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Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Saker interviews Jorge Valero, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

February 19, 2019
[This interview was made for the Unz Review]
I am continuing to try to understand what is really happening in Venezuela by talking to those who actually know that and, following my interview with Michael Hudson, it is today it is my immense privilege and honor to present you with a full interview I made with His Excellency Mr. Jorge Valero, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. Permanent Representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.
I am immensely grateful to Ambassador Valero for taking the time to answer my questions in extenso just a few days away from what might well turn out to be a US false flag or even invasion of Venezuela (promised to all by Trump and Guaido for the 23rd of February).  May God grant him and the Venezuelan people the wisdom, courage and strength to defeat the Empire!
The Saker
——-
The Saker: My first question is about you personally.  There is a Wikipedia entry under your name (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Valero) but since Wikipedia is, at best, a hit-and-miss kind of source, what could you tell our readers about yourself which they ought to know before we turn to the issue of the current situation in Venezuela?
Ambassador Valero: I was born in Valera, State of Trujillo, Venezuela on November 8th, 1946. I graduated from the University of Los Andes (ULA, for its acronym in Spanish) as a historian. I did my graduate studies at the University College London, in Latin American Studies. I am an expert in diplomatic archives. I was an undergraduate professor and the University of Los Andes and a graduate professor at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV, for its acronym in Spanish). I was elected as a Congressman to the Legislative Assembly of the State of Trujillo, and later Congressman to the National Congress. I was Venezuela’s Ambassador to the Korean Republic. When, President Chávez, was elected in 1998; he appointed me as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. I presided the Presidential Commission appointed by President Chávez, which was in charge of organizing the II OPEC Summit, in Caracas on September 2000. I have been Ambassador – Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the OAS; the UN – New York and currently to the UNOG. I have written a literary work in various genres. More than 20 essays; poetry; diplomacy and social-political analysis. Dozens of national and international conferences.
The Saker: One of the major efforts of Hugo Chavez was to establish a number of multi-lateral frameworks and agreements like the ALBA, CELAC, UNASUR, and projects like the SUCRE, the Petrocaribe, TeleSUR or PetroSUR.  How effective have these frameworks and projects been in supporting the Venezuelan struggle against US imperialism?  Do you feel that these entities are playing a helpful role or not?
Ambassador Valero: Hugo Chávez was a paradigm of Latin American and Caribbean integration. In this regard, he was a key factor in the creation of ALBA, UNASUR, CELAC, PETROCARIBE, and TELESUR. Chávez reclaimed the integrationist ideology of our Liberator Simón Bolívar, who prosed the creation of “La Patria Grande,Nuestroamericana” (Great Our American Homeland), to defend the interests of our peoples and face any foreign threat raising the flags of unity, peace, sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples. PETROCARIBE is a solidary initiative in favor of developing countries, notably, the countries of our Caribbean surroundings that benefit from an oil bill with discounts and with long payment terms. Chávez has also been a paradigm in the promotion of a multi-polar world, where foreign affairs are founded by sovereign equality of States, overcoming the decaying North American Empire unilateralism. Thus, the Empire’s fury has been unleashed against the Bolivarian Revolution: coups d’état, oil sabotage, the promotion of violence and terrorism against the Venezuelan people. Henceforth, the continuous coup d’état promoted by the supremacist-racist-xenophobic and war-mongering government of Donald Trump that aims to impose a governing puppet and the threats of a military invasion in our homeland, which are part of the above-described context.
Hugo Chávez advocated for a new type and renewed multilateralism. Respect for the founding principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. Multilateralism is disrupted by Trump’s government, which has disregarded universal agreements on climate change; withdrawn from both UNESCO and the Human Rights Council; disregarded the agreement on the peaceful use of atomic energy with Iran, signed by USA, Germany, France, United Kingdom, China and the European Union; retraced the path to normalizing the bilateral relations with Cuba; unleashes a commercial war against China, and threatens the Russian Federation with an atomic war in his dispute to control outer space. Vis-à-vis those reckless and aggressive policies that threaten human existence it is necessary to raise the flags of multilateralism even higher.
The Saker: The Empire has created the so-called “Lima Group” which is just a typical trick to bypass the UN or legitimate regional organizations.  This is exactly what the USA did with the so-called “friends of Syria,” and the goal is the same: to overthrow a democratically elected legitimate government and replace it with a vassal puppet regime.  Yet countries like Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru all agreed to participate in this anti-Venezuelan farce.  How do you explain such a betrayal by so many of these Latin American countries?  Does their agreement to betray Venezuela and serve the Empire’s interest not show that these states have no real sovereignty or foreign policy and that they are all de-facto US colonies?
Ambassador Valero: Certainly, the self-proclaimed “Lima Group” is a cartel made up of satellite governments of the imperial government to break Latin American and Caribbean unity, and, due to the failure of using the Ministry of the Colonies, which is the OAS to isolate Venezuela in this organization. The empire and its minions couldn’t approve Article 20 of Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Permanent Council of the OAS and resort to the United Nations Security Council, where they also failed. The creation of puppet governments by the US is not new. It has happened in Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Syria. The puppets imposed in those countries where supported by armed terrorist groups, including, mercenary armies trained and financed from abroad.
Nevertheless, in Venezuela, the puppet has no support from the people nor the military, since in our country there is a consistent and patriotic civilian-military alliance, which guarantees and will guarantee -come what may- the defense of the sovereign and sacred jurisdiction of Simon Bolivar’s homeland. The US satellite governments against Venezuela are a minority even in Latin America and the Caribbean. Of the 193 countries that make up the United Nations only 34 support the puppet, which translates into 17.6%. For example, a single country in Africa and there are 54. One in Oceania and there are 15. One in the Middle East and there are 16. 15 countries in Europe, and there are 50. And 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and there are 35. You are right, the satellite countries that follow the Empire’s orders have no autonomous and sovereign foreign policy. Some of these governments, particularly, in Latin America are presided by people that have a criminal background: drug trafficking, corruption, genocide, paramilitarism, sexual offenses. Some are the result of a coup d’état.
The Saker: Another interesting initiative was the creation of Petro-cryptocurrency.  Now with the inflation making the Bolivar almost useless, how effective do you believe this alternative currency is to 1) bypass US sanctions, and sabotage and 2) serve as an alternative currency to help the Venezuelan economy recover from its current plight?
Ambassador Valero: The Petro-cryptocurrency was created to free us from the tyranny of the US dollar in the international financial market. Therefore, Trump’s government has established Draconian measures to block the flow of this cryptocurrency. Incidentally, the economic war and the unilateral coercive measures bring about galloping inflation, migration and relocation of people abroad. We are blocked from accessing the capital markets. They rob the Venezuelan State’s property in the US. They kidnap the Venezuelan State’s bank accounts in that country. The unilateral coercive measures and the sanctions cause, as expressed by the former UN Independent Expert, Alfred de Zayas, death and suffering. Measures against international law and the Charter of the United Nations and deny the Venezuelan people their human rights. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, Idriss Jazairy acknowledged this.
The Saker: Russia and China have been working on an alternative to the SWIFT.  Is that something the Venezuelan government is also looking into?
Ambassador Valero: Experts from China and Russia provide expert advice to the Venezuelan State to successfully overcome the financial blockage and criminal sanctions of Trump’s government.
The Saker: What can you tell us about the current state of the Venezuelan petrochemicals industry?  Now that the US has stolen 7 BILLION dollars belonging to PDVSA, how can the PDVSA continue to operate after being robbed from such a huge sum of money?  At what levels is Venezuela currently producing and refining oil?
Ambassador Valero: The damage caused to the Venezuelan economy surpasses 35 billion dollars in the blockade of assets and accounts. They try to rob the Venezuelan peoples from the company CITGO that operates in Dallas, Texas that distributes gasoline and fuels to thousands of gas stations in the US East Coast. The Bolivarian government will undertake all the necessary legal actions to avoid that the Trump government steals the national patrimony. PDVSA, our national oil company, is completely deployed to guarantee the production, distribution, and commercialization of our crude oil. We have found new partners in the hydrocarbon’s market in the world, mainly, China, Russia, India, and Turkey.
The Saker: Since the US-backed coup attempt by Guaido, there has been remarkably little actual violence in the streets of Venezuela, and all the signs point to the fact that Guaido does not have the support of a majority of the people.  Yet he sure does have enough support within some sectors of the Venezuelan society (the kind of folks who go and protest against Nicolas Maduro while carrying US flags).  How did the government succeed in preventing that minority from doing in Venezuela what was done in Libya and Syria: instigate enough violence to justify a “humanitarian” foreign intervention?  In Kiev, there were snipers shooting at both the security forces and the protestors (which also happened in Caracas in 2002 I believe), and I was expecting that to happen in Caracas, but it did not (at least so far).  How do you explain this?
Ambassador Valero: Since the National Constituent Assembly was elected peace reigns in the republic.
The puppet that the US aims to impose has neither the people nor the military’s support to disrupt public peace. In general, in Venezuela, there is peace and tranquility. The Venezuelan people love peace. Peace is an essential part of State policies. Nevertheless, terrorist and violent groups financed from abroad, especially, the USA and Colombia act in popular districts in some cities in the country. The puppet and the puppeteer, Trump’s government try to disrupt public peace. They call to destroy the democratic rule of law and justice in Venezuela. They refuse to dialogue and promote intolerance and violence. The puppet asks the puppeteer to send US troops to invade our homeland. Infertile calls since our people remain presto to defend our participatory and protagonist democracy, as well as, the democratic institutions.
Trump’s government tries to reproduce the format that the Empire used in Syria and Libya: a parallel transition government. Prepares mercenaries in neighboring countries to foray in the national territory. They aimed to use the OAS and the Human Rights Council. Remember that Libya was expelled from the Human Rights Council through a Resolution, which was later confirmed by the UN General Assembly immediately after a Resolution was approved in the Security Council, which approved the creation of a no-fly zone. What followed is well known: cask missiles against Libya that caused thousands of deaths and destruction in civilian and military infrastructure. Trump’s government wants to implement the same strategy against Venezuela. He has called upon the Security Council to validate his objective for a military invasion in Venezuela. Fortunately, for both world and regional peace, the governments of Russia and China declared that they would use their right to veto in the UN Security Council to block such criminal objective.
Peace in our region is crucial. CELAC proclaimed Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace. A military invasion from Trump’s government in Venezuela will have continental and worldwide consequences. President Nicolás Maduro affirmed that a Yankee invasion would create a new Vietnam.
The Saker: Does Venezuela feel sufficiently supported at the UN in general and at the UNSC specifically by Russia and China or do you feel that Venezuela needs more help from these countries?
Ambassador Valero: Russia and China are Venezuela’s strategic allies. With these two military, commercial, and technologic powers we have cooperation agreements in many fields. Likewise, Venezuela has abundant solidary backing and support from most of the countries in the world.
On January 26, 2019, Trump’s government indented to condemn Venezuela in the Security Council. They ran off with their tails between their legs, since no resolution was approved against our country. Most of the permanent and non-permanent members of this Council rejected the interventionist objective, and, contrarily approved to promote dialogue among Venezuelans. We are in a condition to overcome motu proprio our challenges. The dialogue between the government and the opposition, without preconditions, is the path to follow. Henceforth, our government has enthusiastically supported the “Montevideo Mechanism” proposed by the governments of Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia and the member countries of CARICOM.
The Saker: It is pretty obvious that Mr. Guaido has committed a number of violations of the Venezuelan law ranging from calling for an illegal demonstration to being involved in an anti-constitutional coup attempt.  In a normal situation, that man ought to be legally charged and prosecuted for his crimes (including, in my opinion, subversion and treason).  Yet the USA threatened to go to war against Venezuela (aka “serious consequences“) if Guaido is arrested which, by itself, is a gross violation of international law and of the UN Charter.  What can, in your opinion, the Venezuelan government do to do what any other government would do and restore law in order without risking providing a pretext for a US invasion?
Ambassador Valero: The puppet has continuously violated the Bolivarian Constitution. Likewise, he disregarded the fundamental tenets of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. The Venezuelan State is made up of five powers. If something has characterized, the Bolivarian government is being a devoted defender of the independence of each of those powers. It will be the National Constituent Assembly and the Public Ministry who will make the necessary decisions. And you are right: these are crimes of subversion and treason. Breaking democratic legality and wrongfully usurping functions should not be tolerated.
The puppet’s permanent calls for violence and destabilization, his self-proclamation in a street in Caracas, and his call for a foreign military intervention place him against all nation and international law. Makes him a criminal that should be punished with the force of the Venezuelan laws.
The Saker: Speaking of a possible US invasion – do you believe that these are just the usual empty threat of Donald Trump or do you think that there is actually a real risk of overt US military aggression against your country?  How about the covert aggression already taking place?  What can you tell us about US/Colombian (some say Israeli?) covert operations against Venezuela?
Ambassador Valero: Donald Trump’s threats are not empty. The aggression is in full swing. Trump is the bombastic spokesman of war and foreign intervention. His threats are part of the Empire’s recolonizing goals. The government of Uncle Sam’s nation and its allies and lackeys impose neoliberal policies on the peoples of the world. Trump dusted off the Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Corollary. Recruits and trains mercenaries in its military bases in Colombia. Prepares his arsenal to wage war against Venezuela. This is why we should turn a blind eye to provocations. The governments of the US and Colombia are experts creating false positives.
We insist: the threat of a military foray by the empire is a possibility that should not be ruled out. Both our people and our National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB, for its acronym in Spanish) are prepared to react with heroism and determination in case of such an event. Patriotism has rekindled as never before in history. We are ready to guarantee our definite independence.
Venezuela became the subject of discussion in the whole world. Our natural wealth, our geographic location in the American hemisphere, our political tenet of building a model of society where social justice prevails, our relations of solidarity and cooperation with the other countries of the world, our firm decision of being a free and sovereign country, emancipated from all sorts of domination make us –as people say- the crown jewel.
The Saker: It is pretty clear that the Israelis have never forgiven Hugo Chavez for speaking up for Palestinian rights and for openly denouncing Israeli policies.  As far as you know, are the Israelis currently involved in anti-Venezuelan activities including economic sabotage, political subversion, covert operations, etc.?  How relevant is Israel in what is going on today?
Ambassador Valero: The Israeli government has nothing to forgive us for. Our condition of sovereign country grants us the right to decide how we relate to other countries in the world. Defending the Palestinian cause is in the center of our foreign policy. We denounce in multilateral for Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people. Demanded the cessation of the cessation of the occupation of the Gaza Strip, to end the extermination policy of Israel against Palestine and the Occupied Arab Territories. We recognize Palestine as a free and sovereign country with which we hold strong bonds of cooperation. There lies Israel’s hatred against the Bolivarian Revolution. It is no news that this government is involved in the interventionist plans against our country. The Israeli government bets on the overthrowing of President Nicolás Maduro, by Donald Trump’s government. It has recognized his puppet.
The Saker: Finally, what is your guess as to what will happen in the short-term to mid-term future?  Do you believe that the Guiado coup has already failed or do you believe that this was only a temporary setback for the Empire and that now we will see more and further attempts at crushing the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela and the rest of Latin America?
Ambassador Valero: The civilian-military union is categorically defeating the coup d’état. Nevertheless, the empire will not stop in its destabilizing and coup-mongering pretentions against the Bolivarian Revolution. As it has been demonstrated our people are inspired by the legacy of our liberators and the supreme commander Hugo Chávez Frías. And at the avant-garde of the fight for our sovereignty and self-determination is President Nicolás Maduro. Chavismo is the new face of being Venezuelan.
The Venezuelan people will resist with heroism and patriotic spirit the constant siege of Trump’s government. The Bolivarian Revolution conceived a new nation project, which aims to obtain happiness, equality, equity, freedom, and brotherhood of all Venezuelans. These are inherent principles of our democracy and the Venezuelan way of socialism.
The Venezuelan people have resisted with dignity and stoicism the terrible conditions it has been subjected to due to the imperial pretensions of impeding the advance of our revolutionary process. No foreign power and its domestic pawns will be able to stop the triumphal march of the Bolivarian Revolution.
The Saker:Your Excellency, thank you for granting me this interview!

Pakistan to Release Indian Pilot on Friday as ‘Peace Gesture’


Pakistan to Release Indian Pilot on Friday as 'Peace Gesture'
TEHRAN (FNA)– Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that the Indian pilot who was captured by Pakistani forces will be released on Friday, after New Delhi called upon Islamabad to release and return the Indian pilot who was arrested by the Pakistan Army after his aircraft had been shot down.
“As a peace gesture we will be releasing him tomorrow,” Khan told parliament in Islamabad on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported.
Khan, making the announcement in an address to both houses of Parliament, added that he tried to reach Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday with a message that he wants to de-escalate tension.
Talking about the incident, he stated that he had feared that India could have launched a missile attack, but the situation was later calmed.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated as the two countries engaged in an air battle.
Pakistan claimed on Wednesday that it had downed two Indian warplanes which entered its airspace over the disputed Kashmir border, and captured an Indian pilot.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Indian Armed Forces officials confirmed having shot down a Pakistani Air Force F-16, saying the plane was downed by an Indian MiG 21 Bison on Wednesday in a skirmish.
Indian Air Force officials noted that they were pleased with Pakistan’s decision to return Indian fighter pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, and looked forward to his return to India.
The Indian Armed Forces also stressed that the Indian Navy was put in a high state of readiness amid tensions between the two countries, with its surface, submarine and air components ready to ‘deter and defeat’ any ‘misadventure’ by Pakistan.
It came a day after Indian jets crossed into Pakistan to bomb a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in the Kashmir region.
India’s air raids in Pakistan came after a deadly terrorist attack when a car carrying over 100 pounds of explosives detonated next to a security convoy, killing 45 Indian paramilitary officers. India named Maulana Masood Azhar, the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist group residing in Pakistan, as the person responsible for ordering the attack and accused Pakistan of harboring and protecting terrorists. In turn, Islamabad has rejected the allegations of its involvement in the attack.
Also See

Arab Analyst: Assad’s Visit to Tehran Hits Severe Blow to US-Israeli-Arab Alliance زيارة الأسد إلى إيران… تتويج لانتصار حلف المقاومة وسقوط أهداف الحرب الإرهابية


Arab Analyst: Assad's Visit to Tehran Hits Severe Blow to US-Israeli-Arab Alliance

Arab Analyst: Assad’s Visit to Tehran Hits Severe Blow to US-Israeli-Arab Alliance

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Arab analyst described the Monday visit by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Tehran as a new stage in relations between Iran and Syria, saying that it showed failure of the US-Israeli-Arab coalition.
“The trip by Bashar Assad to Tehran hit a painful blow and heavy defeat at the alliance among the US, the Zionists and the reactionary Arab countries because their most important goal that has been launching a terrorist and global war against Syria was breaking the alliance between Syria and Iraq,” Hassan Hardan was quoted as saying by the Arabic-language al-Nashrah news website on Wednesday.
He referred to the US proposal, mediated by Saudi Arabia, to Assad to desist from his relations with Iran, and said the Syrian president’s visit was the peak of victories of the resistance front against the terrorists and their supporters.
“The trip emphasizes that the resistance front’s strategy to confront the plots hatched by the US, the Zionists and the reactionary Arab regime has been successful,” Hardan said.
President Assad arrived in Tehran on Monday and rushed to meet Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.
During the meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei praised the Syrian nation’s resistance in face of enemies’ plots, and said the key to Syria’s victory as well as the United States and its regional mercenaries’ defeat is Syrian president and people’s resolve and resistance.
Stressing the necessity for prudence when encountering future plots, the leader said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran regards helping the Syrian government and nation as assisting the Resistance movement, and genuinely takes pride in it.”
Pointing to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s honest stance and staying by the government and the people of Syria from the beginning of the crisis, Ayatollah Khamenei added, “Syria, with its people’s persistence and unity, managed to stand strong against a big coalition of the US, Europe and their allies in the region and victoriously come out of it.”
Considering the victory of the resistance in Syria as the cause for the United States of America’s anger their desperate efforts to hatch new plots, the Supreme Leader made reference to an example and said, “The question of a buffer zone in Syria that the Americans are trying to create is one of their dangerous plots that must be firmly rejected and opposed.”
He counted the US’s plan for having an influential presence Iraq-Syria border as another example of their plots, and said, “Iran and Syria are strategic allies and the identity and power of Resistance depend on their continuous and strategic alliance, because of which, the enemies will not be able to put their plans into action.”
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to a calculation mistake that the enemies made with regard to the matter of Syria, and stated, “Their mistake was that they took Syria for some Arab states; whereas, (even) in those countries, the people’s movement was in favor of the Resistance and in fact, there was an uprising against the US and their mercenaries there.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also highlighted the need for strengthening and developing the religious relations and exchange of religious scholars between Iran and Syria. Emphasizing the importance of maintaining the spirit of resistance and enhancing the power of Syria’s nation and government, Ayatollah Khamenei addressed Syria’s president, by saying “with the resistance you manifested, you have become a hero in the Arab world; and the resistance has gained more power and dignity, thanks to you.”
Syria’s president referred to some analysis that regarded Syria as done, and said, “Iran and Syria have nations who enjoy identity and faith; and today’s achievements although gained by efforts and losses, are surely the outcomes of persistence with the movement of Resistance.
Bashar Al-Assad reminded the huge losses that some countries underwent following their surrendering to the US and stated, “Many countries were submissive to the US and thought that the US determines the world’s fate and future; however resistance by some nations disturbed this false perception.”
Referring to cases of efforts made by US and allies in the region, trying to sow discord among ethnic and religious groups in Syria, the President of Syria went on to say, “These efforts have had reverse results, and today in Syria, the Kurds and nomads have good relations with the government and even some groups that previously had some conflicts and differences with the government, are today cooperating with it, despite what the US and Saudi Arabia desired.”
Assad called strengthening the ties between Syrian and Iranian scholars as an important opportunity for countering Takfiri groups, and maintained, “Iran and Syria should continuously develop their economic relations; because developments of relations will act as an important factor in annulling the enemies’ plots against the two nations.”
Also in his meeting with Assad, President Rouhani referred to Iran’s seriousness for cooperation and helping the Syrian government in the process of reconstruction of Syria and consolidating security and peace in the country, adding, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will stand by the Syrian government and people like before.”
A senior Iranian legislator said that Assad visited Tehran on Monday to ask the country for continued support for Syria and the resistance front.
“Bashar Assad’s visit to Iran was mainly aimed at appreciating the Islamic Republic of Iran and our nation for its efforts and supports and he demanded Iran to remain beside Syria and strengthen the resistance front as this companionship leaves important effects on the regional and international scene,” member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Seyed Reza Naqavi Hosseini said on Tuesday.
He noted that Iran’s assistance led to the victories in Syria and foiled the US plots.
“Syria had for years been entangled in terrorism and aggressions of countries like the US, Britain, France and the Zionist regime and they clearly interfered in Syria’s affairs and endangered Syria’s territorial integrity and the legal government’s independence,” Naqavi Hosseini said.

زيارة الأسد إلى إيران… تتويج لانتصار حلف المقاومة وسقوط أهداف الحرب الإرهابية

 زيارة الأسد إلى إيران... تتويج لانتصار حلف المقاومة وسقوط أهداف الحرب الإرهابية

فبراير 27, 2019

حسن حردان

شكلت زيارة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد إلى طهران في توقيتها ودلالاتها محطة هامة على صعيد العلاقات التحالفية بين سورية وإيران، وعلى صعيد التطورات الحاصلة في المنطقة والعالم..

أولاً: وجهت الزيارة ضربة موجعة للحلف الأميركي الصهيوني الرجعي العربي، وسقوطاً مدوياً لأحد أهمّ أهدافه التي أرادها من حربه الإرهابية الكونية على سورية وهي فكّ عرى التحالف السوري الإيراني.. فمن المعروف أنّ الولايات المتحدة حاولت عبر المملكة السعودية إقناع الرئيس الأسد بالتخلي عن علاقته مع إيران مقابل إغراءات مالية والقبول ببقائه في الحكم وبالتالي وقف الاحتجاجات المدبّرة ضدّه.. ولأنه رفض هذا العرض الأميركي بوساطة السعودية، عمدت واشنطن وبالتعاون مع مسؤول الاستخبارات السعودية في ذلك الوقت بندر بن سلطان إلى تنفيذ خطتهم لإثارة الاضطرابات في سورية لإسقاط الرئيس الأسد، ومن ثم حشد وتجنيد الإرهابيين من كلّ أنحاء العالم وتمويلهم وتسليحهم بأحدث الأسلحة وإدخالهم إلى سورية عبر تركيا والأردن ولبنان لتدمير الدولة الوطنية وتفتيت سورية…

ثانياً: انّ هذه الزيارة إلى إيران هي الأولى للرئيس الأسد، منذ بدء الحرب على سورية، فهي تأتي تتويجاً لانتصار محور المقاومة على حلف العدوان الإرهابي الذي مُني بهزيمة نكراء في سعيه لإسقاط سورية وتحويلها إلى دولة تابعة وعميلة لواشنطن، وبالتالي محاصرة وعزل الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية والعمل على تقويض استقرارها وإخضاعها للإملاءات الأميركية الصهيونية.. لهذا يمكن القول بأنّ الزيارة كانت بمثابة التعبير الواضح والساطع عن نجاح الحلف السوري الإيراني، القائم منذ انتصار الثورة الإسلامية الإيرانية، قبل أربعين عاماً، في تحقيق النصر على أعداء البلدين، وتعزيز وتمتين أواصر حلفهما الاستراتيجي ليصبح حلفاً مصيرياً، معمّداً بدماء السوريين والإيرانيين في ميدان القتال ضدّ قوى الإرهاب التكفيري والعدو الصهيوني..

لقد بات من الطبيعي أن يُقال إنّ سورية شكلت عمقاً استراتيجياً لإيران، كما أنّ إيران شكلت عمقاً استراتيجياً لسورية.. وبات البلدان يشكلان عمقاً استراتيجياً للمقاومة الفلسطينية واللبنانية وركيزتين لمشروع المقاومة لتحرير فلسطين والمنطقة من الهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية التي تقف وراء الحروب المباشرة وغير المباشرة والفوضى الهدامة التي تستهدف الدول العربية وإيران وتصفية القضية الفلسطينية…

ثالثاً: عكست الزيارة عمق العلاقات بين الدولتين، ومستوى التقدير العالي لمواقف الرئيس الأسد وصلابته في مواجهة أشرس حرب إرهابية كونية تتعرّض لها دولة في العالم، حيث عبّر مرشد الثورة الإمام الخامنئي عن هذا التقدير للرئيس الأسد بالقول: لقد أثبتم بصمودكم أنكم قد تحوّلتم إلى بطل على صعيد العالم العربي، وقد اكتسبت المقاومة بواسطتكم المزيد من القوة وعززتم سمعتها .. طبعاً هذه شهادة كبيرة من قائد الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية ومرشدها الذي كان، إلى جانب الإمام روح الله الموسوي الخميني، من قادة الثورة الإيرانية التحررية التي أسقطت نظام الشاه العميل لأميركا وكيان العدو الصهيوني..

رابعاً: أنّ زيارة الرئيس الأسد كان لها كلّ هذه الأهمية والأبعاد والدلالات، عبّرت عواصم الحلف المعادي عن انزعاجها وخيبتها من حصولها.. لا سيما أنها جاءت بعد وقت قصير على مؤتمرها المشبوه الأهداف في وارسو الذي سعى دون جدوى إلى تشكيل جبهة عربية إسرائيلية أوروبية ضدّ إيران.. حيث اقتصرت هذه الجبهة على بعض الأنظمة العربية المطبّعة مع العدو الصهيوني، وهي أنظمة تابعة لواشنطن لا تملك حرية قرارها أصلاً.. وما حصل لا يعدو كونه تظهيراً لحلف قائم أصلاً بين كيان العدو الصهيوني والولايات المتحدة وهذه الأنظمة الرجعية العربية، منذ انتصار الثورة الإسلامية، حيث كان هذا الحلف المشؤوم وراء دفع ودعم الرئيس العراقي صدام حسين لشنّ الحرب على الثورة الإيرانية لإخمادها وإطفاء جذوتها التحررية…

انّ زيارة الرئيس الأسد إذ تعكس كلّ هذه الدلالات، تؤكد أنّ استراتيجية المقاومة للمشروع الأميركي الصهيوني الرجعي نجحت في تحقيق الانتصارات.. وها هي الآن تخطط لتثمير هذه الانتصارات على كلّ المستويات، وفي نفس الوقت مواجهة الحرب الأميركية الصهيونية المستمرة بأشكالها المتعدّدة، لكن من نقطة جديدة أصبح فيها محور المقاومة أكثر قوة واتساعاً، وفي ظلّ معادلات إقليمية ودولية لمصلحته نتجت من انتصاراته الاستراتيجية في سورية، فيما الحلف المعادي يعاني من مآزق وتداعيات هزيمته وعجزه عن استعادة زمام المبادرة في الميدان…

ونجد الإمبراطورية الأميركية المتصدّعة في حالة من التأزّم والتخبّط بفعل انهيار هيمنتها الأحادية على القرار الدولي، ونشوء موازين قوى عالمية وإقليمية على أنقاضها.. وفي هذا السياق تتجلى الشراكة الإيرانية السورية في مواجهة الحصار الاقتصادي، الذي تفرضه الولايات المتحدة على البلدين، في محاولة يائسة للحدّ من تداعيات انتصار محور المقاومة… تتجلى هذه الشراكة في التعاون المشترك لاعادة إعمار سورية وعدم السماح للدول التي تآمرت على سورية وشاركت في تدميرها بأن تشارك في الإعمار وبالتالي منعها من تحقيق أيّ من أهدافها لابتزاز سورية بالإعمار…

انّ القيادة في سورية وإيران تدرك جيداً أنّ الحفاظ على الانتصار العسكري يتطلب النجاح في معركة الإعمار وإحباط أهداف الحصار الغربي الاقتصادية والسياسية في آن.. ولا شك في أنّ زيارة الرئيس الاسد قد بحثت في كلّ ذلك، وأيضاً في سبل مواجهة الحصار وخطط الغرب لمنع سورية وإيران من تثمير الانتصار سياسياً وعسكرياً، وهي خطط تتطلب بكلّ تأكيد الانتقال من الدفاع إلى الهجوم لجعل الحلف المعادي يدفع الثمن أيضاً إذا لم يتوقف عن هذه السياسات ويسلّم بالهزيمة والمعادلات العسكرية والسياسية المتولدة منها.

مقالات مشابهة

حصان حزب الله الرابح


|الثلاثاء 26 شباط 2019

ليبانون ديبايت – عبدالله قمح

عندما حانَ موعد السّباق وكانت الظروف تلزم حزب الله دخول المعترك خاصة مع توفّر عوامل تحدّي تُحتّم عليه أنّ يكون طرفاً، رأى أنّه من الأجدى أن يدخل شريكاً وليس مشاركاً. بهذا المعنى دوزنَ الحزب خياراتهِ ثم لجأ إلى موسوعتهِ لينتقي منها الحصان الجيد. جاء بالحصان، زيّته، حضّره، أدخلهُ المضمار وقال لمنافسيه: «أنا جاهز للتحدّي.. هاتوا أحصنتكم»!

لقد رمى حزب الله على عاتقه حملاً كبيراً ليس فقط حين قبل تحدّي وزارة الصحّة بلّ لأنّه اختارَ فيها شخصاً تقنيّاً بحتاً غير منضوي في الحزب رسميّاً، صاحب نزعة طبيّة غير سياسيّة، إذاً لم يُثبت أنّ خاضَ الوزير الدكتور جميل جبق أي تجارب سياسيّة قبلَ ذلك، عند هذه النقطة يكونُ حزب الله قد طبّق قاعدة «التكنوقراط» في تمثيلهِ الوزاري.

ثمّة من نصحَ حزب الله حين تأكّد لديه أنّ الأخير ماضٍ في توزير شخصيّة غير سياسيّة، أن ربّما هو مخطئ في خياراته، لأنّ الحزب مقبل على مواجهةٍ سياسيّة الطابع عند تولّيه غمار وزارة الخدمات الأولى، حتّى أنّ هذا الفريق كان شديد التلميح إلى التحضيرات الأميركيّة للمواجهة وإنّ واشنطن وضعت تصوّراً كاملاً لإرباك الحزب حين تُعلن مراسيم الحُكومة، وبالتالي يجب على قيادة الحزب أنّ تدرس الموضوع أكثر وأنّ تنتقي رجل مخضرم سياسيّاً ليعرف كيف يواجه ويناور حين يشتد إيزار المعركة.

قيادة حزب الله كان لها رأي آخر. وجدت أنّ إختيار وزير سياسي صرف في وزارة الخدمات الأولى، قد ينتجُ عنه مفعول رجعي، وقد تؤدّي الهجمات السياسيّة عليه إلى الاخلال بواجباته، بحيث أنّ تفرّغه للمعارك السياسيّة بسبب طبيعة تكوينه قد ترتد سلباً على العمل التقني في الوزارة، وبهذا المعنى قد يخرج حزب الله خاسراً من المعركة، في المقابل سيحقّق خصومه مرادهم في النهاية بإظهار عدم جدوى توليّه الوزارة وأنّه فشلَ في تحقيق ما يصبو إليه.

من هُنا، وجد الحزب الترياق المناسب، وزير تقني صرف في وزارة خدماتيّة صرف، يهتم بشؤون وزارته بالمعنى التقني على أن يؤازره جيشٌ من المستشارين المخضرمين في السّياسة وغير السّياسة. هنا يُحكى عن ١٠ مستشارين وأكثر يعاونون الوزير الأكثر استهدافاً في الحُكومة.

بهذا المعنى يُفهم أنّ حزب الله لم يكن يبحث حين اختارَ تنقيح مشاركته الحكوميّة، على شكل التّمثيل للتمثيل فقط، بل كان يبحث عن حقيبة وزاريّة وشخص تقني غير سياسي يمكّنه من الشروع في ورشة الإصلاح التي أعلن تدشينها بعد مرحلة ٦ أيار، أو بشكلٍ أدق، أنّ يختارُ وجهة ملائمة للإنتقالة النوعيّة التي همّ بها على السّاحةِ السياسيّة الداخليّة، من مراقب إلى شريك فاعل.

لم يجد الوزير جبق أفضل من عكّار ليستهل مشواره التطويري في وزارة الصحة بها. اختيار عكّار لم يأتِ من أسباب سياسيّة أو طائفيّة ضيّقة كما يحلو للبعض أن يصوّر، بل من خلفيّات تقنيّة بحته، إذا تعتبر منطقة ذات امتداد جغرافي واسع وثقل سكاني كبير ومصنّفة ضمن المناطق المهمّشة المحرومة، وهذه البيئة بالذات هي الأحب إلى منطق عمل حزب الله.

أكثر من ذلك، تقولُ المعلومات أنّ جبق وقع اختياره على عكّار انطلاقاً من جملة تفاصيل تتّصل بالسقف المتدنّي للخدمة الطبيّة قياساً مع أعداد السكان، إلى جانبِ غياب وجود المستشفيات الحكوميّة واقتصارها على واحدة، واتضاح سبب إضافي أنّ هذه المستشفى هي الوجهة الرئيسية للأهالي.

في المبدأ لم يتعاطَ أهالي عكّار أو الوفود الرسميّة وغير الرسميّة التي شاركت في إستقبالِ وزير الصحّة من منطق سياسي مع الوزير المحسوب على حزب الله، بل من منطقة تقني ومنطق الحاجة إلى الخدمات، وهذا برز في أكثر من محطّة خلال الجولة، بحيث كان واضحاً أنّ الهم الوحيد كان وضع المنطقة على سكّة إهتمام الدّولة لا العكس بصرف النظر عن هويّة الوزير السياسيّة.

ورغم ذلك، ثمّة من لم يخفِ رهانه على دور تطويري قد يطلع به الخصوم وليس الحلفاء. أصحاب هذه النظريّة يعتقدون أنّ استهلال حزب الله لنشاط وزيره من عكّار تحديداً قد يدفع خصومه السّياسيين إلى مزيدٍ من الإهتمام بهذه المنطقة، وبهذا المعنى سيأتي السّباق لصالح أهالي عكّار الذين سيسجلون للحزب أنهُ شد همم الحلفاء ايضاً، وعلى إختلاف الحالات يكون الفضل في ذلك يعود إلى حزب الله.

شعبيّاً كانت رسالة الزيارة لافتة من الوزير ومرجعيته السياسيّة تجاه عكّار التي قبلت الرسالة وردّت بأحسن منها من خلال مشهديات توجيه التحيّات إلى حزب الله وأمينه العام السيّد حسن نصرالله، إلى جانبِ عبارات الإشادة التي سُمِعت في أكثرِ من موقع وأكثر من شخص، التي اعتبرها الوزير انها “مسؤولية أمانة موضوعة على عاتِقه”.

وزير الصحة.. النموذج المطلوب

ذوالفقار ضاهر

شكلت الزيارات التي قام بها وزير الصحة الجديد في الحكومة اللبنانية جميل جبق الى العديد من المناطق، بارقة أمل للمواطن اللبناني العادي لا سيما للمواطن الذي يعاني من صعوبات الحياة اليومية ويرزح تحت ضغط الهموم المعيشية والضائقة المالية والاقتصادية الصعبة في ظل انكشاف أمنه الصحي والطبي، ببلد تكررت فيه الحالات التي يموت فيها الانسان او يُهان على أبواب المستشفيات ولا فارق في ذلك بين طفل صغير او شيخ كبير.

فقد أظهر جميل جبق الطبيب(العارف بتفاصيل وخفايا مهنة الطب وعمل المستشفيات) ومن ثم الوزير انه آت لخدمة الانسان في لبنان بغض النظر عن أي شيء آخر وانه سيقف الى جانب المريض ولن يسمح لأحد باستغلال فقر او ضعف او مرض انسان لتحصيل منافع مالية، كما أكد الوزير انه لن يقبل بأن يموت انسان او يقف مريض بحاجة للعلاج على أبواب أي مستشفى وان وزارة الصحة اللبنانية ستكون له السند والظهير، ما فتح الآمال بوجود شخصيات لبنانية وطنية قادرة على الوقوف بجانب الناس وتحقيق المصلحة الوطنية بوجه كل ماكينات الفساد المالي والجشع الهادفة الى تكديس الثروات.

آمال كبيرة وجدية بالعمل..

والشارع اللبناني استبشر خيرا عند رؤية الوزير جبق يفتتح زياراته من اكثر المناطق حاجة وأشدها فقرا، فالرجل منذ تسلمه لمهامه لم يهدأ فقد زار البقاع ومن ثم الشمال وبالتحديد منطقة عكار وتابع مسيرته الى منطقة النبطية الجنوبية، واعدا باستمرار جولاته على كل المناطق للاطلاع على أوضاع المستشفيات الحكومية وتلك الخاصة التي تستفيد من دعم وزارة الصحة لتقديم الخدمات الطبية والعلاج للبنانيين، علما ان جبق افتتح عمله الجدي من خلال متابعة ملف مستشفى الفنار التي زارها ووضع ملفها على سكة الحل انطلاقا من مصلحة المرضى الذين نُقلوا الى مراكز طبية اخرى في مدينة صور وبلدة جويا جنوب لبنان بينها مراكز تابعة لجمعية إمداد الامام الخميني الخيرية، بالاضافة الى سلوك القضية المسلك القضائي للوصول الى تحديد المسؤوليات ومحاسبة المقصرين وإنصاف المرضى وعائلاتهم وإحقاق الحق منعا لتكرار هذه المأساة.

كما ان مصادر خاصة لموقع المنار اكدت ان الوزير جبق يستقبل الاتصالات والشكاوى وطلبات المواطنين كافة -سواء مباشرة أو عبر مستشاريه ومساعديه- وهو ساهم بتقديم المساعدة وحلّ العديد من المشكلات التي عرقلت إدخال بعض المرضى الى المستشفيات، وفي هذا الإطار أعطى جبق أوامره بإدخال طفلة في إقليم الخروب الى احدى مستشفيات المنطقة على نفقة وزارة الصحة بدون تكليف أهلها أي مبالغ مالية، بعد أيام من مماطلة المستشفى في تقديم العلاج المطلوب للطفلة وعدم رغبة العديد من الجهات تقديم المساعدة اللازمة للمريضة بسبب عدم قدرة أهلها على دفع الاموال المطلوبة.

وقد أكد جبق على هذا الأداء الجدي في حديث له خلال زيارته الاخيرة الى طرابلس ضمن جولته على منطقة الشمال، حيث قال “من أول يوم دخلت فيه الوزارة اتخذت قرارا مهما، أي مريض في حالة طوارئ والمستشفى لم تستقبله، سأفسخ عقد هذا المستشفى، وأنا مستعد ان أغطي أية حالة طارئة”، وتابع “لا أقبل ان يأتي أي مريض لديه ذبحة قلبية او طفل يعاني ويقال له ما عنا محل فل لمستشفى آخر، هذا الأمر بالنسبة لنا كلنا كحكومة متحدة، حكومة وحدة وطنية لن نقبل أن يحصل”، وتابع “إن حصل لن يمر من دون عقاب”.

خطوة مبشّرة.. ونتائج مرتقبة

هذا الأداء المبشّر بالخير للوزير جبق ينتظر الوصول الى نتائج ملموسة مستقبلا، سواء فيما يتعلق بتأمين الاستشفاء وتحسين نوعيته لعامة الناس وتخفيض تكلفة الدواء على الدولة والمواطن وضبط كل المخالفات والتجاوزات التي يمكن ان تحصل في المستشفيات الخاصة والحكومية او في المختبرات المختلفة، ناهيك عن التشدد في موضوع أذونات مزاولة المهن الطبية وفسخ العقود غير القانونية مع بعض الجهات العاملة، كل ذلك يحتاج الى الاستمرار بالجدية نفسها لمواجهة أي عقبة واقعية وإدارية كانت تعرقل سابقا إيصال الحقوق لأصحابها والخدمات لمستحقيها من المواطنين.

كل ما سبق يدفعنا للتنويه بالخطوة التي قام بها حزب الله في سياق تأكيده على مكافحة الفساد ووقف الهدر ومنع المتاجرة بصحة اللبنانيين عبر خفض كلفة الاستشفاء وتقديمها بالمجان للطبقة الفقيرة وضبط أسعار الأدوية وتخفيض سعرها ومنع الاحتكار، حتى ان البعض يؤكد انه لا يبالغ عند وصفه جبق بأنه “وزير الفقراء”، باعتبار ان الاخير تجرأ حيث لم يفعل غيره، كما ان جبق يظهر بنشاطه المتواصل منذ تسلمه مهامه ان بالإمكان اختيار الوزراء الأكفاء النشطين وان الاعتماد على الدعم السياسي لهذا الوزير او ذاك لا يعفيه من تقديم أقصى ما لديه في نطاق صلاحيات وزارته والإمكانات المتوافرة لديه.

والحقيقة ان لبنان طالما شهد الكثير من النماذج الوزارية لأشخاص وصلوا الى سدة المسؤولية بدون أن يقدموا الشيء المطلوب لخدمة الوطن او الناس، علما ان بعض الوزراء تسلموا حقائب خدماتية من دون ان نشعر بأي فارق بين وجودهم او غيابهم، بعكس ما استشعره الكثير من الناس في مختلف المناطق ومن مختلف الطوائف بعد تسلم جبق لمهامه، فالجميع يدرك ان الرجل جاء ليعمل ولا يطلب أي شيء لنفسه او للجهة السياسية التي سمته كوزير للصحة العامة أي حزب الله، بل بالعكس فقد سبق للامين العام للحزب السيد حسن نصر الله ان أكد حزب الله جاهز لتقديم كل الدعم والمساندة للوزير جبق، وبهذا السياق قال السيد نصر الله في كلمة له يوم 4-2-2019 “يمكن ان نساعد من اموالنا لانجاح ودعم مشاريع وزارة الصحة..”.

المصدر: موقع المنار

UK Must Justify Hezbollah Ban Expansion – Labor Party


UK’s opposition Labor Party stressed on Tuesday that Home Secretary Sajid Javid had to provide evidence to justify his decision to widen a ban on Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement.
Britain said on Monday it plans to ban what it referred to as ‘all wings of Hezbollah due to its destabilizing influence in the Middle East’, branding the resistance movement as a ‘terrorist organization.’
“The Home Secretary must therefore now demonstrate that this decision was taken in an objective and impartial way, and driven by clear and new evidence, not by his leadership ambitions,” a Labor spokesman said.
Asked about the comments, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said it was for Labor to explain their decision.
“Hezbollah itself has publicly denied a distinction between its military and political wings,” the spokesman said.
The British ban, which will come into force on Friday subject to parliament’s approval, means anyone who is a member of Hezbollah or invites support ‘will be committing a criminal offense with a potential sentence of up to 10 years in jail.’
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously been criticized for his approach to Hezbollah, whose members he once termed friends. The remark is regularly seized upon by opponents for criticism.
Hezbollah was already considered a ‘terrorist organization’ by ‘Israel,’ the US and members of the Arab League.
In 2013, the European Union placed Hezbollah’s ‘military wing’ on its ‘terror list,’ and London had proscribed the group’s external security unit and its military wing in 2001 and 2008 respectively. Now, the UK plans to add the ‘political arm’ to that list too.
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Why the Political is Dead


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In the good old days when the terms Left and Right meant something the distinction between the two was clear. The Left believed that the resources and wealth of the state ought to be shared equitably. The Right’s position was that since only a few people in society are capable of handling capital properly, transforming prosperity into more prosperity, those few should be given a free hand and be taxed lightly to enable them to make the state more prosperous.
Noticeably, both of these viewpoints were both patriotic and intended to benefit the nation state and its citizens.  The Left wanted equality for the good of all. The Right maintained that Laissez-faire policies actually benefited the working class as well as the rich. Metaphorically we can think of the state’s wealth as a cake. The Left believed that the cake should be sliced equally to provide each member of society an equal portion, while the Right contended that if those who know how to make money enjoy a relatively free ride, the cake would actually get bigger and that working people would be among the first to benefit as their portion expands.
The theories of both Left and Right were meaningful within the political context of a capitalist manufacturing society. Industrial society produced the wealth that made the debate between ‘equality’ and ‘Laissez-faire’ relevant.  But the West is hardly productive anymore. Manufacturing has travelled to find the cheapest workers, moving among the Far East, South America and Africa. The working class has been reduced into a global workless class. Arguments about the distribution of wealth mean little in a globalist universe where state wealth has been replaced by exponentially growing debt. In a society that has replaced production with consumption, the bond/conflict between the factory owner and the worker belongs to nostalgia.
With both Left and Right emptied of their ideological and political relevance, Left and Right have been reduced into mere forms of identification with zero political or ideological relevance.  The Left is diminished into a ‘LGBTQ call’ and the Right is driven by ‘White nationalism’; both are quintessentially tribal, anti universal and hardly attractive to most.
This may explain the worldwide rise of new populist political formations that don’t fit the standard political clichés. Traditional political institutions, both ‘Left’ and ‘Right,’ struggle to cope with  change let alone adapt. Maybe two decades ago Labour could manage to be elected to lead Britain by pretending to be Tories, but this strategy is not going to save Labour in the future, as the Tories are hardly an attractive option. The same applies to the Democratic Party. Being an avid  Neocon and and a war monger didn’t help Hillary Clinton. Instead it was Donald Trump, an anti politician with zero ideological standpoint, who made it to the White House.
The world we are part of desperately awaits a new ethos: a new ideology, religion, spirit, metaphysics, it may even be an anti ethos. Is this spirit going to refresh our yearning for the universal, poetic, and the ethical consistent with Western Athenian roots or is it going to be repressive, hateful and tribal in accordance with the Jerusalemite approach that has been threatening Athens for two millennia? I guess that it is down to us to determine as this world is ours as we are this world.

“What You’re Not Being Told About Venezuela Crisis. w/Abby Martin” is locked What You’re Not Being Told About Venezuela Crisis. w/Abby Martin



Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Juan Guaido: A Traitor To His People

The self-proclaimed “Provisional President of Venezuela,” Juan Guaidó, is an expert in dangerous actions, who — in pursuit of his unending ambition — will go down in history as a person that broke all the rules of decency and democracy.
Colombian journalist Rafael Croda recalls that Guaidó was elected Chairman of the Venezuelan National Assembly, a body that has proclaimed its unwillingness to accept the mandate of the duly-elected president of the country, Nicolas Maduro.
Since the President of Venezuela was elected by a sizable majority of the population in free, democratic elections, the step taken by Guaidó is unconstitutional.
The other two politicians that shared the leadership of his political formation are two criminals sanctioned by the courts.  One is Leopoldo López, who is serving a term of house arrest, and the other is Freddy Guevara, a fugitive of justice who is enjoying temporary asylum in the Chilean Embassy in Caracas.
When the opposition group in the National Assembly managed to approve a decision that rejected the ample victory of President Nicolas Maduro in the recent elections, the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice rejected the Parliamentary decision.  This was the opportunity of Juan Guaidó to proclaim himself Interim President of Venezuela, in open violation of the national constitution and the will of the Venezuela voters.   In fact, the Venezuelan National Assembly was taken by surprise by the move of Juan Guadó.   One possible explanation is that Mr. Guaido knew very well that the National Assembly would never choose him as provisional “president,” a move dictated by Guaidó’s ambitions and by his masters in Washington.
This overly-ambitions person has broken all constitutional rules in Venezuela, but apparently he and his boss, Donald Trump, couldn’t care less.   Guaidó’s master, with eyes fixed on Venezuela’s oil and other valuable mineral reserves, was quick to extend diplomatic recognition to his Venezuelan protege and was able to get many Western European nations to follow suit.
Guaidó himself showed his true self when he tearfully called for a military intervention against his own country, even if he knows that such a move will spread death and destruction in Venezuela.
If this aggression takes place, every single death, every single injury, every single tear, every desolated mother or fatherless child, will fall upon this worthless human being.
If the U.S. attack on Venezuela takes place, every single victim will fall upon the conscience of Guaidó and his protector: Donald Trump.
They should know, however, that it won’t be easy. Latin America and the people of the world are backing the Venezuelan people and their inalienable right to rule themselves and protect their resources from foreign imperialists and their local henchmen.
The aggressors are properly identified and their names will be inscribed in the world’s memory as what they are: traitors!
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PHILIP GIRALDI: “ATTACKING IRAN”

Written by Philip Giraldi; Originally appeared at The Unz Review
Observers of developments in the Middle East have long taken it as a given that the United States and Israel are seeking for an excuse to attack Iran. The recently terminated conference in Warsaw had that objective, which was clearly expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it failed to rally European and Middle Eastern states to support the cause. On the contrary, there was strong sentiment coming from Europe in particular that normalizing relations with Iran within the context of the 2015 multi party nuclear agreement is the preferred way to go both to avoid a major war and to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.
Philip Giraldi: "Attacking Iran"
There are foundations in Washington, all closely linked to Israel and its lobby in the U.S., that are wholly dedicated to making the case for war against Iran. They seek pretexts in various dark corners, including claims that Iran is cheating on its nuclear program, that it is developing ballistic missiles that will enable it to deliver its secret nuclear warheads onto targets in Europe and even the United States, that it is an oppressive, dictatorial government that must be subjected to regime change to liberate the Iranian people and give them democracy, and, most stridently, that is provoking and supporting wars and threats against U.S. allies all throughout the Middle East.
Dissecting the claims about Iran, one might reasonably counter that rigorous inspections by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirm that Tehran has no nuclear weapons program, a view that is supported by the U.S. intelligence community in its recent Worldwide Threat Assessment. Beyond that, Iran’s limited missile program can be regarded as largely defensive given the constant threats from Israel and the U.S. and one might well accept that the removal of the Iranian government is a task best suited for the Iranian people, not delivered through military intervention by a foreign power that has been starving the country through economic warfare. And as for provoking wars in the Middle East, look to the United States and Israel, not Iran.
So the hawks in Washington, by which one means National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and, apparently President Donald Trump himself when the subject is Iran, have been somewhat frustrated by the lack of a clear casus belli to hang their war on. No doubt prodded by Netanyahu, they have apparently revived an old story to give them what they want, even going so far as to develop an argument that would justify an attack on Iran without a declaration of war while also lacking any imminent threat from Tehran to justify a preemptive strike.
What may be the new Iran policy was recently outlined in a Washington Times article, which unfortunately has received relatively little attention from either the media, the punditry or from the few policymakers themselves who have intermittently been mildly critical of Washington’s propensity to strike first and think about it afterwards.
The article is entitled “Exclusive: Iran-al Qaeda alliance May Provide Legal Rationale for U.S. military strikes.” The article’s main points should be taken seriously by anyone concerned over what is about to unfold in the Persian Gulf because it is not just the usual fluff emanating from the hubris-induced meanderings of some think tank, though it does include some of that. It also cites government officials by name and others who are not named but are clearly in the administration.
As an ex-CIA case officer who worked on the Iran target for a number of years, I was shocked when I read the Times’ article, primarily because it sounded like a repeat of the fabricated intelligence that was used against both Iraq and Iran in 2001 through 2003. It is based on the premise that war with Iran is desirable for the United States and, acting behind the scenes, Israel, so it is therefore necessary to come up with an excuse to start it. As the threat of terrorism is always a good tactic to convince the American public that something must be done, that is what the article tries to do and it is particularly discouraging to read as it appears to reflect opinion in the White House.
As I have been writing quite critically about the CIA and the Middle East for a number of years, I am accustomed to considerable push-back from former colleagues. But in this case, the calls and emails I received from former intelligence officers who shared my experience of the Middle East and had read the article went strongly the other way, condemning the use of both fake and contrived intelligence to start another unnecessary war.
The article states that Iran is supporting al Qaeda by providing money, weapons and sanctuary across the Middle East to enable it to undertake new terrorist attacks. It is doing so in spite of ideological differences because of a common enemy: the United States. Per the article and its sources, this connivance has now “evolved into an unacceptable global security threat” with the White House intent on “establishing a potential legal justification for military strikes against Iran or its proxies.”
One might reasonably ask why the United States cares if Iran is helping al Qaeda as both are already enemies who are lying on the Made in U.S.A. chopping block waiting for the ax to fall. The reason lies in the Authorization to Use Military Force, originally drafted post 9/11 to provide a legal fig leaf to pursue al Qaeda worldwide, but since modified to permit also going after “associated groups.” If Iran is plausibly an associated group then President Trump and his band of self-righteous maniacs egged on by Netanyahu can declare “bombs away Mr. Ayatollah.” And if Israel is involved, there will be a full benediction coming from Congress and the media. So is this administration both capable and willing to start a major war based on bullshit? You betcha!
The Times suggests how it all works as follows: “Congressional and legal sources say the law may now provide a legal rationale for striking Iranian territory or proxies should President Trump decide that Tehran poses a looming threat to the U.S. or Israel and that economic sanctions are not strong enough to neutralize the threat.” The paper does not bother to explain what might constitute a “looming threat” to the United States from puny Iran but it is enough to note that Israel, as usual, is right in the middle of everything and, exercising its option of perpetual victim-hood, it is apparently threatened in spite of its nuclear arsenal and overwhelming regional military superiority guaranteed by act of the U.S. Congress.
Curiously, though several cited administration officials wedded to the hard-line against Iran because it is alleged to be the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” were willing to provide their opinions on the Iran-al Qaeda axis, the authors of the recent Worldwide Threat Assessment issued by the intelligence community apparently have never heard of it. The State Department meanwhile sees an Iranian pipeline moving al Qaeda’s men and money to targets in central and south Asia, though that assessment hardly jives with the fact that the only recent major attack attributed to al Qaeda was carried out on February 13th in southeastern Iran against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a bombing that killed 27 guardsmen.
The State annual threat assessment also particularly condemns Iran for funding groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which are, not coincidentally, enemies of Israel who would care less about “threatening” the United States but for the fact that it is constantly meddling in the Middle East on behalf of the Jewish state.
And when in doubt, the authors of the article went to “old reliable,” the leading neocon think tank the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which, by the way, works closely with the Israeli government and never, ever has criticized the state of democracy in Israel. One of its spokesmen was quick off the mark: ““The Trump administration is right to focus on Tehran’s full range of malign activities, and that should include a focus on Tehran’s long-standing support for al Qaeda.”
Indeed, the one expert cited in the Times story who actually is an expert and examined original documents rather than reeling off approved government and think tank talking points contradicted the Iran-al Qaeda narrative. “Nelly Lahoud, a former terrorism analyst at the U.S. Military Academy and now a New America Foundation fellow, was one of the first to review documents seized from bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. She wrote in an analysis for the Atlantic Council this fall that the bin Laden files revealed a deep strain of skepticism and hostility toward the Iranian regime, mixed with a recognition by al Qaeda leaders of the need to avoid a complete break with Tehran. In none of the documents, which date from 2004 to just days before bin Laden’s death, ‘did I find references pointing to collaboration between al Qaeda and Iran to carry out terrorism,’ she concluded.”
So going after Iran is the name of the game even if the al Qaeda story is basically untrue. The stakes are high and whatever has to be produced, deduced or fabricated to justify a war is fair game. Iran and terrorism? Perfect. Let’s try that one out because, after all, invading Iran will be a cakewalk and the people will be in the streets cheering our tanks as they roll by. What could possibly go wrong?
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.