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Audio: The Ukraine Crisis – It’s Overflow Impact on the Middle East. KGNU, Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues – Part Three; Jim Nelson, Producer. Tuesday, April 26, 2022

April 27, 2022

China to Iran – one of the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese-Iranian ties have given Iran confidence that it can face down U.S. sanctions successfully

(note on the audio: the audio is unfortunately truncated and only starts about 15 minutes within the interview… What I provide below is a transcript of my notes for that first period. Some of Ibrahim Kazerooni’s open remarks on the status of the JCPOA which followed this intro are lost, unfortunately. The essence of his remarks is that after looking as if at the end of March that an agreement might be achieved, shortly thereafter, the U.S. pulled back on its promises to eliminate sanctions against Iran as specified in the 2015 agreement. Iran refused to sign a statement that it would not seek revenge for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, killed in a drone rocket attack at the beginning of 2020 for which the Trump Administration took credit. Kazerooni argued (and I agree) that the likelihood of a revived JCPOA agreement has faded to naught. The audio begins with Kazerooni’s comments – and my response to his remarks on the consequences of the agreement’s failure.)

These notes are from the program’s beginning…

Rob Prince: We are now two months into what the Russians refer to as their Special Operation in the Ukraine, what the West is referring to as the Russian invasion of Ukraine…

It is not our goal to talk about the Russian military operation in Ukraine beyond its Middle Eastern effects but we would remind our listeners of a few points:

a. Take your pick of past examples of U.S. military intervention or one done by proxies – have been based on misinformation and lies – “the Gulf of Tonkin all over again.”

In all these cases, the American people have not told the truth and it is only after ten, fifteen years that “the truth” hits us – as happened in Afghanistan.

Why would Ukraine be any different?

b. Secondly, that if your starting point for the Russian invasion of Ukraine is February 24, 2022 – you come to one obvious conclusion about who is responsible for this war…

But if given a little historical perspective – starting with the consequences of the 2014 Maidan coup and the informal Ukrainian integration into NATO, then responsibility for this war, takes on quite a different character.

Our proposition is this: that as the global balance of power between the two blocks (US-NATO- Russia-Chine) shifts, that it is profoundly effecting the geopolitics of the Middle East region that opens up new possibilities – as distant as they might seem today – for greater stability and peace making.

In tonight’s programs we want to look at these trends by using three examples:

1. The continued roadblocks to the United States returning to the JCPOA
2. The “identity crisis” that Israel is experiencing –
3. The recent developments in Pakistan – regime change and the shunting aside of Imran Khan

My notes continue after Ibrahim’s remarks:

I might make some comments later but given your time restraints, I’d like to talk about how the Ukraine events – well actually much more than the Ukraine events, the entire shift in global geo-politics is affecting Israel and Syria.

We talked about this last month, but now there is much to add; It might seem unusual and frankly not very accurate to speak of an Israeli crisis… but the signs are growing..

Israeli political and military leadership has come to the conclusion that Russia is going to win the war in Ukraine and in so doing strengthen its position both globally and in the Middle East.

-The ramifications of this victory is going to be huge, particularly for the Israelis and for Syria

a. – One consequence will be the return of Russian influence in Syria to eliminate the last pockets of the mercenaries there – to clean the Idlib area of these elements – al Nusra, ISIS and the like.
– These elements will have no other option open but to flee to Turkey – something Turkey has trying to avoid for a number of years and will probably destabilize Turkey for a number of years, but they have no choice.
– Turkey had intended to send a lot of these mercenaries to Ukraine – with the full knowledge and support of the USA. So in addition to the nazi elements in the Ukrainian military and intelligence services – add to that these Islamic mercenaries working together against Russia.
– this will bring the crisis of Syria into European lands

b. For the Israelis there are a number of issues of concern:

Israel caught – on the one hand – must push the pro-U.S. agenda in Ukraine and has been intimately involved in training the Ukrainian military including its ultra-nationalist forces – this is unforgiveable from Moscow’s view point and undermines any Israeli attempt to play some kind of neutral mediator between Washington and Moscow – which the Putin government has in any case, rejected.

On the other hand – the Russian government – and specifically Putin – is very popular among Russian and Ukrainian Jewish immigrants many of whom live in the Occupied Territories. They strongly support Putin’s brand of strong Russian nationalism..and they are key elements to Bennet’s fragile coalition. Bennet in his unsuccessful mediator role, was playing in large measure to this constituency

1. Israel is concerned that a Russia, victorious from Ukraine, into the Syrian theater; Russian representative at the United Nations clearly stated that Russia does not recognize Israeli authority over the Golan Heights. Russia has stated that the Golan Heights are Syrian. Period, thus not recognizing the Israeli annexation of the territories. Russia intends to help Syria gain full sovereignty over this territory – which means the issue of the Golan Heights, which was somewhat dormant is going to re-emerge;

this is going to cause big problems for the Israelis if the Russians actively push towards Syria reconsolidating its hold over Golan.

More than likely such a stand could lead to war because the Israelis will not let go of Golan, plus, Israel is not prepared for a full frontal attack by everyone in the region.

So this is creating considerable angst in Israel..

2. The second issue the Israelis are concerned with is the Palestinian issue. They don’t know what to do.

The contrast between the Palestinian and Ukrainian cases has come up repeatedly in the media of the Middle East…As soon as the attack on the Ukraine took place, with 30, 40 countries – mostly North American and European – sending a huge amount of weapons, referring to the Nazi thugs whose influence in the Ukrainian military is sizeabel, as “freedom fighters” – while the Palestinians have been suffering for 75 years – really longer – with very little outside support and the Israelis bombarding them left right and center…

So the issue of the Palestinians is going to come back up… in fact, it will be pushed to the top of the regional agenda and probably embolden the Palestinians, that they really need to take the bull by the horns so that there will be a fair settlement of the Palestinian case.

a. Israel and the Ukraine- training the Ukrainian military, including the ultra-nationalist Azov Battalian Units.
b. Jewish immigration from Ukraine in the Occupied Territories – they support Putin.
c. Growing unity/coordination from the Axis of Resistance (Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas)

3. Thirdly, the events in Pakistan… – regime change of Imran Khan… the U.S. role, compare to Ethiopia – U.S. refuses to let the Global South be unaligned… in both cases..
adds the importance of Pakistan in the Belt and Road Initiative… comparison between Pakistan and Ethiopia – US refuses to permit countries to have good ties with both China and the
West – punishes those that do.

Final point about the assassination of Soleimani… non-issue in USA, big issue in Iran, rest of Middle East..

One Comment leave one →
  1. William Conklin permalink
    April 27, 2022 5:58 pm

    Well, there is another issue. The Israelis sold their souls to Pfizer and the results are a disaster although this is obfuscated by major media. The Palestinians have not been jabbed so they are going to fare much better in the future. The meek shall inherit the earth.

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