Syria and the drumbeat of world war – To read

Bill Van Auken

With Russia having completed its first week of airstrikes in Syria, firing some 26 cruise missiles from warships deployed over 900 miles away in the Caspian Sea, an escalating drumbeat of warnings and threats of a far more dangerous conflict and even world war has come to dominate discussions within ruling circles in both the US and Europe.

French President François Hollande, who has ordered French warplanes to bomb Syria, warned European lawmakers Wednesday that the events in that country could spiral into a “total war” from which Europe itself would not be “sheltered.”

Seizing on alleged incidents involving Russian warplanes straying into Turkish airspace, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared, “An attack on Turkey means an attack on NATO,” implicitly invoking Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty, which commits members of the US-led military alliance to an armed response against an attack on Turkey or any other member state.

The Turkish government, which has been one of the primary sources of support for Islamist militias such as ISIS and the al-Nusra Front that have ravaged Syria, routinely violates the airspace of its own neighbors, carrying out bombing raids against Kurdish camps in Iraq and shooting down Syrian planes over Syrian territory.

Top NATO officials have also weighed in with bellicose denunciations of Moscow. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg charged that the alleged Russian incursion into Turkish airspace “does not look like an accident.” He continued, warning, “Incidents, accidents, may create dangerous situations. And therefore it is also important to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

Speaking in Washington on Tuesday, Navy Adm. Mark Ferguson, who commands NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy, accused Russia of building an “arc of steel” from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea. This deliberate paraphrasing of Winston Churchill’s 1946 “Iron Curtain” speech turns the real relationship of forces inside out, obscuring the relentless encirclement of Russia by Washington and the NATO alliance in the wake of the Soviet Union’s liquidation 25 years ago.

Describing Russia as the “most dangerous threat” facing NATO, Admiral Ferguson called for an increasingly aggressive NATO posture toward Moscow, recommending the honing of the alliance’s “war fighting skills” and the deployment of military forces “on call for real world operations.”

Former high-level US officials, whose views undoubtedly reflect the thinking within powerful sections of the American ruling establishment and its vast military and intelligence complex, have also weighed in with calls for confrontation with Russia.

In a column published by the Financial Times, Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser in the Carter administration and a longtime US imperialist strategist, wrote that Russian attacks on CIA-backed Islamist militias “should prompt US retaliation.” Like others in Washington, he avoided mentioning that the most prominent of these militias is Syria’s Al Qaeda affiliate, the al-Nusra Front.

Brzezinski advised that “Russian naval and air presences in Syria are vulnerable, isolated geographically from their homeland” and “could be ‘disarmed’ if they persist in provoking the US.” Presumably, he inserted the quotation marks around “disarmed” to signal that he was employing a euphemism for “militarily obliterated.”

Similarly, Ivo Daalder, who was Obama’s ambassador to NATO until mid-2013, told Politico: “If we want to take out their military forces there, we can probably do it at relatively little or no cost to ourselves. The question is what will be Putin’s response. I think if you sit in the Situation Room you have to play this one out.”

Meanwhile, Frederic Hof, Obama’s former special envoy on a Syrian transition, compared Putin’s actions to those of Nikita Khrushchev during the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962, which brought the world to the precipice of nuclear war. “Like his predecessor over 50 years ago, he [Putin] senses weakness on the part of a US president. Like his predecessor, he risks discovering that trifling with the United States is not a healthy pursuit. But such a risk entails dangers for all concerned.”

Drawing out the ominous implications of these discussions, Gideon Rachman, the chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, compared the Syrian conflict with the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. He wrote: “A similar proxy war is under way in Syria today—with both the Russian and US air forces bombing targets in the country, and foreign fighters pouring in.”

He continued: “The countries that were backing opposite sides in Spain in the 1930s were fighting each other directly by the 1940s. The risk of the Syrian conflict leading to a direct clash between the Iranians and the Saudis, or even the Russians and the Americans, cannot be discounted.”

This danger exists because Russia’s intervention—launched in defense of the interests of the Russian state and the ruling class of oligarchs who represent Russia’s energy conglomerates—has cut across US plans to effect regime-change in Syria and redraw the map of the Middle East that date back decades.

The proposal to bring about regime-change in Syria by backing proxy forces on the ground was advanced two decades ago in a document entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” drafted for then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by a study group that included Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser. All three were later to gain high-level positions in the Bush administration, participating in the conspiracy to launch the US war of aggression against Iraq.

A recently released classified document obtained by WikiLeaks establishes that active US planning for regime-change predated the outbreak of the Syrian civil war by at least five years. The secret report from the head of the US Embassy in Damascus outlined “vulnerabilities” of the Syrian government that Washington could exploit. At the top of the list were fomenting “Sunni fears of Iranian influence” to cause sectarian conflict and taking advantage of “the presence of transiting Islamist extremists.”

Given that the document was written in 2006, at the height of Iraq’s sectarian carnage caused by the US invasion and Washington’s divide-and-rule tactics, these proposals were made with full awareness that they would provoke a bloodbath. Nearly a decade later, the bitter fruits of this policy include the deaths of some 300,000 Syrians, with another 4 million driven from the country and 7 million more internally displaced.

While cynically exploiting the suffering of the Syrian people to justify an escalation of US militarism, Washington is not about to let Russia derail its drive to impose its hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East and the entire planet.

The path to war with Russia is by no means accidental. From the outset, the US intervention to topple the regime in Damascus was aimed at weakening the principal allies of the Syrian government—Iran and Russia—in preparation for a direct assault on both countries.

More and more directly each day, the eruption of American militarism, rooted in the historic crisis of American and world capitalism, confronts humanity with the specter of a nuclear Third World War.


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New York set for fifth day of protests over police violence after West Coast clashes

(Reuters) – A fifth day of demonstrations over police use of excessive force with minorities was set for New York on Sunday after 13 arrests in a night of violent protests in Berkeley, California, where stores were looted and tear gas fired, and in Seattle.

Clashes on the West Coast contrasted with relatively calm demonstrations on a rain-soaked Saturday in New York, after mourners held a funeral for an unarmed black man shot dead by a white police officer in the stairwell of a Brooklyn apartment house.

Sunday was expected to see protests again in New York as well as Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami and Minneapolis and dozens of other cities.

In Berkeley on Saturday night, one man smashed a grocery store window with a skateboard as others proceeded to loot the store, video from KTVU-TV showed. At least two other businesses were looted, said Officer Jennifer Coats of the Berkeley Police Department.

Police were pelted by missiles from a splinter group of protesters and fired tear gas, Coats said. One officer hit by a sandbag suffered a dislocated shoulder, she said.

Several police vehicles were damaged, she told Reuters on Sunday.

The disturbance forced the closure of the local Bay Area Rapid Transit station.

Six people were arrested, Coats said.

In Seattle, protesters threw rocks and attacked police who blocked them from marching onto State Route 99, resulting in seven arrests for assault and other charges, said Seattle Detective Patrick Michaud.

The shooting of Akai Gurley, 28, at a Brooklyn public housing project last month was the latest in a series of incidents fueling outrage over what protesters say is a pattern of excessive force being used by law enforcement officers against African-Americans.

The killings and decisions by grand juries to return no indictments against officers involved in them have rekindled a national debate over race relations in the United States.

The district attorney in the New York City borough of Brooklyn said on Friday a grand jury would consider charges against Peter Liang, the officer who shot Gurley. Police have said Liang may have accidentally discharged his gun.

Demonstrations began on Wednesday after a grand jury decided to bring no charges against Daniel Pantaleo, a New York City police officer, in the July death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father of six.

That decision was announced nine days after a Missouri grand jury chose not to indict a white policeman for the shooting dead in August of an unarmed black teenager, spurring two nights of violence and arson in a St. Louis suburb.

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Israel strikes near the Syrian capital: Syrian TV

(Reuters) – Syrian state television said on Sunday that Israeli jets had bombed areas near Damascus international airport and in the town of Dimas, near the border with Lebanon.

An Israeli army spokesman said he would not comment on the “foreign reports”.

Israel has struck Syria several times since the start of the three-year conflict, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were destined for their long-time foe Hezbollah in neighbouring Lebanon.

“The Israeli enemy committed aggression against Syria by targeting two safe areas in Damascus province, in all of Dimas and near the Damascus International Airport,” state television said, adding that there were no casualties.

Residents in Damascus said they heard loud explosions and opposition activists posted photos online of jet streams in the evening sky and fiery explosions. Syria’s army general command said on state television that there were “material losses in some facilities.” It said the strike benefited al Qaeda.

Syria’s state news agency SANA said the strikes were a “flagrant attack on Syria”, while the official news agency in Lebanon said Israeli jets breached its airspace on Sunday.

A resident in the Damascus suburb of Qudsaya, close to Dimas, said the agricultural airport in Dimas was hit.

Dimas is in a mountainous area to the northwest of the capital which is under government control and close to several military installations.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the conflict through a network of sources on both sides, said that 10 explosions were heard near Dimas. It said that one missile hit a warehouse for imports and exports at the Damascus international airport.

Syrian state media reported in May 2013 that Israeli aircraft struck in three places including the Dimas airport. At the time, Western and Israeli officials said it was a strike on Iranian missiles bound for Hezbollah.

Syria’s war started with a pro-democracy movement which grew into an armed uprising and has inflamed regional confrontations. Some 200,000 people have died, the United Nations says.

A U.S.-led coalition is also bombing Syria from the skies but targeting the Islamic State militant group, one of President Bashar al-Assad’s biggest foes.

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Six Guantánamo detainees moved to Uruguay

The US has transferred six detainees from Guantánamo Bay to Uruguay, the first prisoners from the controversial facility to be sent to South America.

The transfers announced early on Sunday by the Department of Defense — four Syrian men, one Tunisian and one Palestinian — will leave 136 detainees in the military complex in Cuba, down from just under 800 in its early days, as President Barack Obama edges closer to his goal of shutting down the facility.

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“The United States is grateful to the government of Uruguay for its willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility,” the DoD said. “The United States co-ordinated with the government of Uruguay to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”

Guantánamo Bay has long been assailed by human rights groups over the conditions prisoners are detained in, following claims of torture and abuse, and the US policy of holding many of its inmates for years without charge in a facility originally constructed only for short-term detentions.

However, the Obama administration has struggled to convince other nations to agree to accept prisoners from the facility.

Uruguay’s outgoing leftwing president, José “Pepe” Mujica, had originally agreed to resettle the six transfers in March, a decision said at the time to be based in part on his own personal history.

Mr Mujica spent 14 years in jail in brutal conditions in the 1970s and 1980s as a leader of the Tupamaro guerrilla group, including more than a decade in solitary confinement.

However, the deal stalled ahead of Uruguay’s presidential elections, with polls showing accepting detainees was not popular among voters.

This weekend’s transfer involved the largest single group of prisoners since 2009.

One of the men, Syrian Jihad Diyab, is a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging the practice of force-feeding Guantánamo Bay inmates who have chosen to go on hunger strike to protest against their detention. The five other men are Ahmed Adnan Ahjam, Ali Hussain Shaabaan, Omar Mahmoud Faraj, Abdul Bin Mohammed Abis Ourgy, and Mohammed Tahanmatan, according to the DoD.

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While this weekend’s transfer was delayed by several months, it is an important milestone for Mr Obama’s renewed efforts to close the facility.

Together with five low-level inmates who were moved to eastern Europe last month and two other recent transfers, it brings the total number of prisoners transferred since November to 13, after the process ground almost to a halt for much of 2014.

“We are very grateful to Uruguay for this important humanitarian action,” said Clifford Sloan, Mr Obama’s state department envoy on Guantánamo, who negotiated the resettlement deal in January.

“The support we are receiving from our friends and allies is critical to achieving our shared goal of closing Guantánamo.”

The Uruguay resettlement announcement comes two weeks after the abrupt resignation of US defence secretary Chuck Hagel, amid widespread speculation that his resistance to accelerating transfers from the facility had exacerbated tensions with the White House.

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إسرائيل تشن غارتين قرب مطار دمشق وفي الديماس

شن سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي غارتين قرب العاصمة السورية دمشق من دون وقوع “خسائر بشرية”، وفق ما أعلنت اليوم الأحد وكالة الأنباء السورية الرسمية.

وأكدت وكالة “سانا” أن “العدو الإسرائيلي يرتكب عدواناً آثماً على سورية عبر استهداف منطقتين آمنتين في ريف دمشق في كل من الديماس وقرب مطار دمشق الدولي المدني”، مؤكدة أن “لا خسائر بشرية”.

كذلك قال التلفزيون السوري إن “الطيران الإسرائيلي قصف مناطق قرب مطار دمشق الدولي وفي بلدة الديماس قرب الحدود مع لبنان”.

وأضاف أنه “لم تقع أي خسائر في الأرواح”.

وقال سكان في دمشق إنهم سمعوا دوي انفجارات هائلة.

وذكر تلفزيون المنار اللبناني إن “مقاتلات إسرائيلية قصفت مناطق قرب مطار الديماس”.

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German Shepherd Training – Tips For Immediate Results

German shepherds are undoubtedly the most beautiful and intelligent animals you could ever own. They are fiercely loyal, and, if trained properly, will become an inseparable member of your family. However, if left to their own devices, German Shepherds become bored, agitated, snappy and — in some cases — a threat to society. They are a strong animal, and they need and expect, strong, kind leadership from their masters. The most important aspect of training German Shepherds that you need to understand, is that it is time intensive. You can be reassured that it is time well spent. A Healthy Relationship Is The Foundation Of All Training A dog that is fearful of it’s owner, translates that fear into self-defense and disobedience. Your pet needs to learn that it can trust and love you. So many people feel like they need to be overly aggressive with their pet in order to get obedience. Obedience is important, but that comes more from consistency than from how harshly you discipline your pet. What is unfortunate is that most dog owner refuse to learn how to be a good owner. And so they over-react to their dog’s behavioral issues and blame their pets for problems that actually stem from the poor owner-pet relationship. I highly recommend that you invest in some training. Not just to learn how to teach your dog to behave, but also to teach you how to better communicate with your pet. Sure, that might cost you a little time and money, but the enrichment that comes out of your life is well worth it.

When you consider that GSD’s are the highest rate of bites that the local emergency room sees, it underscores how important good training is.

And spending quality time simply being a good dog owner goes a long ways towards beginning to establishing your pet’s training.

Training Begins With Engaging Play

Because so many behavioral issues arise out of sheer boredom, it is critical that you provided a variety of activities — and plenty of human interaction — to keep your GSD mentally engaged.

A bored German shepherd will be so busy trying to play, bark,  annoy, and get your attention that training sessions will be nothing short of infuriating for both of you. A bored puppies don’t train well.

Long walks, playing in the park and wrestling with a chew toy, are all great ways to engage your puppy in active play. If you have a dog park in your town, your pet will undoubtedly love getting to run free and interact with the other dogs.

Training as play can be very engaging. Teaching your pet to catch a frisbee can lead to hours of insane fun for the both of you.

Training German Shepherds Not to Bite or be Aggressive

German shepherds are not naturally aggressive, and when you meet an aggressive German shepherd, it typically means the it has experienced unhappy upbringing.

There are several key things that need to happen when a German shepherd is a puppy to help it become the calm, balanced and adult it should be.

To begin with, you wanted to be well socialized with other dogs. Taking it to a puppy dog park, or to arrange to play dates, can be a great way for it to learn to healthily interact with other dogs, and help it become a more established individual.

Secondly, it is key that you do not hit or yell at your puppy. German shepherds that are abused as young dogs tend to imprint with more aggressive behavior as adults.

Finally, it is important that your puppy learns to recognize you as its master, or “pack leader”. Being firm, quiet, and praising good behavior, all go a long way in helping a puppy learn how it is to respond as an adult.

This is especially important with a puppy’s biting behavior. Puppies are more inclined to bite and gnaw on people they do not see as their leaders. You should establish your alpha role at an early age: start teaching your puppy to “heel” on walks, and make sure that it follows after you through doors, as that is a sign of the respecting your role as pack leader to let you go first.

In addition, use strong verbal commands such as “No” when a puppy tries biting.

Provide puppies with chew toys and make sure they get plenty of exercise to help them work off their orneriness

Use Structured Obedience Training As A Mental Exercise

Beginning at about eight weeks of age, German shepherds are ready to begin formal training. You can enroll them in a local obedience class, or trying one of the top-notch training programs that are listed online.

For a German shepherd, obedience training is more important than it is for many other breeds. Obedience training helps develop a German shepherds cognitive abilities, and goes a long ways towards helping it become satisfied with his role in the family. It also helps fight boredom, and gives them something to look forward to.

It is an absolute must if you mean for your German shepherd to become a long-term member of your family.

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تلوّث نهر الليطاني بلغ «خطوطاً حمراً» وأمراض السياسة تعيق علاجه-رانيا برو- الحياة

رانيا برو – الحياة- بيروت

يقف لبنان على أعتاب زمن دخوله إلى نادي الدول المنتجة للنفط والغاز، كما يأمل أيضاً بالوصول إلى بيئة صحيّة، تشمل تحقيق حلم قديم لدى اللبنانيين: الاستفادة المثلى من مياه نهر الليطاني.

ويقاسي الليطاني عللاً كثيرة يربط بينها الجشع والإهمال البشري. ويعتبر النهر شرياناً أساسيّاً للحياة في لبنان الذي يوصف بأنه «قصر الماء» في المنطقة العربيّة.

وللأسف، تحوّل النهر مجرىً مكشوفاً لمياه الصرف الصحي، ومكبّاً لنفايات القرى المتاخمة لمجراه، ومرتعاً للأمراض القاتلة.

تدهور لا توقفه الأوراق

منذ ثمانينات القرن الماضي، تدهورت أحوال الليطاني، بل دخلت مرحلة الخطر الشديد. وتحوّل النهر مصدراً لقلق عميق بسبب التلوّث البيئي. ورافقت هذا التدهور عشرات الدراسات والخطط والمؤتمرات وكلمات مكرّرة بقيت حبراً على ورق، في أجندات نظام سياسي يقال إنه «مريض» و»نزيل دائم» في العناية الفائقة.

وإذ يبدي النائب السابق الدكتور إسماعيل سكّريّة اهتماماً كبيراً بشؤون البيئة، فإنه يعرب عن قناعته بأن النهر يتلقى كميّات كبيرة من مياه الصرف الصحي التي تأتي من المنازل ومخلّفات المعامل والمستشفيات ومحطات الزيوت والوقود. ويذكّر بأن تلك الملوّثات تحتوي مواد مضرّة تتسرب إلى باطن الأرض وتمتزج مع المياه الجوفية، مشيراً إلى أن المُلوّثات تشمل الرصاص والزنك والفوسفات.

ويعرب سكّريّة عن شكّه في وجود علاقة بين تلوّث مياه الليطاني وبعض الإصابات بأمراض في الجهاز الهضمي، ربما تشمل السرطان، كاشفاً أنه أشرف على معالجة مجموعة من تلك الحالات في المنطقة التي تحيط بمجرى النهر في سهل البقاع اللبناني.

وفي مؤتمر نظّمته «الجمعية الجغرافية اللبنانيّة» في بيروت أخيراً، حول «الموارد والمخاطر الطبيعية والبيئية في لبنان»، لفت الدكتور بشار قبيسي إلى وجود تناقص كبير في المياه الجوفية على ضفاف النهر، خصوصاً في المناطق الزراعيّة.

وبيّن قبيسي، الأستاذ في كلية العلوم في «الجامعة اللبنانية»، أن معالجة تلوّث الليطاني تستغرق خمس سنوات، وهي تفتح الباب أمام وضع خطط إنمائية وسياحية على النهر بكلفة أولية تبلغ 342 مليون دولار. ولكن، لا يوجد تمويل لتلك الخطة.

وتشمل إجراءات وقف التدهور البيئي والصحي لنهر اليطاني، السيطرة على مصادر التلوّث، ومعالجة مياه الصرف الصحي في محطات متخصّصة، إنشاء محطات لمعالجة النفايات الصلبة، وإلزام مصانع المنتجات الزراعيّة والمسالخ، معالجة السوائل والفضلات الناتجة من التصنيع وعمليات ذبح المواشي. كما تشمل رفع مستوى الوعي اجتماعياً على مدى الضرر الحاصل لمياه النهر.

وإذ طبّق لبنان معايير دوليّة في رقابة المبيدات، فإنّه منع حتى الآن خمسة وعشرين مبيداً، سبعة عشر منها تترك آثاراً في المياه.

أين حلم عبد العال؟

في خمسينات القرن العشرين وستيناته، وضع المهندس اللبناني الراحل إبراهيم عبد العال، خطّطاً علميّة للاستفادة من نهر الليطاني في الشرب والري وتوليد الكهرباء. ولم تنجز تلك الخطّط القيّمة لحد الآن.

ويلاحظ وزير الداخلية السابق مروان شربل أن محطات التكرير المشادة على النهر، لم يجر ربطها بشبكات المجاري الصحيّة، كما أدّت العشوائية في بناء محطات التكرير إلى اختلاط مياه الصرف مع مياه نهر الليطاني.

ويضمّ سهل البقاع الذي يحتضن معظم مجرى نهر الليطاني، ستة محطات لتكرير المياه المبتذلة، لكن الفعاليّة غائبة عنها! صحيح أن محطة بعلبك منجزة، لكنها لا تعمل. وجرى وضع الحجر الأساس لثلاث محطات تكرير في البقاع الأوسط (في بلدات الفرزل وأبلح وزحلة)، لكن أعمال تشييدها لم تنطلق حتى اليوم.

ويقدّر معدل مياه المجاري الآتية من قرى صغيرة لتصب في الليطاني، بقرابة 200 متر مكعب يوميّاً. وتساهم الملوثات الزراعيّة الناتجة من استعمال مواد كيماوية ومبيدات، في مشكلة تلوّث الليطاني. وتضاف إليها النفايات المنزلية السائلة، والمياه المبتذلة، ونفايات مزارع المواشي وغيرها.

والمفارقة أن هناك قرى في البقاع الأوسط تغيب عنها شبكات الصرف الصحي، على رغم قربها من محطة لتكرير مياه الصرف الصحي أنشئت أخيراً في تلك المنطقة.

وتشير دراسات كثيرة إلى أن الريّ بمياه نهر الليطاني التي باتت ملوثة بجراثيم ومواد كيماوية، يؤدي إلى انتقال تلك المُلوّثات والبكتيريا إلى التربة ومنتجات الزراعة، ما يعني وصولها إلى أجساد البشر.

ورصدت دراسات أخرى وجود علاقة بين تلوّث الليطاني من جهة، وزيادة الإصابة ببكتيريا التيفوئيد وفيروس التهاب الكبد الوبائي.

كذلك بيّنت دراسات اخرى وجود مواد كيماوية في مياه الشرب الآتية من الليطاني بمعدّلات تفوق الحد الأقصى المسموح به من «منظمة الصحة العالمية».

وبسبب تلوّث مجرى نهر الليطاني ارتفع معدّل التلوّث في بحيرة القرعون، خصوصاً بأنواع من البكتيريا تسبّب أمراضاً معويّة ورئويّة وعصبيّة.

ويخشى المتابعون لملف تلوّث نهر الليطاني الذين شاركوا في مؤتمر «الجمعية الجغرافية اللبنانية» المشار إليه آنفاً، أن يكون مصير قانون أقره البرلمان بتخصيص اعتمادات لتنظيف مجرى نهر الليطاني، مشابهاً لسواه من الدراسات والقرارات الحكومية: النوم في أدراج الوزارة والبرلمان. وارتفعت أصوات لتندد بالسياسة الحكومية في مكافحة تلوّث هذا النهر، مشيرين إلى أنها اقتصرت منذ عشرين سنة على وضع دراسات وأوارق مشاريع، لم تغيّر شيئاً في الواقع القاتم للمياه الملوّثة في النهر.

آخر تحديث: الأحد، ٢٢ يونيو/ حزيران ٢٠١٤ (٠٠:٠٠ – بتوقيت غرينتش)تلوّث-نهر-الليطاني-بلغ–خطوطاً-حمراً–وأمراض-السياسة-تعيق-علاجه

عين إسرائيل

يبذل نواب لبنانيّون جهوداً كبيرة لتأمين تمويل مناسب لخطط التعامل مع تلوّث مياه الليطاني. ففي 11 آذار (مارس) الفائت، وافقت لجنة المال والموازنة النيابية على اقتراح قانون بتخصيص اعتمادات لتنظيف مجرى نهر الليطاني. وأوضح رئيس اللجنة النائب إبراهيم كنعان أنه جرى التوافق على آلية معالجة تلوّث نهر الليطاني، وكذلك الأمر بالنسبة الى التمويل.

ولا يعني ذلك أنه جرى التوصّل إلى الحل المنشود لإنقاذ النهر من التلوّث، وكذلك من نقل التلوّث إلى البشر.

ويبيّن كنعان أنه يتوجب على الحكومة أن تلتزم أيضاً الإسراع في تنفيذ القانون. ويقول: «يجب ألا يوضع ذلك القانون في الأدراج بانتظار الجهات المانحة والصناديق الممولة. يجب أن تسعى الحكومة لتأمين التمويل، حتى لو كان من الموازنة العامة، وذلك تداركاً للكارثة الوطنية التي تشكّلها حال تلوّث الليطاني».

هناك بعد آخر يتصل بالسياسة أيضاً، إذ خيضت حروب عبر التاريخ للاستيلاء على المياه. ويتوقع أن تتسع رقعة تلك الحروب مستقبلاً مع اتساع الجفاف والتصحّر في الكرة الأرضيّة.

صراع على «الذهب الأزرق»

وإذ يعتبر نهر الليطاني «الذهب الأزرق» للبنان، فإنه كان دوماً محط أنظار إسرائيل. وخلال فترة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي التي أعقبت حرب 1982 سعت الدولة العبرية إلى الاستفادة من الليطاني والاستيلاء على خيراته.

ولفترات طويلة، عملت إسرائيل على منع لبنان من الاستفادة من مياه نهر الليطاني. ومنذ سبعينات القرن الماضي، عملت على جرّ مياه نهر الليطاني إلى الحقول والأراضي الزراعيّة في شمالي فلسطين المحتلة، وذلك عبر حفر أنفاق لا تتوافق مع القوانين الدولية.‏

وحتى اليوم، تطالب إسرائيل باقتسام مياه هذا النهر مع لبنان، علماً أن مجرى الليطاني محصور في الأراضي اللبنانية، ما يعني عدم انطباق الاتفاقيات الدولية الــــخاصة بالأنهار عليه، لأنها لا تتطبق إلا على الأنهار التي تمرّ عبر دولتين أو أكثر.

وتذكيراً، يعتـــبـــر نــهر الليطاني أطول أنهار لبنان. ويقدّر معدل تصريفه سنوياً بقرابة 770 مليون متر مكعّب من المياه. وتجري 75 في المئة من مياهه في فصل الشتاء مع الاحتفاظ بهامش معين صعوداً وهبوطاً وفق معدل هطول الأمطار سنويّاً.

ويمتد الجزء المُسمّى «الليطاني الأعلى» من منبع النهر عند جنوب غربي بعلبك، حتى سد القرعون وبحيرته. وتقدّر سعة تخزين تلك البحيرة بقرابة 220 مليون متر مُكعّب، يستخدم منها 160 مليون متر مكعب سنوياً في الري وتوليد الطاقة.

ويحتفظ بقرابة 60 مليون متر مُكعّب كمخزون لمواسم الجفاف النسبي.

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