Saturday, October 7, 2017

Worried About Trump’s Mental Stability? The Worst Is Yet to Come.


The Intercept


IS DONALD TRUMP psychologically unstable and unfit for office? Does the president of the United States have a dangerous mental illness of some shape or form?
Ask his fellow Republicans.
During the GOP primaries, Marco Rubio suggested he was a “lunatic,”Rand Paul dubbed him a “delusional narcissist,” and Ted Cruz denounced him as “utterly amoral” and “a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen.” Mitt Romney opined, “His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader,” and Jeb Bush declared, “He needs therapy.”
In recent months, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) has admitted she is “worried” about the president’s mental health, and Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn) has warned that Trump “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence” necessary for a successful presidency.
Ask the ghostwriter of his best-selling book, “The Art of the Deal.”
Tony Schwartz has called Trump a “sociopath” and has said “there is an excellent possibility” that the Trump presidency “will lead to the end of civilization.”
Ask the voters.
One in three Americans say they believe Trump’s mental health is “poor” while two out of three regularly question his temperament. Four in ten voters in the swing state of Michigan — which helped deliver the White House to Trump — say they think the president is “mentally unstable” while a majority of them are worried that he has access to the nuclear codes.
Ask the experts.
In a new book published this week, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” a group of 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts warn that “anyone as mentally unstable as this man should not be entrusted with the life-and-death-powers of the presidency.” Seemingly in defiance of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Goldwater rule,” which states “it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion [on a public figure] unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement,” the various and very eminent contributors paint a picture of a president who has “proven himself unfit for duty.”
Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo — of the famous Stanford prison study — suggests the “unbalanced” Trump is a “specific personality type: an unbridled, or extreme, present hedonist” and “narcissist.” Psychiatrist Lance Dodes, a former Harvard Medical School professor, says Trump’s “sociopathic characteristics are undeniable” and his speech and behavior show signs of “significant mental derangement.” Clinical psychologist John Gartner, a 28-year veteran of John Hopkins University Medical School, argues that Trump is a “malignant narcissist” and “evinces the most destructive and dangerous collection of psychiatric symptoms possible for a leader.” For Gartner, the “catastrophe” of a Trump presidency “might have been avoided if we in the mental health community had told the public the truth, instead of allowing ourselves to be gagged by the Goldwater rule.”
“The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump” was conceived of and edited by Professor Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine, who writes of her profession’s moral and civic “duty to warn” the American public about the threat posed by their volatile, erratic and thin-skinned president.
On the latest edition of my Al Jazeera English show, “UpFront,” I spoke to Lee about Trump’s mental state, the purpose of the book and the arguments put forth by her critics. The interview has been lightly edited and condensed.
MEHDI HASAN: Why did you write this book and what is your main message?
BANDY LEE: We are a group of mental health experts who have come to a consensus conclusion about an issue that is of vital interest to the public  and that the public has a right to know: basically, that Mr. Trump in the office of the presidency is a danger to the public and the international community. We are not purporting to make a diagnosis. Assessing dangerousness is different from diagnosing someone for the purpose of treatment. I’m speaking on my own behalf and not representing the views of Yale University, Yale School of Medicine, or Yale Department of Psychiatry.
MH: According to a study by experts at the Duke University Medical Center, around one in four presidents have had some sort of mental illness while in office. So why is Trump so special?
BL: Mental illness itself does not involve an incapacity to carry out a duty. It’s really the specific symptoms, the severity of the symptoms, and the particular combination of… impulsivity, recklessness, an inability to accept facts, rage reactions, an attraction to violence, a proneness to incite violence — all these things are signs of danger.”
MH: Allen Frances, the famous psychiatry professor who wrote a manual on diagnosing mental disorders, has denounced your book, saying: “Bad behavior is rarely a sign of mental illness… Psychiatric name calling is a misguided way of countering Trump’s attack on democracy.” What’s your response to him?
BL: Actually, I don’t think we’re that much in disagreement. We are declaring dangerousness, which is different from making a diagnosis. I am of the camp that believes it is necessary to do a full interview and to [have] all the information, including any medical conditions, any other disorders, that could explain behavior before making a diagnosis. So, again, we are not purporting to make a diagnosis. The conjecture is that he shows signs of severe mental impairment. We are concerned enough that we are calling for an urgent assessment.
MH: A lot of presidents were narcissists, egomaniacs, incited violence, suffered from conditions such as depression. People didn’t question their fitness for office, did they?
BL: That is right. Very few conditions are dangerous. Very few conditions would make one unfit for duty. In this particular situation, we are declaring a danger to the public and to international security. I can tell you as an expert on violence that he has shown many signs of dangerousness. The most obvious ones might be verbal aggressiveness, history of sexual assault, incitement of violence at his rallies, attraction to violence and powerful weapons, [provoking] hostile nations, and, more recently, an endorsement of violence, during [the protests in] Charlottesville, and sparring with another nuclear power that has an unstable leader. All these things are signs of dangerousness.
MH: There’s been talk of setting up a commission of mental health experts to evaluate every future president and perhaps advise Congress on a president’s fitness for office. Should Donald Trump be removed from office based on his mental state? Should the 25th Amendment, which discusses how to remove a president if he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” be invoked?
BL: Well, we’re merely recommending that procedures be put in place to evaluate every presidential candidate and every president, in the same manner that every military officer and every civilian service person is put through. That the commander-in-chief is not put to the same test is a glaring omission. Currently we are advocating the setting up of an expert panel to advise a commission and we’re recommending that the panel consist of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and neurologists.
MH: But you’re of the view that there is a case for removing Trump from office based on his mental state?
BL: There are many signs pointing in that direction and so we’re calling for an urgent evaluation.
MH: How worried should we be that Trump has access to the nuclear codes?
BL: Well, that is our critical concern: that his condition is actually probably far worse than people are detecting now; that [his] mental impairment goes deeper and is far more pervasive than people can understand when they are untrained in psychological matters. And that the worst is yet to come.

Why is Israel supporting Kurdish secession from Iraq?

Iraqi Kurdistan is not a second Israel, and it never will be.


So far, Israel has been the only state to support the Kurdish secession from Iraq, even celebrating the outcome of the September 25 referendum, in which an overwhelming majority of Iraqi Kurds voted for breaking away from Baghdad.
Israeli enthusiasm for Kurdish independence has little to do with compassion for the Kurds, whether in Iraq or elsewhere, and more to do with geopolitical interests. In fact, it is beyond ironic for Israel, a state founded and sustained on brutal military occupation and apartheid, to champion freedom for the Kurds or any group of people in the world.
Israel not only denies self-determination for the Palestinian people, but it also has a record of actively supporting criminal juntas in Central and South America and the former Apartheid regime in South Africa. Also, Israel has never supported any other national liberation movement in its history.
Israel's support for an independent Kurdish state is solely motivated by geopolitical reasons. Israel wants to secure the flow of oil supplies from the Kurdish Autonomous Region, but more importantly, it wants to build a pro-Israeli entity that cuts through the Arab World.
Israel already imports 77 percent of its oil supplies from Iraq's Kurdish region. These imports are extremely important for the Zionist state, as it does not have access to the natural resources of oil-rich Gulf states. Also, Israel believes that an independent Kurdish state can serve as a potential foothold for the Israeli military and intelligence, giving the country leverage against Iran, Syria and Iraq. The creation of an independent Kurdish state in the Middle East fits perfectly into Oded Yion's 1982 plan for the Middle East, which advocated the split up of the Arab World along ethnic and sectarian lines to strengthen Israel and expand its hegemony.
The Israeli backing of the Kurdish secession from Iraq is further igniting Arabs' suspicions that such a move would be a concrete step towards the disintegration of the Arab World, something that could trigger clashes and even wars.  
Israel perceives a future Kurdish state as a potential non-Arab ally in the region - an ally that is not directly affected by the Palestinian cause. Since its inception, Israel has followed the "alliance of the peripheries" strategy, conceived by its first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, to strengthen Israel's ties with non-Arab Muslim states or groups in the region, in order to break the isolation of the Zionist state.
As part of this doctrine, Israel reached out to Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani, the father of current Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, several times throughout his time in office. As a result of these efforts, Mustafa Barzani visited Israel twice, once in 1968 and once in 1973. Yet, these efforts did not amount to much. Kurds did not show any strong support for Israel or animosity towards the Palestinians.
There is no doubt that the tyranny of the Arab states and their failure to adequately deal with Kurdish rights pushed new generations of Kurds away from the Arab World and into the lap of Israel.

Thus the scene of Israeli flags flying in Kurdish towns during the referendum along with reported slogans such as "We are the second Israel" suggest an alteration of the Kurdish political culture and an apparent  break from the past when Kurdish fighters trained and fought alongside members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in Beirut in the late sixties, seventies and early eighties.
Since then Israel has succeeded, with the help of Kurdish leaders like President Masoud Barzani, to infiltrate Kurdish society and end a once strong Kurdish association with the Palestinian cause.
There is no doubt that the tyranny of the Arab states and their failure to adequately deal with Kurdish rights pushed new generations of Kurds away from the Arab World and into the lap of Israel.  As Iraq plummeted into sectarian violence and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group started its campaign of terror, rape and grisly atrocities, a new fault line between the Kurds and the rest of the Arab world has emerged.
But the two main turning points in Kurdish-Arab relations were the 1991 Western-imposed no-fly zone that went beyond protecting the Kurdish population into tearing the Kurdish region from Iraq and the 2003 US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. The catastrophic invasion triggered internal strife that further alienated the Kurds from the rest of the country and allowed for increased Israeli presence in the area.
In its declared and enthusiastic support for Kurdish independence, Israel has openly tried to draw similarities between its history and the Kurdish struggle for statehood. By doing so, Israel has been trying to erase the parallels between the Kurdish and Palestinian struggles against colonialism and oppression.
The new revisionist story, in the words of former Likud Minister Gideon Saar, is that the Kurds and the Jews are two minority groups in the Middle East, but that the Jews have achieved statehood while the Kurds have not.
"The Kurds have been and will continue to be reliable and long-term allies of Israel since they are, like us, a minority group in the region," he said.
Such interpretation of history is not only self-serving, but false. Kurds have been an integral and authentic part of the region and of the Arab World - they are not colonisers, and they did not use military power to expropriate lands or dispossess people.
While there has always been a Jewish minority in historical Palestine and the Arab World,  Zionism was not part of an indigenous movement, but was born in Europe to address what was called the "Jewish question" triggered by  institutionalised persecution of and pogroms committed against Jews across Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
Zionism did not provide a vision for ending discrimination against European Jews but embarked on a colonialist movement to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine through the forced usurpation of its lands and dispossession of its people.
The Israeli attempt to draw parallels between Zionism and the plight of the Kurdish people, whether in Iran, Turkey, Syria or Iraq is blatant propaganda to vindicate its colonial project, its occupation of Palestine and continued crimes against the Palestinians.
The provocative photos and footage of Israeli flags in Erbil and Kirkuk, as painful as they are to us, should not lead to the isolation or demonisation of the Kurds. We have to acknowledge the responsibility of Arab states, as well as Iran and Turkey in the historical injustice that was inflicted on the Kurds.
Arguments that Kurds are a pawn to Israel and the West ignore the fact that any persecuted minority, regardless of its ethnicity or religion, can fall prey to foreign influence and interference, and we cannot deny their right to self-determination.
Arabs are now faced with a very difficult dilemma between supporting the Kurdish right to self-determination, an inalienable right for all people, and resisting Israeli attempts to become dominant in Iraqi Kurdistan.
There are no easy answers, but it is important to send a message to the Kurdish people that we support their right to self-determination by increasing ties between Kurdish and Arab political parties, civil societies and intellectuals.
We can't afford a break with Kurdistan, neither morally nor strategically. It is time to reach out and be there for the Kurds. We should make sure the Iraqi central government, which has done a dismal job so far, does not attempt to oppress and control the Kurdish people, but rather that it negotiate with Kurdish leaders on the basis of respect and equality.
Regardless of what we think of Masoud Barzani and his corruption, we should remember that it is the Kurdish people who we should reach out to. After all, many Arab leaders are no different from Barzani, and his failings do not erase the Kurdish people's importance in the region - Kurds are a people whose culture and contributions have enriched the Arab World for centuries.
It is not too late to prevent a break between Kurds and Arabs. It is important to counter Israel's destructive plans for the region, but turning Kurds into an enemy of the Arab world, just because they are seeking self-determination, is wrong and self-defeating.
It's time for us to stop repeating the phrase "Kurdistan is a second Israel", even though some Kurds have been using it. Kurdistan is not a new Israel, and it will never be.
Lamis Andoni is an analyst and commentator on Middle Eastern and Palestinian affairs.

Friday, October 6, 2017

فوق السلطة- نهاية العالم

Inside the Saudi King’s 1,500-Person Entourage in Moscow

Saudi officials booked two entire luxury hotels and brought their own carpets and hotel staff with King Salman bin Abdulaziz on his historic visit.

عرب جرب


Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz brought 1,500 people, a golden escalator and his own carpets on his historic, four-day state visit to Russia, a person familiar with the matter said.
The 81-year-old leader of the Gulf kingdom exited his plane late Wednesday and stepped out onto the special escalator he travels with. But something went wrong: It malfunctioned halfway down, and he had to walk the rest of the way. A cavalcade of cars sped the monarch to the center of the city, flanked by Russian police escorts.
During the first visit to Russia by a Saudi monarch, the two countries have already struck a deal on weapons sales and discussed ways to continue to cooperate on stabilizing the oil market. And as they have done in other cities, the Saudis made themselves at home in Moscow.
A Saudi plane is traveling daily between Riyadh and Moscow to transport supplies, said the person, who said that 800 kilograms (1,764 pounds) of food has been brought in. Members of the royal entourage also replaced some of the hotel staff with their own personnel, who know exactly how they like their coffee made, the person said. King Salman, who’s staying at the Four Seasons, also came with his own furniture.
The Saudi government booked two entire luxury hotels for the visit: the Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons. The latter had to ask some guests to cancel their reservations to make room—and even moved out people who live in the hotel permanently, people familiar with the matter said.
Members of the delegation of Saudi Arabia before the talks in Moscow, Russia on Oct. 5, 2017. 
Photographer: Dmitry Azarov/Kommersant via Getty Images
A doorman dressed in red livery at the Four Seasons said the entire hotel was booked through Oct. 8 and wasn’t open to the public.
Representatives from the Ritz and Four Seasons declined to comment. The Royal Court in Riyadh didn’t respond to a request for comment on size of the delegation.
U.S. presidents also travel with large entourages, including a bullet-proof limousine and a Secret Service protection force, and sometimes also book entire hotels. Former U.S. President Barack Obama stayed at the Ritz in Moscow during a 2009 trip, and President Donald Trump also stayed there in 2013 for the Miss Universe contest that he owned.
The bill for fully booking the two hotels during the visit may run about $3 million, not including what the delegation will spend on services, restaurant meals and spa treatments, said Vadim Prasov, vice president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

مَحاذيرُ تُقامِرُ بها حماس

أسامة أبو ارشيد


مع التطورات المتسارعة التي تشهدها الساحة الفلسطينية، وتحديداً في ملفالمصالحة الوطنية، هي في حقيقتها مصالحة بين حركتيْ فتح وحماس، تصاعد جدل واسع بشأن ما إذا كانت "حماس" تعيش مخاضات فكرية وسياسية، تحت ضغط الواقع، قد تضعها على المسار الذي مضت فيه "فتح". عندما أعلنت "حماس" في الأول من مايو/ أيار الماضي عن وثيقتها السياسية، ومالت فيها إلى لغةٍ سياسية أكثر انضباطاً من لغة ميثاقها الصادر عام 1988، اعتبر رئيس مكتبها السياسي، حينذاك، خالد مشعل، أن "حماس" تطورت ولم تتغير، من دون أن يعني ذلك أي تنازلٍ في مواقفها الكلية المبدئية التي تؤكّد على فلسطين كل فلسطين، ومن دون اعترافٍ أبداً بإسرائيل. ولكن "حماس" أَتْبَعَت وثيقتهاالسياسية تلك بتغيير في الشهر نفسه، وذلك عندما انتخبت رئيس الوزراء السابق، إسماعيل هنية، من قطاع غزة، رئيساً لمكتبها السياسي. 
انتخاب هنية رئيساً للمكتب السياسي سبقه انتخاب يحيى السنوار رئيساً للحركة في قطاع غزة. طبعاً لم يمثل انتخاب السنوار مفاجأة حينها، فالرجل أحد الذين وضعوا اللبنات الأولى للجهازين، العسكري والأمني، لحماس، واعتقلته إسرائيل عام 1988، ولم يخرج إلا في صفقة "وفاء الأحرار" عام 2011. ما تردّد كثيرون في قوله حينها، إن انتخاب هنية لقيادة الحركة، والسنوار لقيادة تنظيمها في قطاع غزة، أحدث خللاً في توازنات القوى والتمثيل داخل "حماس" بين مناطق وجودها المختلفة. وهي أدركت ذلك أم لم تدرك، فإن مقاربتها للمشروع الوطني الفلسطيني راهناً قد تكون رهينة لهذا التغيير القيادي. عملياً، أصبحت "حماس" أقرب إلى تنظيم غزاوي على حساب الضفة الغربية والشتات، سواء لناحية الثقل والإمكانات والجناح العسكري، والقيادة الآن، بل وحتى الهَمِّ.
بمعنى آخر، سيكون لتركيز الثقل والإمكانات والقيادة في قطاع غزة ما يليه، اللهم إلا أن تتنبه 
"حماس" لذلك باكراً. الأهم أن تتنبه الحركة إلى ما يبدو أنها محاولات جادة من محور مصر-السعودية- الإمارات لتضييق الخناق على تنظيمها في قطاع غزة، ومحاولة عزلها عن حلفائها الأتراك والقطريين، واستمرار عملية تفكيك تنظيمها في الضفة الغربية، عبر أجهزة أمن السلطة الفلسطينية وإسرائيل نفسها، وذلك كله في أفق تطويع "حماس" عبر بوابة الظروف القاهرة في قطاع غزة. ولمن لم يقتنع بعد نحيله إلى تصريحات رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية، محمود عباس، الثلاثاء الماضي، الرافضة لسلاح المقاومة، وتلميحه إلى أن "حماس" ركعت بسبب الضغوط، ولم تأت طوعاً من أجل "المصالحة". أي أن ما يطلبه هذا المحور والسلطة أن حماس تدخل "بيت الطاعة"، لا حماس المتمسكة بالثوابت الفلسطينية.
عودةً هنا إلى مسألة هَمِّ قطاع غزة في مقاربات "حماس". لا أريد أن أُفَصِّلَ هنا بما هو معلوم للجميع من معاناة قطاع غزة وأهله تحت حصار متوحش جائر، فلسطيني (رسمي)، ومصري - عربي، وإسرائيلي - دولي في محاولة لتركيع "حماس" وكسرها. هذه حقائق يعلمها الجميع، وقد تعاملت معها قيادة "حماس" السابقة، كما تتعامل معها القيادة الحالية. لكن الجديد أن الأخيرة، بسبب إقامتها في القطاع المحاصر، يبدو أنها لم تعد تقارب تعقيدات القضية الفلسطينية إلا من خلال نكبة غزة وظرفها المأساوي، وذلك على حساب المقاربة الجَمَعِيَّةِ الأوسع. وحتى لا يسيء بعضهم فهم ما أطرحه هنا، فإني أؤكد إيماني بحق أهل قطاع غزة ألا يروا الدنيا إلا من خلال ثقب إبرتهم، ولكن ليس من حق قيادة حركة فلسطينية كبيرة وأساسية، مثل "حماس"، أن لا ترى الدنيا إلا من خلال ثقب إبرة غزة. فلسطين أكبر من قطاع غزة، ونكبتنا في قطاع غزة جزء من نكبتنا في فلسطين كلها، ولن يمكن حل قضية القطاع جذرياً من دون حل قضية فلسطين ذاتها.
هذا المقال جرس إنذار لِلْكُلّ الفلسطينيّ، بعيداً عن تجاذبات قطبي حماس - فتح. مقاربة "فتح" لمشروعنا الوطني الجَمعِيِّ اختزلت فلسطين في بعض الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة، قبل أن تختزله أكثر في بعض الضفة الغربية. وتسير حركة المقاومة الإسلامية (حماس) اليوم على طريق اختزال مشروعنا الوطني الجَمعِيِّ في قطاع غزة، فماذا يتبقى لنا، بعد ذلك، من فلسطين وحقوقنا التاريخية فيها غير الشعارات؟ من حقنا، نحن ـ فلسطينيي الضفة الغربية والداخل المحتل عام 1948ـ وكذلك الخارج.. من حقنا أن نخشى من اختزال المشروع الوطني الفلسطيني في بعض أجزائه وأطرافه. دائما ما عابت "حماس" على منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية وحركة فتح والسلطة الوطنية إهمالها الكلّ الفلسطيني، وها هي اليوم تسير على المنوال نفسه، ربما غير واعية ولا قاصدة، لكن النتيجة ستكون واحدة.
يبدو تسارع خطوات قيادة "حماس" اليوم في قطاع غزة غير مدروس، ولا يبدو أنه محل 
توافق في أماكن وجودها كلها. كما أنه لا يمكن فهم هذا التسويق والتجميل لـ"مصالحة" تعلم "حماس" أنها وَهْمٌ وقائمة على أسس خطيرة. نعم، "المصالحة" ضرورة لتخفيف الحصار عن قطاع غزة وأهله، لكن بيع الوَهْمِ وخداع الذات والشعب الفلسطيني أمر خطير، ولا يبرّره شيء، والمطلوب من "حماس" اليوم أن تقدم تطمينات ورؤية لتصورها المستقبلي للعمل لفلسطين كلها. وكان السنوار قد أطلق، في شهر يونيو/ حزيران الماضي، تفاهمات مع محمد دحلان، لا يبدو أن الحركة ناقشتها وتوافقت عليها في مؤسساتها الشورية الوطنية. ثمَّ ها هي "حماس غزة" التي تمثل مجمل القيادة الكلّيَةَ للحركة اليوم، تطلق جولة جديدة من المفاوضات مع سلطة عباس، ولا يبدو أن الكل في "حماس" منخرط فيها، ويبدو أن كثيرين، خصوصاً في غزة، يخشون أن يفتحوا أفواههم مخافة أن "تُكْسَرَ أعناقهم" كما هدّد السنوار! 

مرة أخرى، هذا ليس رفضاً لمصالحة وطنية حقيقية، ولا تشكيكاً بأهمية رفع الحصار عن قطاع غزة بأي شكل، وضمن ثمن معقول لا يمس الثوابت الوطنية والمصالح العليا. القضية هي في هذا الاختلال الذي تعاني منه "حماس" اليوم، والذي بموجبه أعطت قيادتها في قطاع غزة نفسها حق التقرير عن كل أجنحتها، أو ربما غصباً عنها. وإذا كانت تلك مشكلة "حماس"، فإن المشكلة لا تقف عند ذلك الحد. إذ إن حديث "المصالحة" الحالي مقلق جداً، وبعض قيادة "حماس" الحالية تسير على خطى "فتح" من قبل في منع أي نقاش جاد بشأن سياقات هذه "المصالحة" محلياً وإقليمياً ودولياً، والتي جعلت من مصر- السيسي، التي تخنق قطاع غزة، بقدرة قادر، راعياً لها! ألم نشتك/ نحن الفلسطينيين، يوما، ومن ضمننا "حماس"، من استئثار حركة فتح واحتكارها مشروعنا الوطني الفلسطيني الجَمعِيِّ، والذي أنتج لنا كارثة "أوسلو"؟ ألا يحق لنا اليوم أن نشكك في نوايا محور مصر- السعودية- الإمارات الذي يدفع في اتجاه هذه "المصالحة" وأثمانها، بضوء أخضر أميركي على ما يبدو!؟ أيحق لنا، نحن ـ الفلسطينيين ـ أن نتساءل لماذا؟ وبأي ثمن؟ هل هي جزء من "صفقة القرن" لتصفية ما تبقى من فلسطين؟ ألم يَأْت الأوان لإعادة بعث مشروع وطني جامع، يتوافق فيه الفلسطينيون في كل أماكن وجودهم على حدود دنيا، من دون التنازل عن الحدود العليا؟ هل تعمل "حماس" على إطلاق الصافرة التي طال انتظارها؟ هذا ما نرجوه.

Al-Jazeera Cartoon: Putin in Syria

كاريكاتير: بوتين في سوريا

الحصاد- السعودية.. حريات: غرامات وعقوبات مغلظة

DNA - 05/10/2017 السعودية وتركيا تُعلِنان الإستسلام

أردوغان: سنتخذ إجراءات بشأن كركوك ولا حلّ أمام البارزاني إلا التراجع



قال الرئيس التركي، رجب طيب أردوغان، اليوم الخميس، إنه سيتم اتخاذ إجراءات بشأن مدينة كركوك العراقية، مشددا على أنه "لا شرعية للأكرادهناك"، ومشيرا إلى أن "أنقرة لم تتلق من إقليم كردستان العراق أي إشارات لمرونة أو تراجع".

وأضاف أردوغان، خلال إجابته على أسئلة الصحافيين أثناء عودته من الزيارة الرسمية التي قام بها إلى إيران أمس: "لم يحصل شيء يدل على المرونة أو التراجع من قبل سلطات كردستان، ولو سعينا الآن إلى التواصل معهم، ولو على مستوى متدنٍ، فإن هذا سيكون خطأ". 
وذكر أن تركيا وإيران والعراق ستتخذ قرارا مشتركا بشأن وقف تدفق إمدادات النفط من شمال العراق، ردا على الاستفتاء، منتقدا إدراج مدينة كركوك الغنية بالنفط في الاستفتاء، قائلا إن"الأكراد لا شرعية لهم هناك".
وأبرز أنه "تنتظر تركيا من (رئيس الإقليم) مسعود البارزاني وأعوانه التراجع (عن استفتاء الانفصال). وفي الأصل، فإن ما فعلوه لا أرضية قانونية له، ومخالف للقوانين الدولية، إذ كان لا بد من تمرير الأمر عبر البرلمان الفيدرالي، وهذا أمر لا يمكن القيام به، وقد صرّحت الحكومة المركزية بذلك بشكل رسمي، كما قامت المحكمة الاتحادية العليا بإلغاء القرار".
وأكد أردوغان أن الخطوات المقبلة التي سيتم اتخاذها ضد الإقليم ستتم وفق الجدول الموضوع لها، وأوضح: "يجب أن يتم التراجع عن هذا الأمر، وأن يتم إلغاء الاستفتاء، ثم انظروا إلى وضع كوسوفو الآن التي تتمتع بشروط وظروف مختلفة، ورغم الاعتراف بها من قبل 114 دولة لا يمكن القول إنها دولة، علما أن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية أولى الدول التي اعترفت بها، وكانت تركيا الدولة الثانية بفارق ثوان، ولذلك على البارزاني أن يُنهي هذا الأمر، فلا يوجد لديه حل آخر، وإلا سنضطر إلى اتخاذ خطوات محددة في إطار جدول زمني واضح".
وفيا يتعلق بالملف السوري، أكد الرئيس التركي أن بلاده تعاونت مع موسكو بشأن تحديد حدود مناطق خفض التصعيد في إدلب السورية، مشيرا إلى أن الجيش التركي سيعمل داخل المنطقة في المحافظة، بينما تعمل القوات الروسية من الخارج.
وذكر: "فيما يخص حدود منطقة خفض التصعيد في إدلب، فقد جرى تقسيم المهام في الداخل والخارج، بحيث تعمل القوات المسلحة التركية داخل حدود محافظة إدلب، وتعمل القوات الروسية من الخارج".
وعن تفاصيل المواضيع التي تم الحديث فيها خلال زيارة طهران، قال أردوغان: "فيما يخص أزمات المنطقة، تحدثنا في كل من الشأن السوري والعراقي، وبعد الخطوات التي تم اتخاذها خلال عملية أستانة يتم تشكيل منطقة خفض تصعيد (..) إن الآلية الثلاثية تعمل، نحن لا نخاطب النظام السوري، بل يتم الحديث بين كل من تركيا وروسيا وإيران، ونود أن نحافظ على هذه العملية من دون أن تتضرر".
واستدرك أردوغان: "لكن للأسف حدث في الساحة بعض الحوادث في الفترة الأخيرة.. لقد تم قصف أحد المشافي، وقُتل عدد من المعارضة المعتدلة، وقتل 40 شخصا، إضافة إلى وفاة أحد الجنرالات الروس".

Emad Hajjaj;s Cartoon

روسيا وايران

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

DNA - 04/10/2017 السعودية تستدعي حلفاءها

What Jeremy Corbyn can teach the Arab Spring

Corbyn’s transformation from muppet to master of all he surveys is remarkable and it holds clear lessons for the battered battalions of the Arab Spring

By David Hearst


What a difference a year makes. This time last year Jeremy Corbyn was fighting to stay leader of the Labour Party. It mattered little that he had just been re-elected by 250,000 party members, the largest mandate ever won by a party leader. It mattered even less that Labour had become the largest political party in Europe.
Corbyn was savaged by Labour MPs and the media at every turn. “They won’t stop until they see our blood on the floor,” one member of his team observed. Corbyn was assailed for not singing the national anthem, for debating whether to wear a white or red poppy, for refusing to kneel before the Queen. The right wing Daily Mail styled him “Comrade Corbyn”. The soft left were even less forgiving.
The BBC, a public service broadcaster with a legal duty to be impartial, also had the knives out for him. In one infamous interview, Laura Kuenssberg, its political editor, did not so much grill Corbyn, as turn him over slowly on a roasting spit.
Kuenssberg assailed him for his well-known opposition to nuclear weapons, and - in a longer interview published online - for his opposition to shoot-to-kill policing.
LK: [interrupting] So yes or no. You would never push the nuclear button?
JC: I've answered you perfectly clearly. It's immoral to have or use nuclear weapons. I've made that clear all of my life.
At no point did she balance her attack with counter-arguments, such as  the widespread scepticism of military strategists about the wisdom of maintaining a weapon Britain could never use independently. Her polemical purpose was to portray Corbyn as man unfit to govern, who could not be trusted to defend his country.
"Arab states do not need yet another traditional leader. They need a transformation."
Half the shadow cabinet helped her to convey this message: Andy Burnham, shadow home secretary; Maria Eagle, shadow defence secretary; Hilary Benn, shadow foreign secretary; Angela Eagle, shadow business secretary; Lord Falconer, shadow justice secretary; and Heidi Alexander, shadow health secretary.
Kuenssberg was taken to the BBC Trust for that interview and the Trust ruled in Corbyn’s favour. It found that the BBC’s political editor had inaccurately reported the Labour leader’s views about shoot-to-kill, presenting his general views as a response to a specific question about the Paris attacks, when they plainly were not.
Kuenssberg was undeterred by the finding that she had breached the BBC’s own rules of impartiality and fairness. It was the political hunting season, and Corbyn was fair game. Martha Kearney, John Humphreys were all part of the hunting party.

A remarkable transformation

Fast forward a few months and look how differently Kuenssberg (who turned up at the Labour Party conference with a bodyguard) treats Corbyn. Gone are the smears and the epithets. Corbyn is being reported straight. The BBC is starting to treat Corbyn seriously as a future prime minister.
Which is just as well, because he could easily yet be one. Even if he never is, the Labour leader is setting the domestic agenda. Austerity, privatisation of the NHS, inner city regeneration (code for gentrification), student fees, zero contract hours -  the words which formed the narrative for the last two decades have become politically toxic. The beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May will unveil in her party conference speech today a new council house building programme. Would she have done this without Corbyn breathing down her neck?  Labour will never again be - in Peter Mandelson’s phrase - intensely relaxed about the filthy rich. (In February this year, Mandelson said he worked to undermine Corbyn “every day”.)
Whatever the future holds for him, Corbyn has changed the political landscape. Corbyn’s transformation from muppet to master of all he surveys is remarkable. And it holds clear lessons for the battered battalions of the Arab Spring.
Corbyn has much in common with the forces that led the Arab Spring: both represent the poor and the working classes; both emerged from the fringes of the political spectrum; both surprised the establishment; both had the overwhelming majority of the media against them; and both were the frequent targets of attempted coups.
The military coup in Egypt succeeded, but the same counter revolutionary forces funded by the same dictatorships also tried a coup in Tunisia, Turkey and latterly in Qatar. The right wing of the Labour Party and the most senior members of the parliamentary party openly and repeatedly tried to unseat their party leader.
But there are significant differences, too. In his most difficult moments, Corbyn stuck by his constituency and never distanced himself from it; he did not appease, even in moments when he looked bad; he did not triangulate or change his message. He stuck to his guns in the knowledge that voters would deliver, which they did.
The Islamist victors of the first free elections in the modern history of Egypt and Tunisia thought they needed to reconcile with their enemies in the old regime, big business and the establishment to secure stability in society. By doing so, they allowed the establishment to drive a wedge between them, their voters, and their fellow revolutionaries.
Mohamed Morsi begun his presidency by taking an oath in Tahrir Square. He ended it by abandoning the secular left in favour of his new found friends in the army. A week before they marched him off to prison, Morsi thought the army had his back. Today, a continually compromising - and compromised - Ennadha party in Tunisia backed a law giving amnesty to corruption in the era of Ben Ali. To be a supporter of the Arab Spring is to be continually betrayed. And for what? Scraps of international aid? The IMF?
Not that their former partners in the secular left fared much better. They were corrupted by the bribes they were given to sabotage their fellow revolutionaries; they too played identity politics, lacking the vision to understand that unity was more important than sectional gain.

For the many, not the few

Corbyn’s movement understood that the media would never back him. So it created its own alternative channels of communication with the electorate which worked well - social media, meetings on the door step and in the town hall - all well below the radar of the national media.
The forces which led the Arab Spring were overwhelmed by the hostility of the media and could not keep in touch with their electorate. In exile they are still far from being a government in waiting. The Brotherhood is wracked by splits, and can only really come alive again under a new leadership drawn from its youth. Other elements of the opposition are in an even worse state.
Neither are  addressing the central question in the Arab world. This is no longer about identity politics and whether you label yourself Islamist or secular. It is about how to govern, in Corbyn’s words, for the many not the few.
Its about giving everyone a fair share of  the state’s resources, about creating a state which protects rather than preys off its people. Its about a functional and fair minded economy, transparent and accountable government. To this neither political Islam nor the other opposing secular liberal forces provide alternative answers other than to mouth the discredited economic mantra of global capital. They are resilient as a protest movement, but they have no programme, no manifesto for the day after a dictator falls. They seek power but have little idea what to do with it. They have had a long time to think about it in prison.
I am not saying these opposition forces are redundant. They are needed now more than ever before because Arab regimes since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, have failed miserably to create a self-confident, independent and economically prosperous Arab world, and their model of governance is broken.
Look at the wealthiest country in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia, a  regime which is now trying to rebrand itself as a champion of women’s rights. It has just given up half a trillion dollars of its wealth in civil and military contracts, and pledges, to Donald Trump, while their economy is contracting.
In contrast, Corbyn does have a plan and if the turnaround in his fortunes was attributed to any single factor it was his manifesto. Just five weeks before the date of the last general election, Corbyn was trailing 20 points in the polls behind the Conservatives, having just lost massively in local elections. His fortunes changed once his manifesto appeared. Why? Because for the first time in a generation, it offered voters a genuine alternative.
There is another lesson here for the forces of the Arab Spring: public opinion is volatile and no battle is ever won or lost. The counter-revolutionary forces of absolute monarchs and military dictators have squandered billions of dollars selling the notion that the Arab Spring is dead and that everyone who took part in it should pack up and go home. Corbyn proves there is life after death.
Lesson number one: never give up. Lesson number two: know your constituency. Lesson number three: never allow anyone to get between you and it. Lesson number four: create your own media. Lesson number five: construct a programme that helps the working class. Lesson number six: do not try to reconcile with those who hate you, because you will lose either way.
Whatever the future holds for him, Corbyn has changed the landscape of British politics - which is more than can be said for a host of Labour leaders before him. Arab states do not need yet another traditional leader. They need a transformation. That can only be done from the inside, from the youth upwards. No outside power is going to help them. In fact, it will actively thwart them. This is a job for Arabs themselves. They have already paid in blood for losing once, in Egypt, in Syria, in Libya, in Yemen. One day, however, they will prevail and for that they have to prepare now.
David Hearst is editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He was chief foreign leader writer of The Guardian, former Associate Foreign Editor, European Editor, Moscow Bureau Chief, European Correspondent, and Ireland Correspondent. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.