Search This Blog

Loading...

Thursday, 19 January 2017

حين يكون العدوان… وساماً


عادل سمارة

كتبت لي صديقة عروبية هذا الصباح بأنها تشعر بالإهانة بسبب الغزوة الصهيونية على مطار المزة في سورية. نعم وأنا أشعر كذلك، ولكن لديّ شعور آخر هو أنّ ذلك العدوان وسام لسورية. لماذا؟ سورية اليوم أشبه بمناضل في التحقيق؟ أليس خضوعه للتعذيب بطولة؟ وهل كونه اعتقل هو إدانة له، أم وسام؟ ذلك لأنّ سياق المرحلة هو عدوان معولم على سورية. هذه هي الحقيقة.
واللافت أنّ الأعداء يعلنون بأنهم يقومون بالعدوان، سواء بالإرهابيين أو التسليح او التمويل أو الإعلام أو حتى الجنس. بينما كثيرون منا يرون أنّ الموقف من غزوة الكيان يجب أن يكون بالردّ العسكري المباشر كأنّ الأمر ملاكمة فردية.
ما سأقوله قد يبدو تكراراً لما هو معروف، ولكنني دائماً أميل إلى التأصيل مخافة عامل النسيان وانشغال الناس في اليومي بينما الأعداء ينشغلون في اليومي والاستراتيجي.
مشروع الثورة المضادة هو سحق المشروع العروبي وليس إضعافه. ومن هنا يصبح اشتراك الكيان في العدوان على سورية حتمياً بعد ان تمّ الإجهاز على مصر وليبيا والعراق واستمرار العدوان على اليمن والتحضير ضدّ حزب الله. وفي هذا السياق علينا جميعاً أن نتذكّر بأنّ كثيرين منا ولأسباب جانبية سقطوا في مباركة احتلال العراق وليبيا. آهٍ لضيق الأفق الذي يقارب الخيانة بلا وعي وقصد. ثم الآن نجد من يدفعون سورية إلى حرب جديدة!
دائماً، علينا وضع ايّ عدوان ولو رصاصة واحدة في سياق طبيعة الصراع، وإلا سنشعر بالإهانة، ومن ثمّ ربما بتهالك العزيمة، وهذا لا يخدم إعادة بناء المشروع العروبي واستعادة الشارع العربي.
لنضع الأمر في سياقه الصحيح، بل لنرى سياقه الصحيح وهو معروض أمامنا حتى على شاشات التخدير التي للأسف غدت افيون العرب.
لا يمكننا قراءة هذا العدوان بعيداً عن السياق الاستراتيجي والتاريخي لوجوده واستمراره.
ففي الصراع مع الكيان الصهيوني، أو في قيامه بعدوان، لا بدّ من وضع الأمر في السياق التالي، وهو ليس تبريراً لسورية ولكن، كما أعتقد قراءة واقعية تقوم مسألتان: تاريخية ولحظية.
في المستوى التاريخي، علينا الأخذ الجدي باعتبار ما يلي:
1 – الكيان هو كلّ الغرب والحرب معه هي مع الغرب، وإلا كيف لدويلة قميئة كالدنمارك ان تشارك في قصف الجيش العربي السوري في دير الزور؟
2 – بل اليوم العدوان أوسع من الغرب، وإلا فما معنى اشتراك 93 دولة وضخ 360 ألف إرهابي ضدّ سورية.
3- الحدّ الأدنى للحرب مع هذا العدو المعولم/ الثورة المضادة يتطلب دور كلّ العرب… وكلّ العرب غائبون أو أعداء.
4 – أية أرض عربية تسقط أو تُحتلّ يجب ان تقاوم ولكن وحدها لا تستطيع هزيمة العدو المعولم.
5 – حاولت سورية الوصول الى توازن استراتيجي مع الكيان ولذا تعرّضت لما تتعرّض له اليوم.
لهذه الأسباب سورية لا يمكنها الردّ وحدها لا سيما وهي في حرب معولمة. وكلّ مزايدات في هذا السياق، كالحديث عن استعادة الجولان ليس سوى ثرثرة حمقاء بحقنة من الأعداء.
وفي المستوى اللحظي، فإنّ هذا العدوان الصهيوني مرتبط بأكثر من أمر:
1 – تحرير حلب مما أكد أننا أخذنا نرى نور ما بعد الانتصار.
2 – هذا العدوان تبهير لمؤتمر العملاء من السوريين في معهد ترومان في القدس المحتلة. وللإسم معناه، فترومان هو الرئيس الأميركي الذي اعترف بالكيان 1948.
3 – في نفس الفترة اكتشفت الجزائر شبكة تجسّس مما يؤكد أنّ العدوان المعولم، حتى لو رأس حربته الصهيونية، فهو يشمل العالم العربي بأسره. ولنتذكر أنّ «ابطال ثورة الناتو» في ليبيا أعطوا الكيان قاعدة عسكرية فوراً عام 2011. ولا أعتقد انها لضرب قصور آل سعود.
4 – كما ترافق مع التأكيد من العدو الأميركي على نقل سفارة أميركا إلى القدس. هذا مع أنني أعتقد أنّ القدس ليست أغلى من حيفا. ذلك لأنّ المبالغة في القدس تعني تقزيم الوطن لصالح مدينة ومن ثم المدينة لصالح الأقصى والأقصى ربما لمحراب صلاح الدين. وكلّ ذلك لحصر الصراع كأنه ديني.
5 – يأتي العدوان في وقت تتكثف غيوم العدوان العربي التركي الغربي المعولم على جنوب سورية.
6 – ويأتي العدوان ووفد من المغرب يزور الكيان مكوناً من ساسة ومثقفين إلخ… وبالمناسبة، وحتى قبل العدوان على سورية نحن في صراع مباشر مع ثلاثة كيانات معادية بنفس المستوى: الكيان الصهيوني في الوسط، تركيا في الشرق، والنظام المغربي في غرب العالم العربي.
7 – وقد تكون خاتمة هذه العوامل ما قاله أوباما في خطاب الوداع: لن تكون دولة فلسطينية. وهذا حقيقة هو موقف اميركا. وهو يكشف بأنّ كل رئيس أميركي سواء بقي دورة او اثنتين، فهو كذب على مدار رئاسته.
8 – ويأتي العدوان وروسيا على مشارف مؤتمر أستانة، إلى جانب إعلان تقليص قواتها كمقدّمة لتلطيف مناخ المؤتمر الذي يتأرجح بين الانعقاد والتعقيد.
ربما أختم بملاحظة تؤكد مجمل القول أعلاه، بأنّ المعسكر العدو/ الثورة المضادة لن تتردّد في حال هزيمة الكيان بأن تلجا إلى الخيار النووي، وهناك شاهدان على هذا:
الأول: ما قامت به الولايات المتحدة في حرب تشرين الأول/ اكتوبر 1973 حيث جهّزت في الطائرات أحد عشر قنبلة
والثانية ما قاله ثعلب الليبرالية الصهيوني نعوم تشومسكي منذ زمن بانّ الكيان في حال أشرف على الهزيمة سوف يلجأ  للنووي، وهو هنا ليس بناء على تحليل، بل أعتقد نتيجة تواصل وارتباط.
من هنا، فالحرب طويلة، وخطوة الانتصار الأولى بقاء سورية، وبعدها لكلّ حادث حديث ولكلّ حرب حرب…

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Arab students heckle Syrian speakers as ‘traitors’ at Israeli conference

 
A conference about Syria held at the Hebrew University was disrupted by Arab students who called the Syrian speakers as “traitors” to their country and spoke out against Israeli policy.
The Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at Hebrew University in Jerusalem hosted the conference. The conference included two Syrians exiles: Kurdish-Syrian journalist Sirwan Kajjo, who currently lives in the US; and Isam Zitun, who currently lives in Germany.
A student highlighted the situation in the Syrian Golan Heights which Israel has occupied for decades.
“The Golan has been occupied since 1967; you’re a traitor and a conspirator!” yelled one of the student protestors. Zitun responded by saying, “Shame on you; you live in paradise compared to Syrians.”
“The Golan is under siege by the Hezbollah and (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s) regime. If Israel could help the people under this siege, that would be great,” Zitun continued.
The two said that they work to make Syrians’ voices heard worldwide. “Israel is a neighbor of Syria’s, and many of us think that it should be more involved, at least in terms of providing humanitarian aid to Syrians in need in south Syria,” said Kajjo, before adding, “Israel should have a better relationship with Syria in the future.”
When asked why the opposition in Syria is not more unified against Assad’s regime, Kajji said, “It makes sense for the opposition to be divided, since they come from different backgrounds.” Zitun said that “It stands to reason that the opposition be divided after everything that Assad has done over the years. There also isn’t much of a political culture in Syria. The international community needs to take responsibility.”

Related Articles 
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

The best armed forces on the planet?

The best armed forces on the planet?
In my recent article “Risks and Opportunities for 2017” I made a statement which shocked many readers. I wrote:
Russia is now the most powerful country on the planet. (…) the Russian armed forces are probably the most powerful and capable ones on earth (albeit not the largest ones) (…) Russia is the most powerful country on earth because of two things: Russia openly rejects and denounces the worldwide political, economic and ideological system the USA has imposed upon our planet since WWII and because Vladimir Putin enjoys the rock-solid support of about 80%+ of the Russian population. The biggest strength of Russia in 2017 is a moral and a political one, it is the strength of a civilization which refuses to play by the rules which the West has successfully imposed on the rest of mankind. And now that Russia has successfully “pushed back” others will inevitably follow (again, especially in Asia).
While some dismissed this as rather ridiculous hyperbole, others have asked me to explain who I can to that conclusion. I have to admit that this paragraph is somewhat ambiguous: first I make a specific claim about the capabilities of the Russian military, and then the “evidence” that I present are of a moral and political nature! No wonder that some expressed reservations about this.
Actually, the above is a good example of one of my worst weaknesses: I tend to assume that I write for people who will make the same assumptions I do, look at issues the way I look at them, and understand what is implied. My bad. So today I will try to spell out what I mean and clarify my point of view on this issue. To do this, however, there are a number of premises which I think need to be explicitly spelled out.
First, how does one measure the quality of an armed force and how can armed forces from different countries be compared?
The first thing which need to immediately get out of the way is the absolutely useless practice known as “bean counting”: counting the numbers of tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry combat vehicles, artillery pieces, aircraft, helicopters and ships for country A and country B and come to some conclusion about which of the two is “stronger”. This is utterly meaninglessNext, two more myths need to be debunked: high tech wins wars and big money wins wars. Since I discussed these two myths in some detail elsewhere (here) I won’t repeat it all here.
Next, I submit that the purpose of a military force is to achieve a specific political objective. Nobody goes to war just for the sake of war and “victory” is not a military, but a political concept. So yes, war is the continuation of politics by other means. For example, the successful deterrence of a potential aggressor should be counted as a “victory” or, at least, as a successful performance of your armed forces if their goal was to deter. The definition of “victory” can include destroying the other guy’s armed forces, of course, but it does not have to. The British did win the war in the Malvinas/Falkands even though the Argentinian forces were far from destroyed. Sometimes the purpose of war is genocide, in which case just defeating a military forces is not enough. Let’s take a recent example: according to an official statement by Vladimir Putin, the official objectives of the Russian military intervention in Syria were to
1) stabilize the legitimate authority and
2) create conditions for a political compromise.
It is undeniable that the Russian armed forces fully reached this two objectives, but they did so without the need for the kind of “victory” which implies a total destruction of your enemies forces. In fact, Russia could have used nuclear weapons and carpet bombing to wipe Daesh, but that would have resulted in a political catastrophe for Russia. Would that have been a “military victory”? You tell me!
So, if the purpose of a country’s armed forces is to achieve specific and political objectives, this directly implies that saying that some country’s armed forces can do anything, anywhere and at any time is nonsense. You cannot access a military outside a very specific set of circumstances:
1) Where: Space/geographical
2) When: Time/duration
3) What: political objective
Yet, what we see, especially in the USA, is a diametrically opposite approach. It goes something like this:
we have the best trained, best equipped and best armed military on earth; no country can compete with our advanced stealth bombers, nuclear submarines, our pilots are the best trained on the planet, we have advanced network-centric warfare capabilities, global strike, space based reconnaissance and intelligence, we have aircraft carriers, our Delta Force can defeat any terrorist force, we spend more money training our special forces than any other country, we have more ships than any other nation, etc. etc. etc.
This means absolutely nothing. The reality is that the US military played a secondary role in WWII in the European theater and that after that the only “kinda victory” it achieved is outright embarrassing: Grenada (barely), Panama (almost unopposed). I would agree that the US military was successful in deterring a Soviet attack, but I would also immediately point out that the Soviets then also successfully deterred a US attack. Is that a victory? The truth is that China also did not suffer from a Soviet or US attack, does that mean that the Chinese successfully deterred the Soviets or the Americans? If you reply ‘yes’ then you would have to accept that they did that at a fraction of the US costs, so whose military was more effective – the US or the Chinese one? Then look at all the other US military interventions, there is a decent list here, what did those military operations really achieve. If I had to pick a “least bad one” I would reluctantly pick the Desert Storm which did liberate Kuwait from the Iraqis, but at what cost and with what consequences?!
In the vast majority of cases, when the quality of the Russian armed forces is assessed, it is always in comparison to the US armed forces. But does that make sense to compare the Russian armed forces to a military which has a long record of not achieving the specific political objectives it was given? Yes, the US armed forces are huge, bloated, they are the most expensive on the planet, the most technology-intensive and their rather mediocre actual performance is systematically obfuscated by the most powerful propaganda machine on the planet. But does any of that make them effective? I submit that far from being effective, they are fantastically wasteful and amazingly ineffective, at least from a military point of view.
Still dubious?
Okay. Let’s take the “best of the best”: the US special forces. Please name me three successful operations executed by US special forces. No, small size skirmishes against poorly trained and poorly equipped 3rd world insurgents killed in a surprise attack don’t qualify. What would be the US equivalent of, say, Operation Storm-333 or the liberation of the entire Crimean Peninsula without a single person killed? In fact, there is a reason why most Hollywood blockbusters about US special forces are based on abject defeats such as Black Hawk Down or 13 hours.
As for US high-teach, I don’t think that I need to dwell too deeply on the nightmares of the F-35 or the Zumwalt-class destroyer or explain how sloppy tactics made it possible for the Serbian Air Defenses to shoot down a super-secret and putatively “invisible” F-117A in 1999 using an ancient Soviet-era S-125 missile first deployed in 1961!
There is no Schadenfreude for me in reminding everybody of these facts. My point is to try to break the mental reflex which conditions so many people to consider the US military as some kind of measuring stick of how all the other armed forces on the planet do perform. This reflex is the result of propaganda and ignorance, not any rational reason.
The same goes, by the way, for the other hyper-propagandized military – the Israeli IDF whose armored forces, pilots and infantrymen are always presented as amazingly well-trained and competent. The reality is, of course, that in 2006 the IDF could not even secure the small town of Bint Jbeil located just 2 miles from the Israeli border. For 28 days the IDF tried to wrestle the control of Bint Jbeil from second rate Hezbollah forces (Hezbollah kept its first rate forces north of the Litani river to protect Beirut) and totally failed in spite of having a huge numerical and technological superiority.
I have personally spoken to US officers who trained with the IDF and I can tell you that they were totally unimpressed. Just as Afghan guerrillas are absolutely unanimous when they say that the Soviet solider is a much better soldier than the US one.
Speaking of Afghanistan.
Do you remember that the Soviet 40th Army who was tasked with fighting the Afghan “freedom fighters” was mostly under-equipped, under-trained, and poorly supported in terms of logistics? Please read this appalling report about the sanitary conditions of the 40th Army and compare that with the 20 billion dollar per year the US spends on air-conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq! And then compare the US and Soviet occupations in terms of performance: not only did the Soviets control the entire country during the day (at night the Afghan controlled most of the country side and the roads), they also controlled all the major cities 24/7. In contrast, the US barely holds on to Kabul and entire provinces are in the hands of the insurgentsThe Soviets built hospitals, damns, airports, roads, bridges, etc. whereas the Americans built exactly nothing. And, as I already mentioned, in every interview I have seen the Afghans are unanimous: the Soviets were much tougher enemies than the Americans.
I could go on for pages and pages, but let’s stop here and simply accept that the PR image of the US (and Israeli) military has nothing to do with their actual capabilities and performance. There are things which the US military does very well (long distance deployment, submarine warfare in temperate waters, carrier operations, etc.) but their overall effectiveness and efficiency is pretty low.

So what makes the Russian armed forces so good?

For one thing, their mission, to defend Russia, is commensurate with the resources of the Russian Federation. Even if Putin wanted it, Russia does not have the capabilities to built 10 aircraft carriers, deploy hundreds of overseas bases or spend more on “defense” than the rest of mankind combined. The specific political objective given to the Russian military is quite simple: to deter or repel any attack against Russia.
Second, to accomplish this mission the Russian armed forces need to be able to strike and prevail at a maxial distance of 1000km or less from the Russian border. Official Russian military doctrine places the limits of a strategic offensive operation a bit further and include the complete defeat of enemy forces and occupation of his territory to a depth of 1200km-1500km (Война и Мир в Терминах и Определениях, Дмитрий Рогозин, Москва, Вече, 2011, p.155) but in reality this distance would be much shorter, especially in the case of a defensive counter-attack. Make no mistake, this remains a formidable task due to the immense length of the Russian border (over 20’000km of border) running over almost every imaginable type of geography, from dry deserts and mountains to the North pole region. And here is the amazing thing: the Russian armed forces are currently capable of defeating any conceivable enemy all along this perimeter. Putin himself said so recently when he declared that “We can say with certainty: We are stronger now than any potential aggressor, any!” I realize that for a mostly American audience this will sound like the typical garden variety claptrap every US officer or politician has to say at every public occasion, but in the Russian context this is something quite new: Putin had never said anything like that before. If anything, the Russian prefer to whine about numerically superior their adversaries seem to be (well, they are, numerically – which every Russian military analyst knows means nothing).
Numerically, the Russian forces are, indeed, much smaller than NATO’s or China’s. In fact, one could argue for the size of the Russian Federation, the Russian armed forces are rather small. True. But they are formidable, well-balanced in terms of capabilities and they make maximal use of the unique geographical features of Russia.
[Sidebar: Russia is a far more “northern” country than, say, Canada or Norway. Look at where the vast majority of the cities and towns in Canada or Scandinavia are located. Then look at a map of Russia and the latitudes at which the Russian cities are located. The difference is quite striking. Take the example of Novosibirsk, which in Russia is considered a southern Siberian town. It is almost at the same latitude as Edinburgh, Scotland, Grande Prairie, Alberta or Malmö in Sweden]
This is why all the equipment used by the Russian Armed Forces has to be certified operational from temperatures ranging from -50C to +50C (-58F to 122F). Most western gear can’t even operate in such extremes. Of course, the same also goes for the Russian solider who is also trained to operate in this range of temperatures.
I don’t think that there is another military out there who can claim to have such capabilities, and most definitely not the American armed forces.
Another myth which must be debunked is the one of western technological superiority. While it is true that in some specific fields the Soviets were never able to catch up with the West, microchips for example, that did not prevent them from being the first ones to deploy a large list of military technologies such as phased-array radars on interceptors, helmet-mounted sights for pilots, supercavitating underwater missiles, autoloaders on tanks, parachute deployable armored vehicles, double-hulled attack submarines, road-mobile ICBMs, etc. As a rule, western weapon systems tend to be more tech-heavy, that is true, but that is not due to a lack of Russian capabilities, but to a fundamental difference in design. In the West, weapon systems are designed by engineers who cobble together the latest technologies and then design a mission around them. In Russia, the military defines a mission and then seeks the simplest and cheapest technologies which can be used to accomplish it. This is why the Russian MiG-29 (1982) was not a “fly-by-wire” like the US F-16 (1978) but operated by “old” mechanical flight controls. I would add here that a more advanced airframe and two engines instead of one for the F-16, gave the MiG-29 a superior flight envelope. When needed, however, the Russians did use fly-by-wire, for example, on the Su-27 (1985).
Last but not least, the Russian nuclear forces are currently more modern and much more capable than the comparatively aging US nuclear triad.  Even the Americans admit that.
So what does that all mean?
This means that in spite of being tasked with an immensely difficult mission, to prevail against any possible enemy along the 20’000+km of the Russian border and to a depth of 1000km, the Russian armed forces have consistently shown that they are capable of fulfilling the specific political objective of either deterring or defeating their potential enemy, be it a Wahabi insurgency (which the western pundits described as “unbeatable”), a western trained and equipped Georgian military (in spite of being numerically inferior during the crucial hours of the war and in spite of major problems and weaknesses in command and control), the disarmament of 25’000+ Ukrainian (supposedly “crack”) troops in Crimea without a single shot fired in anger and, of course, the Russian military intervention in the war in Syria were a tiny Russian force turned the tide of the war.
In conclusion, I want to come back to my statement about Russia being the only country which now openly dares to reject the western civilizational model and whose leader, Vladimir Putin, enjoys the support of 80%+ of the population. These two factors are crucial in the assessment of the capabilities of the Russian armed forces. Why? Because they illustrate the fact that the Russian soldiers knows exactly what he fights for (or against) and that when he is deployed somewhere, he is not deployed as a tool for Gazprom, Norilsk Nickel, Sberbank or any other Russian corporation: he knows that he is fighting for his country, his people, his culture, for their freedom and safety. Furthermore, the Russian soldier also knows that the use of military force is not the first and preferred option of his government, but the last one which is used only when all other options have been exhausted. He knows that the Russian High Command, the Kremlin and the General Staff are not hell-bent on finding some small country to beat up just to make an example and scare the others. Last but not least, the Russian solider is willing to die for his country and while executing any order.  The Russians are quite aware of that and this is why the following circulated on the Runet recently:
Translation: under both photos it says “private of the US/Russian Army, under contract, deployed in a combat zone”. The bottom central text says “One of them needs to be fed, clothed, armed, paid, etc. The other one just needs to be ordered “this way” and he will execute his mission. At any cost”
At the end of the day, the outcome of any war is decided by willpower, I firmly believe that and I also believe that it is the “simple” infantry private who is the most important factor in a war, not the super-trained superman.  In Russia they are sometimes called “makhra” – the young kids from the infantry, not good looking, not particularly macho, with no special gear or training. They are the ones who defeated the Wahabis in Chechnia, at a huge cost, but they did. They are the one which produce an amazing number of heroes who amaze their comrades and enemies with their tenacity and courage. They don’t look to good in parades and they are often forgotten. But they are the ones which defeated more empires than any other and who made Russia the biggest country on earth.
So yes, Russia currently does have the most capable armed forces on the planet.  There are plenty of countries out there who also have excellent armed forces.  But what makes the Russian ones unique is the scope of their capabilities which range from anti-terrorist operations to international nuclear war combined with the amazing resilience and willpower of the Russian solider.  There are plenty of things the Russian military cannot do, but unlike the US armed forces, the Russian military was never designed to do anything, anywhere, anytime (aka “win two and a half wars” anywhere on the planet).
For the time being, the Russians are watching how the US cannot even take a small city like Mosul, even though it had to supplement the local forces with plenty of US and NATO “support” and they are unimpressed, to say the least.  But Hollywood will surely make a great blockbuster from this embarrassing failure and there will be more medals handed out than personnel involved (this is what happened after the Grenada disaster).  And the TV watching crowd will be reassured that “while the Russians did make some progress, their forces are still a far cry from their western counterparts”.  Who cares?
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Inner and Outer Ugliness: Congress Proves Once Again it is Occupied Territory



cspan1
By Richard Edmondson
In the photo above we see US Congressman Ed Royce of California discussing HR 11, a resolution he introduced condemning the UN Security Council for its recent action on Israeli settlements. You’ll also notice, to Royce’s right, Florida  Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen brushing her hair with a pink hairbrush.
The scene is from a debate in Congress which took place on January 5, 2017. Royce and a number of other congressional representatives (342 of them in all) became hot and bothered over the UN’s pointing out (correctly of course) that the settlements are illegal. The photo is a screen shot I took from a C-Span video.  It’s a long video, more than eight hours, but if you advance it to about the 5:19:52 mark, you can watch the entire House debate on HR 11, which not surprisingly includes a lot of groveling to Israel (hat tip to Greg Bacon).
Just to refresh your memory, the Security Council, by a vote of 14-0 with 1 abstention, passed a resolution on December 23 “condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.” Voting in favor were Russia, China, Malaysia, Venezuela, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Uruguay, France, Angola, Egypt, Japan, UK, Ukraine; the lone abstention was by the US.
The Security Council action was welcomed by a good many people the world over, although Benjamin Netanyahu threw a temper tantrum, claiming to have “absolute” proof the Obama administration had been secretly behind it. Other critics accused the US of a “betrayal” of its longtime “ally,” and an enormous amount of controversy erupted over the issue in the waning days of 2016 and carrying over into the new year.
Of course, anytime a dispute emerges between the US and Israel, members of Congress can always be counted upon to side with the latter rather than with their own nation–and this time was no exception.
“Today we put Congress on record objecting to the recent UN Security Council resolution that hurt our ally, that hurt Israel, and I believe that puts an enduring peace further out of reach,” fretted Royce.
Let me call once again your attention to the image of Ros-Lehtinen brushing her hair, for throughout a good portion of Royce’s speech, the Florida congresswoman–apparently unaware she was on camera–seemed preoccupied with primping and applying makeup to herself, this presumably in an effort to make herself look “beautiful.”
In the first frame of the montage below we see her with the pink hairbrush, followed by a shot of her rummaging in her purse. In the third frame she pulls out what appears to be lipstick or eyeliner (I’m not an expert on women’s makeup), and lastly applying it with her right hand while still holding the container with her left hand.
makeupsession
In the following three frames we see a now cosmetically-adorned Ros-Lehtinen giving her speech before Congress and the C-Span cameras:
l1
l2
l3
“Our closest friend and ally, the democratic, Jewish state of Israel, has been under constant attack by the United Nations,” she claimed.
The Security Council resolution that occasioned Ros-Lehtinen’s diatribe specifically is entitled UNSC Resolution 2334. I put up a post about it on December 24 that contains its full text. The measure expresses “grave concern” that settlements, including those in East Jerusalem, are “dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines.” It also:
1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;
For Ros-Lehtinen, however, UNSC Resolution 2334 was nothing more than an execrable attempt to “delegitimize” Israel–and all the more reason why swift passage by Congress of HR 11 was needed to repudiate it!
This resolution, Mr. speaker, will not undo the damage that has been done at the Security Council, but it sends an important  message to the world that the United States Congress resoundingly, and in a strong bipartisan manner, disapproves of the vote taken on resolution 2334, and it sends a warning to the nations that will gather in Paris next week to discuss the peace process that there will be repercussions if there is a move to introduce a parameters resolution before the 20th and in an effort to further isolate Israel. Our closest friend and ally, the democratic, Jewish state of Israel,  has been under constant attack by the United Nations. Abu Mazen and the Palestinians have pushed a campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state, to undermine the peace process, to achieve unilateral statehood recognition.
For some reason–I’m not quite sure why–the sight of Ros-Lehtinen primping and then fulminating at the podium brought to mind a picture I once saw of an economically-impoverished elderly woman kissing a bird.
beauty
I first came across this image several years ago in a poem posted by Nahida the exiled Palestinian, whose website, Poetry for Palestine, can be found here. Her poem is entitled “Beauty.”  It is not a lengthy poem at all. In fact, it contains a mere five very short, but very powerful, lines:
Sometimes, beauty is mistakenly understood;
Assuming that
If someone is beautiful, they are always good,
When truth is
When someone is good, they are always beautiful.
The woman whose picture accompanies the poem is beautiful in a way that Ros-Lehtinen is not. In addition to berating the Security Council, the Florida congresswoman also attacked the UN Human Rights Council.
“We’ve seen it at  the Human Rights Council where Israel is constantly demonized  and falsely accused of human rights violations while the real abusers of human rights go unpunished because that body has utterly failed to uphold its mandate,” she insisted. “This is a body that allows the worst abusers of human rights–like Cuba, Venezuela, and China–to actually sit in judgement of human rights worldwide. What a pathetic joke!”
It’s interesting that Ros-Lehtinen would single out Cuba, Venezuela, and China as being among “the worst abusers of human rights,” while saying nothing–zip–zero–about Saudi Arabia, a country that executes people by beheading and which currently holds the chair of the Human Rights Council.
 photo syrianchildren.jpg“Yet the only thing they can agree on is to attack Israel,” the congresswoman blubbered on, “the only democracy in the Middle East and the only place in the region where human rights are protected.”
Exceptions were taken to other UN deliberative bodies  as well.
“We’ve seen this scheme to delegtimize Israel at the General Assembly where in its closing legislative session, the General Assembly passed twenty–twenty–anti-Israel resolutions and only four combined for the entire world!” Ros-Lehtinen bellowed.
“These institutions have no credibility, and now we have the unfortunate circumstance of the White House deciding to abstain from this anti-Israel, one-sided resolution at the Security Council,” she added. “Our ally was abandoned, and credibility and momentum were given to the Palestinians’ schemes to delegitimize the Jewish state, to undermine the peace process, and while the damage has been done, Mr. Speaker, by this act of cowardice at the Security Council, we will have an opportunity to reverse that damage.”
What exactly she meant by “we will have an opportunity to reverse that damage” is unclear. Possibly the Trump administration has some plan to introduce a new measure at the UN. In any event, Ros-Lehtinen clearly seems to be a person of both inner and outer ugliness–though of course she is not the only member of Congress with such attributes. Perhaps the most groveling speech of all those given in Congress on January 5 was that delivered by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“The cornerstone of our special relationship with Israel has always been right here in Congress, this institution,” said Ryan. “The heart of our democracy has stood by the Jewish state through thick and thin. We were there for her when rockets rained down on Tel Aviv; we were there for her by passing historic legislation to combat the boycott divestment and sanctions movement; and we’ve been there for her by ensuring Israel has the tools to defend herself against those who seek her destruction.”
“I am stunned! I am stunned!” the House speaker continued, “at what happened last month! This government, our government, abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most! Do not be fooled. This UN Security Council resolution was not about settlements, and it certainly was not about peace. It was about one thing and one thing only. Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish democratic state. These types of one-sided efforts are designed to isolate and delegitimize Israel. They do not advance peace, they make it more elusive.”
If Ryan was the supreme groveler in the debate, Royce would probably have to rank a close second. One thing which seemed terribly to incense the California congressman about the Security Council resolution is that it doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to steal East Jerusalem.
“This dangerous resolution effectively states that the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, are in the words of the resolution ‘occupied territory.’ Why would we not veto that?” asked Royce.
“It also lends legitimacy to efforts by the Palestinian authority to put pressure on Israel through the UN rather than to go through the process of engaging in direct negotiations, and it puts wind in the sails of the shameful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” he added.
gzmrg4Royce also claimed that Israel, not Occupied Palestine, is suffering “bullying and harassment.” That may sound like the statement of someone living in a parallel universe, but it is a view shared by New York Congressman Eliot Engel, one of HR 11’s original cosponsors.
“Throughout its entire history the state of Israel has never gotten a fair shake from the United Nations,” insisted Engel. “Year after year after year member states manipulate the UN to bully our ally Israel, to pile on one-sided resolutions placing all the blame for the ongoing conflict on Israel.”
Even those representatives who spoke in opposition to HR 11, did so while expressing their support for Israel at the same time. One such member was Rep. David Price, a Democrat from North Carolina.
“The fact is, H Res 11 runs a real risk of undermining the US Congress as a proactive force working toward a two-state solution,” Price lamented. ” And in this period of great geopolitical turmoil and uncertainty, we must reaffirm those fundamental aspects of our foreign policy, including our strong and unwavering support for Israel, while also demonstrating to the world that we are committed to a diplomacy that defends human rights and promotes Israeli and Palestinian states  that live side-by-side in peace and security, a formulation that has characterized our country’s diplomacy for decades.”
Another who voted against HR 11 was Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois who is also married to Robert Creamer, the Democrat Party operative who was seen in a Project Veritas video discussing plans to have protestors show up at Trump rallies during the campaign. Schakowsky feels that a little bit of criticism of Israel is allowable at times, and furthermore she holds to this belief as a “proud Jew,” as she stated to her colleagues.
 photo thousandeyes_zps2c4c47c1.jpg“I stand here as a proud Jew and someone who throughout my entire life has been an advocate for the state of Israel, and I am standing here to oppose our H Res 11,” said the Illinois congresswoman. “And as a member of congress I have been committed to maintaining America’s unwavering support for Israel, which has lasted from the very first moments of  Israel’s existence. The US-Israel bond is unbreakable, despite the fact that the United States administrations have not always agreed with the particular policies of an Israeli government.”
Yes, to be sure, our own government and Israel’s have not always seen eye-to-eye, but funny how that never seems to stop the billions in US tax dollars flowing into the Jewish state’s coffers each year. Schakowsky went on:
Presidents from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush have each vetoed, and sometimes voted for, a UN resolution contrary to the wishes of Israel’s government at the time, and only the Obama administration, until two weeks ago, never, ever cast a vote against what Israel wanted. But opposition to the building of settlements on land belonging to Palestinians before the 1967 war was, with the exception of the land, of course, that’s going to be swapped, agreed to by both parties, has been the official US policy for many decades, contrary, again, to the assertions of H Res 11.  It has also been the policy of the United States to recognize that the only long term solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the violence, the loss of life, is to create two states, one for the Palestinians and one for Israel.
 photo statehood2.jpg
Exactly how a contiguous Palestinian state is going to be created in a West Bank splotched and dotted with all those settlements, is something Schakowsky left unaddressed. But having voiced a few mild criticisms of Israel, the congresswoman apparently felt an overwhelming need for balance–and so she tossed out a few criticisms of the Palestinians for good measure.
“A two-state solution is the only way Israel can continue as both a democratic and a Jewish state living in peace and security that has eluded her from the very beginning,” she said. “The building of settlements is an obstacle to achieving that goal–and of course settlements aren’t the only obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace. The US resolution reiterates the Palestinian Authority security forces must continue to counter terrorism and condemn all of the provocations.”
 photo terrorreigns2.jpg
Provocations? It’s an interesting word when referring to a people who have been resisting land theft and occupation for more years than most of us have been alive. It also gives rise to a question: How is it possible to carry out “provocations” against a country or governmental entity that technically speaking is in all likelihood guilty of the crime of genocide? Of course it’s unlikely you’ll get an honest answer to that question from Schakowsky or any other member of Congress.
At any rate, HR 11–a resolution which not only impugns the Security Council but even criticizes the United States–passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 342-80, with 4 abstentions. You can go here to see  the roll call on the vote.
It was Jeffrey Blankfort who first coined the old saying about Washington being Israel’s “most important occupied territory.” I think it was sometime back in the late eighties or the nineties when Jeffrey made that comment, and if anything, over the years, it has become more profoundly true than ever.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

“Color Revolution” against Donald Trump

Global Research, January 18, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 17.57.51
What will happen on Inauguration Day?
Anti-Trump protest movements are envisaged alongside a campaign to disrupt. 
While there  are “genuine protests” –e.g. those led by the Answer Coalition and Workers World–, the main thrust is coming from an “engineered” campaign supported and financed by the Neocons, which is largely intent upon disrupting the inauguration and destabilizing the Trump presidency.  Several progressive organizations have nonetheless joined the bandwagon of the #Disruptj20 campaign. 
The protest movement in fact started on the evening of November 8 prior to the announcement of the election results.  The organizers of this movement are acting on behalf of powerful elite interests. People are misled: the protests are not being led on behalf of the genuine concerns of Americans who oppose Trump’s right wing racist agenda. 
The engineered protest ops are coordinated with a relentless propaganda campaign led by the mainstream media, which includes accusations of high treason and sedition directed against Donald Trump, who is portrayed as an instrument of the Kremlin. 
Even prior to the November 8 elections, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leo Panetta had already intimated that Trump is a threat to National Security. According to The Atlantic,  Trump is a “Modern Manchurian Candidate” serving the interests of the Kremlin.
Vanity Fair November 1 2016
The Atlantic October 8 2016
In the wake of the Grand Electors’ Vote (in favour of Trump) and Obama’s renewed sanctions against Moscow, the accusations of treason directed against Donald Trump have gone into high gear. Unprecedented in US history, a movement to impeach an elected president has been launched prior to his accession to the White House.
The objective of the engineered protests which has the support of US intelligence is to undermine the legitimacy of the Trump presidency.
Is it a conspiracy? The various components of this operation are carefully coordinated.  All the essential features of an American-style “color revolution” with the intent to destabilize an incoming president are there.
Background: What is a Color Revolution?  
Before proceeding further, let us focus on the nature and historical origins of  the “color revolutions” used as a means to triggering “regime change”, which have emerged in a large number of countries in the course of the last decade.
The “color revolution” is a US intelligence operation which consists in covertly supporting as well as infiltrating protest movements with a view to triggering “regime change” under the banner of a pro-democracy template. The objective of a “color revolution” is to manipulate elections, create violence, foment social unrest and use the protest movement to topple an existing government. The ultimate foreign policy goal is to instate a compliant pro-US government (or “puppet regime”).
Engineered protest movements are carefully planned. They are intelligence ops. They use non-governmental organizations to recruit protesters.
History: “The Revolution Business” and “Regime Change” 
In August 1999, the CIA set up a training program for a Serbian NGO entitled OTPOR which subsequently played a key role in the engineered protest movement conducive to the downfall of president Slobodan Milosevic. A few years later, OTPOR established a training and strategizing outfit entitled  The Centre for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS). CANVAS became a consulting outfit specializing in “Revolution” on contract to the CIA.
CANVAS  was set up by the CIA as “an International network of trainers and consultants” involved in the “Revolution Business”. Funded by Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as well private corporate foundations. CANVAS constitutes a  consulting outfit, advising and training US sponsored opposition groups in more than 40 countries. In this regard, OTPOR played a key role in fomenting the mass uprisings during the Arab Spring in Egypt in 2011. What appeared to be a spontaneous democratization process was a carefully planned intelligence operation. View video below.
How does this relate to the coordinated operation to undermine the Trump presidency?
What is at stake is a “color revolution” Made in America which is marked by fundamental rivalries within the US establishment, namely the clash between competing corporate factions, each of which is intent upon exerting control over the incoming US presidency.
The OTPOR-CANVAS-CIA model is nonetheless relevant. Several foundations involved in funding color revolutions internationally are involved in funding the anti-Trump campaign.
Moreover, while CANVAS’ mandate is to oversee “color revolutions” internationally, it also has links with a number of NGOs currently involved in the anti-Trump campaign including  The Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS). OWS launched by Adbusters was funded via the Tides Foundation which in turn is funded by a number of corporate foundations and charities, including the Ford Foundation, Gates Foundation  and the Open Society Institute. Ford is known to have historical links to US intelligence.
It is worth noting that the raised fist logo first launched by OTPOR in 1999 as a symbol of CIA sponsored color revolutions (including Egypt during the Arab Spring), also constitutes the symbol of several organizations involved in the anti-Trump engineered protest movement.
The Inauguration Disrupt Campaign: Disruptj20
Several hundred thousand Trump supporters will be present in Washington DC on January 20th. D.C.’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management estimates that there will be between  800,000 – 900,000 people in DC for the event, including Trump supporter and protesters.
Will there be clashes between both sides?
The Disruptj20.org campaign is calling for the disruption of the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017:
#DisruptJ20 is supported by the work of the DC Welcoming Committee, a collective of experienced local activists and out-of-work gravediggers acting with national support. We’re building the framework needed for mass protests to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump and planning widespread direct actions to make that happen. We’re also providing services like housing, food, and even legal assistance to anyone who wants to join us.
The actions contemplated include “setting up blockades at checkpoints to prevent people from gaining access to the inauguration proceedings”. A spokesperson confirmed that  #DisruptJ20 campaign would be “creating a framework to support mass protests and direct action to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump” .
This could potentially lead to violent clashes with tens of thousands of Trump supporters, which is the ultimate objective of an engineered “Color Revolution” style protest movement supported covertly by US intelligence. It’s part of the logic of a “color revolution” scenario (e.g. Kiev-Maidan, Cairo-Tahir Square) which is predicated on triggering confrontation and urban violence.
Is the Disrupt Campaign committed to deliberately staging violence on January 20?
“The idea is to shut down access to the parade as much as possible and slowing it down to a crawl,” said DisruptJ20 organizer Legba Carrefour. “Then there’s the broader goal of shutting down the entire city around it and creating a sense of paralysis that creates a headline that says, ‘Trump’s inauguration creates chaos.’” (NBC, January 17, 2017)
The organizers of the engineered protest movement are funded by powerful corporate interests, they are supported by US intelligence. The objective is not to undermine the racist right wing agenda of Donald Trump as conveyed in the video below. Quite the opposite.
The same color revolution OTPOR style logo:

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!