US-Facilitated Arab NATO Fail

Forming the alliance mainly to confront Iran is an absurd and expensive move– because Iran has never posed a threat to any of the Arab states (nor the world)

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AlwaghtIn 2016, the Wall Street Journal, reported that the US will support an Arabic plan to initiate “Arab NATO”, aimed at confronting what they call the growing Iran influence in the region. Calls for the initiative renewed on Friday, when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted a meeting of top Arab diplomats in New York to push forward the plan to establish the NATO-like regional alliance.

The US State Department said in a statement that the participants– foreign ministers from Egypt and Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar– in the meeting had all underlined “the need to confront threats from Iran directed at the region and the United States.”

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Iraqi Sunni and Shiite Muslim tribal leaders protest against the security accord that would allow US troops to remain in Iraq until 2011.

It is important to remember that in truth, despite all of these differences in opinion and practice, Shia and Sunni Muslims share the main articles of Islamic belief and are considered by all to be brethren in faith. In fact, most Muslims do not distinguish themselves by claiming membership in any particular group, but prefer to call themselves simply, “Muslims.” The said currant division is manufactured by the west. The Sunni leaders supported by France,UK, Israel, US are only interested in keeping their thrones via the western allies.

Despite that fact that on official occasions Americans say that the main aim behind the Arab NATO idea is to deepen the cooperation with the Arab allies in areas like missile defense, military training, counter-terrorism, and other cases, the major drive behind the attempt is to raise a force to hamper the growing weight of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region.

Donald Trump may boast that he accomplished all of his campaign-time promises and so he is the most successful president to date. But a look at his foreign policy track record to control Iran makes clear that he did not do much but a couple of unilateral measures like scraping the nuclear deal, signed in 2015 between Tehran and the six world powers.

The fact is that Trump’s West Asia policy is running into a firm obstacle of the Iran-led Axis of Resistance. Addressing the challenge, the White House now concentrates on building an anti-Iranian consensus with economic, military, and diplomatic aspects. The Arab NATO initiative to bring the Arab allies under the umbrella of a unified bloc is also definable under this US anti-Tehran strategy.

From another aspect, encouraging the Arab partners to form their own military alliance is linked to Trump’s “America first” policy. Almost every month, Trump picks a fight against the European allies of Washington in NATO asking them to raise their share in the military alliance’s budget. The fights are part of Washington’s push to cut its heavily costly commitments to the international and inter-government treaties.

During his presidential campaign speeches, Trump brazenly said that he wanted the Persian Gulf allies to pay for their protection costs. Therefore, the Arab army is, in fact, an effort by Trump to cut The US costs of securing the Arab allies.

Still, there are additional goals behind the Arab force: Expanding Iranophobia to sell more arms to the regional allies, driving out the Palestinian cause as the Muslim world’s central case, and reducing the sensitivity to the Israeli expansionism by replacing the real enemy of Arabs with the fake one.

The challenges

The plan to create Arab replica of NATO is never new to the US strategy in the region. The US administrations a couple of times took shots to form similar alliances but all of them proved shaky and at the end of the road met their doom. For example, in 2015 Washington formed what was called “Reaction Force” gathering some 40,000 forces from Egypt, Jordan, North Africa, and Persian Gulf Arab states. Its command structure very closely resembled the NATO. The Persian Gulf states funded the effort.

But regional tensions, and mainly the rifts among the member states, made the project a failed one. Moreover, during Trump’s last year trip to Saudi Arabia, dozens of majorly Muslim states convened in Riyadh to form what was called “Islamic NATO.” But the agreement to form it has remained just ink on the paper.

To Saudi Arabia’s frustration, which is representing the US interests in the region and set to head any joint Arab force, even the anti-Yemeni military coalition which took huge money and even bribery in 2015 to form is now falling apart. Washington’s attempt to form a 200,000-troops Arab force for deployment to northern Syria also went nowhere.

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The root cause of the US plans failure rests in the disputes hitting the relations of the Arab states. The crisis rocking the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council is the major one at the present time. In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, along with Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain, severed diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a blockade on the small emirate for what it called support for terrorism and teaming up with Iran against them. The crisis remains standing to date.

Following Friday’s meeting with Pompeo and other regional peers, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that a regional alliance envisioned by the US would not work unless the issue of the Saudi-led blockade on Doha was resolved.

“This gathering is important. But we need to address the challenges among these countries,” he said, adding, “The real challenge facing the US-led alliance is to solve the [Persian] Gulf crisis.”

He also complained that the Persian Gulf crisis remained at a “stalemate” and that the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council was currently in  “a sort of complete paralysis.” 

The Qatari foreign minister further stressed that there had been “no progress” in resolving the dispute with Saudi Arabia.

But forming the alliance mainly to confront Iran is an absurd and expensive move– because Iran has never posed a threat to any of the Arab states– and itself could play as a factor endangering their security. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both among the world’s top military spenders, are stuck in a four-year war waged against Yemen, the impoverished nation with no organized army. They will very likely find it hard to persuade the smaller states like Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman to come on board a military action against Iran as they have normal ties with the Islamic Republic.

The challenges of a military alliance on the ground are much more than they seem in theory and may remain just a plan on paper.

Israeli child sex trafficking ring busted in Colombia

Israel was founded by debased and filthy people. It is maintained by debased and filthy people. These debased and filthy people run the lives of the Palestinian people who are normal folks, but the Western pubic is deceived into thinking it’s the other way around.

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July 31, 2018

The ring is known to locals as “little Israel”.

The bust over the weekend followed months of surveillance. Authorities said that it was one of the biggest operations to combat child sex trafficking and forced prostitution in Cartagena. In a statement, the attorney general’s office described the victims as “real slaves of the 21st century”.

Colombia will ask the United States, Germany and Argentina to extradite alleged sex offenders, the South American country’s prosecution said Monday.

The two Americans, one German and one Argentine allegedly paid for sex with girls under 14 in Cartagena, a popular tourist destination where authorities claimed to have dismantled a child prostitution ring run by Israelis.

The four foreigners are accused of having sought sex with minors and were already put on Interpol’s Blue Notice list that seeks to establish the exact location of the suspected child molesters.

The extradition request, however, is a novelty; never before did Colombian authorities seek the extradition of alleged sex offenders. Alleged sex offenders have previously been expelled from the country.

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Israelis Busted Running Massive Child Prostitution Ring In Colombia

Whether the US, Germany and Argentina will effectively extradite their citizens depends on local authorities that will examine each case individually.

The foreigners could face prison sentences of up to 37.5 years, the prosecution said.

The extradition requests followed a major operation in Cartagena, which has been plagued by sex predators from both Colombia and abroad that seek to exploit children from the Caribbean city’s impoverished neighborhoods.

The US State Department said in 2012 that Cartagena and Medellin had become popular destinations for sex predators.

Both cities have traditionally had lively sex industries that catered locals and have become popular among foreign “mongers” and pedophiles.

Local NGOs and church organizations have been calling for actions against the growing phenomenon of child prostitution for years.

Trump was served legal notice warning of Israeli false flag operation

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This notice, it is pointed out, will be “EXHIBIT 1 in any war crimes investigation and prosecution (past, present, future) relating to this matter.” There are, it is claimed, “national and international legal violations” involved.

In the lead-up to the May 10 skirmish—just after the Trump administration exited the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear agreement—Israeli officials began warning of an impending Iranian attack from inside Syria. Then, within hours of the ensuing firefight, an Israeli army spokesman announced that the elite “Quds Force” of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had fired 20 missiles into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, after which Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman boasted that “we hit nearly all Iranian infrastructures in Syria.”

May 15 2018

The US President is reminded that he is expected to advise the US Congress, the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court in The Hague  about this legal matter. He is warned “that ‘false flag’ attacks may be used by Israeli agents in order to assign blame to Palestinian factions and escalate the ongoing protests in Gaza and the West Bank into a larger conflict in order to falsely draw the United States and American military personnel into this artificially created conflict.”

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2018

Such an attack, claim those behind the legal notice, “represents a clear and present danger to the citizens of the United States of America, because it may be designed to trigger and escalate American military actions against Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and Russia, since these nations are opposed to the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem; and rising tensions already exacerbated by the US withdrawal from the [nuclear deal with Iran].”

The initiation of this impending attack, Trump has been told, will involve a new and higher level massacre of Palestinian civilians protesting against the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Furthermore, the letter serves as “Legal Notice [that] the United States can have no military alliance due to the fact that Israel has no internationally recognized fixed territorial borders which are required to be defined in such an agreement.”

This notice, it is pointed out, will be “EXHIBIT 1 in any war crimes investigation and prosecution (past, present, future) relating to this matter.” There are, it is claimed, “national and international legal violations” involved.

The signatories cite a number of publications as evidence of the seriousness of their claims and warning to the President, and seek legal protection for themselves against “any retaliation, detainment, investigation, sequestration, interrogation, discrimination, imprisonment, torture, financial consequences, or any other negative or prejudicial consequences or actions taken against them.” Indeed, the former government and military officers and officials seek “whistle-blower protection” because they are “fulfilling [their] oaths to the US Constitution.”

America as Israel’s Proxy

Has the puppet master become the puppet?

While proxy relations are part and parcel of Middle East politics, even arrogant superpowers can find themselves exploited, wittingly or not.

Conflicts in the Middle East are often orchestrated from afar, using proxies — the least risky method to fight and win a war. Despite its geopolitical fragmentation, the Middle East is loosely united insofar as any major event in any given locale can subsequently be felt throughout the region. Thus Lebanon, for example, has been a stage for proxy wars for decades.

And it is not just Israel and the United States that have labored to penetrate and further fragment Lebanese society. The intelligence services of various Arab countries, as well as Iran, have used Lebanon as a hub for their invariable interests, the outcome of any conflict — be it internal or external — directly affecting the image and political positioning of this or that country.

Palestinians have often been used as, and in some cases have presented themselves to play the role of, a proxy force. The rationale, in some cases, was personal interest; in others, lack of a platform that would allow them to organize.

In the two most notable instances in which they tried to exert control over their host domains — the cases of Jordan in the 1970s and Lebanon in the 1970s and 80s — the cost was horrendous, leading to unprecedented bloodshed. After Arafat’s forced exit from Beirut in 1982, Palestinians were forced to exchange the physical space they obtained for overt allegiance to various regimes.

Arafat mastered the art like no other Palestinian leader. The supporters of the Oslo Accords argued that the agreement’s key success was freeing the Palestinian political will from pandering to host countries for survival, which proved untrue. A Hamas leader in Syria told me, off the record, during a telephone interview recently: “We have no doubt that Damascus will dump us the moment we are no longer of use, but we have no other option but to play along.”

Proxy politics is strategically significant for it helps take the battle to someone else’s physical space, create distractions and circumvent internal crises. Both Israel and Iran, despite the colossal chasm that separate their political and military intents, are currently involved in such a maneuver.

President Ahmadinejad, backed by or directed by the instrumental forces in his country — Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Supreme National Security Council — is well acquainted with the fact that if Iraq is subdued by U.S. forces, it will be Iran’s turn to bear the brunt of obtrusive U.S. imperial designs, cheered on, if not largely facilitated by Israel’s neo-conservative allies in Washington.

Accordingly, Iran is involved in trying to shape a political milieu in Iraq that will keep the Americans at bay. This is not to suggest that it was Iran, as opposed to the unwarranted American invasion, that engendered the current chaos in Iraq; however, Iran, like other Middle Eastern countries involved in Iraq, wishes to manage and manipulate the outcome to suit its own interests. From Iran’s point of view, this action makes perfect sense.

While Iran’s prime objective is to discourage an American military assault against it, Israel seeks regional hegemony, where it is left only with “moderate” neighbors. According to this vision, conceived and promoted publicly by Israeli leaders and their friends in Washington and emphasized to the point of boring repetition by every relevant U.S. official at every possible opportunity, the Iranian “threat” must be eradicated at any cost.

Israel’s fears of Iran are not nuclear in essence. What worries Israel is that Iran is militarily strong, politically cohesive and economically viable, enough to allow it opportunity to challenge Israel at every turn. The Israelis, as their country’s history illustrates, simply despise such contenders. Israel’s attempt to demolish Gamal Abdel Nasser’s national regime in 1956, only eight years after the establishment of the Israeli state, is a poignant example.

Yet a paradigm shift has occurred since the U.S. invasion of Iraq four years ago. While the U.S. was the major power that often orchestrated proxy wars through clandestine tactics, as it did in Central America and various parts of Asia, Israel is now adopting a similar scheme. In most instances in the past, Israel managed to sway U.S. administrations to behave according to the misleading mantra: “What’s good for Israel is good for America.” But a clash of interests here is unavoidable. While Israel’s heart is set on a war against Iran, it is elementary knowledge that a war against Iran would bring irrevocable disaster for the United States. Prolonged political hostility with Iran is equally dangerous, for it will further complicate the American task in Iraq.

But Israel is still cheering for war. Former director of Mossad, Uzi Arad, told the British Guardian that: “A military strike may be easier than you think.” He outlined what targets were to be bombed — not just nuclear, but security and economic centers. “Iran is much more vulnerable than people realize,” he stated casually. Arad, like most Israeli officials, wants war, even if such a war would complicate America’s regional involvement and cost it innumerable human lives, notwithstanding a foreseeable large number of dead Iranians. It would matter little to Israel, however, for a chaotic Iran, like a chaotic Iraq, is just another opportunity to be exploited, and another “threat” to be checked off Israel’s security list.

While proxy relations are part and parcel of Middle East politics, even arrogant superpowers can find themselves exploited, wittingly or not.

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Slovenia to recognize Palestine as a state next month, others may follow

Luxembourg, Ireland and Belgium considering taking the same step.

According to the report, Slovenian Parliament Speaker Milan Brglez told Palestinian Ambassador Salah Abdel-Shafi last month that Slovenia’s recognition of a Palestinian state was purely a question of timing.

The Channel 10 report said that the Slovenian government decided to move ahead on plans to recognize a Palestinian state a week ago.

A vote on recognition is expected “to be held by the Slovenian parliament’s foreign affairs committee on January 31, followed by a vote of the full parliament in February”.

The Slovenian ambassador in Tel Aviv, Barbara Sušnik, “told The Times of Israel that the issue of recognizing Palestinian statehood has been pending in the country’s parliament since 2014, and is only now coming to a vote”.

Slovenia’s legislative branch, not its executive, “has the last word on foreign policy matters such as recognizing states”.

Read: ‘The world is creating another Palestine’

“Sušnik said it was difficult to predict how the parliamentarians would vote, but hinted that there was a good chance they would seek to assert the Palestinians’ right to self-determination”.

“For the people of Slovenia, the principle of self-determination of nations is very important”, she told The Times of Israel, “because that is how Slovenia became independent 26 years ago, when we exercised the right to self-determination. All nations have the right to self-determination”.

The Channel 10 report “said that Israel’s Foreign Ministry has been trying to recruit Slovenian lawmakers to oppose the move, although expectations are low that the process can be stopped”.

Meanwhile, Luxembourg, Ireland, and Belgium are all, according to the report, considering recognising Palestinian statehood soon.

The Times of Israel also noted a report in French paper Le Monde on Sunday, which said “France is trying to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status at the European Union, stopping short of full recognition of a Palestinian state. The French are reportedly pushing for an EU free trade agreement with the Palestinians, similar to the one signed with Israel”.