Friday, September 20, 2013

BRICK BY BRICK

BRICK BY BRICK:
By Ghassan Kadi
20 September 2013

The rise of BRICS is not a secret. The mono-polar New World Order is no more, and the age of di-poles, or perhaps tri-poles is on the rise.

In every experience humanity has, it gets offered lessons to learn from and heed if  it chooses to do so. When the USSR collapsed and the United States found itself as the world’s single super power, it had a golden opportunity to live by the principles and constitution on which is was formed. It had every chance to be a beacon of light to shine on humanity and turn a very vicious era into one of peace and enlightenment.

The rest is history.

The future of BRICS and how decisively it becomes a serious global bloc will depend on its preparedness to undergo a major overhaul as soon as possible and before it gets bogged down by irrelevant matters and in stifling quagmires.

In brief, for the BRICS nations to rival the West, they will need to be prepared to take all challenges at different levels.

Had it not been for the Russian inheritance of the USSR’s military know-how, Russia would not now be in a position to impose a stand like the one it recently did about Syria. That said, it would be very short-sighted for the BRICS nations to rely merely on the military strength of Russia all the while the enormous strengths of China and India are kept close to the chests of the home nations.

The BRICS nations must form a military alliance that can rival NATO. India and China must think further than their border disputes and the trivial matters that affected their bilateral relationship and focus on the bigger picture.

The BRICS nations must also expand their membership base. In view of the current geopolitical situation of the world, the alliance should include countries like Iran, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, Egypt and try to lure Japan in.

Japan is at a fork. It has recently decided to bolster its defense capabilities in fear of China. It does so because it knows that the USA will not come to its aid should Japan go into conflict with China. Japan and China must put the mishaps of history behind and move forward. If France and Germany were able to do it, then so should Japan and China.

Most importantly perhaps, the BRICS alliance must find a new super currency to replace the American Greenback.

Gaddafi was trying to bring in Gold based currency just before he was plotted against and murdered. Perhaps this grand plan of his has hastened his demise. One small single nation such as Libya could not challenge the supreme rule of the USD, but BRICS can.

Without a strong BRICS alliance reshaping the world, a desperate USA may take even more drastic and panic-driven actions than the ones it has already taken in the last few years and decades in order for it to be able to continue to master the world and have full hegemony over its resources whilst backed by its ability to buy commodities by printing more money.

In the absence of another superpower, America may resort to much more draconian actions than the ones it has already done. It may use its military might to pirate oil resources and even force smaller nations into economic deals under the threat of nuclear attacks. Is this too far-fetched? Not if the USA gets squeezed in a corner and it has absolutely no other way out, knowing that whatever it does, it will remain unchallenged.

Only a strong and cohesive BRICS alliance can save the world from the fallout of the inevitable fall of the USA.

The BRICS nations have already started to build their own Internet cable network. Is this one of the steps that the alliance is making in order to be more independent from the West? Only time will tell.

KNOW THINE HEZBOLLAH:

KNOW THINE HEZBOLLAH:
By Ghassan Kadi
September 15, 2013

Westerners in general, and Americans in particular, know very little about Hezbollah apart from the little they hear on Western media and very occasionally what is said by some Western politicians.

The objective of this article is to shed some light on Hezbollah to Westerners, and to provide them with information about Hezbollah that they would not hear on Western media.

The loudest recent Western political statement about Hezbollah perhaps was the EU’s declaration of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

A branding such as “terrorism” is a very strong one, and it constructs an even stronger psychological barrier that can invariably be insurmountable.

Unless one has special interests in a particular group or individuals, the average person will not launch his/her own investigative research seeking personal assessments of organizations such as Nazism, AlQaeda, or cult leaders such as Hitler, Bin Laden, Pol Pot or Milosevic. The lack of interest favours the convenience of using the terms and mindsets of the tabloids.

Having said that, history clearly shows that many such definitions have been revisited as the result of unfolding of relevant situations. To elaborate by referring to just one example, Ho Che Minh and his Vietcong were demonized by the USA and its allies. The two names were synonymous with the “Communist Peril” a definition that remains alive only in the minds of ultra-conservatives few. By-and-large, Che is now regarded globally as a great hero and the Vietcong are seen as freedom fighters.

In reality, there are great parallelisms between the Vietcong and Hezbollah and many similarities, despite the many differences.

The Vietcong were fighting an American aggression on Vietnamese soil, and they used the USSR and China to support them militarily and strategically.

In a very similar manner, Hezbollah is fighting an Israeli/American backed aggression in Lebanon, and it is using Syria and Iran to support it militarily and strategically.

Both of the Vietcong/American and the Hezbollah/Israeli wars are asymmetrical, in which stealthy organizations are fighting regular armies with heavy hardware. Both organizations have been branded as enemies of the United States.

The nature of the battles on the ground however are different. Vietnam is densely vegetated and the intense canopy gave the Vietcong cover, and the USA used Agent Orange to defoliate the jungle and make the “enemy” visible, but this didn’t win the Americans the war. The Vietnam War saw the use of heavy B52 bombers carpet bombing wide areas on the ground; something that hasn’t with Hezbollah, or at least not yet. At the end of the day however, the Vietcong won against all odds.

South Lebanon is a hilly area but not densely vegetated. Hezbollah had to learn the trick of building intricate network of adjoining heavily sheltered tunnels. What is more pertinent here is that in between the 1960’s (ie the time of the Vietnam War) and now, there has been huge advances in war technology, and stealth and determination alone are no longer enough to win wars.

What the average Westerner does not know, because his/her governments and Western media do not want him/her to know is that, in 1978, south of Lebanon went under Israeli control and occupation. The Lebanese population suffered from the same Israeli atrocities committed against Palestinians. The Lebanese could not breathe sighs of relief and sense freedom until they finally defeated Israel and forced it out, at the hands of Hezbollah.

This was hardly ever mentioned in Western media.

Just prior to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Israel established a Lebanese army (The Lebanese Free Army) from defectors of the regular army and who were pro-Israelis. They established for them strategic positions on hilltops and roadsides to work as proxies and protectors of Israel. At a time when there was absolutely no resistance from Lebanon towards Israel, none whatsoever, Israel was shelling southern Lebanese villages and towns on a regular and daily basis. Such news never reached the Western media. Despite the many complaints that the Lebanese government submitted to the UN, all it got back was condemnations but no forceful action to stop Israel from attacking.

Whilst it is true that the PLO established a base for itself in South Lebanon after it was kicked out of Jordan in 1970, and whilst it is true that the PLO has launched a few rockets attacks on Northern Israel between 1970 and 1982, the Israeli response was not only disproportionate to the extent of perhaps 1000 to 1, but it also targeted Lebanese villages and villagers who had nothing to do with the PLO and didn’t even offer them any protection.

When in 1982 Israel came in and invaded Lebanon to drive out the PLO once and for all, it was met with the cheers of many Southern Lebanese because they thought that this meant an end for any need of Israeli hostility. This is needless to say that rogue elements within the PLO were acting like a state within a state, intimidating the Lebanese population that coerced to host them and even imposing demands for protection money from businesses.

The honeymoon between Israel and the people of South Lebanon and the wishful thinking of a better future didn’t last long as Israel soon started to act like an aggressor of a new kind, bringing in daily 100’s of trucks of Israeli goods across the border to be sold in local markets before any local products could be sold and, by randomly rounding up and imprisoning tens of thousands of Lebanese youth without any charges for days, weeks, months, and in some cases up to 3 or 4 years. It became so obvious that Israelis didn’t even keep records of the people they imprisoned because some people were imprisoned twice or even three times without any charges. This is not to mention the long traffic queues, the permits needed to go from one area to another…..

Orchards were leveled, factories were looted, even water was diverted. The whole exercise was based on spreading fear of the conqueror and to bring humiliation and intimidation to the people of South Lebanon. But before too long, this terrorizing technique backfired and there was a very strong resentment for the Israelis festering in the Lebanese of the south.

The odds of doing anything effective against Israel were extremely low. Israel had the upper hand, troops with their hardware on the ground in their tens of thousands, their proxies (The Lebanese Free Army), air superiority, technology, US logistic support - you name it, and all the Lebanese resistance had was a few machine guns, grenades but they had a will of steel.

From what started off as the “Lebanese Resistance” in late 1982 became the backbone of Hezbollah. They quickly had to learn as mentioned earlier, that they needed to have a technological cutting edge, and they were very quick learners.

Before too long, and after a series of planned and videoed operations against the Israeli occupiers, which resulted in more than 500 Israeli casualties, in May 2000, without any prior announcement, overnight, Israel packed up its gear and retreated, leaving behind its Lebanese ally, the Lebanese Free Army, without any cover.

Israel referred to this retreat as a “tactical withdrawal”. In reality, it was the most humiliating defeat it had suffered since its inception in 1948. Israel had never before or after withdrawn from occupied Arab land without any negotiations and without getting some tradeoff. If anything, the tradeoff meant that Hezbollah now can launch its rockets from the border itself giving Hezbollah the greatest advantage. This was no tradeoff for Israel, this was not a “tactical withdrawal”, this was a ground-breaking and utterly humiliating defeat for Israel. This also was a source of inspiration for Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza and a reason for believing that the myth of the “undefeatable army” is no more.

Later on in July 2006, Israel miscalculated again and decided to take a gamble against Hezbollah who had just kidnapped two Israeli soldiers at the border site. Shortly after the event, Israel unleashed hell on the whole of Lebanon with the intention of crippling Hezbollah, its defense capability and teaching them a lesson.

The result was another crushing defeat for Israel. It was unable to advance its ground troops into Lebanon even after very heavy aerial bombardments. When ground forces were able to move in they did so to soon realize that they had fallen into traps. The Merkava Tanks, the pride and joy of the Israeli army and technology, the tank that was meant to repel any anti-armoured vehicle grenade, was crippled and hit on tens of occasions. The Israeli Navy lost a warship, and before too long, the IDF found itself bogged in a big quagmire and yet wasn’t able to stop the barrage of Hezbollah rockets on Israel and, if anything, the rockets were going deeper and deeper into Israel as the war progressed, reaching Dimona at one stage.

All the while, Israel was neither able to stop Al Manar TV from telecasting nor Al Manar radio from broadcasting, even though the headquarters had been bombed several times, but, they managed to stay on air by transmitting from secret locations that Israel was unable to locate despite its advanced technologies. Furthermore, Hezbollah fighters continued to be able to communicate with each other and their HQ’s even though all telecommunications infrastructure inside Lebanon was totally destroyed by Israel including cellular phones.

At the end of this, Israel was unable to stop Hezbollah rockets, unable to gain any ground and unable to retrieve the two kidnapped soldiers. Hezbollah came out of this more powerful, more invigorated and more determined to upgrade its arsenal and preparedness for the next wave of attack.

In more recent times, Israel has spotted and down a drone in Southern Israel. Hezbollah claimed ownership of the drone and reported that it wasn’t the first to be sent and won’t be the last.

In reality therefore, Hezbollah has been diligently fighting Israel and its aspirations to control Lebanon, with a high level of technical skill and prowess. So, where does the tag “terrorist” come from one may ask?

Hezbollah operatives have never done any military action outside Lebanon until very recently, and that recent exception was in Syria fighting alongside the Syrian Army against Al Qaida and affiliated legions ie what the West wants the whole world to be believe them to be “Syrian Freedom Fighters”. After all, the objective of the entire offensive against Syria is to stifle any resistance to Israel, including of course Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has been accused of a bus bomb in Bulgaria in recent times but, there was no solid proof of this. Hezbollah has never ever engaged in any military action, overt or covert, in a manner that terrorizes innocent civilians by the definition of terrorism. When its rockets fell on Israeli towns in 2006 and before, this was during combat, at a time during which Israeli jets were littering Lebanese towns and villages, that had high population densities, with countless number of cluster bombs, depleted uranium and other internationally prohibited weapons. Again, the Hezbollah response was a tiny fraction of the number and magnitude of the thousands upon thousands of air sorties and ground and naval bombardments from the Israeli side.

Hezbollah was never ever engaged in acts such as hijacking jetliners, putting bombs on buses, suicide attacks or any other act that “traditional” terrorist organizations are infamously famous for. Neither does it get engaged in domestic or overseas political assassinations or any of the actions government organizations such as the Mossad or the CIA, though it has been accused of some without any proof.

It is not by accident that Israel and the USA want to lower the stature of an organization like Hezbollah to that of a terrorist organization and thereby trying to absolve themselves from having to concede publicly that they have been losing a war against a very highly trained, highly disciplined, a technologically advanced, a very highly organized and a very powerful, capable and determined foe.

Branding Hezbollah as a terrorist organization is a political ploy, a false flag alarm, to be used as a pretext for any future attack on Lebanon that Israel or its allies may want to undertake in the future.

Hezbollah’s affiliation with Syria and Iran and its Islamic nature are used by the West to bolster the terrorist claim. But in the Middle East, it is Israel that has been using prohibited weapons, occupying land against UNSC mandates. It is the state that possesses chemical weapons and nuclear weapons including Hydrogen Bombs. It is Israel that is threatening to attack Iran. It is the USA that is threatening to attack Syria and Iran.

Who are the true terrorists of the Middle East and the world? Let’s hope that history will be able to tell the story fairly and honestly. If there is any justice at the end of the day, Hezbollah will have regarded like the Vietcong; a local community of freedom fighters.
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

BANDAR'S GAMBLE By Ghassan Kadi 1 September 2013


BANDAR’S GAMBLE:
By Ghassan Kadi
1 September 2013

Bandar is playing a very dangerous gamble and a game that has perhaps a few weeks to either succeed or go down and bring him down with it.

Let us forget about today’s politics for a while and wind back the clock thirty years, the time when the USA created Al Qaida and supported Bin Laden to fight the USSR in Afghanistan. At that time Bandar was instrumental in this creation of Al Qaida, then a US proxy and the Saudi Ambassador in Washington. That was all during the Saudi/Bin Laden honeymoon.

Whether or not the politics and the logistics of supporting Islamic fundamentalists is something that is transparent or fundamentalist by nature, there is little doubt that amongst the ranks of fundamentalists there are many individuals, let alone would-be leaders, who are prepared to pull rank and change alliances if and when they see a diversion from fundamentalist Islam and its agenda. This was what Bin Laden did later on with Al-Saud and he became a very staunch opponent of the Saudi royal family to the extent that back in the early 2000’s, there was a lot of upheaval in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was Al Qaeda-based. There was a huge uproar against the regime and the Saudi royal family. The Islamists were asking for reform and some radical ones were even asking for the removal of the royal family.

Love them or hate them, most Islamist fighters are indoctrinated, and they genuinely believe that they are following the commands of God.

Bandar understands well how the mind of fundamentalists operate, and with this knowledge, he set himself two targets; thwarting off the Al Qaeda danger within Saudi Arabia, and building an army of indoctrinated mercenaries. To do this, in the eyes of the Islamists, he had to become the new Osama Bin Laden.

I wasn’t an easy task for Bandar to assume this role, but he played it well, even appearing to be the anti-royal within the ranks of the royals. The removal of Bin Laden from the scene gave Bandar a golden opportunity, after all the Islamists needed a new surrogate financier. This is how he managed to round up Islamist support all the way Tunisia to Chechnya to Malaysia.

Love him or hate him, Bin Laden was a highly indoctrinated man. He had his principles that he lived by and died for. Although Bin Laden put his hands in the hands of the Americans in the early 80’s, his intention was to “use” them to fight the then common enemy, the USR.

On the other hand, Bandar’s rise to power cannot be seen without understanding his close alliances with the USA. Dubbed Bandar Bush, Bandar has close friendships with the Bushes and many neo-cons. His anti-Iran stance is also mirrored by that of his American friends.

Credit must be given to Bandar for being able thus far to find a way for an unholy alliance between arch-enemies; the USA and the Islamists. He has so far been able to promise both of them victory against a common enemy; Iran, setting aside the animosities they for each other.

This is a promise that Bandar wasn’t able to fulfil. He was hoping for an early victory in Syria; a victory that would have appeased both unlikely partners, and before cracks start appearing in this partnership.

As the clock ticks ever towards choosing between Al Qaida/Islamists and America, Bandar is more intense on serving his obsession and fear of Iran at any cost and irrespective of what means he uses.
Before too long, and as the forthcoming war on Syria unfolds and as Bandar’s support for America becomes more evident and, as the American intervention in Syria finds itself at more odds with having to support Islamists in Syria in order for them to choose between their own interests and saving Bandar’s face, Bandar is going to find himself in a very tight spot. He will find himself in a very difficult position trying to be able to continue to convince the indoctrinated Islamists that he is still their new Osama bin Laden.

Regardless of the outcome of the war in Syria, it is only a question of time before Bandar’s current allies, the USA and the Islamists find their interests at odds. The more America gets bogged down in Syria, and the longer the battle for Syria rages, the weaker the Bandar alliance will grow. As it is already, Obama finds himself in an embarrassing situation, to say the least, intending to fight along Al-Qaeda.

When Bandar eventually runs out of tricks to pull and finds himself having to choose between the Islamists and the USA, he will have to take off his Bin Laden cloak and choose the latter because the USA is his “real friend”. He treats the Islamists under his belt as tokens that he possesses, not realizing that the Americans despise his guts, do not consider him a friend, and only see him as a token as well. They regard him as the rich fool who hates their enemies, and they want to use him to do a lot of dirty work they are unable to do themselves.

When Bandar starts to overtly favour the USA against the Islamists, the hand that he once fed will turn around and strangle him. He will find himself unable to control the Islamists within Saudi Arabia who are very anti royal family and who are intent to bring his royal family down. This time around, the conflict between the house of Saud and the Islamists will be much more intense than those of a decade ago. The feud will be further fuelled by Bandar’s let down leaving the Islamists feeling that they have been deceived.

This will be a time of Bandar’s reckoning and for him to reap the fruit of the seed he has planted.


















Wednesday, September 4, 2013

AMERICA'S BOOGIE MAN AND LYNCH MOB: by Ghassan Kadi 4 Sept 2013

AMERICA'S BOOGIE MAN AND LYNCH MOB:
By Ghassan Kadi

4 September 2013

 A dear FB friend of mine, who is also a personal friend and like a young brother to me, is a Lebanese American.

He recently made a moving posting (in Arabic) on his wall commemorating his 28th anniversary of settling in the USA, saying among other things how grateful he is for the USA that provided him with wonderful education, the chance to succeed in business, great schooling for his young children, and best doctors in the world.

He added on saying that he has met a countless number of wonderful , humane, welcoming and caring Americans.

He ended his posting by wondering how could a great country like the United States have such a level of hypocrisy when it comes to foreign politics.

No one can deny America's wonderful achievements, all the way from the tungsten light bulb to the Internet to name a few. No one can deny the great men and women that America has treasured humanity with, all the way from Lincoln to Helen Keller, again to name a few. No one can deny the achievements of the American Revolution that actually inspired the French Revolution and European reform.

America does not have a colonialist past and heritage like some European nations. As a matter of fact, Woodrow Wilson utterly refused to take on any colonial role and trophies after the victory of the Allies in WWI. He was also instrumental in establishing the League Of Nations, which was a precursor of today's UN.

As to how America's role in the world changed after WWII is not to be discussed herein. What is more relevant is its inherited psyche of what it perceives as "National Security" and the pretext it has in its culture to achieve it.

Sadly, it seems that America continues to live under an obsession of the fear of 1) the Boogie Man, and 2) Lynch-Mob mentality.

America's Boogie Man has changed over the ages; from the Indians (ie native Americans), to witches, to Communists, to terrorists and all what comes in between.

Up until as late as late 19th Century, Indians and witches were invariably dealt with by lynch mobs. Even though the constitution and its many amendments guaranteed freedom and equality, facts on the ground remained different and African Americans did not become "free" until Martin Luther King paid for this freedom with his blood.

The argument for and against America's ability to reach domestic equity remains highly debatable. But let's go back to my friend's question in relation to its international policies.

It seems that America has taken its fear and obsession of the Boogie Man and the Lynch Mob mentality as a pretext for its international policies.

Some may rightfully argue that America is a proxy for the Israel Lobby. They argue that both of the Democrats and the Republicans are no more than Israeli tokens. Whilst there is more than meets the eye to support those arguments, facts remain that politicians on both sides of the divide have been able to rally public support under the notion and danger of the Boogie Man; aka National Security.

What complicates matters further for the alleged Boogie Man of today is that he is neither an American citizen nor protected by the constitution. He can be a very remote "enemy" half the way across the world.

For the right or wrong reasons, and history tells us that in most instances America intervened internationally after the end of WWII for the wrong reasons, different American administrations did not find it very difficult to generate enough domestic outrage, fear, and need to deal with the new Boogie Man overseas by way of Lynch Mob mentality.

With this mentality, and with ever- increasing financial problems, America has been lifting the bar on defining the Boogie Man and the Lynch Mob mentality culminating in the current status quo, in which America regards the whole world as a theatre of its operations for the ultimate objective of securing what it perceives as its National Security, and thus assigning itself as a world police in the eyes and minds of American voters who live in this fear and are keen on achieving resolutions that serve the alleged National Security.

American administrations of both Democrats and Republicans have toyed with this American fear and lynch factor to buy and bolster voters' support. They both know the weakness of their voters and their underlying and inherent mental construct, and even though they have faced a lot of opposition from free-minded Americans, they have thus far been literally able to get away with murder and even genocide by taking international stands that are in total contradiction of the lofty principles upon which the American Constitution and the Bill Of Rights have been based.

If America did not take that international course of action, if it did not render itself the world bully, if it did not waste its resources waging needless wars all over the globe, and if walked the talk, it would have had all it took to be the true world leader and police it assumes for itself.

Sadly, this seems to be the predicament of all super powers throughout history. All the while, humanity sinks in more and more in darkness as it continues to operate on the model of might is right, instead of right is might.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

WHO ARE THE SUPPORTERS OF ASSAD By Ghassan Kadi 10 Dec 2011


WHO ARE THE SUPPORTERS OF ASSAD
By Ghassan Kadi
10 Dec 2011

 In the old City of Damascus, just outside the famous Hamidiyye Souk, is the Grand Omayyad Mosque that dates back to the 7th Century AD. This mosque houses the tomb of John the Baptist, known in Islam as Yah...ya, peace be upon him.

That same Grand Mosque, that is meant to be one of the biggest Sunni shrines, has eight names written inside its great dome; Allah (God), Mohammad, Abou Bakr, Omar, Othman, Ali, Hasan and Husein (photo attached)

The five names that follow the name of the almighty are those of the prophet and his Kaliphs, the pillars of Sunni Islam. The last two names, Hasan and Husein, are the sons of Imam Ali, and together with their father are the pillars of Shiite Islam.

The Grand Omayyad Mosque is a living ancient historic testimonial that proves without any shadow of doubt that Christianity and Islam in both of its major sects have lived side by side in Syria for centuries.

A little stroll from the Mosque to the other side of the Hamidiyye souk is the tomb of a different icon; Saladin. Saladin though is simplistically perceived as a Moslem hero, he was in fact a national hero defending the Levant from the foreign invaders; the Crusaders.

A good look at the post-Crusader history reveals that Christianity and Islam lived side by side before and after the infamous campaigns that reined death and horror. When Saladin liberated Jerusalem, he did not make any retributions against its Christian inhabitants as some expected. Instead of creating a blood-bath, he ordered his troops to spray its streets with rose water.

A few kilometers from Damascus in Maaloula and Sidnaya are perhaps the most ancient churches on earth. They continue to conduct sermons in Aramaic, the language of the Christ who spoke Aramaic not Hebrew.

With the rich and eventful history of Syria, it is not surprising that the demographics of the Syrian society are rather kaleidoscopic. What unites them and what divides them however is grossly misunderstood by the West.

With what is happening in Syria, it becomes imperative to have a good look at the Syrian society in an attempt to be able to define what it takes for a Syrian citizen to either support or oppose Bashar Assad; the incumbent Syrian President.

The West is only able to look at the Syrian community on ethnic, religious and sectarian divides. In the wake of the unrest in Syria, the Western media have been busy running statistics about percentages of different sects with an obvious attempt to portray the President as a leader of a minority group with a monopoly over the whole country.

The Syrian society is however divided on political rather than religious, sectarian, and ethnic lines.

By-and-large, religious and sectarian divides have not existed in Syria and there is a clear history to prove it. The history is in the records. The Grand Mosque says it all.

Religious and sectarian divides in Syria are only alive in the hearts and minds of few fundamentalist fanatics; the same mental breed of people that the US and its allies are sending troops to fight in Afghanistan. They have different names and different umbrellas, but whether one calls them Al-Qaeda, Talibans, Salafists… the essence is almost identical.

Being Sunni, those fanatics hate Bashar for no reason other than him being an Alawi. This sector of the Syrian society are the prime opposers to Bashar. They may be the biggest group in terms of number, but even if they are not, they are militarised, very well organised, bolstered by outside sources namely Saudi Arabia, and ironically under the blessing of the same USA that is fighting fundamentalism in Afghanistan.

Those Islamists have tried in the early eighties to slump Syria into a sectarian civil war akin to the one that was engulfing neighbouring Lebanon at the time. For a fairly long period of time, they targeted and killed prominent Alawi army officers and personalities. When Hafez Assad (the then President) had no option but to stop them militarily, they finally sought refuge in a mosque in Hama. The only way to deal with them was to attack the mosque.

This incident is still used to by Assad haters as a huge tarnish on the Assad legacy. The Western media keep repeating this story so it stays fresh in the minds of people. It is often used as a catch-cry by the Islamists for recruitment.

Ironically, the Wako Texas incident of the early 90’s seems to be totally forgotten. In essence, there is no difference at all between what the Syrian army did in Hama in 1982 and what the FBI did in Wako a decade later.

The other major group of anti-Assad Syrians are those who are basically sick and tired of the state of emergency rules and civil restrictions. They are predominantly reform seekers. In essence, these are a rather unorganized group.

There are good reasons for demanding reform in Syria. The stronghold on authority has created corruption that needed to be dealt with.

In reality, Bashar embarked on a reform program ever since he assumed office. He did not want to do this in a bang in order not to create chaos. Some people, especially the youth, seem to have run out of patience.

A deeper analysis of the reformists reveals that their underlying dissent is directly or indirectly related to Syria’s state of war with Israel. Whilst Syria has not been actively engaged in direct combat for some time, it needs to keep up with military technology and this does not come cheaply. The infamous Camp David peace treaty between Israel and Egypt has put Syria into a much more precarious situation. The war effort budget in Syria has been and continues to have the lion’s share.

Most of Syria’s restrictive regulations and restrictions are imposed by the state of war. Trade sanctions have been part-and-parcel of Syria’s recent economic history. In fact, in some instances, they were self imposed.

Hafez Assad is infamously remembered for depriving the Syrian population from bananas. The banana example elaborates his economic policies in the simplest manner possible. In the mid 70’s, one could not find and buy bananas anywhere in Syria. Hafez Assad’s message was loud and clear. If you want bananas, we are not going to waste our hard earned foreign cash to import bananas, so go and grow bananas locally. And they eventually did.

For nearly thirty years, Hafez Assad kept the belt very tight, but in the meantime, major advancements were made in commerce, manufacturing, agriculture, public services, infra-structure etc….all the while the military was getting a huge chunk of the national budget. Those who know Syria and go there on a regular basis and are able and prepared to make honest statements about it, can clearly see how the country emerged from the ashes.

The very skilful Syrian artisans were even able to manufacture such items as spare parts for cars without having to import a thing. For many years, one would see very old cars and busses running in Syria powered by such skills. Imports were restricted to absolute necessities. This self-imposed trade embargo by the way, will make it very difficult for any trade sanctions to work against Syria. Syrian people are well used to be self sufficient. If anything, Syria in the past has opted to implement its own bans on US imports.

Nation-building programs of the calibre that the Assad legacy launched in Syria require stability and continuity. This cannot be achieved through Western style democracy. Under such regimes, party politics dictate making election promises in order to gain power even when the promises conflict with long-term national interests. The West is full of such examples and should not brag about its democracy as the be-all-and-end-all system that mankind has developed.

The restrictions are therefore merely austerity measures meant to serve the war effort on one hand and nation-building on the other hand. To demand lifting them prematurely ultimately reflects an unwillingness to participate in either one or both. This is a major indictment against the calls for fast-tracking the change. Such fast changes are clearly not in the long-term interest of the country. Reform is always difficult to implement in any given country, and with all the challenges that face Syria, reform in Syria needs to be done properly and in accordance with a time table that does not compromise the national interest.

In the Arab World, the only state that is a thorn in the side of Israel is Syria because it would not sign a peace treaty with Israel and because it supports Hezbollah and had a major role in the Israeli defeat in South Lebanon.

A change in Syrian politics will have serious repercussions on the balance of power in the Middle East, and Israel will be the biggest beneficiary.

The US/Israel coalition has been trying to unsettle Syria for some time. The USA was planning to use the invasion of Iraq as a stepping stone towards invading Syria and Iran. The Iraqi quagmire meant that they needed another plan. The so-called Arab Spring gave them that opportunity.

The majority of Syrians are not in neither the fundamentalist nor the surrenderist ranks. The majority of Syrians are secular patriots, people who stand up with their President because they are aware of the importance of the historic stand they need to take in order to defend their national dignity and not be subjugated by Western plots. They are prepared to take sacrifices as they have done in the past. They are willing to weather sanctions. They are not on a hurry to implement reform, and they definitely are not seeking Western style democracy.

HANIYYEH AND TURKEY. BY Ghassan Kadi 21 Dec 2011


Haniyyeh and Turkey

I don’t know how reliable this bit of news is, but it seems that Haniyyeh is visiting Turkey. How interesting!! Unless he is planning to make Tel Aviv as his next destination, there is little point in him going to Ankara first.

The man cannot go to his bedroom without being watched by Israeli drones. How can we not but believe... that his visit to Ankara is done under the blessing of Israel?

If Haniyyeh truly believes that Erdogan is a friend to rely on, he would have to be totally naive. All that Erdogan did was to huff and puff about Mavi Marmara. Nothing more. He recalled his ambassador in Israel, but did not sever ties. His country suspended the military exercises with Israel, but did not cancel them. He is a NATO member. He is hosting the missile bases etc……

Sell out Iran and Syria, and you shall receive some scraps. This seems to be the obvious carrot that Hamas is chasing up now. It seems that the hierarchy of Hamas is now reconsidering whether or not the organization is to continue with the demand for the total liberation of Palestine.

What is happening with Hamas?

It would seem that Hamas has finally lost its sectarian battle. It has finally succumbed to the pressure of the inter-Islamic divide and decided to rebunk with the new-found big-brother; Turkey. Whether the support funds come from Turkey itself or other Sunni brothers (some of whom like the Qatari’s have strong ties with Israel) does not seem to be relevant any more, for as long as they are Sunnis.

The PLO has already agreed to sell out most of Palestine on political deals that never eventuated anyway, and now Hamas is gearing up to sell out some more of Palestine on Sunni grounds by going to bed with the friends of Israel.

The sell-out I am talking about is not necessarily in terms of territory and geography as some might jump up and start defending. It is the sell-out of Palestinian rights and dignity.

Strange days indeed.

THE NEW 'NEW WORLD ORDER' By Ghassan Kadi 4 Feb 2012

The New "New World Order"
By Ghassan Kadi
4 Feb 2012

 Fifty years ago this week, and on the new year’s eve of 1962, the Syrian Socialist National Party (SSNP) made a failed coup d’etat in Lebanon and most of its members were imprisoned. But even if that coup succeeded, it was certain to face global opposition and intervention later on. It was doomed to fail.

Nasser in Egypt and the Baath Party in Syria were better strategists than the SSNP. They had the backing of the USSR and the West had to sit back and watch. And even though Egypt was attacked by Britain, France and Israel in 1956, rescue came from the most unlikely friend, the USA, because red lines were drawn and the sovereignty of Egypt was not to be questioned. And though Nasser emerged as the hero that he was, he soon realized that he needed to bolster his ties with the USSR as his super-power support base.

Baathist Syria learned this lesson from as early as 1963, but after the demise of the USSR, Syria was left alone in the wilderness. The weak Yetlzin administration did not know whether or not to stay on the side of the old friends of the USSR and/or to get rid of them in order to appease the West.

The game of nations is such that smaller nations cannot secure their sovereignty without the blessing of a super power. But the so-called New World Order that George Bush Sr. often bragged about was actually tantamount to American hegemony. It was during this period of international wilderness that the USA got away with attacking Iraq in 1991 and again in 2003, not forgetting Afghanistan.

Bullies however normally refuse to see that they have lost their stature when they lose it. America and Israel are no exception. The recent “triumph” of NATO in Libya is perhaps adding to the arrogance of the bully. The United States is still riding on its early 1990’s status; a time when it was an unopposed super power both militarily and economically.

Israel is also still riding on its victory in 1967. Despite is losses to Hezbollah and Hamas, at a deep level, the Israelis are still convinced that they have an invincible army. Perhaps after the next showdown they will well and truly start believing otherwise.

The world however is on the verge of a new “New World Order”. It is still ill-defined at this stage, but what is clear about it is that the USA is not going to have the hegemony it had for nearly a quarter of a century. This is a global fact. It seems that the free lance that NATO had over Libya is going to be the last chapter in the history of the New Wolrd Order of the 1990’s.

Global facts have regional reverberations all over the world; the loudest of which is the one that is now heard in the UN corridors about Syria. The red lines that China and Russia have put against NATO interventions against Syria are not only a breath of relief for Syria, but they are loud and clear messages to the USA that game is over. China and Russia are telling the ailing and bankrupt giant that it can no longer do what it pleases when it pleases, anywhere in the world; beginning with Syria.

To compound the situation even further, there are other regional issues at play. With Erdogan having one foot inside the door of the West and another foot inside the door of his dream Turkish Islamic empire, the role of Turkey will not be one that is stable until Turkey decides what it wants. Nonetheless, the emergence of Turkey is adding another wild card which may or may not eventually play into the American dream.

What is clear however is that Iran has made up its mind, and has demonstrated that it will, if pushed, close the Strait of Hormuz.

Fortunately for Syria, the emergence of the new “New World Order” is placing America between a rock and a hard place. Not only it has been given those vehement messages from China and Russia, but it cannot go into a war that it cannot afford to have, and its allies cannot be counted on as they have their own financial woes to contend with.

The real question to ask is not to what extent will Russia and China defend Syria. The Syrian affair is not just about what is happening inside Syria and who is behind it. The real question to ask is to what extent will Russia and China continue to push for their place in the new “New World Order”.


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