Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Iran in the crosshairs (again). Ditto for Latin America.

The Islamic Republic is in trouble, no doubt. Following the failure of the coup attempt against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei by Rafsanjani and his "Guccis" (via Mousavi) one could have somewhat naively hoped that things would settle down, but this is clearly not the case.

It now appears that Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie has been sacked and replaced by Majid Alavi. There are also reports of other ministers resigning. The Iranian Parliament is also appears to be involved in the crisis. There are also reports of direct disagreements between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei not only on the issue of the Vice Presidency but also on the issue of how the crackdown on the Guccis should be handled.

While it is impossible for me to ascertain what is really going on, one thing is sure: this is definitely a bad sign.

In the meantime, the Empire issued what is, in essence, an ultimatum to Iran: "either deal with us or be bombed". For course, this is not how this was presented to the world. The official version is that the "US proposal to negotiate with Iran is not open-ended". Ditto from Obama's bosses in Israel.

As for Obama, his trip to Russia was just like his trip to Egypt: replete with great speeches and absolutely lacking in any kind of concrete changes from Dubya's imperial policies. Even the absolutely useless "missile shield" in Europe (whose only imaginable purpose is to alienate Russia) is still officially on the US agenda.

Generally, is is quite clear that Obama is nothing more than a very charming and smart salesman for the exact same policies as the ones implemented by the USA since Clinton's election (and the Neocon takeover of power which followed it). "More of the same, only worse, but better packaged" appears to be the motto of the Rahm Obama Administration. Either that, or simply "No we can't [change]!".

Or take a look at the coup in Honduras. It literally *reeks* of Eliot Abrams and the rest of the Reagan's "crazies" and their murderous policies in Central America. Oh sure, the Obama Administration is (cautiously) condemned the coup, but the fact is that since the USA controls Honduras and the Honduran military at about 99.999999999999% it could have stopped the coup and restored Zelaya in 24-36 hours tops! So all that talk of the coup being "illegal" is just another new climax of US hypocrisy (at least the Reaganites would have been open about whom they support).

To top it all, the USA is now opening three bases in Colombia. Needless to say, Chavez got the message loud and clear.

Bottom line: the USraelian Empire is threatening military action against Iran and Latin America. In a way, the new US Administration is even more bellicose than the previous one. Dubya, having started three wars (Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia) and lost all three of them could hardly be expected to start another three (Pakistan, Iran and Latin America) without triggering a massive outrage in the US (and worldwide) public opinion. However, Obama, with his "young and smart" image and with the full support of the Democratic Party in the USA is going to do just that.

Add to this another "cold" war with Russia and that's a grand total of SEVEN(!!) wars that the Empire is seriously pondering. Of course, Somalia is pretty much over, at least for now. For the time being, Iraq is more or less "frozen", and in Pakistan there is the illusion of "success" in the SWAT area. The cold war with Russia is not going to go "hot" and the same is true for Venezuela and Latin America. The Empire even has the option of choosing not to strike at Iran. Still, it is exceedingly unlikely that all these "minimal" options will be exercised by the US administration simultaneously. A far more likely approach is a one-by-one series of conflicts.

What is certain is that more wars are coming. Soon.

The Saker

PS: while I was writing this piece I got a phone call from Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty asking me to support an audit of the Fed. In itself, this is a very sound idea, in particular since, here too, Obama is making things much worse. What worries me is the somewhat naive hope of the US libertarians that stuff like auditing the Fed could make a difference. It won't. The only chance for the USA to avoid a complete collapse (not unlike the one of the Soviet Union in 1991) is to bring down the entire Zionist-run imperial superstructure which drains it from all its resources (human and material) and the prerequisite first step to achieve that would be to openly denounce it. And that ain't gonna happen any time soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the first Anniversary of Ridwan Swap Operation

In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, The Lord of the world. Peace be on our Master and Prophet – The Seal of Prophets – Abi Al Qassem Mohamad Bin Abdullah and on his chaste and kind Household, chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers. Peace be upon you and Allah's blessing and mercy.

We commemorate with you today the first anniversary of one of the victories of the Resistance and one of the fruits of the sacrifices of our people, resistance, army, nation and fighters. It's the first anniversary of the Ridwan Operation. It goes without saying that the days from 12 to 14 July are very special days for you and us in their characteristics, memory, stances, challenges, difficulties and harshness and also in the scenes of faithfulness, altruism, steadfastness, firmness, might, determination, courage, gallantry, honor, pride, dignity and victory they bring along. Thus it was one of Al Mighty Allah's blessings on us that the Ridwan Operation took place in the very timing and on the very days in which we were entangled in a tough battle and confrontation with the enemy and in which we were paying the tax of resistance and our national, moral, humanistic and jihadi commitment to the resistance.

I will not tackle what concerns these days and I will leave handling the aggressive war of July or Lebanon War II (which is the term they agreed to refer to with), the repercussions of this war and the upcoming Israeli regional challenge to the festival to be held on August 14th which we see as the closing day that sealed the sacrifices and steadfastness witnessed in that war and the beginning of a new stage in the struggle. We really see it as the day of Divine Victory – the victory which Allah promised the sacrificing, faithful and truthful believers and fighters. This victory was interpreted by the whole world, everyone according to his intellectual and convictional background and according to his private school. So allow us to stress on interpreting it as well according to our intellectual background and private school and say that what took place in July and on August 14th was a true evident divine victory. Anyway, we will tackle the whole issue on August 14th.

Today I would like to stick solely to the Ridwan Operation and the horizons of this file. When we talk about the Ridwan Operation we all recall that we mean the swap operation that resulted in the liberation of our brethren Lebanese detainees from Israeli prisons on top of whom is the chief of detainees who became the chief of the freed (Samir al Qintar) and the other brethren fighters in the Islamic Resistance who were then captured during the war. Also a great number of Lebanese, Palestinian and Arab martyrs' bodies and remains was restored. Still we have the cause of brethren Yahya Skaff and other issues. Well today we have many issues which might be handled: July War, the regional statue quo, the developments of the so called settlement operation, the escalation in the Israeli stance and the evident clarity in the US stance. Still I chose two issues: the first issue is that of the detainees and the other is the Lebanese internal issue and the government in particular. As for the detainees the issue is in fact essentially linked to how we view the detainee, how we used to view and how we are supposed to view the detainee. This background is the foundation that judges our conduct, movements, activities, stance, speech and dealing with the detainees' cause whether in the past or in the future. This does not concern us in particular. I am talking in general. Resorting to the definitions and terms of external facts, we say that a detainee is a citizen from a definite people. We say a Lebanese detainee, a Palestinian detainee… So let's say we have a Palestinian citizen or a citizen from whatever people who has a just cause and who has rights usurped by the enemy. This citizen believed in his people, the just cause of this people and the fairness of his usurped rights. Thus he antagonized the enemy of his people and got involved in his cause. He was not content with his faith, knowledge and perception of the cause. He rather had the motive as well as the determination and will to struggle and get involved in a long military, security, political, media and civil strife (call them what you like). So he got involved in a long struggle to defend his people and his people's dignity and just cause to restore his usurped rights. Thus he is confronted by this enemy. Some of these strugglers, fighters, rebels (call them what you want) are confronted with bullets and thus are killed. Some are arrested and hurled in prisons behind the bars and become detainees in the common courtesies. You might call them prisoners, captives, arrested… That does not change the fact and the truth about such people and their stances. There are millions of prisoners around the world for various reasons and backgrounds. Some are imprisoned for killing unjustly, stealing, dealing with drugs, violating the public order, having special opinions, being political opponents or being resistance fighters. These prisoners are not equal. The latter group of prisoners who are arrested are in fact called detainees. This is what is agreed on by the world peoples all through history. Thus detainees have special rights and special laws observed by states and peoples all through history. The detainee also has a special moral, spiritual and political status among the people of this detainee as well as his enemy. Even the enemy views these prisoners who were arrested for resistance reasons in a way that differs from viewing other prisoners who were arrested on criminal grounds.

If we knew that a detainee has these characteristics, we become sure of talking about a person who was detained not for a personal or familial struggle or for revenge reasons but rather for national struggle reasons and for defending a just and fair national and humanistic cause. When a prisoner is arrested on such grounds, we call him a detainee and the responsibility of freeing him won't become that of his family only. So the cause of Samir Al Qintar wasn't that of the respectful Al Qintar family; the cause of Sheikh Abdulkarim Obeid wasn't that of the respectful Obeid family alone; and the cause of Dirani or any of the brethrens who were or are still in prisons and today the cause of detainee Yahya Skaff is not that of the respectful Skaff family. Rather the cause of any detainee is the cause of a people, nation, country and lively consciences. Much argument used to be evoked on whether liberating a number of detainees deserves such efforts, sacrifices, struggle and blood. The issue is linked to our view towards the prisoner. Yes if there were prisoners arrested for personal reasons, the issue does not deserve all such sacrifices. But that's not true for such persons who have quit the whole world and got involved in a war for the sake of the homeland and the nation and were ready to be martyrs. Well what is the difference between a detainee and a martyr in their motives and presence in the battlefield, in facing bullets, shells, bombarding and facing death? Some fighters become martyrs and some are wounded while some are detained. What is the difference? Allah chooses this to be a martyr and that for another track.

These detainees hold in their hearts the spirit of martyrdom and sacrifices. They offered sacrifices for the sake of all of us and for us to be alive, free and dignified and so our families enjoy the blessing of having us among them. Some ended up in tombs and some in prisons. Blessed are martyrs in their Afterworld. It is not demanded that we restore the martyrs to this world and if they were offered the chance to return to this world they would return only to fall as martyrs again. But we have a responsibility towards detainees who are in prison. We assume the responsibility of liberating them as they sought to make us free, of guarding their dignity as they sought to reserve our dignity and of making their families happy as they sought to make our families happy. This is the starting point, the foundation and the essential truth which is in fact part of the culture of the resistance.

On such basis we view things differently. As in elections we say this is an electoral key, we say that this is the key for such a viewpoint and all the following concepts and causes. In other words, when we believe in the cause of our people and the justice and fairness of this cause, we know that we must resist, struggle and offer sacrifices for this cause and we might as well hold arms as when confronting occupation. That was the conduct of the peoples of the whole world all through history in facing occupations. If this is our belief, the battle becomes a noble national battle and not a cycle of violence. I want to draw your attention to one point. Even in some local, Arab and international media outlets we at time criticize the courtesies. How do they refer to the martyr who falls in the South or in Gaza as being killed? This is shameful. They must be referred to as martyrs. This is a detail but the issue has to do with the essential original key. How do we view this battle? If we view it as a noble, holy, humanistic and legitimate battle, the combatant in this battle becomes a resistance fighter and struggler. So in mental courtesies, moral status and spiritual outlook, the person killed in this battle is not viewed as the another person who is killed but as a martyr – the martyr of the country, the nation, the people and the sanctuaries. The wounded is not viewed as someone injured in war but rather as the wounded of the resistance and the nation while loses are viewed as sacrifices which lead to victory making and not as loses which we lament. So the issue has to do with this fact based on such grounds. Similarly the prisoner arrested in such struggle is seen as a detainee and not as other millions of prisoners around the world.

Some say that they are like the other prisoners around the world. But surely they aren't like the other prisoners around the world. They are the detainees of the nation, the cause and the resistance. Their motives, hopes, souls and spiritual, emotional and intellectual concepts, their pains and their goals do differ. This makes their families, peoples, country and nation assume different responsibilities. Indeed we are not talking to make theories or to interpret the past. We are still before an open battle. There are still in Israeli prisoners thousands of Palestinian detainees, scores of Syrian and Jordanian detainees and still there are Lebanese who are missing. We don't know if they are alive detainees or martyrs. After this reading, we, in Hezbollah and the resistance forces in Lebanon, believe in the resistance. Thus our view used always to be based on this ground. Thus we consider ourselves as responsible for every detainee whether he belonged to Hezbollah or to any other resistance faction. We considered ourselves responsible for every missing Lebanese or Palestinian who was missed on the Lebanese territories. Now we are talking on the Lebanese level. We are responsible for every Arab who fell in the hands of the enemy and we have data that he is in the grip of the enemy. On this basis we acted with a human, moral, national and jihadi basis. We still consider ourselves in this very position. Should others have assumed this responsibility we would not have assumed it. As I will say later in this speech, we are not competing or quarrelling with anyone. We don't want to take anyone's post. Since 1982 Invasion until our day, we think that this is an obligation that we must assume. In jurisprudential terms, we say it is a Kifai obligation which means if some of our people, our state, or some of our political forces assume this responsibility, it will be lift from our shoulders. We might have participated. Our fighter might have continued then their studies, university, business… But we have noticed that this is a necessary obligation which has been laid on our shoulder. We have to assume it in the light of these conditions which you all know. We have assumed this responsibility thanks Allah. Through the Ridwan Operation, the detainees were restored. Still there is the cause of brethren Yahya Skaff. The data that we received from the Israelis was not convincing whether on the legal or religious perspective to say he is a martyr. Based on the legal, jurisprudential and religious rules, we must say he is alive and thus we should deal with this case as if there is an alive captive in Israeli jails called Yahya Skaff. As in the cases of all the previous detainees whom Allah blessed with freedom, we - as Lebanese - must assume its responsibility beside the family of detainee Yahya Skaff. Still there is a number of bodies and remains of martyrs. It's true that the Israeli enemy claimed in the Ridwan Operation that what they handed over was the whole number of martyrs' bodies. But there was a previous claim before the Ridwan Operation which reveals the presence of hundreds of martyrs' bodies. We can't give in to the Israeli allegation. We will seek and work to restore the other bodies and remains of martyrs. So as far as the missed are concerned, we have to settle their fate. If they are martyrs we want their bodies and remains. If they were alive we want to restore them to freedom. In the cases we are following, we assert that we will follow the cases of the missed whom we have evidences that the Israelis have arrested or kidnapped or were handed in to the Israelis by militias collaborating or coordinating then with Israel. So the cases of such missed are all one file which we are following up with.

In this framework also the cause of the four Iranian diplomats is still open not because they are Iranians but because they are diplomats who were kidnapped on Lebanese territories and the Lebanese government and people assume their responsibility. The government represents the people. They were diplomats accredited by Lebanon and the Lebanese government. We will follow up with these issues. It was always said that we must not get involved with such issues. Why are you complicating issues? Let them say so. Unfortunately in the past – though we don't want to go back to the past – all do know how the state acted. The successive governments dealt in an inadequate and inappropriate way with such causes. This is if we want to use kind words. If we wanted to increase the tone a little we may say that they acted with indifference. They did not consider these causes among their responsibilities. Now should the upcoming government which will be formed God willing assume its responsibilities and worked seriously, we – in Hezbollah – will be under the service of the government. Let it assume its responsibility. Neither in this issue nor in others have we presented ourselves as an alternative to the state, authority or government. I rather call on the upcoming government to assume its responsibility. We will be an assistant element with all the might we have in this perspective. On this level also and in the very atmosphere, we must praise the efforts of the detainees' families all through the past stages whether the fathers, mothers, wives, brothers, sisters, children or relatives. They are responsible families who were really concerned. They were families who used to work day and night. They had media and public presence. They presented evidences, assumed responsibility and thought fully in the cause. All through the past years, we witnessed the efforts of these families which must carry on. We must praise the factional and pubic efforts as well as the men of media, politics, letters and art. We must praise everyone who sought to keep the cause of the detainees alive, defend it and give it its true status whether in Lebanon or in the nation and also to assume every act needed for liberating them. In the peak was July War. All did cooperate. All were present in the scene. Their assumption of responsibility made the cause of detainees after 2000 the dominant part in the resistance scene. Before 2000 there were many parts in the resistance scene. One of the parts was the detainees' cause. After 2000, the detainees' scene was the first and most forcefully file. But as we are still offering our praise, after our praise to Allah Almighty, the praise is first and above all to the sun-burned fists of the heroic fighters of the Islamic Resistance as well as their martyrs, detainees, wounded and to their leader great martyr Hajj Ridwan – Hajj Imad Moghniyah (May Allah's mercy be on him). Still as we are handling the issue of detainees and in this dear, great and happy occasion – the liberation of the detainees – we must recall and salute thousands of Palestinian and scores of Syrian and Jordanian detainees in Israeli prisons. We salute their steadfastness, patience, firmness and sacrifices and we praise the families of these detainees – the patient, firm and agonized families who are enduring harsh and hard suffering.

I tell you brothers and sisters, the remaining of such a great number of Palestinian and Arab detainees in Israeli prisons is like the remaining of Al Qods and the other sanctities under occupation. It is even more harsh and painful. Man might bear the occupation of land. He fights with the hope of liberating land for long years. But standing the occupation of land is different from families (fathers and mothers) enduring being away from their children, wives and children being away from their dear ones, relatives being away from their family members and friends being away from their pals… Here we are talking about two poles and two human axes. Consequently when we talk about the detainees' cause, we have two parts. We have the detainees themselves and their sufferings and the second pole is their families (and this is the important and painful part). I don’t know how the Arab world deals with this issue at the level of governments, peoples, political forces and the media. I admit that I am an emotional person and this is not a point of weakness. This is a good point anyway. I am one of the persons who used to cry whenever I used to meet the children of detainees. When meeting them, I feel more sympathetic even than when meeting the orphans of martyrs. That's because the orphans of children know that their fathers are martyred and that they joined Heavens. So they don't spend their night and day with the hope of their fathers' return to freedom and with the hope of meeting them. We all know what the pain of waiting is like. Now the same emotions are kindled when I watch on TV screens the sons and daughters of Palestinian and Arab detainees. How must we as a nation deal with this issue? What’s more painful is to see those detainees still behind Israeli bars and what’s more humiliating for the whole Arab nation of hundreds of millions of Arabs and a billion and a half Muslim is the scene of those captives still in Israeli jails. This is a stigma on the face of this nation which we are part of and we feel this shame. See brothers and sisters, the whole world understands the Israeli aggression on Lebanon during July War. For 33 days it destroyed, killed thousands, inflicted wounds and displaced more than a million people. The G8, the industrial countries, the Security Council and the whole world sympathized with that. Why? If the real reason is the two prisoners, why does Israel have the right to destroy Lebanon for two prisoners that Hezbollah had captured against the international law as they claim? Israel has the right to do that. The Palestinian resistance captured Shalit. Israel closes its siege on a million and a half people in Gaza. The whole world also understands that. Instead of pressuring Israel to lift the siege, they pressure Hamas and the Palestinians to release Shalit or give up their conditions. This is our world!

Israel is a fabricated, fake apartheid nation that was implanted in our region and which the whole world sympathizes with, respects and understands its crimes and savagery represented in killing thousands of people for the sake of a soldier. However, we are a nation that the world does not respect while thousands of our youths, men and even women remain captured in Israeli jails. Where is the Arab honor? Where is the Arab dignity? Yes this nation needs such martyrs who passed in the way of offering their souls not for the sake of liberating the captives only but also to consecrate the dignity of this nation which does not sleep on injustice and does not accept humiliation. This nation needs Imad Moghniyah. This nation needs every jihadi leading example that had great models in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and other places of resistance. Today on the anniversary of the Ridwan Operation, I liked to make this call because as any Lebanese, Arab and Muslim, I have these feelings and experience this embarrassment and pose this question on myself and on all.

Before moving to the local part of my speech and on the occasion of talking about captives, I like to hint to a topic related to this file in nature though it does not concern the Israelis. At the time in which we in Lebanon think of the captives in the enemy's prisons, in fact we – whether we shared in the government or our brethren deputies in the parliament, the political forces, the public community and the civil community- must consider a very hard topic at the meanwhile. What is the cause of the detainee in Israeli prisons? He is an oppressed human being. Well, this is concerning captives in Israeli prisons. Let's see the prisoners in Lebanese jails. Are there oppressed in prisons? If there isn't, indeed we are with punishing the aggressors, killers, thieves, robbers, corrupters and spies. That's unquestionable. But we fear there are victims of injustice in Lebanese jails. The incident that evoked this concept forcefully is that of the Palestinian brethren Yussef Shaaban who was set free days ago following a general amnesty issued by His Excellence the President of the Republic. In this occasion, I thank the President for this general amnesty and on this just and sound position. But in fact, all through this passed period, we as Lebanese – in the government, the Parliament, political forces, the whole country - were perplexed. A person who is a father of a family who is oppressed and persecuted is imprisoned in a Lebanese jail. His guiltlessness was made clear. Why wasn't he set free yet? They said there is a judicial sentence ratified by the judiciary council for which they couldn't find a solution. But the man is oppressed. It is clear he is oppressed. This is indeed a catastrophe. The catastrophe of Yussef Shaaban came to an end praise be to Allah. Even in the case of Yussef Shaaban if his family did not make a move, people called for setting him free, the media showed concern, political forces took action and the President of the Republic reacted, the man might have remained behind the bars for another eight years again and again without anyone addressing this legal dilemma.

Do we have in Lebanese prisons others like Yussef Shaaban or not? I don't know. I am making a supposition. What is our responsibility as Lebanese, as a government, parliament, political forces and public community? Even if we did not share in the government and parliament, we are Lebanese and the country is ours. The state is ours and this is a prisoner in Lebanese prisons. So we assume a part of the responsibility. We might not manage to set him free but we may speak out and shout. We may reveal the story. This is something which must be taken into consideration.

Another issue to which we must point is the cause of hundreds of arrested from Islamic groups. I am handling this point from the very humanistic and moral background. Well they have been arrested for a long period of time. Let tribunals try them. No one is saying set them free all the same. No some are accused of bombing, killing, of being engaged in Al Bared River incidents…Try them and set free whoever is found innocent and punish whoever is guilty. The calls of families and whoever is raising this issue is rightful, normal and fair.

We must put an end for the phenomenon of hurling people in prisons for a long period of time without trial. This is one of the responsibilities put on us all.

Still more there is the case of the missing Lebanese in Syria and the missing Syrians in Lebanon. This is also a just case. A panel was formed to follow this cause. Where is this panel? Who is following up with it? Who did follow up with the Lebanese-Syrian panel? Did the previous government follow it up? To what limit it followed up this case? This must also be among the priorities of the upcoming government. This cause must be followed to the end. Frankly speaking, if the Lebanese missing in Syria don't exist or were existing and they don't anymore, this must be revealed. The case must be settled. The same applies to the Syrians missed in Lebanon. This case must be decisively settled by whatever means which are indeed rightful and factual to put an end to the sufferings of their families.

As for the Lebanese local affair, after the elections all of us acted on the grounds of accepting the outcome whether it be on the parliamentary, popular and political levels. The country ushered into a stage of calmness and expectation. Indeed the positive position of the Opposition and its acceptance of the outcome of the elections led the country to calmness, expectation and a positive atmosphere. The positive and calm conduct of the main Loyalists political forces also led the country towards appeasement. So it was the conduct of both parties in general that led to this statue quo. The positive atmosphere has to prevail all through the country. Welcomed meetings took place especially between us and main leaderships in Lebanon. Religious meetings also took place in more than one region besides popular and factional movements. Such meetings had positive and good repercussions what helped to a great extent - we don't want to exaggerate in evaluating things- in addressing the state of congestion which prevailed in the previous stage.

As Lebanese we were before the challenge of electing the Speaker. Praise be to Allah, this took place and Mr. Nabih Berri was elected as the Speaker. We were before the challenge of charging the Premier to form the government and this also took place. Most deputies named MP Saad Hariri to form the government. We also dealt with this naming positively and openly. We all in the Opposition announced our readiness to cooperate, make dialogue, meet and exert all possible efforts to form a national unity government. Dialogue and contacts are still taking place on more than one level. On this great challenge, I will talk about two points:

The first point pertains to Hezbollah and the formation of the government. I have read in many newspapers and analysis articles that as a condition for the formation of the government, Hezbollah – as Hezbollah or as Opposition – wants guarantees related to the arms of the resistance or legalizing the resistance arms and this is one of the obstacles before the formation of the government. This is not true at all. Here I am announcing that and through my meeting with Prime Minister-designate –and before he was charged - I told him that we do not want guarantees for the arms of the resistance. Here I am saying on the TV before the whole world: We don't want from the government or from anyone else in this world guarantees for the resistance arms. We have agreed on this, and it’s behind us now because we both agreed that this issue should be discussed at the dialogue table where we are supposed to discuss the resistance arms in the framework of discussing a national defense strategy. This issue is not by any means for discussion in any meeting between us and the designate Premier or any political leadership held in the framework of forming the government.

The other point is: It is said that Hezbollah has certain concerns about the Special Tribunal for Lebanon over what is evoked now on the STL activity in the upcoming stage. Therefore the party is obstructing or impeding the formation of the new government because it wants guarantees. Here again I say this is baseless. We are not demanding any guarantees on the issue of the Tribunal. In fact, I have never discussed this with the designate Premier nor any of our brethrens discussed it with the designate Premier. In fact we did not evoke this issue for discussion at all. Here I am telling you. On the STL, we do not demand guarantees from the government or from anyone else in this world. As for the resistance arms, it is known that it's on the dialogue table. As for the STL, I call that no one makes anticipations. Some people like to make anticipations. Some people might make anticipation because they care for the country. But others make anticipations because they want to push the country to another kind of settlement. Let's not make anticipations and let everything take place when it's due time. I like to add: In all our dialogues and discussions we did not ask for guarantees over any topic related to Hezbollah. Here I am saying on the personal level, if the other parties in the Opposition agreed with the designate Premier on forming a national unity government, we won't be dissatisfied. I myself as Hassan Nasrallah won't be unhappy. Rather we will support it and give it our confidence. So as far as we are concerned in this issue, neither the party, nor its arms nor its resistance nor the STL is causing any impediment.

What is the point then? There are parties in the Opposition which are negotiating now the formation of the government under the ceiling of effectual participation. After all, the country has essential forces. Elections have proved that there are essential and important forces in the country. Neglecting them is wrong while inter-cooperation pushes the country forward. The opposition considers itself concerned in everything through which the country would be run from now all through the next four years. There is a parliament with four–year tenure and a government which will be formed and which will run the country. There are great events to come.

On the financial level, how are we to face the forty or fifty or sixty billion dollar debt? The decision to be taken by the government concerns all the Lebanese. Should the government increase taxes? This concerns all the Lebanese. If it wanted to sell a part of the state's properties, this also concerns all the Lebanese. There is a dangerous and great challenge. No sole party might say this is its own concern and it will rule and run the country by itself.

There is the economic and social issue. The overwhelming majority of the Lebanese people are suffering from miseries, hardships, deprivation, hunger and poverty. This does not concern one party and not the other or one side and not the other. So what is the plan through which we'll address this cause together? They say that'll be through crossing towards being a state. Good. Let's all cross towards the state which will achieve in two years what needs ten years to take place.

Security challenges and Israeli spy networks have caused much media clamor in the country. Unfortunately this issue has not been yet adequately evaluated on the security and political levels. Those networks are not done with yet. I call on some security apparatuses to exert the same effort as before elections to dismantle spy networks. The very conduct as before the elections must be restored in face of spying networks. This is an important and a serious and not a trivial challenge.

Moving to the regional situation and what is plotted to the region, I stress on the statements made by Netanyahu and Lieberman, the speech of the US administration, the new American demands made on the Arab states, the settlements of Palestinians, normalization, the threats of judaizing Palestine on all levels, threats to transform Palestine into a Jewish state and threats to displace the Palestinians living in territories occupied since 1948. These are major regional issues and Lebanon is part of this region and even more Lebanon is the most effective and effected part in the region whether we liked it or not and even if we hid our heads in sand.

This is why we need a government of real partnership. We did not make any suggestions beforehand not to exert any pressure. We went to negotiations while being open to many options. Here words come to an end recalling the Prophetic Tradition that says: "Resort to secrecy until what you are seeking is accomplished." Yes, there are various options suggested for reaching our goals. What’s important is that we reach a real formula that leads to partnership and cooperation and not to retrogressive and annulling participation. I suggested something to designate Premier and here I am saying it on the media to all who are worried about the suggested formulas. You constitute the majority in parliament. A government of real partnership might be formed despite the fact that the previous government – with the acknowledgement of His Excellence the President and the Premier himself – in its final sessions took a great number of decisions and made a great number of achievements. It was not then a crippling government. Still it was a government waiting until parliamentary elections were due. It was a government of challenge and waylay. Every one of us was waylaying the other with the aim or recording points on the other party because there were parliamentary elections. Now there are not parliamentary elections anymore. Let's make a trial now. It's not only that you will try the Opposition but also the Opposition will try you. So let's try each other in a government ruled by the spirit of cooperation, joint liability and national responsibility to face internal and external dangers as a united national front. We may get engaged in such an experience. Now whenever the Prime Minister wants, he may resign and the government will become invalid. Moreover, the majority in parliament can give its vote of no confidence at any time and the government will be toppled. The key is in your hands. Let no one say there is Doha agreement and we are to be committed to each other. Showing the good will by both parties is required at this stage. It's not the story of the winner and the defeated. It's not that of morals. Our country has lived through dangerous divisions and faced serious challenges. Today we need to cooperate with each other to face these challenges and dangers so as to save our country from these divisions. The chance is before us today but we need courage to take the decision.

As for us, I stress that we are open, cooperative and positive. I advise that no one pressure designate Premier with a time limit. Forming the government is worth taking all the time needed. There is no need for any uncalculated step or not a fully considered move. Today the country is enjoying calmness. People are talking to each other, sitting with each other and meeting with each other. This atmosphere must be generalized. We back every meeting between any party in the Opposition with any party in the Loyalists. We see in that a great positive national interest for Lebanon, the people and the general atmosphere. Today the overwhelming popular majority wants calmness in the country. People want calmness. They want meeting with each other, talking to each other and understanding each other. To whoever backs the majority today we say the overwhelming majority of the Lebanese people want this atmosphere to prevail and nothing else but understanding.

Still unfortunately, there are certain personalities and sides that are not at ease with the atmosphere of calm. They don't want it to continue. The same applies to political parties, personalities and media outlets also. They want to return to media escalation, insults, abuses and accusations. They want going back to the negative atmosphere. My opinion is that the people must first identify them and second they must reassess their choices. I ask also: Whose viewpoint they are expressing? Is it true that the opinion of the majority of the Lebanese people is that we reinstall barricades and attack one another and challenge one another, or the opinion of the majority of the Lebanese people is that we sit and talk with one another and reach an understanding? The priorities called for by the political leaderships and parties are different from the priorities of some of these political sides. Well with and without any reason you find them making speeches, shouting and evoking the cause of Hezbollah. What's the story? Is it that they think the elections aren't over yet? No, it seems they have nothing else to address the people with. Still I like to tell you what reassures you. We in Hezbollah took a decision not to be provoked. Let whoever wants to make insults, criticize or even say poetry be at ease. He is trying in vain. But really this is the atmosphere which appeals to some people. Whenever two figures meet they start making analysis and criticizing. Indeed here I mean figures from the Loyalists because if someone from the Opposition meets with someone from the Loyalists the issue is settled. The Opposition has rules which say it doesn't want to annul anyone. I want partnership. The Opposition before the elections used to say that if it gained the majority it will give the Loyalists the guaranteeing one third because it wanted them to participate. Thus the masses of the Opposition have no problem in that. Now if some leaderships in the Loyalists (the majority) and their masses are responsive and took a decision of being open and cooperative why are you tightening over them in such a way? If people are confident of their alliances, there is no need for a hundred phone calls if someone wants to meet with another. At least I may tell you that Hezbollah is at ease as far as this issue is concerned. Hezbollah does not need to reassure its allies and to call them after any meeting or measure because they are confident of this alliance.

I wanted to stress in the local affair on the call for calmness, dialogue and meeting. I watched some media outlets saying where are the martyrs? Now I ask: Do martyrs want us to kill each other? Do the martyrs from both parties in local incidents want the country to be ruined or divided or to antagonize each other, or do they have another view point which we have to follow? Thus is my call for calmness, dialogue and meeting. I call on these parties to be calm and act rationally for what they are doing is by no means fruitful. Now it's summertime. Let people feel at ease and go to villages for refreshment. They might say now: Look how far the Resistance has gone! No I tell you we like living and the culture of living. Let no one chase anyone and let's have patience with each other. Let the big chance available take place. Forming a national free country with true cooperation and partnership is a great chance indeed to the revival of our country and to guard its unity, capacity and power to face challenges.

I thank all of you for your attendance to commemorate this occasion with us. Congratulations for the freedom of the liberated captives. I leave you with the hope of meeting again with all the other captives so that they be free as Sami Qintar and his brethren liberated captives.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

When will the USA be done with Bonaparte?

Done with Bonaparte
by Mark Knopfler

We've paid in hell since Moscow burned
As Cossacks tear us piece by piece
Our dead are strewn a hundred leagues
Though death would be a sweet release
And our grande armee is dressed in rags
A frozen starving beggar band
Like rats we steal each other's scraps
Fall to fighting hand to hand

Save my soul from evil, Lord
And heal this soldier's heart
I'll trust in thee to keep me, Lord
I'm done with Bonaparte

What dreams he made for us to dream
Spanish skies, Egyptian sands
The world was ours, we marched upon
Our little Corporal's command
And I lost an eye at Austerlitz
The sabre slash yet gives me pain
My one true love awaits me still
The flower of the aquitaine

Save my soul from evil, Lord
And heal this soldier's heart
I'll trust in thee to keep me, Lord
I'm done with Bonaparte

I pray for her who prays for me
A safe return to my belle France
We prayed these wars would end all wars
In war we know is no romance
And I pray our child will never see
A little Corporal again
Point toward a foreign shore
Captivate the hearts of men

Save my soul from evil, Lord
And heal this soldier's heart
I'll trust in thee to keep me, Lord
I'm done with Bonaparte

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Dear friends,

Tomorrow I will be leaving for a two-weeks long trip. I will have my laptop with me and I will try to keep working on this blog, but I will probably have little time for that. I apologize in advance if I do not promptly respond to your comments and emails or if I fail to cover an important topic.

I have a suggestion though: you all can keep posting and talking with each other in the comments section below this post. Please feel free to post on any and all topics of interest to you. I might even try to find the time to participate in any discussion.

The big story in June was, of course, the attempt to steal the election in Iran. By that I, of course, mean the attempt by Rasfanjani to use the election to overthrow the Islamic Republic. It appears that they failed to achieve that either "by the ballot" or "by the bullet" and that their coup is now gradually fizzling out (Mousavi's call for a general strike was totally ignored and, subsequently, rescinded).

Still, my contacts tell me that the situation is tense and that violence might resume. Please keep us all informed about developments in Iran by posting any information you might have in the comments section.

I should be back on the 20th of July.

Kind regards,

The Saker

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Plunge into the depths until you reach the truth

by "Ya_Baqiyatullah"

We live in a world where the media helps shape our lives; be it for social, economical, political or entertainment purposes the importance of media cannot be underestimated. It is something which builds our personalities due to the information it feeds us. We are in many ways attached to this source and make it our comfort zone. Today, where the World has reached a critical stage in every aspect due to the economical situation as well as the political situation, the Media has become a very important tool. A tool which has replaced religion as the opium of masses in many ways. Today there are millions of people who are addicted to it by being hooked through the slim line flashy television sets in their homes. Our personalities are defined through the programs that are aired, our views and perceptions are built upon the reports that are broadcasted and our lifestyle is based around the characters of a certain hit series. The Media has become this comfort zone for people who do not wish to delve to see the true reality and are happy with what is being fed to them through their television set.

In most recent example of Iranian elections, the Media became the force of this election for the Reformists, who used the internet as a tool for their campaigning. The Mousavi Group on Facebook boasts 89,000 users, many of them from Iran, who update the rest of the world with the latest news on the happenings in Iran as well as the speeches of Mr Mousavi himself. On the other hand, the social networking site Twitter is being used to get information regarding the aftermath of the elections. Then there are the Western Channels and their reporting stories on the elections and different groups that are competing in it. One thing that stood out from this recent episode is how easy it is for the Media to manipulate and present a totally different perception to that which is reality.

Let us cast our minds back to early this year when the Israel siege was happening around Gaza. Israel barred Foreign Media reporters from Gaza, instead they were reporting from the 'Hill of Shame', as Jon Snow called it. There was no widespread condemnation of the Israeli policy then by either US analyst or British reporters as there is now to Iran's policy of restricting the Foreign reporters. In US, the Congress voted 405-1 condemning the approach Iran had taken. I wonder if the Israelis received such a strong protest too as they barred the reporters from the Gaza strip and slayed hundreds of civilians?

In the UK, the Iranian Ambassador was summoned to explain the remarks of the Wilayatul Faqee, Ayatollah Ali Khamenai regarding the BBC coverage. The remarks were nothing short of what the BBC deserved for their half baked reporting and their manipulations, the BBC were guilty of much more than what they got told. One such example is that during the Friday Sermon of Ayatollah Ali Khamenai the BBC Radio Service indicated a number of times that the slogans being shouted during the sermon are anti-Khamenai. In reality the slogans were actually supporting the Wilayatul Faqee and the system of Iran. One can accept that a mishap happens once but for it to happen a number of times in the same coverage is far from a mishap. Another example of BBC misinformation is the report by Jon Leyne who offered his interpretation of the blast at the Shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini to be the work of the Iranian government, in order to help their cause. What followed was a swift action by Iran in asking the reporter to leave the country and rightly so. These are only certain example of how BBC were guilty as charged however the masses rejected it calling it a weak attempt by the Iranians to cover up their shortcomings.

Mr Brown went a step further in his statement stating that "The whole of the world is speaking out." One has to ask how does Mr Brown come to this conclusion? Many countries of the world congratulated Ahmedinijad and accepted the result of the elections. Many of them have actually condemned the view of the Western powers regarding their rhetoric towards Iran and there was no comment from China or Russia. However the point to note here is that why was the world quiet as the Palestinians died in Gaza? Why did Mr Brown fail to say such a statement then? Is it easy to condemn an nation because their ideology is not conformed with his ideology?

January 2009 witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the Israeli forces in Gaza killing over 1400 civilians and damaging the strip by attacking the infrastructure, yet there was no public outcry as bodies laid of innocents. There was no condemnation of this aggression nor on the restrictions of reporting by the US President Mr Obama nor there was there criticism by UK Prime Minister Mr Brown. June 2009 saw the Iranian people go to the polls and re-elect Ahmedinijad. The propoganda machines came into work in distorting the will of the people who chose Ahmedinijad by indoctrinating people with constant reports of 'stolen elections', 'rigging' and 'fraud'. The manipulations and the spin by the Western Media continued to weave a particular image into the minds of the people around the World regarding Iran. They portrayed an image that displayed Iran to be an oppressive dictatorial regime which had rejected the 'rightful' choice of the people by endorsing Ahmedinijad. The platform of misinformation provided the Politicians of the Western countries to take advantage and add their rhetoric too. The minds of people accepted it all as they were blinded to reality, their perception was based on what the Media reported and showed.

In leaving no stone uncovered, the Western Media jumped at the tragic death of Neda Soltan. A lady who had allegiance to neither camps and was tragically killed on the streets of Tehran, but what followed afterwards was a trail of exploitation of her death. The Western Media symbolized her as the Martyr of the Reformist Revolution. Her death was aired again and again to incite the emotions of people all over, to display how brutal the Iranian Government is in dealing with its own people, to portray how the Iranian Government oppresses women. The reality was left aside as emotions bought the propaganda coming from the box set. The Media acted as the judge, jury and the executioner in her case without stopping to consider or in certain aspects reporting the unaswered questions surrounding her death. One has to ask where was this added coverage when 500 children died in the assault on Gaza? Where was such emotion when the bombs dropped on civilians in the Gaza strip? What happened to humanity when BBC refused to air the Gaza appeal commercial? Where did this garb of judge, jury and executioner disappear to in the light of these crimes? The answer will come with a dose of self righteousness. What you see in this article are two situations with an air of similarity in some aspects around it but what you also see are two vastly different reactions and perceptions from both the Media and the Western Governments, the question remains; why has the aspect of justice and equality been lost? Why the differentiation in responses when both; friend and foe are guilty of the same act of censure?

We live in a world which is connected to the Media, we seek and are content with the surface of everything that is given to us. We refuse to devlve further because we fear. We fear that we may not be comfortable anymore if we find the truth and it does not conform to our beliefs. We fear that we may not fit into the society anymore if we know the truth. Let me finish with a quote from the first Shi'ite Leader Ali ibn Abi Talib [a] who has said 'Plunge into the depths until you reach the truth'.

Absolutely brilliant piece by Eric Walberg - MUST READ!

June was a busy month for two of Washington’s real ‘Axis of Evil’. Venezuela’s Chavez completed his nationalisation of oil and Iran’s Ahmedinejad stemmed a Western-backed colour revolution, leaving both bad boys in place, muses Eric Walberg

What drives US foreign policy? Is it primarily the domestic economy, as it logically should be, or, as many argue, the powerful Israel lobby, or as other argue, the need to secure energy sources? Of course, the answer is all three, in varying degrees depending on the geopoltical importance of the country in question. And woe to any country that threatens any of the above.

Russia is perhaps a special case, as US politics was dependent for so long on the anti-communist Cold War that ideologues found it impossible to dispense with this useful bugaboo even after the collapse of Communism. But it was not only Sovietologists like Condoleezza Rice that perversely prospered from this obsession, but the US domestic economy itself, which was transformed into what is best described as the military-industrial complex (MIC). It would take very little to placate today’s Russia -- pull in NATO’s horns and stop pandering to the Russophobes in Eastern Europe -- but that would hurt the MIC and would hamper the US plans for empire and oil. So it remains an enemy of choice, though not part of the Axis of Evil.

This crude characterisation by Bush/Cheney lumped North Korea, Iraq and Iran together as the worst of the worst. With the US invasion of Iraq, the current score is one down, two to go. But North Korea is a red herring. It is merely a very useful Cold War foil, beloved of the MIC, justifying its many useless, lethal weapons programmes. A popular whipping boy, a bit of innocent ideological entertainment.

Without Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and ignoring Korea, we are left with Iran. But Bush could easily have added Venezuela to his list, as it is these two countries that pose the greatest real threat to the US empire. Both have charismatic leaders who not openly denounce US and Israeli empire but do something about it. And both have large, nationalised oil sectors. Chavez’s successful defiance of the US has directly inspired Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay to elect socialist leaders and given Cuba a new lease on life. Ahmedinejad has defied the many Israel-imposed bans on supporting the Palestinian resistance and even publically questioned the legitimacy of Israel itself. These bold and principled men are thereby pariahs, albeit useful ones for the MIC, along with their Cold War ghost Kim Jong Il.

That is the catch. While the empire officially frets, the US military-based economy thrives on its official enemies. It would collapse without them. This is the supreme irony to be noted by observers of what can only be described as the bizarre and contradictory world of US foreign policy.

Venezuela and Iran are indeed threats to the US empire. President Hugo Chavez not only thoroughly nationalised the oil sector after the crippling strike led by oil executives in 2002-03, but proceeded to use the revenues to transform his country, putting it on the albeit bumpy road to socialism -- subsidised basic goods, mass literacy and free health care. He has even been providing poor Americans with discount gas. “The oil belongs to all Venezuelans,” Chavez emphasised to reporters last month in Argentina, after the government announced it was taking over oil service companies along with US-owned gas compression units, adding to the heavy oil projects Venezuela took over in 2007. Natural gas looks like it will be next. The point of this is to “regain full petroleum sovereignty,” that is, full political sovereignty. No more attempted colour revolutions for Venezuela.

Which brings us to Iran. When Mahmoud Ahmedinejad took office in 2005, with the backing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he tried to wrest control of key ministries, especially oil and the government’s National Iranian Oil Company (NOIC), from the Rafsanjani/ Mousavi capitalist elite, replacing officials with his own choices -- primarily from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It was not till 2007 that he was able to install his candidate for oil minister, also head of the NIOC, Gholamhossein Nozari. Like Chavez, he proceeded to use state oil revenues to consolidate his base among the poor, something which the so-called reformists under his predecessor Mohammed Khatami or earlier nonreformists under Rafsanjani/ Mousavi were not noted for.

While Hashemi Rafsanjani was parliamentary speaker with Mirhossein Mousavi his prime minister in the 1980s, younger Iranians, including Ahmedinejad, were fighting in the IRGC (many martyring themselves) in the war with Iraq in the 1980s. Rafsanjani became Iran ’s first president in 1989 and added to his family’s vast fortune, much of it connected with oil, during his privatisation programme when he opened the oil industry to private Iranian contractors. This continued under the “reformist” Khatami, who took over the presidency in 1997.

Ahmedinejad’s ascendancy in 2005 on a platform to fight and eliminate the “oil mafia” confirmed the IRGC as the underlying force confronting Rafsanjani and the reformists. Throughout the 2009 electoral campaign, Ahmedinejad attacked his opponents as leaders of the corrupt elite, now trying to claw back control.

The elite had had enough, and the election ruckus last month was their last stand against the clearly populist, essentially leftist Ahmedinejad (in the West labelled a “hardliner”). Some pundits call Ahmedinejad’s decisive win a coup d’etat by the IRGC, but the recent demonstrations in Teheran look eerily similar to those in Caracas in 2002-03 when Venezuelan society was paralysed by its economic elite, mobilising its own Gucci crowd, strongly backed by the US, protesting a populist president’s determination to use oil revenues to help the common people. Chavez risked his life in the process, but his careful planning foiled the plotters and he survived to carry out his agenda. Whether Ahmedinejad can do the same, and to what extent the IRGC is a vehicle for promoting social welfare is a drama which is only now unfolding.

The Western media has uniformly denounced the Iranian elections, with no real evidence, as fraudulent, much as it denounced the many elections that Chavez had to undergo in the face of US-inspired strikes and even a military coup, before the opposition and its US backers relented. The US has generously financed Iranian expatriate dissidents and has penetrated Iranian society with the clear intent to overthrow Ahmedinejad, exactly like they did in Venezuela, though it is rarely mentioned in the Western press.

The US policy of using soft power to undermine unfriendly governments is well known to both Latin American socialists and Iranian clerics. Khamenei insisted in his sermon last week that Iran would not tolerate the green “colour revolution” underway. No wonder that Ahmedinejad, Chavez and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are such good friends. They have much in common.

In similar electoral contests in Latin America between nationalist-populists and pro-Western liberals, the populists have consistently won in fair elections, so the results in Iran should come as no surprise. Past examples include Peron in Argentina and, most recently, Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia and Lula da Silva in Brazil, all of whom have consistently polled 60 per cent or more of the vote in free elections. The people in these countries prefer social welfare over unrestrained markets, national security over alignments with military empires.

The parallel between Iran and Venezuela coincides with a flowering of relations between Iran and Latin American countries as it seeks a way out of the US-imposed blockade. Iran will help develop Bolivia’s oil and gas sector, has opened a trade office in Ecuador, and entered into agreements with Nicaragua, Cuba, Paraguay, Brazil and, of course, Venezuela. Council of Hemispheric Affairs analyst Braden Webb reports that “Venezuela and Iran are now gingerly engaged in an ambitious joint project, putting on-line Veniran, a production plant that assembles 5,000 tractors a year, and plans to start producing two Iranian-designed automobiles to provide regional consumers with the ‘first anti-imperialist cars’.”

Perhaps what upsets the US most about Ahmedinejad is his continued attempts to establish an Iranian Oil Bourse in the Iranian Free Trade Zone on the island of Kish, an idea which Chavez heartily approves of. The bourse is meant to attract international oil trading to the Middle East and to help move international trade away from the dollar as the oil currency, currently accounting for 65 per cent of trade. Over half of Iran’s oil business is now conducted in euros, despite the EU’s support for the US boycott. An indication of just how evil the US considers this move is the fact that his Evil Axis colleague Saddam Hussein was executed not long after switching his accounts to euros. Note that Kim Jong Il remains comfortably in place despite his own penchant for euros.

Both the Venezuelan and Iranian thorns have incensed Washington for daring to use their oil revenues to redistribute wealth in their societies and then organise resistance to US hegemony in their respective neighbourhoods. They are examples which continue to inspire and which pose a threat to US imperial policy, both international and domestic. For what better way to solve all the ills of US society -- lack of secure health care, poverty, violence -- than dismantling the MIC and initiating a foreign policy based on peace rather than war?

The big difference between these two thorns, of course, is Islam and Iran’s interference with the US-Israeli agenda. Now that the oil companies have resigned themselves to Venezuela’s new assertiveness, they and their government spokesmen are not so concerned with trying to overthrow Chavez. However, the extra weight of the Israel lobby in Washington makes sure that another Iranian revolution remains at the top of the list of Obama’s things-to-do.

Another curious difference is that US attempts to turn Venezuela’s neighbours against it backfired, as they came to Chavez’s defence and followed his example, while similar efforts to conspire against Iran have had considerable success.

The schism in both Venezuelan and Iranian societies is very real and is being taken advantage of by the US and friends, who are doing their “best” to engineer a collapse of the populist governments to make room for more US-friendly colour revolutions. But there is too much Yankee baggage for this to work anymore. It is time for a colour revolution at home.


Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly You can reach him at