Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Q: ONE RESEARCH CENTER HAS COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE REASON THE IRANIAN REGIME IS NOT OVERTHROWN IS THE DESTRUCTION OF ITS DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN ENEMIES BY THE US. HOW HAS THE US MANAGED TO PREVENT THE REGIME FROM BEING DESTROYED?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
It is absolutely true that the bungling US administration galvanized the Iranians around their leadership in an unexpected way that no one could have imagined, though not by destroying their enemies as stated by the questioner.
I strongly recommend you read the al-Jazeera article linked and partially quoted below. Al-Jazeera is booed and hissed by the US political class and msm propagandists, on both the Left and the Right, but it is in fact a vital source of information that the West refuses to give you. It is based in Qatar and often defies the will of the rest of the Gulf States (the main sponsors of ISIS) and has fallen out with them over issues including its sharing of gas fields with Iran — with which it has good relations.
Trump’s murder of Iranian folk hero Gen. Qassem Soleimani and his subsequent warning that he might destroy Iranian historic landmarks (illegal under international law and incredibly insensitive in any case) galvanized the Iranians, who were chafing under their Islamic regime, mostly as a result of US-imposed economic restrictions. This act of utter stupidity on the part of the US regime made the Iranians forget their disgruntlement with their government. It reminded them once more why Iran hates the US.
There is a general belief, in the West and elsewhere, that Trump ordered the murder for the purpose of garnering votes for re-election and to help escape conviction in the impeachment fiasco, and that was undoubtedly part of the motivation for the murder. But there is an even more important reason, and it is mentioned in the quoted text below, as follows: The victim happened to be on a diplomatic mission to effect a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
No less than Iraqi PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi said in a press conference to Arabic speaking journalists, that the US had actually instigated the diplomatic mission headed by Soleimani to set him up for their treacherous murder. The effect of this report had to be the propaganda equivalent of a dozen nuclear blasts shattering what was left of goodwill toward America in the Middle East. I think we can safely say that thinking Arabs will never again trust Uncle Sam.
I happen to be researching the topic of US interference with the peace-making efforts between Shia and Sunni to effect a rapprochement between Saudi and Iran — by far the most vital issue in the Middle East. Such a rapprochement would change everything and eventually force the US to leave. Therefore, the US — along with Israel — has been making enormous, desperate efforts to prevent this indispensable step toward a lasting peace in the Middle East. Killing Soleimani was the most desperate, and despicable, act in this war to prevent peace from breaking out. However, we must realize that now is the perfect time for such peace overtures because the Saudi royals know, following the successful attack on Saudi Aramco facilities, that the US is impotent to help them avenge themselves of Iran, and diplomacy is really the only way out of the impasse.
The quote below is prefaced with a description of the initial discontent of the Iranians with their government.
How the Trump administration saved the Islamic Republic
And then came a strong, bracing wind to fill the sails of the Iranian theocrats and lift them from their doldrums. A drone appeared from the clear blue sky above Baghdad International Airport and pulverised the convoy carrying the most popular military leader in the history of the Islamic Republic. It was even better than that. The victim happened to be on a diplomatic mission to effect a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. [my emphasis]
To have such a paragon of peace and heroism assassinated by some joystick assassin working for the "Great Satan" was the stuff of cheap right-wing movies. Qassem Soleimani was the commander of the Quds Force, the elite overseas arm of the Islamic Republican Guard Corps who had gained his accolades during the Iran-Iraq war and had then reinvented himself as the man who had kept ISIL (ISIS) out of Iran. He was called a "living martyr" by the Supreme Leader and the people knew him for his Spartan lifestyle, incorruptibility and humility. [my emphasis]
Despite the common misgivings of Iranians about their government's regional adventurism and needless meddling in Arab politics [I am not sure why the author says the Iranian influence was needless. It effectively opposed terrorism and neo-colonialism], Soleimani was not reviled. Rather, he was seen as a soldier doing his job.
The assassination of Soleimani galvanised the population into a state of collective effervescence. The [multimillion-strong] crowds that attended his funeral processions over the last few days have been compared with those that gathered to bid farewell to the atollah Ruhollah Khomeini three decades ago.
And then, President Trump delivered the icing on the cake by threatening to bomb Iranian cities and destroy Persian cultural heritage. Thanks to Trump's bumbling cluelessness, the extremely unpopular supreme leader and his unsavoury lieutenants are now tearfully leading huge crowds of mourners. People once again are chanting "Death to America" like they mean it.
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Q: SHOULD FINLAND TAKE BACK KARELIA BY FORCE OR WILL RUSSIA CONDUCT A REFERENDUM ON IT PEACEFULLY?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
The West cannot afford the risk of conducting a referendum because the result could go in Russia’s favour and that would be unthinkable. US politicians and msm would then have to throw all their energy into ignoring the results.
Instead, Donald Trump should choose a popular Karelian politician from among the opposition to claim to be the president of Karelia, and as soon as he proclaims himself president, Trump should recognize him as the interim president of Karelia. And if the real president of Karelia doesn’t leave when commanded to do so, Trump and Pompeo should strong arm the EU and all allies to snub the real president and recognize the self-proclaimed president as the interim president of Karelia, and should threaten Karelia with invasion. Then in case that fails, they should sanction Karelia and not let it sell its trademark product, cherry compote. Anyone caught anywhere in the Free World eating cherry compote would be sanctioned by refusing to grant them visas to the US, and if they said they didn’t want to ever go to the US anyway, then Trump would threaten them, saying “now you’re REALLY asking for it.” (President Trump is a master of tactical threats).
And if Russia refused to hand over Karelia to Finland, he would threaten with an even louder “now you’re REEAAALLY REEAALLY asking for it.”
Meanwhile, the popular Karelian politician should go on permanent tour to all the countries strong-armed into recognizing him as the self-proclaimed interim president and promising him that he will soon be the real president of Karelia (he must be encouraged, given the odds of that ever happening). As a means of applying further pressure, the US and its strong-armed allies should then send millions of dollars to the interim president and the interim first lady (or interim first partner as the case may be).
And if that didn’t do the trick, Trump would say “Ok, now you’ve pi**ed me off good! Now you can expect a proportionate response. No holds barred.” Trump could expect to get enough votes from that to just put him ahead of Bernie.
And the world would be saved and America would become great again. Once more.
After all, an exceptional country like the US can never become great again too often.
Trump’s act of desperation in Iraq to avoid conviction and get re-elected may have thrilled many low-info American voters but it had unintended but perfectly predictable consequences – at least for keen Middle East watchers. And the re-election bid may not have been the main motive for killing Soleimani, who was about to deliver a message that could have ended the old feud with Saudi Arabia – an outrageous and unthinkable proposition for Israel and the US Establishment, whose whole world revolves around war and chaos in the Middle East.
Iraqi lawmakers were already seriously considering uninviting the US military, which was there at their pleasure. The vote to oust them was on the table. But once the US outrageously swooped in and brutally murdered the most capable Iranian general in Iraq, who had fought ISIS with wisdom and valour, and the deputy of Iraqi militias Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis along with several others, Iraqis, many Iraqi fence sitters who were willing at least to tolerate the US presence, had had enough.
American military officials and elected officials in the Senate and Congress and in the White House, as well as media reps, simplistically think of foreign officials and fighters as pieces on a chessboard. But removing chess pieces in a game does not leave widows and orphans behind and does not leave entire nations to mourn the loss of beloved leaders, and hence, does not lead to smouldering resentment, political responses and retaliation.
After the Iraqi parliament vote The Trump administration put on the usual bold face and grimly insisted it would not withdraw the troops, even threatened sanctions if the Iraqis tried to follow through and oust them. Then some US officials said it would not “stay indefinitely.” But now we have reports like the one from Al-Masdar below. It was no surprise.
Foreword and notes [in brackets] are by Vince Dhimos.
US troops already begun withdrawing from Iraq: lawmaker
February 10, 2020
US soldiers have already started withdrawing from 15 Iraqi military bases and leaving the country, member of the parliamentary Security and Defence Commission, Ali al-Qameni, was quoted as saying by the daily Baghdad Today.
The lawmaker reportedly added that Washington is still insisting on building up forces in the Ayn al-Asad and Erbil military bases, but noted that the Iraqi Parliament opposes this notion.
Iraqi lawmakers voted for a non-binding motion to end all foreign military deployments in the country, including the American contingent, on 5 January following a US airstrike that killed major Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani, without discussing or clearing the operation with the country’s authorities. The general was visiting the country to pass on the suggestion for normalising relations to Saudi Arabia, with which Tehran currently has no diplomatic ties (emphasis added). [There is the old wives tale that Iran and Saudi are both too stubborn and hot-headed to come to the bargaining table. Israeli and US propagandists teach this. But in fact, Soleimani was sent by Iran to open up a conversation with Saudi. And after the devastating missile attack on Saudi Aramco, Saudi – which got an object lesson in the utter failure of the US air defence system it had installed at the facility – did in fact show humility toward Iran after its saw that the US and Israel were not about to attack Iran in response. Now the fact that Soleimani was on his way to deliver the olive branch would have disturbed the narrative of Iranian recalcitrance and would have enraged Israel, which has always been stirring hate and contention in the background, seconded by its loyal comrade in Washington, supported in turn by grassroots “Christian” Zionists. Thus the US felt that Soleimani had to be stopped before, gasp!, peace broke out in the Middle East. It seems likely that Saudi Arabia is ready to negotiate with Iran at this point, given the failure of the US to provided effective air defences for the Kingdom and the US’s hesitance to start a full-fledged war with Iran. I suspect Soleinani’s olive branch would have borne fruit]
Washington’s reaction to the news was mixed: while the US State Department said it was not intending to negotiate the withdrawal of forces, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated three days later that the two countries would discuss the reduction of American troops in Iraq. Additionally, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper revealed that American troops will not be stationed in in Iraq “interminably”, but failed to clarify when they will leave.
The US also defended the actions that led to Soleimani’s killing on 3 January and resulted in an escalation of tensions with Iran and the latter’s retaliatory missile strikes on bases hosting American forces in Iraq. Washington believes that the airstrike was legitimate, while Iraqi lawmakers disagreed.
Nonetheless, if any reader still thinks the US wants peace in the Middle East, or at least is still confused by the contradictory narratives between the high-paid propagandists on the US side and reports from the Middle East and elsewhere, the report appearing below, also from Al-Masdar will hopefully disabuse you of fantasies.
Russia accuses US of hindering peace talks with Syrian gov’t and Kurds
February 2, 2020
BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – The Russian ambassador to Syria, Alexander Yevimov, said on Monday that the armed American presence on the eastern bank of the Euphrates and the Al-Tanf region is hindering dialogue between Damascus and Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), and that dialogue cannot lead to positive results under the current circumstances.
Yevimov said in an interview with Sputnik Arabic: “Concerning the Kurds specifically, there are subtle differences, that the idea of dialogue with them, as far as we can understand it, is not rejected by the leadership of the country, in the end they are Syrians. However, there is an influence of the external factor. First and foremost, it is the Americans, who, despite all previous statements from Washington, and the rules and principles of international law, still maintain their armed and illegal presence on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, as well as the area of Al-Tanf.”
The Russian ambassador emphasized that “the dialogue between Damascus and the Kurds continues in one way or another, but does not lead to positive results under the current circumstances. We proceed from the belief that things will improve if Syrian sovereignty over northeast Syria and the Euphrates is restored, and the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from there.”
In a related context, an informed Syrian source denied the possibility of joint action against the “Kurdish People’s Protection Units”, stressing that the recent (Russian-Syrian-Turkish) tripartite talks were confined to the Turkish withdrawal from all Syrian lands.
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
WHAT IS THE BEST TOPIC TO HAVE RESEARCH ON ANY CONFLICT OR RELATIONS BETWEEN TWO STATES, WHICH THEORY OF IR BEST SUPPORTS THAT CONFLICT?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
There are basically two diametrically opposed theories of International Relations (IR) in the world. They were famously named in Munich in 2007 by Russian president Putin, ie:
1--Monopolarity (or unipolarity), or the monopolar/unipolar world, which refers to the US-dominated system wherein the US supports with overwhelming firepower and the threat of sanctions, a predetermined party in any conflict, where said party is determined by strictly political criteria (particularly whether or not the said party recognizes or favours Israel or Saudi Arabia, or on the other hand, Iran, Russia or China; whether or not said party favours the IMF, the World Bank or any other US-dominated financial player, or on the other hand, advocates for financial and economic independence from US institutions; and other pro-US criteria). In this system, parties who side with the US are the “good guys” while those who side with Russia, China, Iran, Syria or other states not aligned with the US are the “bad guys.”
2--Multipolarity, or the multipolar world, wherein each country is deemed sovereign. In analogy to the ideal of individual freedom (an idea supported by the West only when it favours US-backed institutions — which is why the Western Establishment does not grant this right to Julian Assange), which is said to be a self-evident ideal, the multipolar world also treats the freedom, ie, sovereignty of nations as self-evident.
Russia, however, sees a third concept, ie, multilaterality, as the most viable alternative.
The US routinely tramples the sovereignty of nations it opposes, such as Iran, whose beloved general it just murdered, and Syria, whose oil it openly admits it intends to steal. It is a caste system analogous to the social system in India, where some countries are untouchables with no rights, while the rest are of higher caste.
But China and Russian also recently held joint naval drills with Iran in the Persian Gulf, and the US and its accomplices had no immediate response because the monopolar world, after decades of dictating terms to weak countries, has faced no serious challenges, and is therefore sclerotic and set in its ways, unprepared to cope with new and unexpected challenges from powerful opponents. In view of this, some would admit that the multipolar world is here.
Thus the US will only respond to force, and that force has been building up steadily in the countries whose sovereignty it has trampled for all those years.
Nowadays it is finally kosher to mention and discuss in an academic setting the unipolar vs multipolar world. Nonetheless, if you hope to write a thesis comparing the two, you need to know that an accepted theory in Western think tanks, for example, is that, while there is a semblance of multipolarity in the world, we are supposedly a long way from its fruition, as stated at the site Geopolitical Futures, which takes the US Establishment view.
On the other hand, Foreign Policy seems more resigned to the fact that the role of the US is diminished.
Others, like a writer for National Interest, are willing to admit to the new role of China and Russia in geopolitics, but see only negatives in this role.
Still others, like the Russian Council, think that multipolarity introduces too much nuance and too many individual national interests to be wieldy, and advocate for a different but related model, ie, multilaterality.
Encyclopaedia Britannica defines Multilateralism as the process of organizing relations between groups of three or more states. Beyond that basic quantitative aspect, multilateralism is generally considered to comprise certain qualitative elements or principles that shape the character of the arrangement or institution.
We urge the reader to read this Mint Press analysis of the true US interest in Iraq that led to the murder of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. It has absolutely nothing to do with an alleged imminent threat to US interests in the region and everything to do with the oil, which Trump admits he wants to “take” in payment for the US “help” in fighting ISIS in Iraq (recall that it was the West that created ISIS in the first place, as a thoroughly researched analysis
shows). And it has to do with the deals, future and present, between China and Iraq that enable China to rebuild infrastructure destroyed during the war against ISIS there, in exchange for oil shipments to China. The existing agreement is said to be more favourable to Iraq than a similar American offer.
“Abdul-Mahdi continued his remarks, noting that pressure from the Trump administration over his negotiations and subsequent dealings with China grew substantially over time, even resulting in death threats to himself and his defense minister:
‘After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened [that there would be] massive demonstrations to topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, whereby a third party [presumed to be mercenaries or U.S. soldiers] would target both the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from atop the highest buildings and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement.’ “ (our emphasis)
If this is true, then it sheds light on the various “protests” that involved US actions, including the Maidan uprising, where unknown shooters killed both pro-government and opposition protesters.
The article also says China has offered military assistance to Iraq. Both China and Russia are waiting in the wings for an invitation to enter the Iraq war against ISIS. When this happens, the US will face unprecedented military opposition in Iraq that will either force it to leave or severely limit its movements in that country.
The noose is tightening and so far, the US understands that war with the two superpowers is unthinkable. So far.
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
DO YOU BELIEVE TRUMP’S CLAIMS THAT IRAN’S GENERAL WAS PLANNING ATTACKS?
Almost every statement critical of Iran is from the US and has fundamental flaws.
Such statements are overwhelmingly based on preconceptions about Iran and are woefully short on facts. The most fundamental preconceptions is that since Iran opposes Israel, which Americans think of as the Holy Land, it is an evil country in league with the devil. This notion is deeply embedded in the American psyche based on the influence of the enormously popular cult generally known as “Christian” Zionism, which completely dominates the US Evangelical mind and is not open to debate (partly because anyone who expresses doubts about Zionism is labelled an anti-Semite, though ironically, many Orthodox Jews outrightly reject Zionism). The cult cites passages from the Bible that, if examined closely, oppose rather than support, its teachings. The cult’s teachings are anchored in American lore and take precedence over the teachings of Jesus, who never advocated for a future secular state called Israel and never even hinted that his followers should do so. A rigorous adherent to Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament would therefore certainly consider the name “Christian” Zionism blasphemous. After all, it is assumed that if you consider yourself a Christian, you take Jesus Christ’s teachings as the basis of your faith, and that is not anti-Semitism, it is just Christianity. Any teaching not directly issuing from the recorded words of the Master ought to raise red flags. But most Evangelicals simply accept the teachings of mere men, ie, pious-looking pastors and religious “authorities,” at face value, without question, particularly as they relate to modern Israel, and these teachings have gradually, and imperceptibly, replaced the Master’s teachings in the American subconscious, where accepted doctrines relating to end-times Israel have, inexplicably, become inseparable from the doctrines held by the original disciples and apostles. I detailed this phenomenon at Quora: r https://www.quora.com/Is-it-possible-to-bring-peace-by-the-New-Middle-East-Peace-proposal/answer/Vince-Dhimos
There are two additional serious problems with the current discussion around Iran:
1. The unproven allegations about Iran and its officials lack any serious discussion of a plausible motive, and in fact, in most cases, an analysis of a possible plausible motive would lead to the conclusion that there could be none. In the case of the alleged Iran-linked bombing in Argentina, for example, there is simply no plausible motive for Iran to have gone to all the trouble of smuggling in operatives to blow up a building to retaliate against a deal that went sour. AMIA bombing - Wikipedia
After all, this kind of harsh action might conceivably be applied against Israeli officials who bomb buildings and civilians in Gaza or kill Palestinians during protests against Israeli occupation, but such a piddling pecadillo as reneging on a promise would not merit such a drastic response.
2. These unproven allegations lack any serious discussion of MO (modus operandi, or the typical behaviour, of Iran and Iranians). In the case of General Soleimani, for example, the State Department alleged that he was plotting to harm Americans in 4 embassies. The Senate’s critical remarks forced Secretary of State Pompeo to walk back that reckless claim. Generally, Iran does not like terrorist tactics and they are not part of its MO. In fact, the NYT has just come out with a blockbuster story of Iraqi officials reporting that the attack on a Kirkuk base that killed an American contractor was not done by Iran, as originally claimed by the Trump administration – with no specific evidence cited. The irresponsible allegation brought the world to the threshold of war. It turns out it was done by ISIS. Was U.S. Wrong About Attack That Nearly Started a War With Iran?
In another attempt to portray Iran as a rogue, some Iranophobes point to the funding of Hezbollah Funding of Hezbollah - Wikipedia. And yes, it is true that Hezbollah receives Iranian funds. However, here again, we are dealing with an American-made preconception that few Americans question because they are indoctrinated to accept this preconception as a fact, namely, the assumption that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. The trouble is, for many years, while US officials and analysts considered Hezbollah a terror organization, mostly because Iran and Hezbollah do not recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s statehood, Europe did not accept this view, for sound reasons. The fact is, Hezbollah has long been a legitimate Lebanese political party. And this is logical, since it was Hezbollah that succeeded in saving Lebanon from occupation by Israel in 2006, when Israel poured all its military resources into destroying Lebanese infrastructure. The casus belli, or pretext, was the allegation that Hezbollah had kidnapped some Israeli officials. Yet, rarely mentioned in the Western press was the fact that this kidnapping had been provoked by the kidnapping of Hezbollah officials by Israel in the first place. So Israel was poised to destroy Lebanon and occupy it indefinitely on this flimsy pretext, and of course, when Israel occupies you, it eventually gets around to claiming you as part of its territory. And then a Donald Trump, with the full backing of his “Christian” Zionist voters, declares you an Israeli possession. This is, BTW, all part of the Yinon Plan for creating a Greater Israel. Meanwhile, in Lebanon, many Muslims and Christians both are grateful to Hezbollah for saving their country. Linked below, for example, is a musical tribute by a Christian Lebanese singer to Hezbollah for this heroic deed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZgkGI5h0A
Another point made by Iranophobes is that Iran sends arms to the Arabs surrounding Israel: (Israel halts ‘Iran weapons shipment’)and that its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah fire rockets into Israel (Israel Strikes Iranian Targets in Syria in Response to Rocket Attack).
Here again, we are dealing with a specifically American preconception, namely, that while Israel has the unquestionable right to defend itself, the Palestinians that it abuses, and even kills wholesale in bombing raids, have no right to retaliate. This assumption is based primarily on the cult of “Christian” Zionism, and it results in US tolerance of deadly attacks on Iranian targets, for example, in Syria, the latest of which, a missile attack on Damascus, almost caused the downing of an airliner with 172 passengers on board (https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-golan-heights-israel-intercepts-rockets-from-syria-11574158819). As for the alleged rocket attack on Israeli territory, this allegation is based on the false notion that any land that Israel occupies is Israeli – a dazzling leap of logic. In fact, most of these alleged “attacks on Israel” target the Golan Heights, which is Syrian territory, despite Donald Trump’s claim to the contrary. This land is not Trump’s to give away and the UN says it is Syrian! The US may have the military power to act illegally at will, but it most certainly does not have international moral and legal authority.
As for the oft-repeated contention that Iran is building or occupying military bases in Syria or Iraq, let us remember that the Iranians are there as invited guests, while the US is an illegal invader in both countries, and the claims of an illegal invader against an invited guest cannot be legitimate and should be dismissed out of hand.
And finally there is the preconception that the Iraqis want the Iranians to leave because they feel Iran wields too much power there. The latest million-strong march in Baghdad put the lie to that myth and showed beyond the shadow of a doubt that Iraqis want the US to leave.
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
COULD RUSSIA ONE DAY BECOME PRO-WESTERN?
Dima, a Quora participant who claims to be a former Soviet propagandist, wrote that Russia’s alignment or non-alignment with the West is like a pendulum, reminding about the historic moments when Russia was either “pro-Western” or not, but he skipped the first step: defining what pro-Western actually means, and particularly what it means to Russia in today’s world. His analysis has no bearing on today’s conditions because in the past at the time of most of those pendulum swings, the world was not totally dominated by the US, and that is the main issue today. Nothing else. Dima says most likely Russia will become “pro-Western” (by some unknown definition) within the lifetime of millennials. Yet he fails to mention that this would mean Russia bowing before the imperial US power, giving up its arms, letting the US dictate the political polices of Russia and every other country, and for example, overruning Syria and other countries and stealing their oil and other resources at will.
Dima identified the Russian pivot away from the West as happening in 2007, and that was the date of Putin’s famous Munich speech in which he discussed the difference between the monopolar world and the multipolar world (to view the subtitled speech, click on video link above). Dima does not mention this.
The monopolar world is the world dominated by the US and its dollar, which has the power to deprive any country deemed by the US Establishment to be “out of line,” of the use of the dollar and hence of a normal economic life of the kind required for its citizens to obtain food and medicine. The real question is simply this: Should the Russians allow the US to have the power to starve its citizens? That is quite different from the past historical issues Russia faced in its relations with mostly Europe.
We shouldn’t even be having this conversation at all. It is hard to believe that any country in the world would agree to simply relinquish its sovereignty to a world power that is known for its horrific aerial bombing that has killed millions of people and its sanctions that restrict the ability of citizens to eat and get medicine simply because the country in question does not bow to the imperial wishes of the Washington Establishment. And yet, seemingly intelligent analy[c1] sts just calmly and coolly discuss this as if we were talking about the chances of the home team winning tomorrow’s football game.
Here we are, seemingly intelligent human beings discussing whether or not the US should have the power of life or death over the rest of humanity. And worse, an analyst calmly predicts that the US will return to the imperial role and dominate Russia again. And once that happens, well, God is in his heaven and all is well with the world? Is that it?
In 2007, Putin threw down the gauntlet and said “enough.” And he therewith issued a challenge to the rest of the world to become sovereign, to determine its own fate and to stop licking the boots of the Washington emperor.
Yet today, there are people — including Russians — who seriously discuss whether or not sovereignty is a good thing or a bad thing for countries other than the US, whether being a vassal of the US is good for the rest of the world or not.
How can this even be considered a serious question?
Of course it is good for the world’s countries to be sovereign! If we were discussing individual liberty, Westerners would say “of course we need liberty. That’s self-evident.” Yet for Westerners indoctrinated for decades by Western msm and the statements of Western politicians, it is not at all self-evident that other countries should enjoy liberty – ie, sovereignty. That is a privilege that must be earned by kissing Uncle Sam’s rosy red cheeks.
And when it comes to sovereignty to determine our own political course, we must debate this as if it were not self-evident?
The scariest event of modern history was the brief period after Trump openly admitted he was going to “keep the oil” in Syria. The US president was openly, brazenly saying the war had never been about terror, about bringing peace to the region, but about crass US interests and nothing more. But the problem was not the moment he said this. It was the days and weeks that followed when not a single politician in Congress or a single candidate for president stood up and said “Mr. President, you are wrong. America does not have the right to steal other countries’ resources.” No analyst or journalist in the msm said this either, and the US people were thunderously silent. By their silence, American officials and journos were sending the message loud and clear: America has a right to all the resources in the world and the countries that are sitting on these resources must give them up when commanded to do so by the American Empire.
Of course, President Putin also spoke of the multipolar world, where each country is entitled to sovereignty in the original Westphalian sense. That is, no other country, not even the powerful US, has the right to intervene in their internal politics. If India wants to buy a Russian air defence system, then the Indian government has that right. If Germany wants Russian gas, it has the right to buy it.
And indeed, more and more countries, feeling directly or indirectly empowered by Putin’s Munich speech, are now just saying no to the Washington Emperor. Iraq has finally shown US troops the door following an outrageous and deeply insulting violation of its sovereignty. Venezuela is refusing to be ruled by the ridiculous US puppet Guaidó. China and Russia have dared to join Iran in a joint tour de force in the Persian Gulf. Iran dares to retaliate against the US murder of its beloved general. Germany dares to buy Russian gas against the vehement objections and warnings of Washington. Britain dares to go ahead with including Huawei in its 5G rollout.
Further, speaking of “sound as a dollar,” the Fed is desperately printing money again to cope with a credit crisis of its own making and Middle Easterners are now saying the US, their one time ally, is an enemy and Russia is a friend. So not only is the monopolar world having trouble standing on its own two feet but the rest of the world is turning away from it.
The multipolar world is here and there are no signs that it is going away.
But some analysts are predicting that eventually Russia will lie down like a pussy cat for a belly rub and invite the US to build its bases from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad.
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Qjuora
Are the U.S. restrictions on hiring from China counterproductive, denying American companies access to top scientific minds?
If you read the answers to this Quora question, you can see that deciding whether US restrictions are counterproductive or not is often a question of ideology, and even in some cases, a racial issue. For example, Westerners have always been taught that Asians do not invent things,and that they just improve on inventions by white people. This proposition is fraught with uncertainty as it requires a clear definition of what is an invention vs what is an “improvement.” The racist answer is that inventions made by Americans and Europeans are inventions and those made by Asians are merely improvements.
But in November 2018, the Chinese showed a model of their novel quantum radar quantum radar at the Zhuhai Air Show. This radar is based on a principle never before successfully applied to radar and can “see” stealth aircraft. Did the Chinese develop something new or just improve an old invention made by white folks? If it was just an improvement of a “white” invention, what was that invention?
One of the excuses for not giving Chinese the opportunity to study US innovations and not letting them sell Westerners their technology is the old cloak and dagger notion that the Chinese could both spy on the West and sell us devices that would enable them to spy. The idea is spread by the military. The problem with the US military and NATO is that they blatantly routinely lie as part of their job. One of the top US generals, John Hyten, recently repeated for the umpteenth time that Russia is an enemy. And his reasoning was that Russia is developing arms that target the US, as illustrated by Putin’s 2018 presentation showing hypersonic missiles targeting US sites, for example, Trump’s Mar el-Lago in Florida. But why should NATO be allowed to stage massive military drills just off shore of Russia if Russia has to pull its punches and not do likewise to the US? So when the US military frets that China is an enemy, what does it mean? Not much. Anyone is a nail if you’re a hammer, as they say.
My opinion is that the scientific community of one country cannot isolate itself from any other. Scientists are a brotherhood. They sense it and are very uncomfortable being told that they must keep secrets from each other, no matter what nationality your brother scientists may be. There is a natural instinct among scientists to share information, and that is the purpose of scientific journals. I once translated articles from serious scientific journals, and the idea of not being able to share this information reminds me of narrow tiny minds of the Third Reich. I find it abhorrent and just plain wrong. And the bottom line is that scientists on both sides of this artificial divide suffer and lose something valuable that all scientists need, ie, the freedom to share knowledge. Anyone who thinks knowledge can be bottled up and saved only for his home country is not scientifically inclined, and such people should not make decisions touching on how knowledge should be used, shared or sequestered. Sure, it is wise to keep military information to ourselves. But flat-out barring all exchanges of information with scientists because of their nationality is intuitively wrong.
Those who insist on sequestering science are like rich land owners who refuse to farm their land but build a fence around it to keep out others who could benefit from it.
Some information I found on this topic:
“In fact, global GDP is set to increase by 14 percent because of AI, according to PwC. The tech’s deployment in the decade ahead will add $15.7 trillion to global GDP, with China predicted to take $7 trillion and North America $3.7 trillion, according to the multinational company.”
If you like charts, the above-linked will be of interest.
A look at these charts will not immediately tell you who is winning the tech war, but will help you draw your own conclusions.
But at any rate, a tech war is just like a trade war. Economists know that trade wars are always bad for everyone, bringing down the world economy. Likewise, a tech war will stifle creativity and talent, limiting the world’s knowledge and denying problem solving.
Look, the most important problems in our world are shared. If there is, for example, a loss of forests, then we all suffer the consequences of less oxygen in our air, not just the country that loses the forests. Therefore, the solution must also be shared. There is hardly a problem on this earth that is not analogous to this — despite what the politicians’ tiny minds tell us.
AL-QAEDA’S LITTLE HELPERS: ISRAELI AIR FORCE STRIKES DAMASCUS AS BATTLE FOR SARAQIB RAMPS UP
Early on February 6, the Israeli Air Force delivered an wide-scale strike on targets in the countyside of the Syrian capital, Damascus, and in the province of Daraa Israeli aircraft launched several missiles from airspace over the occupied Golan Heights and southern Lebanon.
According to Syrian sources, the Al-Kiswa area, Marj al-Sultan, Baghdad Bridge near Damascus and the area south of Izraa in the province of Daraa became the main targets of the attack.
Syria’s State media claimed that the Syrian Air Defense shot down most of the Israeli missiles before they were able to reach their targets. Pro-Israeli soruces claim that the strikes successfully hit Iran-related targets destroying weapon depots and HQs of Iranian-backed forces.
The attack took place as the Syrian Army was storming the key stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked militants in the province of Idlib – the town of Saraqib. Right on cue, the Israeli military joined the club of al-Qaeda’s little helpers.
The above video shows a scene taken at The Hague OPCW court, where young witness Hassan Diab testified that the “attack” used as a pretext for launching Tomahawk missiles at Syria in 2018 was faked. Witness Dr. Khalil al Jaish also said it was fake.
Below is a report from riafan.ru with a foreword and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos. The report also appeared in English at TASS.
The US and allied Establishment must think Westerners are all mental midgets who believe anything the Corporate media and US politicians feed them regardless of how unlikely and illogical it sounds.
Whether or not this video is ever posted, in this report, relating to a video recording of a “chemical weapons” attack allegedly perpetrated by the Assad government on civilians in Idlib, the allegation is highly unlikely for several reasons.
Firstly, the White Helmets, a purported “rescue” group, are the ones who made this video. This group was caught red-handed faking a “chemical attack” in the city of Douma, Syria, in 2018 specifically to make the video. The group had rounded up several people, mostly kids, and herded them to a local hospital, where they then proceeded to hose them down with cold water in a simulated treatment of a chemical attack. But unfortunately for them, some people who had been present in the hospital that day later said that there had not even been an attack. Yet, as soon as the account of a “chemical attack” reached the ears of US officials, a US missile attack on government sites in that area was planned and proudly announced by President Trump.
Following the US attack, a boy who had actually appeared in the White Helmets video, and other witnesses from the hospital were found by a Russian team and interviewed. These witnesses were subsequently flown to The Hague, where they testified before a panel of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), asserting that there had been no attack and that the White Helmets had staged the hospital scene. At that point, there was no reason for anyone to doubt that the White Helmets had staged the “attack” to provide the US military with an excuse to fire Tomahawk missiles into Douma as “retribution” for the attack that never happened – the goal was of course simply to punish Assad for not stepping down when commanded to do so years earlier by US and European officials, and to punish the Syrian people for continuing to support him. Further evidence of the crookedness of this whole set-up was that, though the OPCW had sent a team to investigate to make sure the event had in fact happened and that chemical weapons had indeed been used on civilians, gave the team no chance to repudiate the government story, rushing to bomb government targets before the team could reach the scene of the incident!
After this shameful display of deceit, it is amazing that the White Helmets would even dare to show their faces again. Yet, they are now going through the same song and dance.
Secondly, the Syrian Arab Army, with the aid of Russian air support, has been making rapid headway against the jihadists in Idlib, so there was no need to use chemical weapons, particularly because there are many innocent civilians in the area. The Assad government also has a major disincentive: it knows full well that it is being monitored closely by the US and any false move could bring down retribution from the US and its allies.
And in this latest case, Turkey has, as usual, sided with the US in accusing Assad of brutality. In fact, Turkey is now becoming bolder and bolder in its military confrontations with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), thereby corroborating the suspicion that the whole thing is a set-up. Erdoğan longs to compete with Trump and Putin in playing a key role in the Middle East, and has sent troops and military equipment to Libya to fight against the troops of Khalifa Haftar, who opposes the official jihadist-supporting Government of National Accord, which, ironically, is opposed by Erdoğan’s partner Putin.
Below are some clues as to why the West – which supported terror during the Arab Spring – supports the NGO while Putin opposes it and supports Haftar.
According to nordicmonitor.com, “A Turkish police intelligence report, drafted for internal circulation, also exposed close links between the members of Libyan jihadist Ben Ali group and then-Prime Minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
According to Wikipedia, “The LNA issued a statement, reporting that internationally designated terrorist groups were fighting alongside the GNA in Tripoli.”
The White helmets committed a new provocation by staging a “chemical attack” in the Syrian province of Aleppo
Damascus, February 4. Employees of the pseudo-humanitarian organization White Helmets filmed a new staging of the use of chemical weapons in order to accuse Syrian government forces of using prohibited substances.
“The White Helmets in the village of Zerba, Aleppo province, filmed a staging of the use of chemical weapons by the government troops of the SAR,” the telegram channel Mayor i General reported.
The White Helmets declare that their goal is to “save the civilian population in war zones,” for which they receive serious, including financial, support in the West. In reality, the White Helmets are collaborating with the militants of banned terrorist organizations to prepare provocations with chemical weapons in order to discredit the official authorities of Syria and prevent the restoration of peace in the country.
The White Helmets disseminated a fake report about the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7, 2018. False information was used as an excuse for the forces of the US and its allies to attack Damascus. However, representatives of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of the warring parties conducted a survey and found no traces of chemical weapons in Douma.
In January, Russia handed over to the UN evidence of the falsification of a chemical attack that allegedly occurred in Syrian Douma on April 7, 2018. In particular, the director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy Issues, Maxim Grigoryev, published the testimonies of 15 eyewitnesses who were in the hospital, 10 residents of the house where the bodies were found, as well as 300 people who were within a radius of a kilometre from the site of the alleged incident.
Earlier, the Centre for Reconciliation of the warring parties of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation said that militants of the terrorist organization Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (banned in the Russian Federation) with the assistance of the White Helmets are preparing a provocation using chemical weapons in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Author: Anna Kovaleva
Previously, when the Russian Department of Defence issued reports on such provocations, the White Helmets decided not to go through with the staged events. Thus one important reason for the Russians to issue such reports is to deter the White Helmets from carrying out their planned provocations.
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
What is so bad about a bi-national one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
The one-state solution is what now exists de facto in Israel and Palestine, even though there is a pseudo-Palestine with its own powerless officials. If these officials step outside the bounds set by Israel, Tel Aviv smacks them down, often with bombing raids that indiscriminately kill and maim helpless civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories. And all with the blessings of the US, which steadfastly believes it is a Christian nation.
If the parties ever agree to a “two-state” solution, nothing will change. Because, as proposed in the new US-drafted “peace” plan (which even the Arab League --- previously controlled by US dollars – now rejects), there will never be any Palestinian-led government in that region, even though a pseudo-Palestinian government will, of course, be allowed to exist. When Israel and its accomplice the US speak of a “two-state” solution, they mean an Israeli state where Israel dominates and rules and a Palestinian state where, again, Israel dominates and rules and allows Israelis to settle with the aim to completely displace the Arabs. And if the Arabs protest, some get shot — sometimes to kill, sometimes to maim. Men, women and children are targeted indiscriminately. All with the blessings of the US government, acting within "Christian" Zionist guidelines. The political power wielded by this cult – which dominates the US Evangelical church – is so vital to the existence of the US-Israel military empire that as soon as I posted the title of the above-linked article on New Silk Strategies, my Norton anti-virus program highlighted the link in my message to readers and, when I clicked on the link, it issued an alert that the site was “unsafe.” Apparently the term “Christian Zionism” is a universal trigger for the censors in the Western world. I had to override the Norton block and choose “isolate” mode to access my own site (which Norton assured me would “damage your computer.” Sure, my own site would damage my own computer. Yes, there are WMDs in my computer and I myself am the culpit)!
No other article of mine had ever triggered this blockage. But of course, this is an election year, when objectivity must be squelched at all costs even in individual home computers.
This crass censorship on the part of internet companies, acting in concert with each other, signals that the narrative of Israel’s infallibility is now considered vital to the control of the Western mind in the larger effort to control the Middle East. Social media and major internet providers and protectors are apparently all censoring messages that go counter to the narrative that Israel is good and wholesome while Palestine is evil. And this is not only the Trump administration’s doing. The political left and right are one monolithic war party with seemingly unlimited power over the minds of its subjects! Thou shalt not think outside the box.
I admit, I was discouraged by this. But then I realized that there was a silver lining, namely, the fact that censorship is practically the only available response to an argument based on facts, reasoning and logic proves that the Western Establishment relies on a flimsy rationale that cannot bear any intellectual scrutiny, even an argument based on the scriptures that are twisted to support the existence of Israel.
The only other response to internet arguments is trolling, which is to the internet what jamming is to electronic commnication via the airwaves. It cannot oppose the Establishment's message by intellectual means but can only try to block the message. In the long run, this crude method cannot prevail.
The Apostle Paul wrote of this phenomenon 2 millennia ago with the words:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
The enemy of truth has not changed and never will change. The source of evil is and always was the same. And for the tiny remnant of believers who have not been blinded by the powerful cabal, the hope resides in the knowledge that the battle is spiritual and the two spirits are God vs Satan.
And they know who wins in the end.