Archive | May 18th, 2018

Korean gambit

NOVANEWS

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http://argumenti.ru/society/2018/05/572774?typelink=openlink

№ 19(612) from 17.05.18 [“Arguments of the Week”, Alexander Chuikov ]
On June 12, Singapore will host the first ever summit of DPRK and US leaders. The parties, which are still on the verge of a nuclear conflict, have been able to come to the negotiating table. Unless, of course, the unpredictable Donald trump changes his mind.
Perhaps the meeting will be the beginning of the unification of the two Koreas on the principle of “one country – two systems.” And if Russia and China will only welcome such a debut on the Korean Peninsula, then Japan and a number of other South-Eastern “players” will do everything to prevent the process of unification.
What pawns will be sacrificed? What Korean endgame will be formed on the far Eastern chessboard? This and many other questions  newspaper “Arguments of the week” posed to the head of the Department of Korea and Mongolia of the Institute of Oriental studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander VORONTSOV, who worked on both sides of the 38th parallel.

Trigger negotiations

– Alexander Valentinovich, the leaders of the two Koreas Kim Jong-Un and Moon Jae-In so suddenly pulled the trigger of the peace process that stunned the whole world. Was it an inter-Korean dialogue or was some “third force “involved?
– A kaleidoscope of reasons led to such a dynamic peace breakthrough. First: the opposition Democratic Party led by moon Jae-In won the elections in South Korea. One of the most important points of his election program is the restoration of good-neighbourly and constructive relations with Pyongyang. After all, for 10 years of the country’s conservative rule were put on the brink of armed conflict. Second, the DPRK has its own difficulties that need to be solved. Third, the United States has specifically felt the limits of its own military policy. The war is impossible because of the projected unacceptable losses and the response of the northerners to the American continent. The policy of pressure and sanctions has not actually been successful. It is necessary to preserve the face and promote defeat as a victory because of the domestic political situation.
Thus, all parties were interested in the beginning of the peace process. And the moment was chosen very well – the Olympic Games. Both Koreas sought peace and were able to take full advantage of the opportunity.
– You said that losses for the US army in case of armed conflict are unacceptable. But with the allies-Japan and South Korea, as Trump has repeatedly stated last year, the DPRK would “bomb democracy” for a couple of massive raids.
  I didn’t say that. This computer simulation was conducted by us military experts in the mid-90s of the last century, when Bill Clinton gave the order to start a war against the DPRK. Losses among the soldiers of South Korea – up to 500.000. Among the civilian population – 2 million. American losses – from 50 to 100 thousand soldiers and officers. Now the losses would be even greater.
But the possibility of applying the American limited strike based on the concept developed in the Pentagon, called “bloody nose”, was extremely likely. In Pyongyang, they understood this and were ready for a retaliatory strike and, consequently, for the beginning of a full-scale war. In the DPRK Foreign Ministry told me in plain text: “as soon as the Americans will begin to beat us on the nose, we will immediately start to break their spine.”
This scared not only the Southerners, but also Japan, which is ready to fully support the US in the economic strangulation of the DPRK, but not in a large, perhaps, nuclear war. In this case, both Japan and South Korea will be between two lights, in a vice. And they clearly expressed their categorical rejection of the military scenario. Washington felt that if it ignored this position, it would lose forever the two most important allies in the key region of the world.
– That is, they would have cracked the “nose” not only to Pyongyang?
– That’s right. When the Southerners realized that a big war was already knocking on their doors, and it could start against their will, they really were horrified. After all, the response of the North Korean army can guarantee the destruction of 12 million’s Seoul and 23 million’s Seoul agglomeration without even using its nuclear weapons. All this has prompted both Korean sides to act as quickly as possible.
 Sanctions against the bulls
 
– The American media write that in Pyongyang they were afraid of the aggressive rhetoric of Trump and of the new sanctions. They wrote things like, “the North Koreans again began to eat only grass”. Is this true?
– I was in March of this year in the DPRK and I have not see any serious deterioration in the economic situation yet. Yes, gasoline prices jumped three times due to the decline in oil imports, but food prices, as well as the exchange rate of the North Korean Won, remained the same, and there are no less cars on the streets.
But sanctions are a serious thing, and the Northerners understand it perfectly well. In October last year, they held a special plenary session of the Workers’ Party of Korea which developed specific steps, mechanisms and tools in order to survive in the conditions of long-term sanctions and embargoes. A whole program has been worked out, which is strictly implemented.
For example, the rural hinterland, no matter how cheerless it may sound, maybe due to lack of fuel for tractors, began ploughing again with oxen, like grandfathers and great-grandfathers. But in any case, they will be able to achieve the necessary volume of agricultural production On the other hand, great attention is paid to the development of applied science and technology. Solar panels are being actively introduced, tidal power plants are being developed. So, it’s not all just by the bulls…

Peace to the world, ice cream to the children

– And if in Seoul again conservatives come to power, who are against this rapprochement? Is there a chance to conclude a full-fledged Peace Treaty instead of the 1953 Ceasefire Agreement?
– This was already declared in the inter-Korean agreements of 1991-1992, and at the summit on April 27, 2018, these goals were confirmed. But we must understand that the main player during the Korean War were the US military. And in order to conclude a full-fledged inter-Korean Peace Treaty, it is necessary to sign the same between the DPRK and the United States. After all, there is no signature of the South under the ceasefire Agreement of 1953 (that is, a temporary ceasefire), which you are talking about. There are only three parties there: American, Chinese and North Korean generals. But the main issue-the issue of war and peace – must be addressed urgently, as long as the US and North Korea are technically still at war.
– Is it possible in the foreseeable future, the real unification of North Korea and South Korea on the principle of “one country, two systems”? If this happens, who will be the leader and who will be the follower? In the relatively recent past, West Germany had simply “swallowed” the GDR, but the difficulties in the relationship between East and West Germans have only increased.
-In the foreseeable future, in my opinion, such a task is not on the agenda. Although both sides talk about it and develop the concept of unification. By the way, the principle of “one country – two systems” was proposed by the Northerners under
Kim Il-sung under the name “Confederative Republic of Koryo”. Its essence is (in contrast to the unification of the FRG and GDR) to initially creat a supranational government, but to retain its different political and economic system. And gradually there will be a rapprochement of systems and people, and not an absorption, like in the German option.
By the way, back in 1995, the conservative South Korean elite, which was inspired by the German version and recognizes only the principle of “North Korea should be absorbed”, calculated how much it will cost to create one large “democratic South Korea”. And they cried bitter tears: it will cost tens of trillions of dollars! Whether the young and middle aged generation of the South is ready to pay such money out of their pockets is a rhetorical question. If any government is going to propose such a thing, the voters will just not understand.
South Korean President, Nobel peace prize laureate Kim Dae-Jung said:” We do not need unification now, we do not need the collapse of the DPRK, we do not need war, we need gradual rapprochement through economic integration.”
– Very similar to the words of Peter Stolypin: “Give me ten years of peace, and you do not recognize Russia»…
– Exactly. The democrats launched the process of this very integration. The Kaesong industrial Park was founded and successfully operated. More than 130 joint ventures, about 150 thousand North Korean workers, several thousand South Korean managers. The conservatives, having come to power, curtailed its work. Under the democrats more than 2 million Southerners have visited significant for all Koreans beautiful Diamond mountains (Kumgansan), the ancient capital Kaesong, located just North of the 38th parallel. The program was also curtailed by conservatives.
They also tried to crush the North Korean economy. Somehow it did not work, and in spite of everything it is constantly growing, by 3-4% of GDP per year. Plus the Northerners were able to forge their own nuclear missile shield. Now, of course, taking advantage of a good moment, it is necessary to solve the problem of war and peace and to come closer through economic integration. And who will be leading and who will be led, let the Koreans sort it out themselves.

A witch from Tokyo

         Tokyo is extremely afraid of these prospects. Sources in the Russian foreign Ministry say that at the meetings of Abe and Putin, the Japanese side, in addition to ritual spells about the return of the Northern territories, always asks Moscow to assist in the process of “non-rapproachment” of Pyongyang and Seoul. They say that the dangers for Japan are growing along with the settlement of those inter-Korean contradictions. What is the reason for such panic in Tokyo?
         
        Historical past. In 1910, Korea was completely annexed by the Japanese. In fact, until 1945, when Soviet troops with their fierce fighting liberated the Northern part of the Peninsula, and American troops landed in its southern part on September 8, the Koreans fully tasted the bitterness of colonial dependence. They were forcibly assimilated, independence supporters were imprisoned, tortured and killed, young people were taken to Japan for hard work, and more than two hundred thousand women were driven into Japanese military brothels. The number of victims is estimated by Korean experts at 6-8 million people. After the surrender, Tokyo apologized only to Seoul. no one apologized to the Northerners. 35 years of colonial dependence did not pass without a trace. Both Koreas still cannot forgive Japan’s national insults. And in Tokyo they have reason to fear revenge.
– Yeah, the breakthrough technologies of the South, coupled with obstinacy and nuclear defence capabilities of the North, what a “gift” it would be for them!
– The United Korean “monster” can really become a very serious economic and military competitor, with 75-million population, in the entire Far East. By the way, Japanese colleagues openlyexpress such concerns at international conferences.
But Tokyo is unlikely to be able to force us to play by its rules. Russia needs peace and stability on its borders, as projects are being developed to unite the railways of the North and South, with access to the Trans-Siberian railway. There is a need to lay a gas pipeline and electricity networks to South Korea through the DPRK. The joint Russian-North Korean terminal in the city-port of Raijin, where we have conducted a railway, has been launched. We have invested almost 9.5 billion roubles in it. Such investments should be “fought for”.
Intelligent agents Chip and Dale fly to the rescue
 
– Back to the probable meeting of our Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un. Positions are clear. Washington demands from the DPRK to stop all tests related to the North Korean nuclear missile program. Until the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. At the same time, they are not talking about the withdrawal of US troops (and possibly tactical nuclear weapons) from South Korea.
– The starting positions of the parties before the summit look, to put it mildly, incompatible. The US assured itself that its policy of pressure and sanctions has worked. Therefore, it should be continued, to press the DPRK up to the end. Like, “you destroy your nuclear missile potential, and then we will think about what security guarantees we can provideyou”. They hope in vain that the Northerners will fall on their knees and come crawling to surrender.
But Pyongyang’s position is becoming more flexible. Even in the winter the DPRK stated that its nuclear weapons can not even be the subject of bargaining. But already in March, they proposed a formula that ” we agree to negotiations, in which each of the parties can raise any issues.” But agreeing to discuss does not mean agreeing to do so. Northerners, in my opinion, will lead fierce bargaining in the upcoming talks, in the classic diplomatic pattern: “I’ll give you something if you will give something to me.”
-I was told, by the way, that this preparation for the meeting of Trump and
Kim Jong Un is going not through traditional diplomatic channels.
– Yes, the DPRK Foreign Ministry and the US State Department play the secondary role. In  the primary roles are the intelligence agencies of America, North and South Korea. In early March, the head of South Korean intelligence and national security adviser arrived in Pyongyang. After talks in the Northern capital, they flew to Washington to Trump with Kim Jong-Un’s proposal for a bilateral meeting. Trump, despite the protests of his entourage, immediately accepted the invitation. As it turned out, all this “chess playing” was prepared on the initiative of the CIA.
Then Mike Pompeo (first in the status of  the CIA Director, and then as a Secretary of state) met twice with Kim Jong Un on his territory. What they talked about, in addition to officially voiced versions, is difficult to say. It seems to me (the Northerners used to voice such positions, but now they are silent, which does not mean that they have forgotten about them) that the DPRK is ready to denuclearize and to destroy its few Intercontinental ballistic carriers, but only under certain conditions. Firstly, the US should withdraw all its troops from South Korea and sign commitments not to deploy them in the future. Secondly, to allow international and North Korean experts access to existing US military bases in the South, to verify the presence or absence of tactical nuclear weapons. Thirdly, to stop all joint military exercises with Seoul and not to send air groups with nuclear weapons to the borders of the DPRK. Will the parties be able to find a compromise? It is not yet clear. But both leaders need a meeting for domestic political reasons. They can even sign a joint Declaration of intent. Then to move on later.
By the way, what we are witnessing now is actually a three – stage Russian plan for normalization. The first stage, which is already being implemented, is a sharp decline in military activity and the transition to dialogue. Then step-by-step, or phased (as they say in the US), the movement towards the goal.
-The whole world has seen a vivid example of  the value of any treaty signed by the US on the example of Iran. Barack Obama made a “vigorous” deal with Tehran, Trump broke it. Is there a secret card up Kim Jong Un’s sleeve in this case?
– They have their own sad experience. Clinton initially ordered a war with North Korea, but after calculating his potential losses, he had to conclude a framework agreement in 1994 and to promise to build two light-water reactors in exchange for freezing the North Korean reactor. Then Bush Jr. came and broke off all these agreements. But you are right, in the DPRK, the Iranian theme is being very closely watched and notes are being taken. They also remember in Pyongyang the fate of Gaddafi. But they probably have a card up their sleeve. But when they will pulls it out and what kind of a card is it, is a mystery. Americans are even more concerned about Intercontinental missiles than about nuclear weapons. That’s where the Northeners can have their playing field.
– The main thing in the weaponry is to gain experience in their production. And experience, as we know, you can never lose!
– Yes, it is always possible to restore production.
-We, the Russian people, have such a character trait – we all stand shoulder to shoulder as one in front of an external threat. In ordinary life we can be fragmented and poorly mobilized. Do North Koreans look like us or does life force them to live constantly alerted, as, for example, in Israel?
-Unfortunately, the people of North Korea and Israel in this sense are very similar. For many years they have been living in conditions of constant readiness for war. Secondly, Korean society is a Confucian society. It is collectivist, because you can survive in such difficult geographical and climatic conditions only together. A father leader must take care of his children. Children-the population – must respond with loyalty and fidelity. Everything should be done together and for the benefit of the whole team.
-This is an analogue of our traditional rural Russian community, which is almost lost. Is collectivism  the main character trait of an ordinary citizen of the DPRK?
– It is one of them. Another one is distrust for foreigners, strangers. But the main ones are; hard work, patience, the ability to be contained with little…

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The Putin-Assad Summit in Sochi Proved that “Balancing” Yields Results

NOVANEWS
 

Russia’s “balancing” strategy was vindicated yesterday after the Syrian President came to Sochi and announced his country’s full participation in the post-Daesh constitutional revisionism process.

Restoring The “Balance”

President Putin’s feting of “Israeli” “Prime Minister” Benjamin Netanyahu as his guest of honor during last week’s Victory Day celebrations shocked many people who were hitherto unaware of the extent of the Russian-“Israeli” strategic and military partnerships, especially given that this visit was bookended by back-to-back bombings of Syria right before and after the summit took place. Even more surprising to some was that Russia almost immediately afterwards announced that it would not be giving its S-300 anti-air missile defense systems to Syria, which led to howling accusations that President Putin “sold out” his Mideast “ally”. The truth of the matter is a lot deeper than the demagogic allegations would lead one to believe because Russia is actually conducting a complex “balancing” act all throughout the Mideast as explained by these following five analyses:

To sum it all up, Russia is leveraging its predominant military-diplomatic position in Syria after the defeat of Daesh and the beginning of the Moscow-initiated Astana peace process to enter into fast-moving multidimensional partnerships with all regional actors, especially those who are untraditional partners such as Turkey, “Israel”, and Saudi Arabia. The existing state of strategic affairs in the Mideast is such that the presence of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and their Hezbollah allies in Syria following President Putin’s announcement of Daesh’s demise is perceived of as a “provocation” by “Israel” in spite of this relationship being entirely within Syria’s sovereign right to maintain however it sees fit. Nevertheless, because of its “disruptive” nature, a regional coalition of forces is increasingly applying ever-intensifying pressure on Damascus to seek their withdrawal, and therein emerges Russia’s pivotal role.

“Israel” Was Putin’s “Cat’s Paw” For Bringing Assad To The Negotiating Table

Envisioning itself as the supreme “balancing” force in 21st-century Eurasian affairs, Russia is using its de-facto military and political “arbiter” status in Syria to manage the growing tensions between Iran and “Israel” in the Arab Republic, to which end Moscow “passively facilitates” Tel Aviv’s regular bombing raids in the country so long as they’re conducted on an alleged anti-Iranian pretext designed to restore the regional “balance”. Concurrent with this, Russia has been “urging” Syria to make tangible progress on the Astana peace process and specifically in implementing UNSC 2254’s mandate for “constitutional reform”. The “Syrian National Dialogue Congress” in January superficially succeeded in getting all parties to agree in sending delegations to the UN in order to jumpstart this process, something that hadn’t seen any progress whatsoever up until the Putin-Assad Summit.

About this surprise meeting, which in hindsight wasn’t all too unexpected, it can’t be looked at in a vacuum separate from the dynamic events that just took place over the past week. “Israel’s” back-to-back bombings of Syria which bookended Netanyahu’s visit to the Russian capital certainly sent an indirect signal from Moscow to Damascus that the former is going to allow Tel Aviv “free rein” to do as it pleases when it comes to “containing” Iran in the Arab Republic. Shortly afterwards, another signal was sent in the same direction when Russia declined to give S-300s to Syria, with the message this time being that Moscow will not allow Damascus to change the regional balance of forces in such a way as to obstruct “Israel’s” “freedom of action” to strike Iranian forces and their Hezbollah allies.

Under these militarily impossible circumstances, President Assad really had no choice but to beseech his Russian counterpart and reverse his government’s erstwhile unstated policy of procrastinating on the political process by publicly announcing that Damascus will indeed send a commission to the UN-mediated “constitutional committee” for revising his country’s founding document in accordance with UNSC 2254 and the outcome of the “Syrian National Dialogue Congress”. This peacemaking development would never have happened had Russia not “balanced” between “Israel” and Syria, as the latter had no practical intent of participating in this until it literally became the only way for the country to avoid experiencing any more Russian-facilitated “pressure” from “Israel”.

Constitutional Conundrum

The big question that everyone’s wondering about is the fate of the IRGC and Hezbollah, though it’s probable that they’ll be given a “face-saving” and “dignified” exit from the country via a forthcoming “phased withdrawal” as part of the “constitutional reform” process. This isn’t speculation either, as the Russian-written “draft constitution” of January 2017 specifically prohibits non-state military forces such as Hezbollah, as the author explained in his extensive review of this document in his February 2017 analysis about “SYRIA: Digging Into The Details Of The Russian-Written ‘Draft Constitution’”, which all readers should at least skim in order to become familiar with the most interesting aspects of this proposed document. Granted, the whole point of the UN-mediated “constitutional commission” is to agree on amendments to the Russian-written “draft constitution”, so it’s possible that some details might change.

It’s too early to say exactly which of the many controversial clauses included in this document will ultimately be amended, though it’s all but certain that the ones about “decentralization” will remain as they are there’s no way that the foreign-backed “opposition” – and especially those supported by Turkey in Idlib –will allow themselves to be peacefully reintegrated into a centralized Syrian state. To the contrary, the so-called “de-escalation zone” in which they’re presently operating was already predicted a year ago by the author to form the basis for these prospective administrative entities in his May 2017 piece about “Syria: From ‘De-Escalation’ Zones To ‘Decentralization” Units’. Likewise, it’s very possible that the “Israeli”-backed “opposition” abutting the occupied Golan Heights will seek to secure similar administrative “privileges” for themselves too, as will the American-assisted Kurds in the northeast.

That said, there might emerge a consensus decision driven by the many negotiating sides’ shared interests to do away with or at least further clarify several contentious proposals in the “draft constitution”. These concern “compulsory labor” for criminals, the removal of the 2014 Constitution’s prohibition on extraditing Syrians to “foreign entities” (instead changing it to “another state” and leaving open the possibility of sending citizens to the ICC), and the near impossibility of amending the new ‘constitution’ once it enters into force. The second-mentioned point is especially sensitive because it could potentially be abused to send members of the Syrian government and its military to international criminal tribunals despite likely having been originally written with only terrorists in mind.

Concluding Thoughts

Whatever the final outcome of this “constitutional revision” process may be, it needs to be accepted that there wouldn’t be any tangible progress on this whatsoever had Russia not succeeded in “balancing” “Israel” and Syria to this effect, as President Assad had been trying his hardest to hold out as long as possible in the hope that he may be able to negotiate from a better position that prevents him from having to “compromise” on “decentralization” and the presumably eventual “phased withdrawal” of the IRGC and Hezbollah from his country. Unfortunately for him, for as well-intended and deeply rooted as in his country’s national interests as it was, this strategy nonetheless failed to bring about the political-military dividends that it was supposed to and actually backfired to an extent because it made Damascus’ negotiating position much weaker with time.

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Nazi regime, Egypt ‘Block Turkey from Airlifting Gaza Wounded Protesters for Emergency Treatment’

NOVANEWS

Nazi regime, Egypt Zionist puppet Sisi  ‘Block Turkey from Airlifting Gaza Wounded Protesters for Emergency Treatment’

Egypt and the Nazi regime have blocked Turkish aircraft from using their airports to transport thousands of Palestinians wounded by Nazi troops during protests in Gaza, Turkey’s deputy prime minister has said.

Recep Akdag made the announcement on Wednesday, state-run Anadolu Agency reported, amid a growing rift between Ankara and Tel Aviv over Nazi massacres of Palestinian protesters.

Nazi forces killed at least 60 Palestinians and wounded over 3,000 others mostly with live gunfire on Monday during protests against the transfer of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Nazi forces shot dead two more protesters on Tuesday as Palestinians marked the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who were expelled in the 1948 war.

Since border protests and clashes began on March 30, 116 Palestinians have been killed by Nazi fire across the Gaza Strip.

Turkey has offered to evacuate the wounded from Gaza for emergency medical treatment.

Nazi has rejected the request over “security concerns”, local media has reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday lashed out at the international “silence” over the Nazi killings.

“If the silence on Israel’s tyranny continues, the world will rapidly be dragged into a chaos where banditry prevails,” Erdogan said at a dinner in Ankara.

Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultations and told Nazi ambassador to Ankara to leave, also for an unspecified period of time.

That drew retaliation from the Nazi regime, which ordered the Turkish consul in Jerusalem to leave for an unspecified period of time.

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Nazi Jewish Settler Colonialism and Occupation Fact Sheet

NOVANEWS

Israeli Settler Colonialism and Occupation Fact Sheet

 

Israeli Settler-Colonialism

“For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived.”

“We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house.”

– Moshe Dayan, Israeli settler-colonial militant and politician

*

  • Every government in the world, except Israel, considers Israel’s colonial settlement building since 1967 to be illegal. (1)
  • Like the former South African settler-colonial Apartheid regime, Israel rejects virtually all well-established and reviewed official legal and moral opinion and continues its illegal activities in violation of legal and moral consensus. It continues to build settlements on Palestinian land.
  • The consensus view of the international community is that Israeli settlements are illegal and constitute a violation of international law. (2)
  • The majority of legal scholars hold the settlements to violate international law: “the establishment of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has been considered illegal by the international community and by the majority of legal scholars.” (3)
  • The international community considers the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories illegal under international law in part because the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits countries from moving their population into territories they occupy through war. (4)
  •  The applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention to “all the territories occupied by Israel in 1967” is held with “a remarkable degree of unanimity” among international actors. (5)
  •  The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice and the High Contracting Parties to the Convention have all affirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention does apply. (6)
  •  In a 2004 advisory opinion to the UN General Assembly, the International Court of Justice stated that Article 2 of the Convention applied to the case of Israel’s presence in the territories captured during the 1967 war.
  •  Numerous UN resolutions have stated that the building and existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are a violation of international law, including UN Security Council resolutions in 1979, 1980, (7) and 2016. (8) UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention as the applicable international legal instrument, and calls upon Israel to desist from transferring its own population into the territories or changing their demographic makeup. The reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions has declared the settlements illegal (9) as has the primary judicial organ of the UN, the International Court of Justice (10) and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
  • Article 49 (6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention states:
  • The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. (11)
  • According to Jean Pictet of the International Committee of the Red Cross, this clause intended to prevent the World War II practice of an occupying power transferring “portions of its own population to occupied territory for political and racial reasons or in order, as they claimed, to colonize those territories”, which in turn “worsened the economic situation of the native population and endangered their separate existence as a race”. (12)
  • There is a vote in the UN General Assembly every year on the Question of Palestine. Every year, the vote is essentially the same: the vast majority of the world supports the resolution, and the US, Israel, and some small, US-occupied islands and sometimes a handful of other countries oppose the resolution.  The most recent vote was 153 in favor, 7 against.  The seven against were Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States.  Muslim people are a minority in the vast majority of the countries that support the resolution.

Thus, the resolution is adopted and affirmed every year.

The resolution states, in part,

“Reaffirming the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,

Expressing grave concern about the extremely detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including on the contiguity, integrity and viability of the Territory, the viability of the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders and the efforts to advance a peaceful settlement in the Middle East,

Expressing grave concern also about all acts of violence, intimidation and provocation by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians, including children, and properties, including homes, mosques, churches and agricultural lands, condemning acts of terror by several extremist Israeli settlers, and calling for accountability for the illegal actions perpetrated in this regard,

Reaffirming the illegality of Israeli actions aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem, including settlement construction and expansion, home demolitions, evictions of Palestinian residents, excavations in and around religious and historic sites, and all other unilateral measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the city and of the Territory as a whole, and demanding their immediate cessation”.

  • Examples of other, related resolutions that are adopted:
  • UNGA Res. 194, adopted 1948: Palestinian refugees may return “at the earliest practicable date,” and “compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property”.
  • UNGA Res. 3236, adopted 1974: “Reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return”.

The Israeli Settler-Colonial State’s Occupation of Gaza

  • The international community regards all of the Palestinian territories including Gaza as occupied. (13)
  •  The United Nations, international human rights organizations, and the majority of governments and legal commentators consider Gaza to be currently occupied by Israel. (14)
  • Amnesty International, the World Health Organization, Oxfam, the International Committee of the Red Cross, The United Nations, the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, international human rights organizations, US government websites, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the majority of legal commentators (eg Geoffrey Aronson, Meron Benvenisti, Claude Bruderlein, Sari Bashi and Kenneth Mann, Shane Darcy and John Reynolds, Yoram Dinstein, John Dugard, Marc S. Kaliser, Mustafa Mari, Iain Scobbie, and Yuval Shany) maintain that Israel’s extensive direct external control over Gaza, and indirect control over the lives of its internal population mean that Gaza remains occupied. (15)
  •  Israel imposes an illegal blockade on Gaza: international aid groups, including Amnesty International, CARE International UK, and Oxfam call on Israel to lift the blockade, calling it collective punishment against the 1.5 million residents of the territory. (16)
  • According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, “The hardship faced by Gaza’s 1.5 million people cannot be addressed by providing humanitarian aid. The only sustainable solution is to lift the closure.” (17)  The ICRC has also referred to the blockade as “a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law”. (18)
  • On 24 January 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a statement calling for Israel to lift its siege on the Gaza Strip and therefore drop its restrictions on the supply of food, fuel, and medicine, and reopen border crossings.(19)
  •  In August 2009, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay criticized Israel for the blockade in a 34-page report, calling it a violation of the rules of war.(20)
  • A UN Fact Finding mission in September 2009 led by South African Judge Richard Goldstone (the Goldstone report) concluded that the blockade was possibly a crime against humanity, and recommended that the matter be referred to the International Criminal Court if the situation has not improved in six months.
  • In May 2010, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that the formal economy in Gaza has collapsed since the imposition of the blockade.(21) They also stated that the “restrictions imposed on the civilian population by the continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip amount to collective punishment, a violation of international humanitarian law.”(22)
  • Tony Blair, as UN Envoy to the Mid East, stated that “The blockade of the Gaza Strip needs to come to an end. There is now a welcome international consensus on Gaza.”(23)
  •  In May 2011, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva said the European Union and the United Nations were “calling for the immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons.” She then said in an interview with Israel’s Ynet that she believes that the “humanitarian crisis…was artificially created because of the blockade”.
  • After visiting Gaza in March 2010, Irish foreign minister Micheál Martin described the Israeli blockade of Palestinian-ruled Gaza as “inhumane and unacceptable” and called on the European Union and other countries to increase pressure on Israel to lift the blockade.
  • William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said in a speech to the House of Commons that the blockade of Gaza was “unacceptable and unsustainable”, and that it was “the view of the British government, including the previous government, that restrictions on Gaza should be lifted – a view confirmed in United Nations security council resolution 1860 which called for sustained delivery of humanitarian aid and which called on states to alleviate the humanitarian and economic situation”.
  • UK Prime Minister David Cameron: “We should do everything we can through the UN, where resolution 1860 is absolutely clear about the need to end the blockade and to open up Gaza.” “Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.”
  •  The World Bank estimated in 2015 that the GDP losses caused by the blockade since 2007 was above 50%, and entailed large welfare losses. Gaza’s manufacturing sector, once significant, shrunk by as much as 60 percent in real terms, due to the wars in the past 20 years and the blockade. Gaza’s exports virtually disappeared since the imposition of the 2007 blockade.(24)
  • Israeli human rights group B’tselem has referred to the blockade as a tactic of “collective punishment” of Palestinian civilians and called it a “serious violation” of international law. (Cited in Finkelstein, 2018, University of California Press, 15)
  • In March 2010, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated that the blockade of Gaza is causing “unacceptable suffering” and that families were living in “unacceptable, unsustainable conditions”.(25)

Public opinion

  • May, 2018: (26)
  • Israel is “extremely unpopular worldwide.” It consistently polls as, and today remains, in the bottom four most unpopular countries in the world.
  • While opinion of Israel stayed the same in Europe and North America in recent world polling, and in some countries worsened, opinion grew more favorable in Russia and Turkey.
  • “It’s clear that West Bank settlements are a key cause of Israel’s poor global standing. Most of the world believes that Israel’s continued control of the West Bank is an unlawful military occupation, and that settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Settler-Colonialism and Genocide

  • Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term ‘genocide’ to ‘denote an old practice in its modern development’, used it to describe the goals and effects of ‘occupation policies’:
  • A “policy of genocide” is carried out when the occupier takes actions to “destroy [in whole or in part], disintegrate, or weaken”, “in different degrees” and possibly over “decades”, the “enemy nation within the control” of the settler-colonial occupier.
  • “Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups. Genocide is directed against the national group as an entity, and the actions involved are directed against individuals, not in their individual capacity, but as members of the national group.”
  • “the occupant also endeavors to bring about such changes as may weaken the national, spiritual resources.”
  • “The destruction of the foundations of the economic existence of a national group necessarily brings about a crippling of its development, even a retrogression. The lowering of the standards of living creates difficulties in fulfilling cultural-spiritual requirements. Furthermore, a daily fight literally for bread and for physical survival may handicap thinking in both general and national terms.
  • “It was the purpose of the occupant to create such conditions as these among the peoples of the occupied countries…”
  • The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs notes that Israel’s blockade of Gaza has created “a profound human dignity crisis leading to a widespread erosion of livelihoods and a significant deterioration in infrastructure and essential services.” There is a sense of being “trapped, physically, intellectually, and emotionally.” (Cited in Finkelstein, 2018, University of California Press, 15-16)
  • Policies are undertaken to weaken the occupied group and strengthen the occupier.
  • “The occupant” tries to disrupt “national and religious influences”: For example, Israel “systematic[ally] target[s] minarets, which being too narrow for snipers to ascend, possess no apparent military value.The Dugard Report concluded that ‘mosques, and more particularly the minarets, had been deliberately targeted” by Israeli occupation forces “on the grounds that they symbolized Islam.” (27)
  • Full inclusion in economic life is “made dependent upon one’s being” a member of the occupying, dominant group, “or being devoted to the cause of” the occupier. Consequently, promoting a national ideology other than” that of the occupier “is made difficult and dangerous.”
  • “The undesired national groups … are deprived of elemental necessities for preserving health and life.” (Almost all water in Gaza, the supply of which is dictated by Israel, is poisonous.  Electricity, also dictated by Israel, is only available for part of the day.)
  • “The technique of mass killings”, termed by other genocide scholars as ‘genocidal massacres’, “is employed mainly against” the occupied national group, “as well as against leading personalities from among the non-collaborationist groups in all the occupied countries.” (28)
  • Ratio of Palestinian to Israeli children killed in Israel’s settler-colonial occupation enforcement action, “Operation Caste Lead”, 2008-9: 300-1
  • Ratio of Palestinian to Israeli children killed in Israel’s settler-colonial occupation enforcement action, “Operation Solid Cliff”, 2014: 550 to 1.
  • If one reads primary-source-based historical documentation on how Israel was established and what it continues to do in its illegal occupations, blockades, land theft, ethnic and historical cleansing, settlement building, and construction of settlements created for the dominant ethnic regime, the charge of genocide becomes a little difficult for objective observers to deny.
  • Contemporary scholars have also noted that settler-colonialism is inherently genocidal:
  •  “…deliberate destruction and restriction of water resources as a means of expelling Palestinians from land allocated to Israeli settlements also arguably paints a picture of a genocidal relationship. …many of Lemkin’s techniques may be in evidence” in Israeli occupation.(29)
  • Statements from Israelis and independent observers offer additional evidence:
  • “This is … not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists… Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people.  …the entire Palestinian people is the enemy…  …in wars the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.  …in our war this is sevenfold more correct…  Every brave Um-Jihad [mother of a ‘little snake terrorist’] who sends her son to hell should know she’s going with him, along with the house and everything inside it.  [Their] houses should be bombed from the air, with intention to destroy and to kill. And it should be announced that we will do this from now on to every home of every martyr.

There is nothing more just, and probably nothing more efficient.”  – Israeli Settler-State “Justice” Minister Ayelet Shaked, 2015

  • The “un-livability threshold has been passed in Gaza quite a long time ago” (Robert Piper, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the West Bank and Gaza).
  • “Innocent human beings in Gaza, most of them young, are slowly being poisoned by the water they drink” (Sara Roy, Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies)
  • “When a place becomes unlivable, people move . . . . Yet this last resort is denied to the people of Gaza” (United Nations Relief and Works Agency-UNRWA)
  • “Gaza is an open-air prison” (Former UK prime minister David Cameron).
  • “There are no innocents in Gaza” (Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman)
  • “The closure constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law” (International Committee of the Red Cross)
  • Israel is “shooting at children” (Nikolai E. Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process)
  • “Calls for an immediate and unconditional end to the blockade and closure of the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in a deteriorating, unprecedented humanitarian crisis” (European Parliament)
  • Likud MP Avi Dichter, the chair of the defense committee, went on to dismiss concerns in an interview of his own. Dichter insisted that protests in Gaza pose no danger, because “the IDF has enough bullets for anyone,”and open-fire regulations to shoot people allowing the military to deal with it. (30)
  • Oppressive regimes almost always portray and think of themselves as the victim of the group(s) they are oppressing. Israel and Apartheid South African both “said that their own peoples faced annihilation from external forces – in South Africa by black African governments and communism; in Israel, by Arab states and Islam.” (31)
  • The Nazis also made these claims, cultivating a feeling that Germans were being victimized by Jewish Bolshevik Communists: Nazi propaganda portrayed Jews as “destroying the Nazi regime and murdering the German people”, which meant the Nazis were merely engaged in self-defense, a “war of retaliation’ against European Jewry” (32).
  • As in the case of South African Apartheid, the Israeli regime claims that the reason it is so unpopular is not because of its unpalatable and oppressive policies and practices, but because people are biased against it. A small international fringe continued to defend South African Apartheid on this basis until the illegal aspects of that system collapsed under international pressure.

Human Shields

  • UN and human rights groups find that Israeli settler colonial occupation forces use Palestinians, including children, as human shields.(33)
  • E.g., in Operation Cast Lead: “Contrary to repeated allegations by Israeli officials of the use of ‘human shields,’ Amnesty found no evidence that Hamas or other Palestinian fighters directed the movement of civilians to shield military objectives from attacks.” – Amnesty International
  • “If it found no evidence that Hamas used human shields, Amnesty did, however, find ample evidence that Israel used them.”
  • “Israeli soldiers ‘used civilians, including children, as ‘human shields’… forcing them to remain in or near houses which they took over and used as military positions.”
  • Israeli occupation forces “took position and launched attacks from and around inhabited houses” in Gaza, “exposing local residents to the danger of attacks”.
  • Israeli occupation forces used Gaza civilians as human shields for “inspecting properties or objects suspected of being booby-trapped.”
  • The Goldstone Report and other human rights investigations “and the post invasion testimony of Israeli soldiers corroborated the IDF’s use of human shields.”
  • Israeli occupiers place “men, women and children… close to artillery and tank positions, where constant shelling and firing was taking place”. – Goldstone Report
  • Israeli occupiers subject Palestinian detainees to “torture”, and use them “as human shields.” – Goldstone Report
  • The Goldstone Report found repeated “use of human shields” by Israeli occupiers in Gaza.
  • Two Israeli occupation soldiers who were convicted of using a nine year old child as a human shield received three month suspended sentences. (34)

Trivia:

  • Israel supports Nazi sympathizers, such as the South African Apartheid terrorist regime, which Israel helped nuclearize. (35)
  • How the Israel Lobby Protected Ukrainian Neo-Nazis (Nov. 2014)(36)
  • For reference: Us Lifts Ban on Funding ‘Neo-Nazi’ Ukrainian Militia (Jan. 2016)(37)
  • Israel uses chemical weapons on civilians.

*

Note that this article is not put forth as original work, but as research assembled largely from easily accessible sources in the public domain.

Robert J. Barsocchini is a graduate student in American Studies. Years working as a cross-cultural intermediary for corporations in the film and Television industry sparked his interest in the discrepancy between Western self-image and reality. 

Notes

(1) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7708244.stm

(2) Emma Playfair (Ed.) (1992). International Law and the Administration of Occupied Territories. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 396; Cecilia Albin (2001). Justice and Fairness in International Negotiation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 150; Mark Gibney; Stanlislaw Frankowski (1999). Judicial Protection of Human Rights: Myth or Reality?. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood. p. 72; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1682640.stm; Roberts, Adam (1990-01-01). “Prolonged Military Occupation: The Israeli-Occupied Territories Since 1967”. The American Journal of International Law. 84 (1): 44–103 [69]

(3) Pertile, Marco (2005). “‘Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory’: A Missed Opportunity for International Humanitarian Law?”. In Conforti, Benedetto; Bravo, Luigi. The Italian Yearbook of International Law. 14. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 141.

(4) Roberts, Adam. “Prolonged Military Occupation: The Israeli-Occupied Territories Since 1967”. The American Journal of International Law. American Society of International Law. 84 (1): 85–86; ertile, Marco (2005). “‘Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory’: A Missed Opportunity for International Humanitarian Law?”. In Conforti, Benedetto; Bravo, Luigi. The Italian Yearbook of International Law. 14. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 141;  Barak-Erez, Daphne (2006). “Israel: The security barrier—between international law, constitutional law, and domestic judicial review”. International Journal of Constitutional Law. Oxford University Press. 4 (3): 548; Drew, Catriona (1997). “Self-determination and population transfer”. In Bowen, Stephen. Human rights, self-determination and political change in the occupied Palestinian territories. International studies in human rights. 52. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 151–152;  International Labour Organization (2005). “The situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories” (PDF). p. 14.

(5) The American Journal of International Law. 84 (1): 44–103 [69].

(6) Roberts, Adam. “Prolonged Military Occupation: The Israeli-Occupied Territories Since 1967”. The American Journal of International Law. American Society of International Law. 84 (1): 69; Benveniśtî, Eyāl (2004). The international law of occupation. Princeton University Press. p. xvii.

(7) Emma Playfair (Ed.) (1992). International Law and the Administration of Occupied Territories. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 396; Cecilia Albin (2001). Justice and Fairness in International Negotiation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 150; Mark Gibney; Stanlislaw Frankowski (1999). Judicial Protection of Human Rights: Myth or Reality?. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood. p. 72.

(8) UN Security Council (2016-12-24). “Israel’s Settlements Have No Legal Validity, Constitute Flagrant Violation of International Law, Security Council Reaffirms – Resolution 2334 (2016)”; Beaumont, Peter (2016-12-23). “US abstention allows UN to demand end to Israeli settlements”. The Guardian.

(9) http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/5FLDPJ #12

(10)  https://web.archive.org/web/20100706021237/http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf

(11) Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.Geneva, 12 August 1949.

(12) Pictet, Jean (ed.) Commentary on the Fourth Geneva Convention

(13) Reality Check: Gaza is still occupied

(14) Sanger, Andrew (2011). M.N. Schmitt, Louise Arimatsu, Tim McCormack, eds. “The Contemporary Law of Blockade and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla”. Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law 2010. Springer Science & Business Media. 13: 429;  Scobbie, Iain (2012). Elizabeth Wilmshurst, ed. International Law and the Classification of Conflicts. Oxford University Press. p. 295; Gawerc, Michelle (2012). Prefiguring Peace: Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding Partnerships. Lexington Books. p. 44.

(15) ‘Israel, Gaza & International Law,’ 19 November 2012; A Sanger, ‘The Contemporary Law of Blockade and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla,’ in M.N. Schmitt, Louise Arimatsu, Tim McCormack (eds.), Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law – 2010, Springer, 2011 pp.397–447 pp.429–430.

(16)  Tim Butcher (7 March 2008). “Human crisis in Gaza ‘is worst for 40 years’”. The Daily Telegraph. London.  For further sources on the illegality of the blockade, see Finkelstein, Gaza, 2018, University of California Press, 88, 139, 149-50, 157-62, 178-195, 197, 307n10, 309, 360, 363.

(17)  “Gaza closure: not another year!”. Icrc.org. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010.

(18)  “Gaza closure: not another year!”. Icrc.org. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010.

(19)  “SIXTH SPECIAL SESSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CONCLUDES WITH CALL ON ISRAEL TO END SIEGE IMPOSED ON OCCUPIED GAZA STRIP”. United Nations. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2010.

(20)  “U.N. Human Rights Chief: Israel’s Blockade of Gaza Strip Is Illegal”. Associated Press. 14 August 2009.(AP)

(21)  “PRESS STATEMENT – UN HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR:GAZA BLOCKADE SUFFOCATING AGRICULTURE SECTOR, CREATING FOOD INSECURITY”(PDF). UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, oPt (OCHA). 25 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010.

(22)  “Farming without Land, Fishing without Water: Gaza Agriculture Sector Struggles to Survive (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) 25 May 2010)”Unispal.un.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10.

(23)  “Israel to unveil measures to ease Gaza blockade”Haaretz. 15 June 2010.

(24)  “Economic Monitoring Report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee” (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 8 July 2015.

(25)  “UN chief says Gaza suffering under Israeli blockade”. BBC. 21 March 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2010.

(26)  https://www.vox.com/cards/israel-palestine/world-opinion

(27)  Finkelstein. Gaza. 2018. University of California Press. P. 61.

(28) Lemkin, R. (1944). Axis rule in occupied Europe; laws of occupation, analysis of government, proposals for redress. Washington: Carnegie endowment for international peace, Division of international law.

(29) Rashed, H., & Short, D. (2012). Genocide and settler colonialism: Can a Lemkin-inspired genocide perspective aid our understanding of the Palestinian situation? The International Journal of Human Rights, 16(8), 1142-1169.

(30)  http://normanfinkelstein.com/2018/05/15/tweet-storm-for-gaza-8pm-9pm-london-time-15-may/

(31) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/feb/07/southafrica.israel

(32)  Kakel, Carroll P. The American West and the Nazi East: A Comparative and Interpretive Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan. 2011. P. 78.

(33) See Finkelstein, Gaza (2018), University of California Press, pp. 44, 71, 82, 89, 103, 352; Cited in Finkelstein: National Lawyers Guild: Onslaught: Israel’s attack on Gaza and Rule of Law (2009); HRW: White Flag Deaths: Killings of Palestinian Civilians During Operation Cast Lead; Breaking the Silence: Soldier Testimony from Cast Lead; Amnesty Int’l: Operation ‘Cast Lead’: 22 Days of Death and Destruction

(34) Finkelstein, Gaza, University of California Press, 81-2.

(35) “Israel provided expertise and technology that was central to South Africa’s development of its nuclear bombs.”  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/feb/07/southafrica.israel

(36) https://www.alternet.org/world/how-israel-lobby-protected-ukrainian-neo-nazis

(37) https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/US-lifts-ban-on-funding-neo-Nazi-Ukrainian-militia-441884

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World War II: The Murderous Allied Firestorms against German Civilians

NOVANEWS

British and American air assaults forced a furious Hitler to reply in kind.

 

Shortly after becoming Britain’s prime minister in May 1940, Winston Churchill said the war will be directed “against the strength of the German people, which is to be smashed once and for all, regardless of whether it’s in the hands of Hitler or a Jesuit priest”. Such statements were a warning of what was to come. With the Nazis then rampaging across Europe, it would take time before Britain’s firestorms could be unleashed on the German people.

On 30 June 1940, Hitler’s Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering, then at the height of his popularity, declared just days after the fall of France,

“The war against England is to be restricted to destructive attacks against industry and air force targets… It is also stressed that every effort should be made to avoid unnecessary loss of life amongst the civilian population”.

By contrast, on 14 February 1942, a British Air Staff directive outlined their bombing campaigns should “be focused on the morale of the enemy’s civilian population”. As Daniel Ellsberg, the veteran former US military analyst, confirms in his recent book The Doomsday Machine, Britain was the first to begin “deliberate bombing of urban populations as the principal way of fighting a war”, starting in early 1942.

The murderous assaults on German civilians, often with incendiary bombs, were specifically to the liking of not just Churchill. Also a vociferous supporter of these methods was England’s Air Marshal, Arthur “Bomber” Harris – or “Butcher” Harris as he was known in the Royal Air Force. Among his first public broadcasts in the beginning of 1942, Harris said the Nazis had “sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind”.

Britain’s unscrupulous intentions were being signaled in even earlier military pronouncements. On 23 September 1941, a British Air Staff paper outlined that:

 “The ultimate aim of an attack on a [German] town area is to break the morale of the population which occupies it… first, we must make the town physically uninhabitable and, secondly, we must make the people conscious of constant personal danger. The immediate aim is therefore twofold, namely, to produce (i) destruction and (ii) fear of death”.

It was only after Britain began their mass targeting of residential areas that the Nazis responded in kind. On 28 March 1942, the RAF firestormed the medieval city of Lubeck, northern Germany, which persuaded Hitler to alter his tactics. During the British night raid on Lubeck, over 60% of all buildings there suffered damage, severe or light. The attacks lasted less than four hours, in which hundreds of Lubeck’s civilians were killed in the lightly-defended city.

“Bomber” Harris was satisfied with the destruction, saying Lubeck “was built more like a fire-lighter than a human habitation… it seemed to me better to destroy an industrial town of moderate importance [Lubeck] than to fail to destroy a large industrial city”.

Lübeck Cathedral burning following the raids (Source: CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Britain’s outright targeting of German cities enraged Hitler. Just over two weeks after the Lubeck bombing, on 14 April 1942, a command was forwarded at his behest:

“The Fuhrer has ordered that the air war against England be given a more aggressive stamp… preference is to be given to those where attacks are likely to have the greatest possible effect on civilian life”.

It would be unwise to suggest, however, that until April 1942 Hitler was a soft touch in relation to bombardment. For example, in September 1941, as his forces surrounded the Russian city of Leningrad (Petersburg), Hitler relayed the following order:

“The Fuhrer has decided to raze the city of Petersburg from the face of the earth. There is no reason for the future existence of this large city”.

Along with the people in it.

Soon, America willingly joined their British ally in the annihilation of German cities. In July 1943, US and British bombers killed over 40,000 civilians in Hamburg in a 10 day campaign – even more than was killed during the Luftwaffe’s eight month blitz of Britain. An eyewitness account of the Hamburg firestorms noted that

“Some people who tried to walk along, they were pulled in by the fire, they all of a sudden disappeared right in front of you”, while afterwards “Rats and flies ruled the city”.

Royal Air Force Bomber Command, 1942-1945. Oblique aerial view of ruined residential and commercial buildings south of the Eilbektal Park (seen at upper right) in the Eilbek district of Hamburg, Germany. These were among the 16,000 multi-storeyed apartment buildings destroyed by the firestorm which developed during the raid by Bomber Command on the night of 27/28 July 1943 (Operation GOMORRAH). The road running diagonally from upper left to lower right is Eilbeker Weg, crossed by Rückertstraße.

The German historian and author, Jorg Friedrich, outlines that in total   About 600,000 German civilians were killed, including 76,000 children. It led Friedrich to describe Churchill as “the greatest child-slaughterer of all time”, with ample assistance provided by “Butcher” Harris, living up to his other nickname.

Little of these unwanted realities are outlined in Western mainstream records, historical accounts or school books. It seems not to fit with Western leaders’ saintly notion of the war being fought between “good” and “evil”. While Hitler’s Reich was one of the most murderous regimes in world history, Britain and America had hardly been angels of virtue until that point.

During Britain’s long subjugation and plundering of India, beginning in the mid-18th century – the imperial power’s policies were responsible for killing tens of millions of Indian people, mainly due to starvation caused from unnecessary droughts. In the year 1700, India had been one of the world’s richest countries, boasting 27% of global gross domestic product. By the time India finally gained independence from Britain in 1947, it was one of the earth’s poorest nations, while further plagued by widespread illiteracy and disease.

The United States’ foundation was built on settler-colonialism. Its basis was laid after Christopher Columbus, a mass murderer himself, “discovered” the continent in the late 15th century – often overlooked is that the indigenous population of 80 million or more had already long resided there. What followed was the Native Americans being “exterminated” in the words of America’s founding fathers, as the “superior” Anglo-Saxon race moved in and took their lands.

Meanwhile, as the Second World War advanced, one German city after another was incinerated by firestorms. Even small towns like Pforzheim, in southwest Germany, were obliterated by the RAF, killing a third of its 63,000 inhabitants in February 1945. Such atrocities came long after victory in the war was assured, mainly due to the Red Army’s exploits in the east.

It was previously hoped the Allies’ policies would turn Germany’s population against Hitler. It never happened. Not envisaged was that, from the mid-1930s until war’s end, millions of Germans were exposed to Joseph Goebbels‘ daily propaganda methods. Goebbels had, through devious marketing campaigns, ensured increasing numbers had access to radio sets. Through this medium, the virulently anti-Semitic propaganda minister had monopoly over the German mind. Come 1942 sixteen million households, about 70% of the German population, had confirmed radio reception. It should also be noted the dangers in rebelling against a dictatorship protected by Hitler’s personal bodyguard, the genocidal SS.

As the destruction mounted, by 20 April 1944 – Hitler’s 55th birthday – adorning Berlin’s wrecked buildings were hundreds of miniature swastikas and banners, addressed personally to Hitler. Some messages read, “Our walls have broken, but not our hearts”. To avoid seeing the ruins, Hitler’s rare visits to Berlin were made by night. And yet, contrary to popular perception, Albert Speer observed that Hitler did not react to news of the Reich’s bombardment with apoplectic outbursts – rather, he responded to bombing reports with austere, reserved expressions.

The dictator only betrayed pained feelings when he learnt a particular theater or museum was damaged, such buildings being among his most prized possessions before the war. Residential areas were always of secondary importance. As a result, Hitler was oblivious to much of the German people’s suffering.

Indeed, from 23 June 1941, the Nazi leader spent over 800 days at the heavily wooded Wolf’s Lair headquarters, in East Prussia – 700 kilometers east of Berlin. The enormous military compound was built specifically for Hitler’s overseeing of Operation Barbarossa, on the Eastern Front. Remarkably, the heavily guarded headquarters escaped the attention of both Allied and Soviet intelligence. Hitler’s private secretary Traudl Junge said “there was never more than a single aircraft circling over the forest, and no bombs were dropped”.

At the Wolf’s Lair, secured from the realities of war, and surrounded by obsequious followers, Hitler eventually entered into a type of fantasy realm, as – despite a string of initial successes – the war slowly closed in around him. On 20 November 1944, Hitler departed the Wolf’s Lair for the final time, with the Soviet Army just 15 kilometers away having reached the small town of Angerburg.

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Trump’s War Against Iran

Israel launched waves of air attacks and ground shelling on a score of alleged Iranian military positions in Syria this week.   Was this a big step forward in the plan by Israel’s leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his ally Donald Trump to provoke a major war with Iran?

It certainly looks so.  The US, Saudi Arabia and Israel all recently suffered a stinging defeat in Syria. Their campaign to overthrow the Assad government in Damascus by using the rag-tag ISIS movement, then Sunni Muslim jihadist wild men, was defeated by the Syrian Army, backed by Russian air power, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and some Iranian militia groups and army advisors.

Israel now claims to have wiped out more than a score of Iranian positions in Syria.  As far as we can tell, these were minor logistics or communications facilities, not the backbone of a supposed Iranian offensive against Israel.

In fact, the alleged Iranian rocket barrage was directed at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that were illegally annexed and occupied after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and are still held, legally, as part of Syria. Israel is very nervous about having world attention drawn to its continued occupation of the strategic Golan Heights from which Israeli heavy artillery can reach Damascus.

But now that the Trump administration has fallen fully under the influence of the pro-war neocons, an attempt to overthrow the Iranian government appears highly likely, using both military intervention and intensified economic warfare.

Iran has been under siege by the US since the American/British installed shah was overthrown by a popular revolution in 1979. The CIA and Britain’s MI6 have mounted numerous attempts to oust the Islamic Republic and re-install a client ruler.

Ironically, the ‘democratic’ western powers – the US, Britain and France – rely on medieval monarchs and dictators to control the Mideast while democratic politicians and movements are ignored.  Iran, in spite of its many rigidities and failings, remains one of the region’s more democratic states.   Ask our Saudi or Kuwaiti allies when was the last time they held a real election?

The failure of western intelligence services to provoke serious uprisings in Iran (or Russia), means that the military option is increasingly tempting.   This probably means provoking military clashes with Iran in the Gulf leading to full-scale attacks on its nuclear infrastructure and industry.   US warplanes and warships are actively probing Iran’s borders.  In addition, US forces are getting ever more deeply involved in the Yemen War.

When the US last considered a major attack on Iran during the Bush years, the Pentagon (which opposed the idea) estimated it would need 2,800 air strikes against Iran on Day One alone.

Many of the same war party crowd that engineered the 2003 US invasion of Iraq are now running the Trump administration.  Their goal is to cripple Iran and leave the Mideast to joint Saudi-Egyptian-Israeli control.

Recall President George W. Bush’s assertion that once he had crushed Iraq the next targets of US military intervention would be Lebanon, Syria, Iran and then Pakistan.

Invading Iran would not be easy.  Iran has very little capability to project power beyond its borders.  Its air force, artillery and tanks are decrepit.  America controls the skies from Morocco to Afghanistan.  Iran is vulnerable to raids and small incursions but subjugating this large, mountainous nation of 80 million would be very difficult.

In fact, and Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander once told me, ‘let the Americans invade. They will break their teeth on Iran.’  Over-confidence, of course, but he had a point.  Fighting on the defensive in urban areas, Iran could offer fierce resistance.

America’s imperial machine, like its British Imperial predecessor, likes small, easy wars against small, backwards nations.  Iran would be very different.

As we have just seen with North Korea, Iran’s best survival strategy, short of security guarantees by Russia and China, would be to race to produce a small number of nuclear weapons to deter attacks by the US and Israel.  Europe, which co-sponsored the Iran nuclear act and is now humiliated by Trump reneging on the deal, is too weak and disorganized to guarantee the pact and stand up to Washington.  This is too bad.  Now would have been a fine time for the EU to assert its independence from US hegemony and begin building its own independent European military forces.

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EU to Switch from US Dollar to Euro on Oil Trades from Iran
Get Ready for the New Middle East Battlefield: The Golan
Trump Israel Collusion on Syria
Brzezinski’s Ghost Shapes Washington Eurasia Geopolitics
Bahrain: Former British Ambassador Resigns from Advisory Post after Bahrain Foreign Minister Supports Israeli Aggression
Gearing Up for the Third Gulf War

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on Trump’s War Against Iran

Civilized Savages!

NOVANEWS
 

On the opening day of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers were murdering the children of Palestine as a sacrifice offering to their American masters. Mr. Jared Kushner “the messenger” not only did not stop this sacrificing offer, he even encouraged it. In his speech as the new American “peace broker” in the Middle East, Mr. Kushner said:

“As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution”.

It is needless to say while he was blaming Palestinians as the “problem for peace”, Israeli snipers stationed about 45 miles from his podium, were busy solving this “problem” literally by gunning down and injuring the Palestinian protesters. According to the New York Times (May 14, 2018)

“By late in the evening, 58 Palestinians, including several teenagers, had been killed”.

An 8-month-old Palestinian infant Laila al-Ghandour was among the victims who died after inhaling tear gas. More than 2,700 were wounded by barrages of tear gas as well as live gunfire. Human Rights Watch described the killings as a “bloodbath”.

The battle between the civilized savages of the U.S./Israel and the outraged and desperate innocent Palestinians pose the undeniable challenge of drawing an effective strategy.

True and principled peace activists historically support and honor those who fearlessly scarify their lives for freedom with bravery. But this bravery needs to be guided by a conscious leadership. Peace activists around the world should introduce a unified plan of action between the endless battles of blood against bullet.

Only those peace activists who are armed with facts can organize a global union for peace to stop the warmongers’ war machine.

In 2018, the blood of Palestinian youth defeated the Israeli bullets; however this temporary bleeding victory is not a strategy, it is just a tactical move driven by empathy. For an effective strategy in advancement of the peace movement, there are dos and don’ts that need to be discussed freely.

But first, let’s review the political amplification of relocating the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

The reality is that the U.S. and Zionist regime of Israel have lost their “Jerusalem Embassy” card. The picture of Ms. Haley leaving the U.N. Security Council meeting when she found herself at odds with just about every other member of the Council including the European allies; was a clear image of a defeated Imperial plan. When President Trump on November 6th 2017 announced that he had made up his mind to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he hoped this political maneuver would fulfill the vacuum of having an “elusive enemy” in the Middle East after the fall of ISIS in Syria and Iraq in the recent months. The White House administration and Mr. Netanyahu were hoping that by this stunt, the majority of people in the Muslim world would be challenged and respond desperately. However they underestimated the international backlash when the split images of the opening of the new U.S. embassy ceremony in Jerusalem were displayed live around the world next to the images of massacre of Palestinian youth on the Gaza borders. Upon this reality and experience, let’s discuss dos and don’ts.

Don’t’s: We should be independent from the Republican and Democratic parties in the U.S. and the similar parties in other countries. We should not rely on the corporate media and their 24/7 TV channels which at best could only produce boring and redundant political gossip shows. We also should reject those activists who are driven by anti-smite or other form of racists agenda or those irresponsible intellectuals who propagate anti-Semite phobia in the name of pure “Socialist” or “Progressive” formula. We condemn the sectarian attitude among peace activists. A peace movement is an exclusive and democratic movement which relies on the direct participation of the peaceful working people on a global scale.

Do’s: Organize locally and strive to connect to the other organizations that are against war and occupation. Our strength is in our unity. Understand that the lack of coherent leadership is not an excuse to act separately in despair. Support and trust the independent media such as the Global Research site and many other informative source of information which are listed as targets for internet censorship. Share opinions freely and contribute as free thinkers. Finally and more importantly, always rely on the glorious heritage and achievements in the past.

The true peace and justice activists call for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine and strive for peace among all working people around the world.

Toward a Global Peace Union!

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Black Alliance for Peace Condemns Slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza

The Opening of a U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem: Full-Fledged Apartheid

Nakba Day Tuesday. Commemorating Palestine’s “Catastrophe”

Why Israel Will Not Continue along the Same Path for Another 70 Years

Selected Articles: Nakba Day: Remembering Palestine’s 1948 Humanitarian Disaster

Nakba Day Tuesday. Commemorating Palestine’s “Catastrophe”

 

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UN– Celebrating 70 Years of Human Rights – And Condoning 70 Years of Nazi Massacring Palestine

NOVANEWS

UN– Celebrating 70 Years of Human Rights – And Condoning 70 Years of Israel Massacring Palestine

 

On 14 of May 1948 – Israel declared unilaterally her independence in a foreign land, called Palestine, supported by a UN Resolution sponsored by the UK (the United Nations “Partition Plan of Palestine” at the end of the British Mandate (euphemism for British ‘colony’), was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 29 November 1947 as Resolution 181 II). 1948 was also the year of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights – this year, 2018, the UN declared Human Rights are, like Israel, celebrating their 70th Birthday (United Nations General Assembly, Paris, 10 December 1948 – General Assembly Resolution 217 A). During 70 years of Human Rights, the UN has tacitly allowed Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, who lived in their own land, Palestine.

The UN has allowed Israel’s massacre of Palestine against dozens of UN Resolution to restrain Israel from their aggressions on Palestine, killing tens of thousands of unarmed Palestinians, women, children and men. Destroying their livelihood, schools, hospitals and living quarters. Worse, confining 2 million Palestinians in an open torture and terror camp, called Gaza.

All this under the “watchful eye” of the United Nations, thousands of Blue Helmets patrolling ‘disputed’ – aka Israeli stolen territory from Palestine and surrounding Arab nations. And the world at large – by now 193 member-nations that make up the UN – watching, observing, but not saying beep loud enough to be heard.

Image result for palestine New York Times 1945

New York Times 1945

It is a shame. Israel is a miserable and criminal disgrace – but a worse shame is the United Nations, the collectivity of 193 countries who collectively hide behind the mantle of the UN. Those who have dared to protest in the defense of human rights and in defense of Palestinians’ self-determination are few and far in between, risking the sword of the emperor and his poodles. Most have bent to and are still bending to – the king bull, Washington – and to its master, Israel. This is what is lamentable, that humanity has become a spineless bunch of nations – all kneeling in front of the big Satan, the torturing and killing monster, the US-armed to the teeth killing machine – the little dog that counts on the unlimited support from the most horrific bulldozer. That is an atrocious and unspeakable shame. – At least one honorable country, South Africa, has expelled Israel’s Ambassador over these most recent bloody atrocities.

That is the ignominy of our humanity in the 21st Century. – Yes, there are Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria… and a few more sovereign nations that stand-up in protest, trying to use the corrupted UN system to right the wrongs – to no avail. Of course not. The majority counts – and the majority is being blackmailed by Washington on behalf of Israel into submission – or else – sanctions loom, in the form of blocked trade, blocked international monetary transfers, confiscation of assets abroad – or worse.

Where are the all so revered Human Rights that nobody dares to even cite, let alone enforce, in the case of Israel’s atrocities on Palestine, with the explicit support of the United States and most of her puppet “allies”?

When Trump in December 2017 declared that the US will transfer her Embassy to Jerusalem, he endorsed just once more a promise made over the last 30 years by several US Presidents, from the Bush dynasty to Clinton to Obama – but none of them implemented that promise, lest it would undermine peace negotiations. These promises by Washington were, of course, full of hypocrisy, as Washington always knew that peace was not on the table, that neither Israel or Washington were in favor of peace. Peace would have meant, as per the 1993 Oslo Accord, a two-state solution, meaning Israel and Palestine would live side-by-side in peace;two sovereign nations with equal rights.

The Oslo Accords are a number of agreements between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO]. The Oslo I Accord, signed in Washington DC in 1993; and the Oslo II Accord, signed in Taba, Egypt, in 1995. These Accords marked the start of the Oslo process, aimed at achieving a Peace Treaty, based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, fulfilling the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The Oslo Accords are valid to this day. They counter then and today the larger objective of Israel and the United States – of a “Greater Israel”, stretching from the Euphrates to the Nile, a nuclearized Israel, dominating the Middle East – and disposing of the energy and other mineral riches of the entire region.

Image result for greater israel borders

Well, Trump, has made his campaign promise true. He – ordered by his darkest handlers –has cut the hypocrisy, using Israel’s 70th Birthday, 14 May 2018 to make Israel’s obsessive and oppressive dream come true, officially inaugurating the US Embassy in Jerusalem – to the detriment of peace and the total destitution of Palestine. The Oslo Accords saw Jerusalem as the final jewel in the mosaic for peace in a two-state solution – the Capital of both Palestine and Israel.

Trump’s decision – although refuted vehemently by the UN – has not only pushed peace light-years away into a phantom distance, but it has brought about a massacre – an unpardonable massacre – with Israeli soldiers armed to the teeth killing with live ammunition. Tens of thousands of unarmed Palestinians were protesting on the Gaza-Israeli border, in the middle of nowhere, at least 100 km away from the US Embassy inaugural celebration in Jerusalem. Israeli soldiers and police killed at least 60, twenty or more of them children and women, and injuring about 3,000 – people who could not be properly treated at hospitals. Israel has blocked the shipment of medication and is systematically bombing Palestinian health facilities.

The protesters were far away from Jerusalem, where the inaugural US-Embassy celebrations took place, cordoned-off by armed security forces and where the protesters could do no harm. The demonstrations were an expression of anger, of helplessness in the face of so much injustice which nobody, but nobody on this planet manifestly and effectively objected and intervened against. Palestinians know, this will mean more oppression, more subjugation to Israel’s terror tyranny – more killing, more starvation as Israel is blocking vital food shipments to Gaza – where 50% of children below 5, are already chronically malnourished.

What happened on 14 May 2018 in Palestine, those who are behind the apartheid, ethnic cleansing and outright Holocaust Israel has imposed on Palestine during the last 70 years,belong, no doubt, before a Nuremberg-type tribunal – with sentences as harsh as those inflicted by the allies after WWII on the Nazis and their Holocaust.

Trump and his Zion-handlers are responsible for a massacre of unprecedented dimensions since Israel’s war on Gaza in 2014. And how many vassals of the tyrannical and criminal pair, United States and Israel, will now also shift their Embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem just to stay in the limelight of US favors, and, of course, to cement this universal Wrong?

And where are the UN declared Human Rights, ironically also celebrating their 70th Birthday this year? – Under the Human Rights Act the UN has a right to intervene in countries and situations, where massive human rights infractions are committed, like in Palestine. Dozens of such resolutions had been submitted to the UN Security Council, they were all vetoed by Washington. What good is the UN? None, whatsoever. No longer, not today, the system is totally corrupted, bought and blackmailed into submission to the wishes and political whims of the US and Israel.

Likewise have all the related UN agencies been corrupted and swayed to favor the Exceptional Nation and the Chosen People. There is no way that the International Courts of The Hague would ever prosecute a war crime committed by the west, let alone by the west’s chief criminals, the US and Israel. It’s simply not going to happen. Not while the current power structures are in place. Why then even believe in this fake justice system?And who still dares quoting them as beacons of international justice? – This is a farce, if there has ever been one.

The noble ideas behind the creation of the United Nations and the Declaration of universal Human Rights have in the last 70 years been corrupted to the point of non-recognition. Corrupted by political pressure, blackmailing, by fear of sanctions, or actual economic sanctions – all of which is only possible because the west is also living with a totally fraudulent US imposed fiat dollar-based monetary system that controls every financial transaction of every “sovereign” nation, hence can block any monetary move, seize assets abroad, and block international contracts, as they (almost) all are written in US dollars.

The latter is gradually fading, as nations are aware of their vulnerability by sticking to the US dollar. Many are now dealing directly in their own currencies, trying to circumvent the US monetary control.But that recognition, again, is weakened itself by the fear of sanctions, or condemnation by US courts which have in fact absolutely no jurisdiction in another sovereign land. But, since under the current western Ponzi fiat scheme all financial transactions have to flow through a US bank either in New York or London, potential non-adherence to the rule is “punishable”, and that mostly by economic strangulation, regime change or death. – It’s a vicious circle, under which Human Rights are just a slogan and a farce; and under which the rights of sovereign nations, for example of Palestine, remain not more than a pipe dream.

But despite all war crimes and massacres – JUSTICE – as human spirituality is still there, cannot be killed. It may be pushed away, subjugated, ignored, castrated and violated, but it doesn’t go away. It’s in all of us; just deep down and asleep in western minds, indoctrinated and brain washed by daily propaganda lies.

The combined neoliberal onslaught with impunity from all sides reaches a level of increasing awareness and rejection; the fearlessness of diabolical actions by neofascist governments is about to cause an awakening, a consciousness that dares to say – enough is enough. Take France’s Macron’s labor reforms – since February this year France has been plagued by strikes no-end – and no end is in sight. This is the worst – or the best – France has known since the 1968 student up-raisings. France, under Macron, the Rothschild-implant, is also the most militarized country in Europe. The European Union – at least for now –and since Washington’s stepping out from Iran’s Nuclear Deal, is distinctly distancing herself from the extremist, unfettered neoliberal politics of Washington. It’s perhaps too soon to call Victory – but this abject, unjustified and criminal slaughter of Palestinians, of another blow of violent oppression of Palestine (there is no word that can properly describe what happened on 14 May 2018), may signal that the monster vessel on high sea is losing notch-by-little-notch its diabolical North.

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“Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East

Israel, Ukraine, and U.S. Crack Downs Against the Press

Massacre in Gaza: Political Narratives and the “The Decency of Violence”

Black Alliance for Peace Condemns Slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza

U.S. Media Whitewashes Gaza Massacre

Draft Dodger in Chief Dodges “Historic” Opening of US Embassy, Jerusalem

 

 

 

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on UN– Celebrating 70 Years of Human Rights – And Condoning 70 Years of Nazi Massacring Palestine

I$raHell and Iran: Trump’s Step Beyond the ‘Art of the Deal’ Changes Everything

NOVANEWS

Israel and Iran: Trump’s Step Beyond the ‘Art of the Deal’ Changes Everything

Introduction by Michael Brenner, May 17, 2018

The Middle East is in turmoil – with mortal risks at every point of the compass. While each crisis is presented in its own discrete terms in the mainstream media, we blind ourselves to two compelling realities: these conflicts are inter-twined; and the United States bears the main responsibility for this descent into mayhem and chaos. The chances of major conflagration mount even as American national aims and purposes are kept obscure. An unhinged nation is hurtling toward a disaster of choice.

Alastair Crooke is one of the few who have perceived the depth of our folly and the full import of what is occurring. He is a former British diplomat,  founder and director of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum, and has a sterling record of integrity as well as insight into Middle Eastern affairs.

***

Nahum Barnea writing in Yedioth Ahronoth sets out, plainly enough, the gamble underway between Israel and Iran (and to which Trump is willing accessory): In the wake of the US exit from JCPOA, Trump will threaten a rain of ‘fire and fury’ onto Tehran, should the latter attack Israel directly, whilst Putin is expected to restrain Iran from attacking Israel, using Syrian territory – thus leaving Netanyahu free to set new rules of the game by which the Israel may attack and destroy Iranian forces anywhere in Syria (and not just in the border area, as earlier agreed) when it wishes, without fear of retaliation.

Barnea calls this a this ‘a triple gamble’: “Netanyahu is counting on Khamenei’s caution, on Trump’s credibility, and on Putin’s generosity, three character traits that they have never been known to possess before today… The question is what will happen, if instead of breaking – the ayatollahs choose war, or more likely, the region devolves into war as a result of a hasty, uncalculated course of action by one of the players. Will Trump be willing, in order to defend Israel and Saudi Arabia, to open a new front in the Middle East? If he does, that will contrary to everything that he promised the voters during the election campaign”. Barnea’s colleague, Ben Caspit, however, asserts that this issue – US military support – is already assured:

“The United States [has] promised Israel full and total support on all fronts… if a regional war does break out, the United States will immediately make its position clear, express support for Israel, and send Moscow the right signals. This is to ensure that Russian President Vladimir Putin stays out of the conflict, and does not try to intervene, whether directly or indirectly, on behalf of his allies, Iran and Syria. Upon returning from Washington, (Israeli Defence Minister) Liberman informed the prime minister that he had received a “green light” in security matters.”

Caspit candidly characterises the relationship, post JCPOA, between Bibi and Trump, thus: “There is only one thing that isn’t clear,” one of the people closest to Netanyahu told Al-Monitor, speaking on the condition of anonymity:

“That is, who works for whom? Does Netanyahu work for Trump, or is President Trump at the service of Netanyahu…From the outside, at least, upon close inspection, it looks like the two men are perfectly in sync. From the inside, this seems even more so: This kind of cooperation between the two leaders and their two offices — the Oval Office in the White House and the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem — sometimes makes it seem as if they are actually just one single, large office”, a senior Israeli Defence official told Caspit.

“For now, the gamble is paying off: The Iranians, have not (so far) responded. Now they have another good reason to display restraint: the battle for public opinion in Europe”, Barnea adds. “Trump could have declared a US withdrawal and made do with that. But under the influence of Netanyahu and of his new team, he chose to go one step further. The economic sanctions on Iran will be much tighter, beyond what they were, before the nuclear agreement was signed. ‘Hit them in their pockets’, Netanyahu advised Trump: if you hit them in their pockets, they will choke; and when they choke they will throw out the ayatollahs. As of last night [Trump’s exit from JCPOA], Trump had warmly adopted this approach.”

This then – from the horse’s mouth – is the Israeli view: Iran will be hit everywhere in Syria, (and much less plausibly) isolated diplomatically, and its economy shredded. The Iranian ‘regime’ is ‘ obbling’; its economy is “in a death spiral” and the Iranian rial is in freefall – if we are to believe the mainstream Israeli and American ‘hawk’ narrative.

Incidentally, the escalation and exchange of missile fire across the Israeli border on Wednesday and Thursday morning, was not Iranian in origin (there are no IRGC near the Golan). Nor was the exchange initiated by Iran, but rather by Israel, striking Syrian targets as it has done regularly over recent weeks. On this occasion, however, Israel intended to cast Iran as ‘the accused’ (the pre-announced opening of the shelters in occupied Golan by Israel was something of a ‘give-away’ to a coming false flag event), to further the pressures on Tehran.

In fact, that it was Damascus that broke convention by firing twenty missiles into occupied Golan, without taking into consideration Russian requests for restraint, is of greater import, than were it the Iranians that had fired the missiles. This missile exchange represented the first occasion, in decades, that Syria has fired missiles at Israeli military targets inside the Golan.

This represents the first ‘unintended consequence’ to Trump’s announcement: Israeli coat-trailing aimed at Iran, paradoxically, has forced the Syrian government to put the occupied Golan Heights into play, as the next battlefield.

“If Israel continues its attacks, Syria will think of sending its missiles or rockets way beyond the Golan Heights – to reach Israeli territory”, regional war commentator, Elijah Magnier forecasts.

But, contrary to the mainstream presentation, Trump’s ‘war’ on Iran has a much wider geo-political ramification than just a deepening of Iran-Israeli tensions. We will witness further ‘unintended consequences’ for the US, in the weeks ahead.

The wider significance to the above Israeli reading of the ‘Trump – Netanyahu understandings’ (if accurate – and probably, it is), is that it represents a strategic change: This is no longer Art of the Deal belligerence, as foreplay to a coupling – and ultimately to a negotiated settlement.

Barnea and other Israeli commentators may be correct: Netanyahu (and his team of hawks) has taken Trump, one step further. It has become the Art of ‘Regime Change’; a war of attrition against Iran – a medieval siege – by any other name.

Not only Iran, but North Korea, Russia and China will need to pay close attention. It seems that Kim Jong Un’s volunteering to talk de-nuclearisation with Trump has electrified, and seemingly legitimised, Trump’s enthusiasm for Art of the Deal style, ‘fire and fury’, threats-and-make up, tactics. Netanyahu however, seemingly has succeeded in waving the succulent scent of regime change before Trump’s nose, and lured him, to follow it on Bibi’s heels, hoping for a big ‘win’. Promising ‘fire and fury’, Trump seems convinced, is a ‘sure thing’ to achieving capitulation by the other party.

The problem is that Trump may find that he is building on sand. Was it Trump’s tough stance that brought Jong Un to the table? Or, perhaps contrarily, might Jong Un see a meeting with Trump precisely as the necessary and required price that he has to pay in order to get China ‘have his back’, as it were – in the event that a ‘de-nuclearisation for de-Americanisation’ of the region deal, just doesn’t work – and to develop his re-unification diplomacy with a South which now – for the first time – given its mandate to unification – irrespective of American wishes?

Is Trump even aware of this possibility? China is the Goliath in Korea’s back yard. It is its main – almost only trading partner – and it effectively controls the settings on the North Korea sanctions vice. And China has been tightening that vice, turn by turn. China has long, and insistently, advocated talks between Jong Un and Washington. Xi wants de-nuclearisation of the neighbourhood, and reconciliation with the South. Kim is complying with his powerful neighbour’s wishes; but, in turn, no doubt has been asking China to ‘have his back’ if it all goes wrong.

Trump’s ‘step beyond’ Art of the Deal strategies, to regime change (in Iran) does not bode well for China’s North Korea strategy. If Trump expects capitulation from Jong Un – and doesn’t get it, then China will have little option but to get involved in order to deter Trump from any ‘bloody-nose’ exercise, or from attempted regime change. China does not want Jong Un’s capitulation or removal — It has no desire to have an US proxy – or its missiles – on its border.

Trump’s rapture with his Art of the Deal – and newly, Regime Change approach – makes it more likely that Trump will mis-read Jong Un’s readiness to ‘kneel’ – with the ‘unintended consequence’ of finding that China has Jong Un’s ‘back’, and not Trump’s. The consequences may be profound.

In a similar vein, Israel has been predicting the overthrow of Iranian state by its people for decades (just as Israeli officials have been announcing Hizbullah’s weakness, and disavowal by the Lebanese people, with a constant regularity – at least until this week’s Lebanese elections).

Iran’s economy has been somewhat flaccid, it is fair to say; but it is not – at all – as weak (or in a ‘death spiral’) as the mainstream has it. Sure: Young people lack jobs (but that is the same across much of Europe). And 2018 is not 2012. Iran will not be either so financially or politically isolated in the wake of Trump’s JCPOA edict as before – in fact the Israeli-American initiative likely will bind Iran’s alliance with China and Russia, tighter. Iran will turn East, of course.

For, Russia, America’s message could not be plainer: The US and Israel want to keep Syria as an open wound, into which Israel can stick its finger at any time – primarily in order to deny President Putin any foreign policy ‘achievement’, but also just to keep Damascus ‘weak’. And Trump wants either the full capitulation of the Iranian government, or its overthrow.

With JCPOA exit, and the handing of Jerusalem to Israel, Putin will be contemplating a de-stabilised, conflicted and fragile, Middle East – just what China and Russia did not want to see. The paths of Syria, Iran and Russia are now deeply interwoven. They may have their differences, but Syria was the reason why they fight together, as comrades-in-arms, and why, in the wider context, they behave jointly as partners in a military and strategic alliance with China.

These three states are in a de facto alliance whose strategic domain, properly understood, is the entire Middle East, whether in terms of China’s Road and Corridor initiative, or Russia’s energy ‘heartland’ matching structure. Their interest is in a stable region, not a de-stabilised one. Trump’s two moves (JCPOA and Jerusalem) are fragmentation, explosive grenades tossed into the matrix of Chinese and Russian strategic interests.

Trump’s ‘step beyond’: his Art of exiting the deal in favour of regime change however, poses a different order of threat to Moscow. Of course, Putin is aware that the American ‘deep state’ wants its Atlanticist ‘fifth column’, economic power-base in Russia, to remove Putin from power – and for Russia to be brought to embrace the American-led global order.

Perhaps Putin had thought that somehow Trump would overcome the internal US ‘civil war’, to find his way towards détente. But the series of signals is unmistakeable: the initial US Defence Statements moved from seeing Russia as a ‘competitor’; then to ‘revisionist power’; then to number ‘one’ threat (above terrorism); then, to an much elevated ‘threat’ — demanding the up-grading of US missile systems, the replacement of its nuclear submarine fleet and the re-working of its nuclear arsenal; then to a doctrine of conditions-based use of nuclear weapons – and now, to the ‘step beyond’: regime change.

Putin understandably wants to avoid military conflict with the US, if at all possible, but, at the same time, he must know that if he does not draw Russia’s line in the sand for America (and Netanyahu), somewhere, soon, he will be perceived as being weak by the US hawks, who will just push him harder. Putin has been trying to mediate between Israel and Iran, but that prospect has been damaged by Pompeo and Trump’s anti-Iranian, Redemptionist passion. And Putin, too, must prepare for the worse with the US – and yet not prematurely damage the conditions for his Partner, Xi Jinping’s elaborate ongoing sparring match with Washington, over trade and tariffs and North Korea.

The greatest ‘unexpected consequence’ will be that Putin and Xi determine that Trump’s ‘step beyond’ precisely is the time to draw the ‘line in the sand’ – and resolve to enforce it. If this happens, everything changes. Does Trump understand this?

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on I$raHell and Iran: Trump’s Step Beyond the ‘Art of the Deal’ Changes Everything

Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”

NOVANEWS

Among the Most Popular Global Research 2017 Articles

This article by award winning author Mahdi Nazemroaya first published by GR in November 2006 is of particular relevance  to an understanding of the ongoing process of destabilization and political fragmentation of Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Washington’s strategy consists in breaking up Syria and Iraq.

*      *      *

“Hegemony is as old as Mankind…” -Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor

The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East.”

This shift in foreign policy phraseology coincided with the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Terminal in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term and conceptualization of the “New Middle East,” was subsequently heralded by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Israeli Prime Minister at the height of  the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon. Prime Minister Olmert and Secretary Rice had informed the international media that a project for a “New Middle East” was being launched from Lebanon.

This announcement was a confirmation of an Anglo-American-Israeli “military roadmap” in the Middle East. This project, which has been in the  planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.

The “New Middle East” project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of “constructive chaos.” This “constructive chaos” –which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region– would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives.

New Middle East Map

Secretary Condoleezza Rice stated during a press conference that “[w]hat we’re seeing here [in regards to the destruction of Lebanon and the Israeli attacks on Lebanon], in a sense, is the growing—the ‘birth pangs’—of a ‘New Middle East’ and whatever we do we [meaning the United States] have to be certain that we’re pushing forward to the New Middle East [and] not going back to the old one.”1Secretary Rice was immediately criticized for her statements both within Lebanon and internationally for expressing indifference to the suffering of an entire nation, which was being bombed  indiscriminately by the Israeli Air Force.

The Anglo-American Military Roadmap in the Middle East and Central Asia 

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s speech on the “New Middle East” had set the stage. The Israeli attacks on Lebanon –which had been fully endorsed by Washington and London– have further compromised and validated the existence of the geo-strategic objectives of the United States, Britain, and Israel. According to Professor Mark Levine the “neo-liberal globalizers and neo-conservatives, and ultimately the Bush Administration, would latch on to creative destruction as a way of describing the process by which they hoped to create their new world orders,” and that “creative destruction [in] the United States was, in the words of neo-conservative philosopher and Bush adviser Michael Ledeen, ‘an awesome revolutionary force’ for (…) creative destruction…”2

Anglo-American occupied Iraq, particularly Iraqi Kurdistan, seems to be the preparatory ground for the balkanization (division) and finlandization (pacification) of the Middle East. Already the legislative framework, under the Iraqi Parliament and the name of Iraqi federalization, for the partition of Iraq into three portions is being drawn out. (See map below)

Moreover, the Anglo-American military roadmap appears to be vying an entry into Central Asia via the Middle East. The Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are stepping stones for extending U.S. influence into the former Soviet Union and the ex-Soviet Republics of Central Asia. The Middle East is to some extent the southern tier of Central Asia. Central Asia in turn is also termed as “Russia’s Southern Tier” or the Russian “Near Abroad.”

Many Russian and Central Asian scholars, military planners, strategists, security advisors, economists, and politicians consider Central Asia (“Russia’s Southern Tier”) to be the vulnerable and “soft under-belly” of the Russian Federation.3

It should be noted that in his book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geo-strategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former U.S. National Security Advisor, alluded to the modern Middle East as a control lever of an area he, Brzezinski, calls the Eurasian Balkans. The Eurasian Balkans consists of the Caucasus (Georgia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Armenia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan) and to some extent both Iran and Turkey. Iran and Turkey both form the northernmost tiers of the Middle East (excluding the Caucasus4) that edge into Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The Map of the “New Middle East”

A relatively unknown map of the Middle East, NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, and Pakistan has been circulating around strategic, governmental, NATO, policy and military circles since mid-2006. It has been causally allowed to surface in public, maybe in an attempt to build consensus and to slowly prepare the general public for possible, maybe even cataclysmic, changes in the Middle East. This is a map of a redrawn and restructured Middle East identified as the “New Middle East.”

MAP OF THE NEW MIDDLE EAST



Note:
 The following map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006).

Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps, has most probably been used at the National War Academy as well as in military planning circles.

This map of the “New Middle East” seems to be based on several other maps, including older maps of potential boundaries in the Middle East extending back to the era of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and World War I. This map is showcased and presented as the brainchild of retired Lieutenant-Colonel (U.S. Army) Ralph Peters, who believes the redesigned borders contained in the map will fundamentally solve the problems of the contemporary Middle East.

The map of the “New Middle East” was a key element in the retired Lieutenant-Colonel’s book, Never Quit the Fightwhich was released to the public on July 10, 2006. This map of a redrawn Middle East was also published, under the title of Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would look, in the U.S. military’s Armed Forces Journal with commentary from Ralph Peters.5

It should be noted that Lieutenant-Colonel Peters was last posted to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, within the U.S. Defence Department, and has been one of the Pentagon’s foremost authors with numerous essays on strategy for military journals and U.S. foreign policy.

It has been written that Ralph Peters’ “four previous books on strategy have been highly influential in government and military circles,” but one can be pardoned for asking if in fact quite the opposite could be taking place. Could it be Lieutenant-Colonel Peters is revealing and putting forward what Washington D.C. and its strategic planners have anticipated for the Middle East?

The concept of a redrawn Middle East has been presented as a “humanitarian” and “righteous” arrangement that would benefit the people(s) of the Middle East and its peripheral regions. According to Ralph Peter’s:

International borders are never completely just. But the degree of injustice they inflict upon those whom frontiers force together or separate makes an enormous difference — often the difference between freedom and oppression, tolerance and atrocity, the rule of law and terrorism, or even peace and war.

The most arbitrary and distorted borders in the world are in Africa and the Middle East. Drawn by self-interested Europeans (who have had sufficient trouble defining their own frontiers), Africa’s borders continue to provoke the deaths of millions of local inhabitants. But the unjust borders in the Middle East — to borrow from Churchill — generate more trouble than can be consumed locally.

While the Middle East has far more problems than dysfunctional borders alone — from cultural stagnation through scandalous inequality to deadly religious extremism — the greatest taboo in striving to understand the region’s comprehensive failure isn’t Islam, but the awful-but-sacrosanct international boundaries worshipped by our own diplomats.

Of course, no adjustment of borders, however draconian, could make every minority in the Middle East happy. In some instances, ethnic and religious groups live intermingled and have intermarried. Elsewhere, reunions based on blood or belief might not prove quite as joyous as their current proponents expect. The boundaries projected in the maps accompanying this article redress the wrongs suffered by the most significant “cheated” population groups, such as the Kurds, Baluch and Arab Shia [Muslims], but still fail to account adequately for Middle Eastern Christians, Bahais, Ismailis, Naqshbandis and many another numerically lesser minorities. And one haunting wrong can never be redressed with a reward of territory: the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians by the dying Ottoman Empire.

Yet, for all the injustices the borders re-imagined here leave unaddressed, without such major boundary revisions, we shall never see a more peaceful Middle East.

Even those who abhor the topic of altering borders would be well-served to engage in an exercise that attempts to conceive a fairer, if still imperfect, amendment of national boundaries between the Bosphorus and the Indus. Accepting that international statecraft has never developed effective tools — short of war — for readjusting faulty borders, a mental effort to grasp the Middle East’s “organic” frontiers nonetheless helps us understand the extent of the difficulties we face and will continue to face. We are dealing with colossal, man-made deformities that will not stop generating hatred and violence until they are corrected. 6

(emphasis added)

“Necessary Pain”

Besides believing that there is “cultural stagnation” in the Middle East, it must be noted that Ralph Peters admits that his propositions are “draconian” in nature, but he insists that they are necessary pains for the people of the Middle East. This view of necessary pain and suffering is in startling parallel to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s belief that the devastation of Lebanon by the Israeli military was a necessary pain or “birth pang” in order to create the “New Middle East” that Washington, London, and Tel Aviv envision.

Moreover, it is worth noting that the subject of the Armenian Genocide is being politicized and stimulated in Europe to offend Turkey.7

The overhaul, dismantlement, and reassembly of the nation-states of the Middle East have been packaged as a solution to the hostilities in the Middle East, but this is categorically misleading, false, and fictitious. The advocates of a “New Middle East” and redrawn boundaries in the region avoid and fail to candidly depict the roots of the problems and conflicts in the contemporary Middle East. What the media does not acknowledge is the fact that almost all major conflicts afflicting the Middle East are the consequence of overlapping Anglo-American-Israeli agendas.

Many of the problems affecting the contemporary Middle East are the result of the deliberate aggravation of pre-existing regional tensions. Sectarian division, ethnic tension and internal violence have been traditionally exploited by the United States and Britain in various parts of the globe including Africa, Latin America, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Iraq is just one of many examples of the Anglo-American strategy of “divide and conquer.” Other examples are Rwanda, Yugoslavia, the Caucasus, and Afghanistan.

Amongst the problems in the contemporary Middle East is the lack of genuine democracy which U.S. and British foreign policy has actually been deliberately obstructing.  Western-style “Democracy” has been a requirement only for those Middle Eastern states which do not conform to Washington’s political demands. Invariably, it constitutes a pretext for confrontation. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan are examples of undemocratic states that the United States has no problems with because they are firmly alligned within the Anglo-American orbit or sphere.

Additionally, the United States has deliberately blocked or displaced genuine democratic movements in the Middle East from Iran in 1953 (where a U.S./U.K. sponsored coup was staged against the democratic government of Prime Minister Mossadegh) to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, the Arab Sheikdoms, and Jordan where the Anglo-American alliance supports military control, absolutists, and dictators in one form or another. The latest example of this is Palestine.

The Turkish Protest at NATO’s Military College in Rome

Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters’ map of the “New Middle East” has sparked angry reactions in Turkey. According to Turkish press releases on September 15, 2006 the map of the “New Middle East” was displayed in NATO’s Military College in Rome, Italy. It was additionally reported that Turkish officers were immediately outraged by the presentation of a portioned and segmented Turkey.8 The map received some form of approval from the U.S. National War Academy before it was unveiled in front of NATO officers in Rome.

The Turkish Chief of Staff, General Buyukanit, contacted the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, and protested the event and the exhibition of the redrawn map of the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.9 Furthermore the Pentagon has gone out of its way to assure Turkey that the map does not reflect official U.S. policy and objectives in the region, but this seems to be conflicting with Anglo-American actions in the Middle East and NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.

Is there a Connection between Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “Eurasian Balkans” and the “New Middle East” Project?

The following are important excerpts and passages from former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geo-strategic Imperatives. Brzezinski also states that both Turkey and Iran, the two most powerful states of the “Eurasian Balkans,” located on its southern tier, are “potentially vulnerable to internal ethnic conflicts [balkanization],” and that, “If either or both of them were to be destabilized, the internal problems of the region would become unmanageable.”10

It seems that a divided and balkanized Iraq would be the best means of accomplishing this. Taking what we know from the White House’s own admissions; there is a belief that “creative destruction and chaos” in the Middle East are beneficial assets to reshaping the Middle East, creating the “New Middle East,” and furthering the Anglo-American roadmap in the Middle East and Central Asia:

In Europe, the Word “Balkans” conjures up images of ethnic conflicts and great-power regional rivalries. Eurasia, too, has its “Balkans,” but the Eurasian Balkans are much larger, more populated, even more religiously and ethnically heterogenous. They are located within that large geographic oblong that demarcates the central zone of global instability (…) that embraces portions of southeastern Europe, Central Asia and parts of South Asia [Pakistan, Kashmir, Western India], the Persian Gulf area, and the Middle East.

The Eurasian Balkans form the inner core of that large oblong (…) they differ from its outer zone in one particularly significant way: they are a power vacuum.Although most of the states located in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East are also unstable, American power is that region’s [meaning the Middle East’s] ultimate arbiter. The unstable region in the outer zone is thus an area of single power hegemony and is tempered by that hegemony. In contrast, the Eurasian Balkans are truly reminiscent of the older, more familiar Balkans of southeastern Europe: not only are its political entities unstable but they tempt and invite the intrusion of more powerful neighbors, each of whom is determined to oppose the region’s domination by another. It is this familiar combination of a power vacuum and power suction that justifies the appellation “Eurasian Balkans.”

The traditional Balkans represented a potential geopolitical prize in the struggle for European supremacy. The Eurasian Balkans, astride the inevitably emerging transportation network meant to link more directly Eurasia’s richest and most industrious western and eastern extremities, are also geopolitically significant.Moreover, they are of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely, Russia, Turkey, and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political interest in the region. But the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold.

 The world’s energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the next two or three decades. Estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in consumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia’s economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy, and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea.

Access to that resource and sharing in its potential wealth represent objectives that stir national ambitions, motivate corporate interests, rekindle historical claims, revive imperial aspirations, and fuel international rivalries. The situation is made all the more volatile by the fact that the region is not only a power vacuum but is also internally unstable.

(…)

The Eurasian Balkans include nine countries that one way or another fit the foregoing description, with two others as potential candidates. The nine are Kazakstan [alternative and official spelling of Kazakhstan] , Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia—all of them formerly part of the defunct Soviet Union—as well as Afghanistan.

The potential additions to the list are Turkey and Iran, both of them much more politically and economically viable, both active contestants for regional influence within the Eurasian Balkans, and thus both significant geo-strategic players in the region. At the same time, both are potentially vulnerable to internal ethnic conflicts. If either or both of them were to be destabilized, the internal problems of the region would become unmanageable, while efforts to restrain regional domination by Russia could even become futile. 11

(emphasis added)

Redrawing the Middle East

The Middle East, in some regards, is a striking parallel to the Balkans and Central-Eastern Europe during the years leading up the First World War. In the wake of the the First World War the borders of the Balkans and Central-Eastern Europe were redrawn. This region experienced a period of upheaval, violence and conflict, before and after World War I, which was the direct result of foreign economic interests and interference.

The reasons behind the First World War are more sinister than the standard school-book explanation, the assassination of the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian (Habsburg) Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo. Economic factors were the real motivation for the large-scale war in 1914.

Norman Dodd, a former Wall Street banker and investigator for the U.S. Congress, who examined  U.S. tax-exempt foundations, confirmed in a 1982 interview that those powerful individuals who from behind the scenes controlled the finances, policies, and government of the United States had in fact also planned U.S. involvement in a war, which would contribute to entrenching their grip on power.

The following testimonial is from the transcript of Norman Dodd’s interview with G. Edward Griffin;

We are now at the year 1908, which was the year that the Carnegie Foundation began operations.  And, in that year, the trustees meeting, for the first time, raised a specific question, which they discussed throughout the balance of the year, in a very learned fashion.  And the question is this:  Is there any means known more effective than war, assuming you wish to alter the life of an entire people?  And they conclude that, no more effective means to that end is known to humanity, than war.  So then, in 1909, they raise the second question, and discuss it, namely, how do we involve the United States in a war?

Well, I doubt, at that time, if there was any subject more removed from the thinking of most of the people of this country [the United States], than its involvement in a war.  There were intermittent shows [wars] in the Balkans, but I doubt very much if many people even knew where the Balkans were.  And finally, they answer that question as follows:  we must control the State Department.

And then, that very naturally raises the question of how do we do that?  They answer it by saying, we must take over and control the diplomatic machinery of this country and, finally, they resolve to aim at that as an objective.  Then, time passes, and we are eventually in a war, which would be World War I.  At that time, they record on their minutes a shocking report in which they dispatch to President Wilson a telegram cautioning him to see that the war does not end too quickly.  And finally, of course, the war is over.

At that time, their interest shifts over to preventing what they call a reversion of life in the United States to what it was prior to 1914, when World War I broke out. (emphasis added)

The redrawing and partition of the Middle East from the Eastern Mediterranean shores of Lebanon and Syria to Anatolia (Asia Minor), Arabia, the Persian Gulf, and the Iranian Plateau responds to broad economic, strategic and military objectives, which are part of a longstanding Anglo-American and Israeli agenda in the region.

The Middle East has been conditioned by outside forces into a powder keg that is ready to explode with the right trigger, possibly the launching of Anglo-American and/or Israeli air raids against Iran and Syria. A wider war in the Middle East could result in redrawn borders that are strategically advantageous to Anglo-American interests and Israel.

NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan has been successfully divided, all but in name. Animosity has been inseminated in the Levant, where a Palestinian civil war is being nurtured and divisions in Lebanon agitated. The Eastern Mediterranean has been successfully militarized by NATO. Syria and Iran continue to be demonized by the Western media, with a view to justifying a military agenda. In turn, the Western media has fed, on a daily basis, incorrect and biased notions that the populations of Iraq cannot co-exist and that the conflict is not a war of occupation but a “civil war” characterised by domestic strife between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.

Attempts at intentionally creating animosity between the different ethno-cultural and religious groups of the Middle East have been systematic. In fact, they are part of a carefully designed covert intelligence agenda.

Even more ominous, many Middle Eastern governments, such as that of Saudi Arabia, are assisting Washington in fomenting divisions between Middle Eastern populations. The ultimate objective is to weaken the resistance movement against foreign occupation through a “divide and conquer strategy” which serves Anglo-American and Israeli interests in the broader region.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya specializes in Middle Eastern and Central Asian affairs. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

Notes

1 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Special Briefing on the Travel to the Middle East and Europe of Secretary Condoleezza Rice (Press Conference, U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C., July 21, 2006).

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2006/69331.htm

2 Mark LeVine, “The New Creative Destruction,” Asia Times, August 22, 2006.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HH22Ak01.html

3 Andrej Kreutz, “The Geopolitics of post-Soviet Russia and the Middle East,” Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ) (Washington, D.C.: Association of Arab-American University Graduates, January 2002).

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2501/is_1_24/ai_93458168/pg_1

4 The Caucasus or Caucasia can be considered as part of the Middle East or as a separate region

5 Ralph Peters, “Blood borders: How a better Middle East would look,” Armed Forces Journal (AFJ), June 2006.

http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2006/06/1833899

Ibid.

7 Crispian Balmer, “French MPs back Armenia genocide bill, Turkey angry, Reuters, October 12, 2006; James McConalogue, “French against Turks: Talking about Armenian Genocide,” The Brussels Journal, October 10, 2006.

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1585

8 Suleyman Kurt, “Carved-up Map of Turkey at NATO Prompts U.S. Apology,” Zaman (Turkey), September 29, 2006.

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&hn=36919

Ibid.

10 Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geo-strategic Imperatives (New York City: Basic Books, 1997).

11 Ibid.

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