Posts tagged ‘Trump’

April 8, 2017

US Strike in Syria: Failed Strategic Attempt or Previously Planned Strike?

by mkleit

On Wednesday the 6th of April 2017, two days before the US strike on Syria, a Syrian opposition member called an Arab diplomat saying “America will conduct an attack on Shouairat airport (Homs).” The latter transferred the news to a Syrian diplomat that, in turn, transferred it early Thursday to the Syrian command.

This is what the Security Specialist Vadislav Sheurgen said, and added “The US informed Russia previously through diplomatic channels with its plans to target Syria, and in turn, Russia informed its Syrian counterpart to evacuate its soldiers and equipment.”

In return, other Russian officials confirmed that they knew nothing about the US strike before it happened, and Moscow described what happened as an “aggression on a sovereign state”, and it announced that it will enhance Syria’s aerial defenses and halting cooperation with the US that prevented aerial conflicts over Syria.

What are the background information before the happenings of Friday dawn?

The US airstrike came before any true and objective investigation was made for the claimed “Khan Shikhoun Chemical attack”. Moreover, it didn’t get any international accreditation from the UN’s security council nor the US Congress, which means president Donald Trump needed to hasten the strike.

 

The first vital question is “why this hastening”?

First of all, because the media outburst that was caused by the death of the children prepared the globe for that, exactly like what happened post-9/11 in 2001 (despite the slight difference). Trump must’ve taken the global emotional opportunity and present himself as a humanitarian hero. So in that case, there’s no need for an investigation, with the accusation ready and decision already made.

Second, Trump wanted to strike the Syrian airport after two hours from dinner with the Chinese president, to send a strong warning message to China, saying “if you don’t stop North Korea, our missiles and jets are ready to do the same thing that we did in Syria”. For the past weeks, POTUS has been sending warning after warning to North Korea, whom performed Ballistic missiles tests a while ago, and said that if “China doesn’t move, he will do so himself to stop North Korea… and all options are open”.

But the question here is: did Trump inform his Chinese guest about the strike? That’s unknown, but the Chinese reaction was bound by calling all sides of the conflict for negotiations and stressed on political solutions, denouncing usage of barred weaponry. This means that China didn’t have its usual reaction, such as its Russian counterpart, and did not denounce the strike that didn’t have the security council’s approval.

Third, the strike came one night after the failure of the security council to take a unified decision concerning the chemical attack issue. Trump wanted to say that he doesn’t give any importance to the international coalition, especially that he has been supported by several nations, especially Arab Gulf states, Jordan, Turkey, and Israel. Unlike when Bush invaded Iraq with the opposition of France.

Fourth, the repercussions that the US airstrike on Mosul made, which killed tens of civilians, started to receive international condemnation, even calls to open a serious international investigation.

The key question here is “did the strike happen by mistake or was there someone who needed in get Trump involved into other options?” but the hastening of the strike on Syria was aiming to divert attention from Mosul’s “massacre” and shed light over Syria.

Fifth, the US strike came in midst of investigations with the Trump administration concerning cooperation with Russians, and there were several pressures being made and accusations of spying by some of the people close to Trump.

Sixth, the US strike also came after a meeting between both Iran’s and Russia’s presidents, where the latter two signed several military agreements with their Chinese counterpart.

 

 

After this, Trump would have two options left:

He, either, continues the battle with regional forces (Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia) to put pressure on Iran, Hezbollah, and tries to halt Russia, or he goes to negotiations and mutual understanding, especially that his secretary of state, Rex Tellerson, will visit Moscow soon.

This US intervention in Syria is the first major military development since the Russian direct intervention, with means that the war in Syria has shifted from its local and regional players to its international ones.

Washington wants to set a foot directly in North or Eastern Syria, through political, military, and security methods, and it’s impossible that Trump will retreat from that, and Russia will never back-down from Syria because that would damage its role in the ME region, as well as cause a national security threat.

Keep in mind that days before the US strike, there was a blast in St. Petersburg’s metro station, the Russian opposition moved on the ground, and the Russian Ruble price went down. Iran also sees that its retreat from Syria will cause great damage on its security, politics, and coming elections.

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January 30, 2017

What Trump and Israel have in Common? Apartheid Walls

by mkleit

 

Source

By Ben White

In US President Donald Trump’s first week in office, three policy issues dominated the headlines: his plans to build a wall on the Mexican border, the President’s support for torture, and his executive order targeting refugees, residents and visitors from seven Muslim majority countries.

All three have prompted widespread outrage, in particular, the ban on refugees and blanket immigration restrictions being applied on the basis of national origin and religion.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, however, only issued a reluctant and mealy mouthed criticism of Trump’s scorched-earth approach to his first few days in the White House. May is one of only a handful of world leaders seemingly eager to position themselves at Trump’s right hand side.

One other leader, however, has gone even further than the British PM in seeking to praise Trump, both before and since his inauguration – and that’s Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu. There are a few reasons for this, including the tacit approval a Trump administration is expected to give to the settlement expansion bonanza already underway.

But there’s another element at play here, which goes deeper than Netanyahu’s political agenda. For what many do not realise, is that the policies – and their undergirding ideology – that Trump is unleashing on the US have been pursued by the state of Israel for decades.

 

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First, let’s take the wall. Israel began the construction of its Separation Wall in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) almost fifteen years ago. Justified in the name of “security”, some 85 percent of the wall’s route is built inside the OPT, to incorporate illegal West Bank settlements.

It was on that basis that, in 2004, judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague deemed the wall illegal, and called for its immediate dismantling.

Israel’s Wall is not even the security miracle that its defenders claim. None other than Israel’s own security services attributed a sharp decrease in “terror attacks” in 2005 to the “truce” unilaterally adopted by Hamas. Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers without permits enter Israel every day, with some 200 miles of “gaps” in the Wall’s route remaining.

The real link to Trump’s ideas comes in the justification of Israel’s Wall on “demographic” grounds; in other words, keeping Palestinians out because they are Palestinians – and note that the idea of a wall aimed at “separation” actually pre-dates the Second Intifada.

An Israeli official admitted in 2010 that the Wall was “built for political and demographic reasons”, while the man who designed it revealed how “the main thing the government told me in giving me the job was to include as many Israelis inside the fence and leave as many Palestinians outside.”

 

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Then there’s torture. Trump’s unabashed endorsement of torture has horrified politicians, human rights activists and former prisoners alike. In Israel, however, the torture of prisoners is routine – and rubber-stamped by not just the state, but also by Israel’s Supreme Court.

Just last week, Israeli interrogators confirmed in Haaretz some of the methods used on detainees – including physical and psychological abuse. The revelations came as no surprise to Palestinians, nor those Israelis who have documented practices such as sexual torture.

This grim reality is also well-known to international human rights groups – Amnesty’s most recent annual report described how “Israeli military and police forces, as well as Israel Security Agency (ISA) personnel, tortured and otherwise ill-treated Palestinian detainees, including children.”

“Methods included beating with batons, slapping, throttling, prolonged shackling, stress positions, sleep deprivation and threats”, Amnesty added, further noting how despite almost 1,000 complaints since 2001, the authorities have not opened a single criminal investigation.

And finally, what about immigration? As horrendous as Trump’s orders have been, thus far they pale in comparison in scale and duration to what Israel has been implementing for some seven decades.

Since 1948 Israel has enforced a “Palestinian Ban” (Muslims and Christians), designed to ensure that no refugees can return to the lands and homes from which they were expelled. In parallel, the state’s borders are open for any Jewish person, from anywhere in the world.

Not only that, but in more recent times, Israel has also passed legislation – backed again by the Supreme Court – that prevents Palestinians with Israeli citizenship from family reunification – purely “on the basis of the ethnicity or national belonging of their spouse.”

Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said of the law: “There is no need to hide behind security arguments. There is a need for the existence of a Jewish state.” Trump – and the likes of Steve Bannon – would approve. Just as they would, no doubt, of the fact that Israel approved just eight requests for asylum, out of 7,218 requests filed by Eritreans from 2009 to 2016.

Writing in +972 Magazine, Edo Konrad noted the double standards of those who condemn Trump, but who back institutionalised racism in Israel. Here in Britain too, Trump’s critics include those who justify, or ignore, Israel’s own toxic mix of walls, discriminatory immigration system and torture.

This dissonance is only likely to become more publicly uncomfortable for Israel’s friends in the West. For Netanyahu’s embrace of a Trump White House is not just political manoeuvrings – it is reflective of a disturbing reality with which the Palestinians are only too familiar.

 

June 9, 2016

مواقف المرشحان الرئاسيان كلينتون وترامب حول أبرز القضايا في البلاد

by mkleit

تستعد المرشحة الديمقراطية للانتخابات الرئاسية هيلاري كلينتون لمواجهة منافسها الجمهوري دونالد ترامب في الانتخابات الرئاسية الأمريكية، والتي تنطلق في شهر تشرين الأول من السنة الحالية.

بعد فوز كلينتون بالترشيح الشبه رسمي للحزب الديمقراطي (لم تصل إلى العدد المطلوب من المندوبين حتى الآن، بل وصلت بأصوات المندوبين الكبار والذين يستطيعون أن ينقلوا أصواتهم إلى منافسها بيرني ساندرز)، فإن كلينتون تستعد لخوض المرحلة الثانية من الانتخابات في مواجهة المرشح الجمهوري الذي حسم معركته في حزبه سابقاً، دونالد ترامب.

ورغم أن ساندرز يعقد الآمال على الفوز بترشيح الحزب رسمياً خلال مؤتمر الحزب في الشهر القادم، فإن كلينتون واثقة من دعم الحزب لترشحها لأنها تعتقد أنها “الأجدر بمنافسة ترامب” بحسب أحد تصريحاتها الشهر الماضي في إحدى جولات الانتخابات التمهيدية.

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ولكن كلينتون وترامب مختلفان بشكل كبير في أسلوب معالجة أبرز القضايا على الساحة السياسية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية الأمريكية. التالي هو آراء ترامب وكلينتون في بعض الملفات الداخلية والخارجية:

حول الهجرة:

كلينتون تعارض ترحيل 11 مليون مهاجر غير مسجّل، بينما ترامب يؤيد، بالإضافة إلى نيّته بناء جدار ما بين المكسيك والولايات المتحدة لمنع المهاجرين من اجتياز الحدود، حين قال” سندع الناس (المكسيكيين) تدخل، ولكن ستدخل بشكل قانوني… وسنجعل المكسيك تدفع ثمن ذلك”. ومن ناحية التعامل مع المسلمين الأجانب، فكلينتون تعارض أن تضع شروطاً إضافية للهجرة على القادمين من الدول الإسلامية، بينما ترامب يؤيد.

حول الحرب على الإرهاب:

ترفض كلينتون زيادة ميزانية الجيش الأمريكي، وطالبت لإنشاء لجنة لبحث أساليب التخلص من بعض المصاريف. أما ترامب، فيؤيد رفع نسبة مصاريف الجيش، ولكنه يشجع على جعل “الآخرين بالقيام بمحاربة الإرهاب”. إضافة إلى ذلك، يرفض المرشحان وجود قوات أمريكية في أي مكان في العالم لمحاربة الإرهاب، ويؤكدان على ضرورة مراقبة المواطنين الأمريكيين لتحديد الإرهابيين في الولايات المتحدة.

وفي الشأن السوري، يرفض المرشحان خوض معارك مباشرة مع تنظيم داعش الإرهابي، بيد أن كلينتون تطالب بإسقاط نظام الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، ولكن ترامب يعارض تلك الفكرة. ولكن بالرغم من هذا الإختلاف، فإن الطرفان يوافقان على التعامل مع الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين لمحاربة داعش.

ضبط انتشار الأسلحة:

تؤيد كلينتون وضع شروطاً متشددة لحيازة أي سلاح، إضافة إلى البحث المعمق في خلفية الشخص الذي يريد شراء سلاح من أي نوع، باستثناء الأسلحة الرشاشة التي تعارض وجودها على رفوف المحال التجارية. بينما ترامب يعارض أي شروط إضافية، وهو الذي كان يعارض انتشار الأسلحة بشكل كبير مع بداية دخوله الساحة السياسية في السنوات الماضية، ولا يمانع التساهل في مسألة البحث المعمق وبيع الأسلحة الرشاشة. 

الاقتصاد:

قال ترامب في إحدى مناظراته أنه سيكون “أفضل رئيس لخلق الوظائف في التاريخ”، ولكن المرشح ذو الأصل الألماني يعارض رفع الحد الأدنى للأجور ورفع نسبة الضريبة على أغنياء الولايات المتحدة، ولكنه يؤيد رفع نسبة الضرائب على الشركات الدولية ذات الأصل الأمريكي. الأمر الذي توافق عليه كلينتون أيضاً، ولكنها تعارض ترامب من ناحية عدم وضع ضرائب على الأغنياء ورفع الحد الأدنى للأجور.

وقد حصدت كلينتون 2203 صوتاً من المندوبين العاديين و574 من المندوبين الكبار، بمجموع 2777، وهي تحتاج إلى 2383 صوتاً لنيل الترشيح الرسمي للحزب الديمقراطي. بيد أن منافسها، السيناتور ساندرز (لديه 1828 صوتاً من المندوبين العاديين و48 من الكبار بمجموع 1876)، لم يفقد الأمل، نظراً لقدرة المندوبين الكبار نقل أصواتهم من طرف إلى آخر، وهو يعوّل على دعم المندوبين الكبار له لنيل كافة الأصوات الـ2383 والفوز بترشيح الحزب.

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