Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, News Watch, Side Feature, South Asia

Views on the News 24/04/2021

• US Formally Removes Turkey from F-35 Programme
• Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey Urge Taliban to Commit to Afghan Peace Talks
• Strategic Competition Act Further Pushes China-US ties Toward Confrontation
• Biden Uses Russia to Pressure Europe
• Chad, Pakistan, illegal Jewish entity
• Denmark Targets Muslim Women

US Formally Removes Turkey from F-35 Programme

The US Department of Defense has officially notified Ankara of Turkey’s removal from the F-35 fighter jets programme. Speaking to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, a US defence official said that according to the statement sent to Ankara, the Joint Memorandum of Understanding opened to participant countries’ signature in 2006 and signed by Turkey on January 26, 2007, has been cancelled and Turkey was not included in the new agreement. The official did not share the channels used to notify Turkey. Turkey had joined the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Programme (JSF) in 2007. Other participants of the programme were US, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Canada, and Norway. During the first round of negotiations, Turkey pledged to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets. In 2018, six jets were meant for Turkey on condition that a Turkish pilot gets trained by the programme before actual delivery. The delivery of the fighter jets was postponed after the start of the S-400 crisis between the US and Turkey. By July 2020, the Defense Department announced contracts for the US air force to officially purchase eight F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter jets that were initially intended for Turkey. In addition to the F-35A’s built by Lockheed Martin for Turkey, the $862 million contract modification provides the aerospace manufacturer with an undetermined sum to reconfigure the jets in-line with US models. Turkey were also producing parts for the aircraft, but with the S-400 crisis, production was halted and the US found new suppliers for the parts. President Joe Biden’s administration indicated on Wednesday it was moving forward with a $23 billion sale of F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates but was considering restrictions and would not deliver them soon. The State Department shortly after Biden’s inauguration in January ordered a review of the massive arms package, which was approved by former President Donald Trump when the Gulf ally recognised Israel. Responding to a lawsuit seeking to block the sale, the State Department said it planned a “robust and sustained dialogue” with the United Arab Emirates on arms transfers. “We can confirm that the administration intends to move forward with these proposed defense sales to the UAE, even as we continue reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials to ensure we have developed mutual understandings with respect to Emirati obligations before, during and after delivery,” a State Department spokesperson said.” Projected delivery dates on these sales, if eventually implemented, will be several years in the future.” [Source: TRT]

The US has abandoned its contractual obligations to meet Turkey’s air defense needs. Instead, Washington has opted to sell F-35s to the UAE, despite reservations from the Jewish state. It is clear the US wants iron clad guarantees from the UAE not to renege on its commitments made to the Jewish state in return for delivery of F-35s. But can the UAE trust a fickle partner like the US to meet its security needs.

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey Urge Taliban to Commit to Afghan Peace Talks

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan called on the Afghan Taliban on Friday to reaffirm their commitment to achieving a negotiated settlement for lasting peace in Afghanistan. In a joint statement issued after talks in Istanbul, the three ministers underlined “the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire” to end the violence and “provide a conducive atmosphere” for peace talks. A US-backed Afghan peace conference to be hosted in Istanbul by Turkey, Qatar and the United Nations on Saturday was postponed over the Taliban’s non-participation. Ankara has said the talks will be held after Ramazan but no new date has been set. The foreign ministers of Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan on Friday discussed the planned conference, aimed at fast-tracking an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban following Washington’s announcement that foreign troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11. The ministers “called on all parties, in particular the Taliban, to reaffirm their commitment for achieving an inclusive negotiated settlement leading to lasting peace in Afghanistan desired by the Afghan people, the region and the international community”, according to the joint statement. They also “deplored the continuing high level of violence in Afghanistan”. Speaking at a joint news conference after the talks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara’s support for the Afghan peace process and efforts to organise the conference in Istanbul would continue. “As the co-organisers, we are continuing talks on this with all sides,” he said, alongside Foreign Minister Shan Mahmood Qureshi. In a tweet, Qureshi said “an inclusive peace, the end of violence and a stable Afghanistan is beneficial” for trans-regional connectivity. “The international community must remain engaged with Afghanistan in reconstruction and economic development,” he wrote. The Taliban had earlier refused to attend any summits until all foreign forces were pulled out of Afghanistan. The Taliban and the United States last year agreed that all foreign forces would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by May 1, a date that was pushed back last week by US President Joe Biden. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when they were ousted by US-led forces. Since then, they have waged a long-running insurgency and still control wide swathes of territory. [Source: Dawn].

America’s relationship with the Taliban is an odd one. Initially, the US supported the Taliban’s ascendency in the 1990s because the rule of Taliban provided stability to facilitate oil projects. After 9/11, America displaced Taliban from power because of the group’s refusal to hand over Al Qaida’s leadership. Now after two decades of fighting, the US is willing to accept Taliban as long they commit to some sort of unity government and the US will withdraw its forces. The fact that the US has been unable to remove Taliban from Afghanistan’s political landscape speaks volumes about America’s capacity to shape political outcomes in its favour.

Strategic Competition Act Further Pushes China-US ties Toward Confrontation

Can China and the US still cooperate? The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday backed the “Strategic Competition Act of 2021” by 21-1, reaching a bipartisan US congressional push to “counter China.” Taking a hard stance against China has become one of the rare consensuses of the two US parties. The act again mentioned Chinese internal affairs, including Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and also mentioned “closer ties with Taiwan.” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez said in a statement that the act is an “unprecedented bipartisan effort to mobilize all US strategic, economic, and diplomatic tools… to truly confront the challenges China poses to our national and economic security.” This Act is to strengthen its efforts wherever it can to mess China up. Most Chinese people have realized that the US is suppressing China in all directions and trying to take China down. The US is just like a fouled player in a game. Once it finds that it is falling behind, it starts to obstruct its opponent. A Chinese netizen sarcastically said, “The US Congress has been discussing China’s internal affairs all day long, as if it has nothing else to do without China-related topics. It is acting as if it’s China’s ‘Congress.'” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken once described China-US relations as “competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be.” But this Act has made it seem like Washington has abandoned “collaborative when it can be.” The Act is pushing China-US relations further toward extreme competition and confrontation. “The White House has not completely formed its China policy framework yet. Backing the bill at this stage shows that Congress is trying to guide the Biden administration’s China policy toward a tough stance,” Sun Chenghao, assistant research professor at the Institute of American Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Thursday. After the Act takes effect, the flexibility of the Biden administration’s China policy will also be seriously weakened. The strategy of “collaborative when it can be” seems to have been hollowed out. From the general atmosphere to specific issues, the room for China-US cooperation will be further squeezed. “Strategic competition against China is now the consensus of the two US parties. Chinese people should not have any illusions that the US believes cooperation is still the mainstream of China-US relations. This seems unlikely now,” Sun said. [Source: Global Times]

Since the demise of the Soviet Union, he US regards China as its greatest threat. However, the US at the height of its power in the 1990s could not stop China’s ascendency, and it is unlikely to do so now.

Biden Uses Russia to Pressure Europe

After weeks of a massive build-up of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border estimated at more than 100,000, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered a partial withdrawal saying it should be completed by 1 May 2021. The order came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual state of the nation address, in which he warned, “I hope no one will cross the red line in regards to Russia” and two days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned of the possibility of war. However, the real reason for the withdrawal would most likely be connected to the telephone call the previous week from US President Joe Biden, who proposed a summit with Putin and subsequently called off the deployment to the Black Sea of two US Navy battleships.

America is following the same grand strategic plan as Britain, which is to create conflict and balance of power between Europe, particularly France and Germany, and Russia. The concept of maintaining a balance of power is to play powers off against each other, so that they consume themselves in conflict against each other; in this way the threat from either of these powers is reduced towards America, while at the same time, both Europe and Russia become more dependent on American support and intervention. The Russian escalation on the Ukrainian border, and its de-escalation apparently through American leadership, will be a timely reminder for Europe of their need for American support and leadership in advance of Biden’s first overseas visit, which will be to Europe and which was just announced as Russian troops began their withdrawal. Biden is scheduled to attend the G-7 summit in England, followed by the NATO summit in Brussels, as well as meeting with top European Union officials, which is being billed as a US-EU summit.

The Americans and Europeans carry the same ideology and have a deeply connected history and common civilisation, yet remain in bitter conflict and rivalry with each other since the origins of their nations in Christian Europe under a single Pope but multiple competing kings. The competition of the Christian kings of the past has been reinforced under secular liberal Capitalism which has developed the artificial concept of the nation-state after the 17th Century Peace of Westphalia. Instead of being unified by a common ideology, the Western people are divided into multiple nations, putting loyalty to their own nation far above loyalty to Western civilisation as a whole. It is this nation-state concept that the West then imposed on the rest of the world through its aggressive 19th century imperialist drive.

Muslims must reject the nation-state concept that brings only competition and rivalry, conflict and weakness, and instead return to live under a single state encompassing the entire Muslim Ummah with no borders falling between them. With Allah’s permission, the Muslim Ummah shall soon overthrow the existing ruling class enamoured with the West and re-establish the righteous Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet (saw) that shall unify all Muslim lands, liberate occupied territories, restore the comprehensive Islamic way of life, and carry the message of Islam to the entire world.

Chad, Pakistan, illegal Jewish entity

French President Emmanuel Macron travelled to the central African nation of Chad to attend the funeral of Chad’s President Idriss Deby, in power for over three decades, who was killed during a visit to soldiers fighting insurgents in the north of the country. Chad is the principal French agent in Western Africa, and host to over 5,000 French troops deployed as part of military operations that France is orchestrating in the entire region against local insurgent forces. The military immediately announced that the legislative assembly and also the country constitution stand dissolved, and that power will transfer to the late president’s son, the 37-year old four-star General Mahamat Idriss Deby. Despite the violation of Western democratic norms that France allegedly holds paramount, the French president had nothing but words of support for the new leadership. “France lost a brave friend,” French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said in a statement. “It expresses its strong attachment to Chad’s stability and territorial integrity.” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian justified the military takeover saying, “There are exceptional circumstances”. Clearly, France is expecting the son of Deby to be loyal to them just as his father was. And, when it suits them, Western powers do not hesitate to support military coups instead of democratic elections. Meanwhile, sincere Muslims within those same countries are forbidden from approaching the military and told that change can only come through the rigged democratic process.

After mass large-scale street protests, the Pakistan government finally accepted to honour its previous pledge of a debate in the National Assembly on expelling the French ambassador over the French government’s obnoxious support for French citizens dishonouring the Prophethood (saw). But after ruling and opposition members continued the protests within the assembly itself, demanding the expulsion of the envoy, the presiding deputy speaker indefinitely prorogued the House. The National Assembly Secretariat later announced that the assembly would remain suspended for the next week, “in view of increasing cases of deadly coronavirus during its prevailing third wave”. Agent rulers such as Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan simply cannot conceive of putting the interest of Islam above maintaining relations within Western countries for material benefit. Like other Western countries, the French ambassador is not in Pakistan because the Pakistani government is welcoming to it. France is here in order to compete with its fellow Western nations in exploiting the wealth and resources of the Pakistani people. The Western Capitalist economic system has failed; if they continue to prosper it is only because of their ongoing exploitation of the rest of the world. Muslims will only begin to truly prosper once they re-establish the Islamic Khilafah, which will fully eject the influence of the foreign disbeliever from Muslim lands, and redirect the effort and industry of the Muslim Ummah to addressing her own indigenous needs instead of expending it on producing exports for the benefit of the West.

The illegal Jewish entity has acknowledged that its supposedly powerful air defences failed to intercept a simply Syrian surface-to-air missile which missed attacking jets of the illegal entity that were bombing Damascus and instead overshot 125 miles of airspace within the illegal entity landing near its secretive Dimona nuclear reactor. Like all other occupied territories within Muslim lands, the illegal Jewish entity is protected not by its own weak forces but actually by the forces of the surrounding Muslim countries. Like an adult dealing with a misbehaved child, Syria defends itself from the illegal entity but never raises its hand directly against it, despite easily having the power to crush the illegal entity overnight. But the rulers of Syria, like those of all other Muslim countries, have sold their loyalty to their Western masters who forbid them from harming the occupied territory in their midst. With Allah’s permission, the Muslim Ummah shall soon rid itself of these agent rulers, and instead pledge their obedience to a righteous Khalifah (Caliph), sincere only to Islam and the interests of Muslims.

Denmark Targets Muslim Women

Denmark has become the first European country to begin selectively revoking residency permits for Syrian refugees; the great majority of permits revoked are for Muslim women. Denmark argues that Damascus and its neighbouring regions are now safe for Muslims to return to. However, it is quite obvious that the real issue for Western countries is the fear of the growing Islamic revival among their large Muslim populations. The West’s targeting of Muslim women in particular demonstrates the danger they sense from the Muslim family, which is both the fortress of the Muslim and the wellspring of future generations.