – the biggest ever in history.
It was during Trump’s Saudi visit that the policy of increased hostility towards Iran and isolation of erstwhile Saudi and American ally Qatar was hatched. This reckless, clueless embrace of Saudi Arabia by Trump has led to a dangerous escalation in tensions across the Middle East, which are seen playing out in Syria and towards Iran and Russia.
Trump the tycoon and the Saudi upstart-prince are a duo who are plunging the world into danger of all-out war. The pair are a match made in hell, both being rash and irresponsible in their behavior.
Nobody outside Saudi Arabia had heard of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman until his father become king in January 2015 on the death of King Abdullah. In the space of two years, the young prince has been made defense minister and de facto chief of Saudi’s oil economy. Now, this week he has been shunted into becoming heir to the throne, sidelining his elder cousin and nephew to the king.
The precocious prince has only enjoyed this meteoric rise in the House of Saud because of his father’s favoritism. Other more senior royals feel ousted and see the new Crown Prince as undeserving of his assigned authority. In short, he is out of his depth.
In the Saudi succession rules, the royal line is supposed to pass from brother to brother. There are still surviving brothers of the Saudi founding king, Ibn Saud, who have been removed from the succession. The present King Salman first broke the rules when he made his nephew Mohammed bin Nayef the Crown Prince back in April 2015. Now he has broken the rules again by making his own son the heir and unceremoniously pushing bin Nayef to the side. Such are the hijinks of despots.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the architect behind the disastrous war in Yemen, which is turning into a Vietnam-style quagmire for Saudi Arabia, costing the kingdom billions of dollars every month. He is also reportedly the architect behind the policy of renewed hostility towards Iran. In an interview before Trump’s Saudi trip, Mohammed bin Salman said he would never talk to Iran and even threatened to unleash violence on Iranian territory. That threat was followed by the deadly terror attack in Tehran on June 7 in which up to 17 people were killed by Daesh suicide squads.
The hiked-up hostile policy towards Iran has, in turn, led to Saudi Arabia blockading Qatar and causing a bitter rift in the Persian Gulf because Qatar is perceived as being too soft on Iran.
The power-struggle antics among the absolute rulers of the House of Saud have promoted a prince who has a reckless outsized ego and lust for dominance. President Donald Trump seems cut from the same cloth. Courting the young Saudi heir may be lucrative for American weapons-dealing and no doubt the Trump business brand in the oil-rich region. But the consequences of such capricious and clueless “leadership” are throwing the region and the world into increasing conflict.
This week the US State Department flatly contradicted Trump’s policy of supporting the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar. It said it was mystified that the Saudis had not presented any evidence to justify the blockade. This is just one example where Trump is being made to look a total fool by following stupid Saudi policy – policy that is made by a prince who has gathered a record for disaster in several other spheres.
What a double act. Saudi despotism marries Trump cluelessness. And the world is reaping the calamity of clowns.
Almanar.com.lb is not responsible for the content of this article. All opinions expressed are solely those of the author
Source: Sputnik

Oscar Winning, Nobel Prize-Nominated White Helmets Graduate to Beheadings

What are Syria’s UK-funded White Helmets doing when they’re not proclaiming solidarity with London firefighters and staging fake chemical attacks to provoke a US bombing campaign of their own country?
If you answered “assisting beheadings”, congratulations. You were correct. Unfortunately.
Behold:
A video has hit the internet showing rebels in the southern Dara’a province unloading Syrian army dead from a pick up truck and dumping them at a garbage dump. Some of the soldiers have been beheaded, and the rebels are sure to dangle one of the severed heads for the camera.
To top it all off, one of the rebels can clearly be seen sporting a White Helmets t-shirt.
We don’t actually recommend watching the video — we wish we hadn’t — but if you must here is the link. (The logo is clearly visible at 0:17 when the White Helmet climbs onto the truck.)
Apparently this is a thing for the White Helmets. In a video released last month they assist a public execution, where an alleged criminal is shot to the back of the head: link.