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Thursday, 13 September 2018 20:45

Ideological Struggle in the Middle East

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Article by Shehab and Maria Al Makahleh

The thick smoke and chaos in the Middle East is a camouflage for the real ideological conflicts, which are not religious but rather political and economic interests.

Using pious and holy frameworks in political rivalries, deployment of armies and abusing media have become outstanding since 1970s, amplifying a convoluted deliberation on conceptualisation and enactment of the said loci in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The core issue lies in finding a common ground between politics and dogmatic religion. Emphasised by imprecise and erroneous media coverage and primeval analytical tools, ideological conflicts started to be ignited by ideologies due to media coverage and to politicising such differences for the sake of rulers who promote themselves as saviours against the unreal enemy or the Yeti that does not exist except in the rulers’ imagination to keep everything under their control. This does not only apply to the Middle East but rather it can be a trajectory to the whole world regardless of Sunni-Shiite dispute, there are other conflicts worldwide such as capitalist versus socialist, secular versus conservative, orthodox Christian versus Catholic/ Protestant and other Christian dogmas.

The thick smoke and chaos in the Middle East is a camouflage for the real ideological conflicts, which are not religious but rather political and economic interests. The rise of political axes and alliances are not attributed to ideological conflicts but rather to political and economic in reality, the scapegoat is of course ideologies, which turn into vehicle to meet the needs of rulers and leaders in the world and in the Middle East.

The true follower or believer does not know whether such ideological conflicts fundamentally are the real reason behind ongoing wars or not, whether such conflicts are real necessities whose results are the yield of objective circumstances of a well-rehearsed plot, driving people to resort to their strongest heritage and ideological reserves to defend themselves in the war of shifting maps and bloodshed supervised and monitored by world masters, who delegated other regional powers. The so-called “Arab Spring” and the outbreak of creative chaos in Arab and Muslim countries, has been part of this game.

Nationalism dream failure 

The ideological vacuum experienced by the (MENA) region, the state of the “political quagmire” and the evasion of national cultural and ideological projects, with brilliant slogans, have appeared in the past because of the Soviet Union support. However, this has shortly disappeared after the disintegration of the USSR in the early nineties of the 20th century, causing a blow to all nationalist parties in the region.

The historical failure of the nationalist parties in the absence of a unity between Syria and Iraq in the early 1980s, after having the appropriate and ideal conditions in two neighbouring countries under the Baath Party, has marred the region, as Arabs cannot be unified again by all means. This is of course true due to external interventions in Arab affairs and due to the interests of some Arab leaders who prefer disunity. The idea of Arab nationalism failed and it has gone with the wind. The Arabs did not seize Arab unity opportunities that time; at present, they cannot have a one say in the age of open spaces where the world has become one village.

The apparent rule of political opportunism and Machiavellian favouritism, which was launched by Islamist populist parties whether Sunni or Shiite has been intended to internally destroy people’s trust in both sects about the true Islam. This has succeeded somehow to widen the gap between both sects which would lead to future wars for many years to come. The wedge between Muslims was pre-planned by intelligence agencies and they allotted huge budgets for the project. As the collapse of communism in Russia tacitly means a vacuum has been created and this vacuum should be filled by an illusionary enemy: Islamists. This enemy serves two goals. First countering the remnants of communism and second destroying the true image of Islam by demonising acts of Muslims which include jihad.

Most of the Islamic movements turned against their traditional supporters and financiers, seeking power. The conflicts now taking place in the region are chaotic, and not systematic. Such Nationalistic Parties and Islamist Sects are struggling to pave the way for political and dogmatic instrumentalisation of their identity: Nationalist Arab or Islamist. Such matters are more prospective to create new network-like realisations on the periphery and interstitial to endorsed power systems depending on religion’s superiority and perfection and socio-spatial all-encompassing society.

Power seizure or distribution of power would prompt the formulae of relations and linkages. Any of the two: Nationalist or Islamist seek power to rule and this is a taboo for leaders of Middle Eastern countries. When the Muslim Brotherhood win seats in any country in the MENA, that is deemed a source of threat to the regime and when nationalist parties win seats in the parliament. This is another danger that the regimes take into consideration. The absence of identity of Arab communities is used by some rulers and leaders for their interest to gain more power and allegiance.

It is no longer the poor condition of the Arab world today is the subject of the need, the ordinary citizen and the educated and the political elite – who belong to the authority or the opposition – with all their political and ideological tendencies. Everyone recognises the tragic situation we live as an Arab nation which was once a civilisation and had intellectual, educational, cultural, scientific and human achievements.

The deterioration of the Arab nations is a by-product of colonialism; yet, most of what Arabs are undergoing is due to policy failures resulting from external conditions and influences such as domination, colonisation and conspiracies.

Since cognition is a reflection of reality; thus, a dialectical relationship between thoughts and realities do exist. Arab thought is imbued with reality of plots and conspiracies. Therefore, it is impossible to understand the problems of the Arab world without taking into consideration their strong beliefs about Arabs being victims or targets of other nations’ wars.

Article published in Valdai Club: http://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/ideological-struggle-in-the-middle-east/

Photo credit: Khalil Hamra/AP

Tuesday, 14 August 2018 21:08

Is the world ready for eco-refugee waves?

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The upshots of ecological changes may cause the movement of more than 25-30 million people in the coming decade. How can this be handled?

It is known that ecology‐correlated security challenges are intercontinental in form, driving many countries to progressively hinge on international organizations and corporations for a solution. However, this rings the alarm bell as climate is changing drastically and more natural disasters are projected due to extreme heat variations.

The significant matter is that climate security-related issues should be addressed at the highest levels as this is a transnational issue which affects the stability of the world. How can the international community respond to this new challenge?

The concerned entities and apparatuses should prepare recommendations for world leaders to extend people’s understanding on how to address such challenges which, due to climate changes, would cause instability to some countries unless crafted effective global solutions to these challenges are implemented to control any further exacerbation of eco-refugees who escape disastrous areas in their countries, seeking refuge in other states.

Thus, such structural disparities should be mainstreamed into ecological adaptation processes in order to enhance inclusion and inhibit vehemence. This requires considering two major dynamics into the process. First, structural disproportion and conflict-wise tactic as both methodologies entail customisation and inclusion of refugees in the new community.

Climate change connection

However, the more natural disasters we have due to climate change, the more eco-refugees host states will have. The issue that would rise later on is their adaptation and inclusion in their new communities where many people would be coming from various regions and countries. This will promote ethnic and race heterogeneity, increase insecurity and produce more anarchy and clashes among those groups with the citizens of host nations.

Therefore, buttressing a constructive synergy between these migrants, fashioning a unified structure, and upholding upright governance, considering interlinkages and correlations between climate alteration, exodus and security should be the next top topics at any United Nations conference or meeting because every country is expected to face these challenges which will be a real contest and trail for world cooperation and coordination to tackle such topics.

The more natural disasters we have due to climate change, the more eco-refugees host states will have. 

– Shehab Al-Makahleh

With some countries pulling out of the climate agreement, this would be another trigger not to be able to address such challenges as they don’t want to be involved at the international level to handle these predicted movements due to climate changes.

If we collectively fail to put an end to climate changes, this would drive millions of people to escape their homelands seeking shelter in safe havens in other countries. In other words, this would cause a larger wave of asylum than what man-made disasters trigger which included amongst others the Libyan and Syrian refugees. If so to happen, there is a dire need to cultivate a charter to ensure the required shelter for eco-refugees, who would be a potential risk to their host nations.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is witnessing a severe climate change with the worst drought waves in decades in places like Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania. Many farmers who live on cultivation of their lands will suffer from this wave, forcing them to leave their countries due to drought without even waiting for a regional war to break out.

What happened in Syria and Libya due to wars will happen in other places in the MENA, but this time due to drought due to heat waves, millions of eco-refugees will flood Europe due to its proximity to the region. Recent studies showed that even developed nations such as the US is not safe and immune to such natural disasters which would cause huge eco-refuge from some states to others or from the US to Mexico and Canada or from both to the US.

Because of this, the number of eco-refugees will be hiking every year, a prelude to political, social and economic strains. Thus, unless human beings unify against such wave, we will face an existential threat to people’s culture, civilisation and stability.

Europe which is close to Africa and Asia, will be badly affected by migration problems in the near future, mainly from countries in North Africa which is adjacent to Europe. In 2015, a conference was held in Bonn, Germany, regarding climate.

The developed countries decided to insure 400 million migrants from the developing world who are expected to flee their countries to Europe due to climate change. They used for the first time a terminology: Insure-resilience, which aims to secure a shelter for those refugees and to include them in the communities before they turn into a source of risk to hosting nations.

Oxfam has issued a report previously about the waves of displacement due to climate change. The entity expected that the number of eco-refugees recorded during the period of 2008-2006 stood at 21.8 million people. Some of these movements were caused by Fiji Hurricane, volcanos and heat waves.

The recent fires in Greece displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Such eco-refugee influx will pose a social risk as unemployment amongst these would exacerbate the host countries’ security and stability to a great extent due to cultural, linguistic and ethnic differences.

The world should address the climate issues on one hand and should address the eco-refugees predicaments on the other. Thus, addressing them in an integrated way is therefore of utmost importance to secure a sustainable future. Since climate changes are deemed the worst ecological threat, all countries, mainly the developed, should recognise that migration waves from states which are badly affected such transformations as this poses a high national security threat and would be a catalyst to anarchy and a tension multiplier later on.

Article published in Al Arabiya: https://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2018/08/04/Is-the-world-ready-for-eco-refugee-waves-.html

Tuesday, 14 August 2018 21:05

Syria’s encrypted messages to Jordan

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Regional geopolitical requirements, along with internal political and security concerns, have been the main pillars of Jordanian policy vis-à-vis the Syrian crisis.

The management of security concerns associated with the growing terrorism on its northern border had become the main objective of Jordan’s foreign policy. Thus, many Jordanians are upbeat that bilateral relations will be back to normalcy in light of new realities in Syria in the field in pursuance of the tone of the Syrian officials towards Jordan.

Since the outbreak of the conflict in 2011, Jordanian diplomacy has been characterized by much mistrust and caution regarding the Syrian conflict unlike other neighbors of Syria. Thus, Jordan has been deeply concerned by instability and violence spreading to its territory.

Naturally, it has been Amman’s priority to adapt to the crisis on its northern border, not the issue of the survival or demise of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as Jordan has consistently sought a political agreement to end the conflict. 

Fresh start

Jordanian politicians and people believe that it is the time to let bygones be bygones and to start afresh as Jordan and Syria should have close ties at all levels regardless of pressure Jordan is undergoing from regional and international powers.

When Jordan kept its embassy open in Damascus that was a positive signal to the Syrian regime that the kingdom keeps the minimum level of communication, which has been a wise and prudent policy at that time due to regional and international pressure.

There is no doubt that Jordan’s concern about the growing extremism on its northern border has been a severe blow for armed opposition factions

– Shehab Al-Makahleh

There is no doubt that Jordan’s concern about the growing extremism on its northern border has been a severe blow for the armed opposition factions at a time the kingdom maintained close contact with the Kremlin even before Russia launched its air campaign end of September 2015.

This has helped Jordan pursue political realism through its rapprochement with Moscow, which led to the demise and decline of armed opposition forces. As Moscow plays the role of “decision maker” in Syria, things seem to be heading towards restoring the regime control over crossings points between Jordan and Syria not only Naseeb-Jaber but also Ramtha-Dera’a with Russian help.

Terms to open borders

After the liberation of Naseeb crossing, Jordanian politicians close to the Syrian government had been informed by Damascus that the border point will not be opened before a comprehensive strategic understanding with Jordan is reached, not only for economic purposes but also for strategic and security considerations.

This entails that Syrian and Jordanian officials would be paying mutual visits in the coming era, a gesture to start or restore official relations.

Despite Jordan’s official statements that Amman’s relations with Damascus are ongoing at military and diplomatic levels with the Syrian side, the Syrian regime’s intention in the aftermath of recovering Nasseb crossing to have full relations with Jordan reflect otherwise. This entails the exchange of ambassadors first before any talk about economic, security and political ties.

In May 2018, Amman received many positive messages from Damascus to re-establish contacts related to border arrangements between the two countries. Such Syrian messages have been decrypted by Jordan, some of which demonstrated the Syrian government’s willingness to overcome the old political differences to start economic activities in the reconstruction process of Syria with the Jordanian private sector.

This explains the visit of the chairman of Jordanian Chambers of Industry to Syria last May, accompanied by a number of businessmen. Some of these messages have also included assurances that the Syrian government understands Jordan’s atmospherics and pressure exerted on the country since 2011.

However, communications through Jordanian security and military channels have been active, and political and diplomatic channels remained open. Before March 2011, Jordan and Syria have largely formulated their economic and political affairs based on a sprouting sequence of strategic partnerships.

A breakthrough?

When Jordan’s King Abdullah II said in an interview with Jordan News Agency, Petra, that he is “deeply concerned” about the situation in southern Syria and that his country’s border with Syria would only reopen “when the right security conditions materialize on the ground,” this is the condition that Jordan has for the Syrian government.

And with the recovery of the borders with Jordan, this condition is met and Jordan is looking forward to reopening the crossing point to jump-start trade activities. However, this is not what Syria wants at present.

In spite of all differences that marred Jordanian-Syrian ties for eight years, bilateral relations are moving in an increasingly positive direction. The coming months may prove to be pivotal ones in their relations, bringing temperature to their pre-2011 era. Since August 2017, al-Assad has been sending positive messages to Jordan.

The remarks of the Syrian president and his interviews with foreign TV channels reveal that Damascus does not attach great importance to the opening of the border with Jordan soon, but attaches importance to a comprehensive security, political, military and economic deal that will help reach a kind of rapprochement and a détente between both governments. It is a full package deal or nothing.

Damascus has been sending messages to Jordan through Germany which is deemed an honest broker and a source of confidence for the Syrian government. These messages focused on the readiness of the Syrian regime to trade the Iranian presence on the Jordanian border with disarming the opposition and the Free Syrian Army factions.

The Naseeb crossing is one of the Middle East’s busiest trade routes as it connects Europe to the Middle East. Before the closure of borders, Jordan’s customs handled $1.5 billion-worth of goods a year. Now that amount is zero. Before the Syrian uprising in 2011, more than 5,000 trucks used to cross the border each month.

Article published in Al Arabiya: https://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2018/07/20/Syria-s-encrypted-messages-to-Jordan-.html

Military conflicts have caused huge death toll and enormous economic, military, environmental, social and political losses for Arabs since 1948.

With more than 2 million death toll, Arab economies, mainly Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan and North Africa countries have lost up to $11 trillion since 1948. The first losses were a result of Arab-Israeli wars, the second was the eight-year Iran-Iraq war and the third was the Arab Spring.

Such conflicts have affected not only the countries per se but rather they have extended to neighboring countries, turning the entire region into a flaming ball, destructing trade, industry, tourism, and investment. This has led to massive exodus of citizens from rural areas to cities, resulting in ecological predicaments, desertification and drought.

For many years, the Middle East has been the scene of conflict, the worst conflicts in the world. This has been accompanied by arms race to purchase weapons.

That has been the case with the Middle East, where many countries sought to acquire the state-of-the art weaponry. Some recent studies estimated military spending in the Middle East for 2017 at $120 billion, an increase of 6 percent over 2016. Such papers indicate that the region accounts for an increase in the volume of military spending by 6 percent.

Balance of power

The balance of power in international politics is a highly complex and multifaceted concept, but there is an agreement on the broad lines theoretically and practically in the course of events. At present, the world has generally complex or multipolar balances; simple or binary poises.

The composite balance depends on multiple poles in each party, including states and blocs as it is dominated by the logic of competition and deterrence, and often avoids war, leading to stagnation and stability.

The current international conflict, although oriented toward a bilateral balance, is flexible due to absence of argumentative ideological factors

– Shehab Al-Makahleh

The simple balance is the most precarious as the blocs and alliances clash sharply leading to war and the period of stability is an impermanent period, which is the preparation for war and a test of how powerful such an alliance is.

Since the conflict is between two main blocs, each of which is controlled by a major nucleus state that makes the conflict look like an encounter between two major states. The same applies to regional balances but a regional power plays a dual role: an internal in the region and an external in international conflicts, where international engagements and developments depend on regional wars and balances.

Regional conflict for international wars

Given the gravity of major world wars because of nuclear deterrence, regional confrontations are the direct alternative, with each bloc supporting its allies in the region to gain a foothold and increase balance internationally.

The characteristics and nature of equilibrium are divided into rigid and elastic, where the rigid expresses a balance between heterogeneous and contradictory blocs while the flexible expresses a balance between relatively homogenous clusters of civilization, culture and ideology.

This explains why the Middle East and poor countries are witnessing non-stop wars since early 20th century. Given the current international and regional situation, one can say that since the collapse of the Berlin Wall as a sign of the end of the Cold War and the transformation of the world into unipolarity, balances have been constantly being shaped to counterbalance this imbalanced status. International and regional alliances have been formed to counter the Western bloc led by the US.

Due to multiple factors, coalitions have until recently formed balances of pluralistic, flexible and resilient types. Despite US President Donald Trump’s policies against many countries, including his allies in the West, power balance is flexible because Russia tends to be a nucleus power as well at the international level within its own bloc, using regional allies.

The source of flexibility is that the ideological factors are no longer the same as before, and a war like the Second World War which broke out in 1939 was to counter Nazism-Fascism ideologies. The demise of the Soviet Union and the offense against the USSR have broken out because of communist ideologies.

Bilateral balance

Thus, the current international conflict, although oriented toward a bilateral balance, is flexible due to absence of argumentative ideological factors. The two camps: Russia and its orbit on one hand and the US and its orbit on the other are pragmatic, and this will avert the two blocs from getting involved in another world war. Thus, a regional war is much more likely to happen.

However, the risks for the Middle East region are quite vibrant. Unlike the international community which is pragmatic, the Mideast regional balance comes from furthering ideological cognitive calculations into existential, which would lead to war anytime where each of the two blocs tests its policies, diplomacy and weaponry.

For Israel to launch a war, this is impossible to target any country except Syria, Lebanon and Iran. However, this necessitates that Tel Aviv seizes a rare regional moment that the whole region is undergoing to act. This cannot be achieved without a political and media cover. Right now, we are witnessing these two covers for Israel more than before.

Any future war could sweep through the entire region and undermine regional and international interests for years to come. Besides, countless implications on the people of the Middle East are projected. However, the Mideast is still an area where the major international blocs are testing their policies and state-of-the-art weaponry regardless of any Middle Easterners’ reaps that meet their aspirations and ambitions.

Article published in Al Arabiya: https://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2018/07/27/The-cost-of-Middle-East-wars-11-trillion-and-rising.html

On August 2, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters: “From our perspective, the situation is returning to how it was before the civil war, meaning there is a real address, someone responsible, and central rule.” This is rather noteworthy at this time that the Syrian front will be calmer. In other words, Israel prefers to see Syria return to pre-war status when the central government in Damascus was in full control before March 2011.

Such a statement is not void and is of utmost importance as it demonstrates that the plans or schemes to divide Syria into various provinces or federal states had gone with the wind. What Lieberman said and the Jordanian armed forces’ assistance to the Syrian Army in the Yarmouk Basin against Khaled bin Al-Walid, an ISIS affiliate, reveal a fact that both Jordan and Israel are back to pre-Syrian war era in terms of cooperation with the Syrian government regarding securing borders. However, the issue at stake is Idlib, a predicament to the Syrian government, Russia, Iran and China on one hand and Turkey and the militants in Idlib province on the other.

Turkey is hostile to the Syrian regime. Ankara has ethnic and regional aspirations in Syria. At present, the Turkish government is at odds with the West. The Turks have never forgotten that once they were part of the Byzantine Empire, the first Christian State, and the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Thus, the coming era for Turkey will be an existential war. Therefore, the clash of the Turkish civilization with others is in parity with existentialism which is inevitable. This justifies why Ankara is pragmatic, depending on situational contradictions in Syria on one hand and American-Western interests on the other.

The formation of the “National Liberation Front” in Idlib, a group of opposition factions, formed by the Free Syrian Army backed by Turkey, aimed to fortify the Turkish stance because the number of fighters reached 100,000. This figure would create a major dilemma for the Syrian Army and its allies to free Idlib as plans have been set up to start the operation in September. Thus, the battle of Idlib will be the last in the Syrian conflict that determines the future not only for Syria, but also for Turkey as a new ally will join the battle: China, which has Uyghur fighters amongst those militants in Idlib.

The Chinese ambassador to Syria, Qi Qianjin, told a Syrian Arabic daily, few days ago that China will allegedly assist the Syrian Army in their upcoming battle in southwestern Idlib, and that the Chinese military is prepared to somehow take part in the upcoming Idlib offensive, especially because of the large presence of Uyghur fighters near Jisr Al-Shughour.

The Chinese ambassador to Syria, Qi Qianjin, told a Syrian Arabic daily, few days ago that China will allegedly assist the Syrian Army in their upcoming battle in southwestern Idlib, and that the Chinese military is prepared to somehow take part in the upcoming Idlib offensive, especially because of the large presence of Uyghur fighters near Jisr Al-Shughour

Shehab Al Makahleh

The ambassador elucidated: “The Chinese military has played an imperative role in protecting sovereignty, security and stability of China. At the same time, it (China) is seeking to take part in peacekeeping operations later on. At present, there is ongoing cooperation between Syria and China in combating terrorism. We also know that the war on terror is not only for the benefit of the Syrian people, but also for the Chinese people and the people of the world.”

That is an indication on the coming battle of Idlib where the Chinese army will be involved as China will not allow them back to their homeland as they are a high risk to Chinese national security.  

Chinese presence in Mideast via Syria  

The vigorous military interposition of the Chinese forces in Syria would be a major step forward towards a more ample participation of China in the Middle East and the world as a whole. China has refrained from taking part in military operations beyond its borders. Therefore, a military operation in Syria could open the door to more Chinese military engagements around the world. What Beijing fears most is the return of those Uyghur militants, members of the Turkestan Islamic Party, who are now in Idlib province to China where they can launch attacks against the Chinese government, seeking an independent state.

The Chinese ambassador’s statement demonstrates that China is paving the ground to send Chinese special operations forces (SOF) to actively take part in the forthcoming battle of Idlib to liquidate the Uyghur fighters amongst others. This Chinese bid will be of due concern to Turkey as the Turkish army cannot counter pressure from both Russia and China which both have huge economic and business transactions with Ankara. The Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan cannot lose them for a number of militants.
The Middle East has become the new playground for China strategically. With SOF arrival to the port of Tartous on the Syrian coast in order to participate in the coming battle in Idlib, such Chinese participation in Syria could lead to more competition between Washington and Beijing. The reason is that China has been deeply concerned about the large number of Chinese-born militants known as the “Turkmen” or “Uyghurs” movement who have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Today, with the arrival of two units of the Chinese (SOF), known as the Siberian and the Night Tigers, to fight the terrorist factions in the province, which is adjacent to Turkey, Beijing is seeking to fight those outside its territory for fear of their return to the region which is located in the territory known as Xinjiang as those pose an existential threat to the territorial integrity of China.

The number of Chinese militants fighting alongside terrorist groups in Syria is estimated at 5,000. Therefore, China’s participation in military operations against these militants is due to China’s own interests in Syria, not to mention the economic, political and security interests. The return of these Chinese fighters from Syria to China with their extremist and terrorist ideology means a great security and military threat to the Chinese economy and society. Moreover, China’s participation in the coming campaign against terrorists aims to protect its economic interests in Syria as China has invested more than $40 million in Syria’s infrastructure.

Few days ago, Ankara has prepared a document to discuss with the Russians and Chinese regarding the future of Idlib without going to war, fearing the spillover and the refugee influx to Turkey. The terms were not satisfactory to both Moscow and Beijing. This is conducive to the scenario of war which would end the dreams of Erdogan in Syria.

Article published in Al Arabiya: https://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2018/08/10/The-new-Syria-amidst-conflicting-regional-international-interests.html

Jordan prepares the ground for the Helsinki summit, wrote my friend, journalist of the Russian prominent Kommersant newspaper. And somehow it is true. But Jordan proceeds not with global charity and assistance, but pursues very certain national interests, seriously affected by the situation in Southern Syria and the influx of refugees to the Syrian-Jordanian borders as Jordan rejects to accept any more refugees into the kingdom.

After King Abdullah’s visit June 25th  to Washington, Jordan, as expected, proceeded with mediation between Washington and Moscow over the issue of the opposition in south Syria. The king voiced his concern to the American administration over the spillover of a military escalation in South Syria. The Syrian army has paved the way for the military assault after liberating the outskirts of Damascus and Ghouta from terrorist gangs in the area as officially reported.

 With Russian air cover, the Syrian army is heading towards the Jordanian-Israeli borders. The pace of battles has surprised the militant opposition and posed a high risk on Jordan’s national security, not only because some of the terrorists are among those refugees but also due to the demographic imbalances that such a flood would cause.  The day the war in south Syria started, humanitarian concerns sparked. Jordan, closed the border, being unable to cope with the new flow of refugees, and prepared the trucks with humanitarian aid  requiring Damascus permission to cross the border and reach people in need. Jordanian officials’ visits to Moscow in the past few months and recently aimed to ask Russia to exercise pressure on the Syria government to open the border for Jordanian convoys loaded with humanitarian aid. All Jordanian visits to Russia since the beginning of 2018 aimed to exercise more pressure on Damascus not to push the militants towards the Jordanian borders as this will cause a major threat not only to Jordan but to Israel as well as this would lead to further skirmishes on the Jordanian borders with Israel.

The situation for the Syrian refugees is dramatic for Jordan as it leverages enormous pressure on the already troubled economy of the country. Further deterioration of the situation in Syria might become fatal to the Kingdom in terms of refugee influx which required huge budgets to handle. And since Jordan is facing a huge financial deficit and debts due to economic hardships, the refugee scenario would cause further deterioration of the whole Jordanian economic plans.

But what is a problem for Jordan is not a matter of deep concern to Russia as the mopping up of the area from the gangs of Jabhat an-Nusra is far more vital matter. Jordan prefers not to talk about countering terrorism at this region as it gives priority to peaceful talks rather than fighting. The south region of Syria include three governorates: Deraa, Suwaid and Qunaitra and they all have a population of 5 million.

The deescalation zone was established July 2017 after the Trump-Putin short meeting on the sidelines of G20 summit in Hamburg and is guaranteed by two sides: Russia, and the US where the US responsibility was to talk to terrorists demanding their withdrawal from the areas of tension. Jordan hosted the military operations center to monitor the de-escalation zones in south Syria.  Russia, in its turn, guaranteed the withdrawal of the non-Syrian forces, in other words Shia-militias, out of the area, especially by the Israeli-Syrian border and it is apparently fulfilling its obligations.

Jordan is shuttling between Washington and Moscow having exclusive relations with both. Pursuing purely national interests, Jordan creates agenda for Russia and the US to work on. Both countries are interested in stable Jordan. Any complications inside Jordan are worrisome and undesirable so they are both likely to listen to Jordanian concerns. Reasons why Jordan is important for the countries are quite numerous, but they are different for Moscow and Washington. Jordan’s strategic location allows it to play significant geopolitical role in the region despite poor natural resources and numerous economic problems. It is a frontier between Israel and the other countries in the Middle East, mainly the Gulf that stopped the terrorism to expand to these areas. It is one of the last more or less stable fort-posts in the region, keeping it away from the absolute chaos. Jordan hosts the US military bases and works perfectly as a mediator in some slippery issues. For Russia, Jordan is a vital regional partner with which Russia has a positive history of bilateral relations hosting Jordanian King at least once in a year. Jordan is an important counterpart for Russia in Syria in terms of its mediative role. Furthermore, it has significant tribal influence in Southern areas of Syria, needed in settlement issues in the area as the tribes in Northern Jordan and the same in Southern Syria.

On the eve of the Helsinki summit the efforts of Jordan might lay the ground for some new advanced agreements between the US and Russia on Syria. Though the current situation in Southern Syria is far from being stable and de-escalation zone has literally failed, the guarantors continue insisting on the perseverance of the deescalation zone.

As for the humanitarian convoy from Jordan, though the Russian side did not give publicly any promises, Russia is likely to proceed with assistance to Jordan. Obviously,  Damascus has no reasons to oppose entrance of the Jordanian humanitarian convoy but it has the right to inspect them for fear the same history repeats itself when humanitarian aid convoys were allowed in northern Syria. Both Russia and Syria have the right to monitor any convoy entering Syria and after inspection, the convoy can be given the permission to reach destination.

The West needs to understand the present connection between Jordan’s economy and its politics.
Since 2011, Jordan has been facing a wide range of pressures — political, economic, demographic, security and military — due mainly to the continuing anarchy in neighboring Iraq and Syria that has driven hundreds of thousands of refugees to seek shelter in the Hashemite Kingdom. The poor economic conditions in Jordan threaten to create a magnet for jihadists, extremists and terrorists, with the Jordanian government warning that it cannot accommodate more Syrian refugees, seeking means to avert a new calamity. An urgent monetary bailout is needed to avert a deeper security crisis by addressing the dearth of natural resources and providing facilities to improve the living conditions for Jordanians who have lost confidence that a government reshuffle can save the country.

The West needs to understand the present connection between Jordan’s economy and its politics. Jordan’s total public debt stood at $39 billion end of April, with official figures showing that the kingdom’s public debt increased to 96% of the country’s GDP, with unemployment at 18%. Widespread protests over the government’s economic policy forced the resignation of Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki in June and the appointment by King Abdullah II of a liberal successor, Omar Razzaz, who has been tasked with carrying out an urgent financial austerity plan to cut public expenditure.

With political and economic unrest widespread, Jordan appears fragile and prone to higher security threats, which could be exacerbated by the Syrian government forces preparing for a major assault to recover Deraa, al-Suwaida and al-Quneitra from the armed opposition. Since July 2017, Russia, the US and Jordan have reached an agreement to set up de-escalation zones in Syria, including southern parts of the country near the Jordanian border. At present, Syrian and Russian preparations are in progress to liberate the three provinces. Helicopters dropped flyers over Deraa in June asking rebels to put down their arms, resolve their dispute with the Syrian government and not waste their lives by facing sure death.

At the end of June, fears have doubled due to a breakout of fighting between Syrian troops (backed by Russian airstrikes) with rebels in the southwest of Syria. The Israeli government has warned the Syrian army and its allies that Israel “could attack Damascus’ forces if they try to deploy in a demilitarized border zone while advancing against rebels in the region.” This entails that the Syrian army should not deploy troops in al-Quneitra province. As for Jordan, the troubled areas in southwest Syria, mainly in Deraa province, border Jordanian villages, raising fears of intrusion by militants into Jordan.

Moscow says that it has already arranged an agreement with Amman and Washington to force Iranian troops and the militias fighting under its supervision to redeploy 60 kilometers from the Israeli frontiers and 25 kilometers from the Jordanian borders to ensure that there would be no military threat to both countries. With this, Jordan could stem the inflow of both Syrian militants and refugees into the kingdom.

On July 6, the Syrian rebels agreed to hand over their heavy weapons to the Russian troops who brokered a ceasefire deal between the Syrian regime and the rebels in southern Syria. This is deemed a major victory for the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose troops managed to recover the Nassib border crossing with Jordan, which was held by the opposition forces for more than three years.

The decision to start the battle in south Syria has been taken at the highest levels in Damascus and Moscow, with some attempts at reconciliation between the rebels and the Syrian army. The American administration informed the rebels in southern Syria that they would not receive any American support. This has encouraged the Russians to launch airstrikes in the south to pave the way for the Syrian armed forces to start their offensive, with the Syrian regime reinforcing its sites in Deraa and entering new villages and outskirts.

Amman has said earlier that the situation in south Syria is critical, calling on both Moscow and Washington to consider Jordanian concerns. The kingdom is a vital regional ally for the United States, starting from cooperation in the war on terror to the issues of housing refugees. The consequences of the war in Syria, the influx of refugees and the burden borne by the Jordanian economy have been on King Abdullah’s agenda during recent talks with US President Donald Trump. The monarch informed the American leadership that the cost of the war in south Syria would lead to a catastrophe not only for the Jordanian economy but its society as a whole.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Jordan in June and his meeting with the king has not focused only on the so-called “deal of the century” to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also on the offensive in south Syria near the borders of Israel and Jordan. This is confirmed by the fact that the chief of Israeli intelligence, Yossi Cohen, accompanied Netanyahu on his visit. Both countries are concerned about the presence of Iranian militias and troops near their borders and fear that if the Syrian army starts operations, the vacuum would be filled by these militias rather than by Syrian government forces.

Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Moscow on July 11 will try to diffuse tensions between the Syrian and Israeli armies near the Golan Heights. The Israeli prime minister is looking for the deployment of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force immediately to the ceasefire line between Syria and Israel. Such movements by Israelis and Jordanians demonstrate the level of concern for both government vis-à-vis the recent developments in south Syria.

It is hard to think of a stable Jordan without considering its northern borders with Syria. Amman wholly rejects any military adventure in the south of Syria as it would be a time bomb set against the stability of the kingdom. King Abdullah is trying to resolve these eventualities with the Americans, the Russians and other regional powers to avert another catastrophe that could impair Jordan’s economy and pose high security threats to the country’s stability.

Article published in Fair Observer: https://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/jordan-protests-instability-refugees-syria-russia-israel-middle-east-news-00997/

Photo credit Leonid Andronov

Saturday, 30 June 2018 17:09

Dying in temporariness

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Temporariness is a well-known Israeli procedure used with the Palestinians. The examples are many: Your presence in East Jerusalem for instance is considered to be temporary, and you will be defined as “ A Jordanian Citizen residing permanently in Israel”, or as a “ holder” of “Undefined” , or “ unclassified” status as it is new added in this year. 

Another example is the one related to Palestinians living in Area C of West Bank. Some of these were evacuated from the Negev in 1950’s. The Jordanian Government allowed them by then to reside in the so called “ Miri Land” in West Bank. 

Opposite to the Western concept of “ State land”, the “ Miri Land”, is part of the inherited Ottoman land law, which gives usufruct  rights to those who cultivate and use the land, including the right to inherent its use from one generation to other.

After 1967 occupation, Israel put it hands over all the Miri Lands in West Bank, and started to deal with them as “ State lands” disregarding as such the rights of the usufructs of these lands a generation after a generation since the 1948 Nakba. The Israeli High Court of Justice accepted such a definition , and Upon that the Bedouins of Al Khan Al Ahmar and others in the Jordan Valley and around Hebron began to face this claim that their presence in those lands is temporary and that they should be ready to leave them.

Yet a third example is from inside Israel of 1948. There, the Bedouins residency areas are considered temporary by the State of Israel, and therefore the Israeli authorities is seeking to evacuate them, the last example is Umm Al Hiran village which received an Israeli High Court decision of evacuation from the land of the ancestors in the last April. Besides it Al Araqeeb village is still struggling to stay in the place, by keeping building the “ illegal” village according to the Israeli law once and again after each demolition by the Israeli Aurhorities. These demolitions reached the number of 130 times till today. 

As such, the title of this column “ Daying in Temporariness”, refers to the fact that the Palestinian  spends his/her hall life in temporainess. In Such a life he/ she will need so creative ways of action in order to be able to stay in place, and/ or to manage the damage happening by decreasing its effects in case of the inability to get rid of it. In other words the policy of “ Temporariness”, include in it an integral component that make it impossible for the Palestinian to change it as much as the Israeli occupation and his legal structures continues. He/ She ( The Palestinian) has no option other than to find ways to maneuver in order to be able to continue existing till he/ she dies.

The Temporariness procedure is addressing both land and the human being and the link between them as well.

Starting with the Human being, the procedure allows for the punishment of the Palestinian, not because he/ she did something wrong, but because he/ She exists where he/ she is not supposed by Zionism to exist as Dr Adi Ofer indicated. As such one can understand why an angel like Razan Najjar the paramedic will be killed on the borders between Israel and Gaza, while practicing her paramedic services to the casualities. One can also understand why cruel violence and the heavy power of the Israeli army will be used against the Palestinian peaceful marches since 1967 till today. Other practices to understand in the light of this include also ( among others) the so called” Citizenship and residency procedures” used by Israel with the East Jerusalem Palestinians as mentioned above. 

In regard to the land, considering it as “ Eretz Israel” by the current Israeli Government and its colonial settlers, leads to the disconnection in their minds between the land and those who lived over it for very long centuries before the “ return of the Jews” as it is called beginning from the 19th century.

The result is then twofold: In one hand the land presence in the hands of the Palestinians is considered by this continous Zionism as temporary till the “ People of Israel” take it back. This is in one hand. 

In the second hand, the attachment and the connection between the human being and the land is considered to be also temporary. What follow this consideration are policies not only to takeover the Palestinian Land, but also others that makes the presence of the Palestinians in the whole country as “ illegal”. Here this “ illegality” is not limited to the East Jerusalem Palestinians, but it also include the area C Palestinians who are subject to evacuations from their lands, house demolition, and all the other procedures that the Palestinian Jerusalemites face. Finally the people in areas A and B are under so many restrictions that “ invites” them to leave the country. To be added as well the policies of temporariness that are  still practiced against the Palestinians inside Israel, and those on the opposite that do not acknowledge any right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. The logic of the concept is going in the direction of creating new refugees instead of solving the previous ones continuous plight since 1948.

In conclusion, these policies of temporariness, are just other indications of a settler colonial project that is still expanding on the expense of other, rather than indications to the willingness of this project to solve the problem with the other by recognizing as the indigenous rights of that other. In the case of Israel we still have a state in the service of the settler colonial project not a vice verca. As such it’s borders did not stop on 1948, but it keeps expanding and expanding. This include a lot of resulting doomsday scenarios that one can see, and can also expect worsening in the future.

Article published in Akhbar El Balad: http://www.akhbarelbalad.net/ar/1/6/4055/

Photo credit: EPA

“Agricultural Terrorism”, is a kind of “ concept” that one finds when looking at Channel Seven of the settler colonialists( Now on: The settlers), and at some websites of those settlers.
The alleged concept describes the Palestinian attacks against the Settlers agricultural lands by burning tires, igniting fires, and the so called “ Weaponized Kites” like those flying from Gaza to the South of Israel creating arsons there.
The most important is the “retaliation” proposed and practiced by the settlers, and their Government in Israel. In the South West Bank the settlers decided to “ retaliate” themselves in addition to what the Israeli Army is doing , and that is by uprooting Palestinian trees and venyards, and leaving leaflets and writings on the stones saying that these attacks are conducted in response to the so called” Agricultural Terrorism” of the Palestinians. Inside the colonial settlements committees for  “self Defence” against arsons and the other Palestinian attacks are created like in Gush Etzion. This brings back the 1988 discusion about if the settlers will be allowed by the State of Israel to run special patrols outside their colonial settlements. Today this is not a matter of discussion any more. The settlers are already attacking in different places in Palestine. These attacks are well documented over years by the UN Office for the Coordination of the Humanitarian Assistance to the Palestinian People( OCHA), and B’TSELEM and many other human rights organizations. What we are interested here instead is about the assumptions  behind such concepts and practices.
The Israeli Government is also “retaliating” by giving the settlers the right to carry arms “ to defend themselves”, and by all the punishment procedures used, the last among them  is the suggestion of the Minister of Home Security Gilad Erdan to target and kill those who run “Weaponized kites” from Gaza, due to his claim that they are terrorists. Days ago the Israeli Army military jets attacked a group of those kites runners inside Gaza. Also Israeli missiles attacked others.?. Air-jets and Missles against kites: A highly proportionate and balanced confrontation!.
Why the Palestinians will face two kinds of the so called “retaliation”. One by the settler colonial state, and the second by the Non- State Actor called the “ Settlers”?. Let us here notice also the convergence between the two. The settlers are not separate from the official level. They have ten Ministers in the Government, and they now represent the biggest block in the Knesset. Accordingly the 1980’s discusion about the possibility of the settlers to split from the state and establish their own “Judea and Samaria” State is not valid any more today. Why they should split while they have all the state in their hands?. 
Further than that there are groups among the settlers and the Israeli right wing who call today for the transformation  of the state of Israel from a county that combines some democratic aspects with its Jewishness, to a pure Jewish State( These are Like: Lehava, and Price Tag, Elad and others). So why to split if your project became about the transformation of the State as a whole?.
The above question, have connections with different issues in the theory of “ conflict resolution” and the world political practice, and finally the Palestinian practice since 1993.
In regard to the theory, the field of conflict resolution, tends to understand the context in Palestine and Israel as a one about two parties who both have equal responsibility to compromise,  calm down the “ conflict” and prevent it from escalating. This is obviously wrong, but it is also in the surface only. When one digs behind, he/ she will find the original commitment to establish Israel by Britain and the Evangelicals and the Puritans led by Cromwell since the seventeenth century. 
This commitment by the politicians and by the “ Bible Academics” created the process of establishing the National Home to the Jews in Palestine”, then allowing this National home security wise to create the Haganah for “Jewish Defense” in 1921, then the  “ Special Night Squads” in 1936 led by the British Orde Charles Wingate who was an evangelical by himself, and other security bodies were also established under the so called “the right of the Jewish National Homeland to defend itself against  the Palestinian attacks”. The name of the game before 1948 was: Take their land, make them angry and ourageous to the extent that they will initiate” Terrorist attacks”, then use your right to “ retaliate” under the so called formula of “ self Defense”. Very easy: Their Land will be appropriated, and then they are the responsible for what will happen to them because of their attacks, and because of their rejection to stay calm, and impotent, like any “ obedient boy”.
Yet, this is not all the story in the conceptual level, what follows is the description of the “ Conflict” here as a “ Low Intensity Conflict” . The criteria used here is the number of casualties in the conflict.Upon this criteria our conflict is included in the tale of the academic lists about “ conflicts”. But this calculation is misleading,  Since  the “ Conflict” here is about land theft and transfer of population ( Spaciocide) , rather than being about full physical genocides that are used on the way, but the main aspect will continue to be the spaciocide. This Spaciocide is probably more painful than the physical genocide, because the people and their country places, space, territory, landscape, and society are all erased.
So we have a big problem first with the theory and practice of this emerging field called as” conflict resolution”. A lot of qualitative academic work is badly needed to bridge this big gap in the conflict resolution literature. 
Second, what follows are the political practices. Today we witness the same process that was practiced before 1948: We take your land( This is the real “ Agricultural Terrorism”, and not the Palestinian response to the grabbing of their land), then we have the right of self defense and retaliation to your attacks called by us as being “ terrorist”. In the pre 1948 the Zionist Groups were  “ retaliating” while the British Mandate was giving the support and the protection. Today the settlers groups are covered and supported by the Israeli Government that represents them.
In Oslo the Palestinians were ploughed with the same formula with its root in the academia clarified above: They were told: leave the essential issue of land theft aside, leave the rights of the refugees aside, leave Jerusalem aside, and let us talk and negotiate to reach a peace agreement that will end hostilities, while the theft of land in West Bank and East Jerusalem continues during the negotiations, and while no progress is made to end the plight of the Palestinian refugees.
This process, allowed for the gradual seizure of West Bank and East Jerusalem territories a piece after a piece, reaching the current point of planning to annex area C as a first stage to Israel, accompanied with the language about settlers being the indigenous population while the Palestinians are the “ strangers” and the “ terrorists” who should pay the price of their wrongdoings. The Palestinians face the Israeli Army oppression, but also the settlers one, both claiming as being “retaliating” to the Palestinian “ terrorism”, while the basic fact was an still that the Palestinians are those who retaliate all the time against the aggression practiced against them and their land.
A path of change, is not an easy thing to do, but it is possible with patience, persistence and strong follow up. Besides struggling In the academic and the conceptual levels. It is required that instead of focusing solely on the top down internationalization through diplomacy, other option will need to focus on bottom up processes of comprehensive non violent struggle( This one also include the top down political and diplomatic one, but as inseparable part of it).
The first process create symbolic resolutions of support to Palestine that are combined with empty words of calling the “two sides to go back to negotiations”. These are like checks without a deposit, and they will be confronted by the fact of the Israeli society shift to clearer settler colonial positions than ever. 
The second process will be more successful if well planned and includes political, diplomatic, legal, economic, developmental, and other creative actions of resistance, and if it will be coordinated by a united Palestinian leadership, and the participation of all the Palestinians from West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, the Palestinians inside Israel and the Palestinian Refugees. International participation will be also required.
Such a process will create the pressure needed to make change in the world positions that will lead to a change in favor of Palestine, and not vice versa.
It is not an easy undertaking, but it is about the reallocation of Palestine anew in the global camp struggling for justice, liberation, and ethics- based politics. It is also about the readiness to pay the sacrifices required for its success. 

 

Article by Shehab and Maria Al Makahleh

The coming war against Iran is pushed by some Arab rulers rather than Israelis who are benefiting from the state of rivalry and enmity between a number of Sunni Arab countries against Iran, blaming Tehran for threatening their countries and interfering in their internal affairs. By the same token, US President Donald Trump has announced his country's withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran early May 2018 and he will not accept any amendments to the pact as he insists on changing the whole deal to include Iranian ballistic missiles.

After years of breakneck and ruthless fighting, Syria and Iraq are slowly stabilising after defeating most of the terrorist groups in both countries. However, the international influence in the Middle East brings massive problems to the region: high level of tension between Iran and Israel, hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and stability of oil prices, terrorism, and political rift between old regional allies. Chaos will continue in the region and it will rather escalate with no signs of plummeting as the international and regional powers are not willing to bring veneer of order to the region, which will lead anarchy after stability in some countries which started to breathe a sigh of relief. Will international powers keep fueling Sunni-Shiite infighting? Will Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen be in ruins?

The answers come from the meetings of American administration regarding forming a new alliance against Iran to impose new sanctions on the country and to force the international community to abide by what the US wants. This justifies his recent appointments of the three hawkish officials to his administration: Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, Gina Haspel as CIA director and John Bolton as National Security Adviser. The three of them are against Iran and the nuclear deal as well. Thus, they will seek to implement what Israel wants, represented by its far-right government, which is planning and working hard to prevent Iran from developing its military industries and overthrowing its political regime. Unfortunately, there are Arab countries that  share aggressive intentions of the US and Israel. They  purchased American weaponry for hundreds of billions of dollars, normalising ties, forgetting the Israeli-Arab conflict by labelling it as Israeli-Palestinian issue, ignoring US president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Bringing back Bolton to power poses a high risk as it pushed the US to war edge. The hawkishness of the two other officials will also lead to one or two regional wars in the Middle East.

The US and Israel as well as a handful of Arab states do not hesitate to ally with Israeli government’s expansionist policies. These countries have been behind the destruction of Iraq in the 1990s and they are the ones who highly contributed to the destruction of Syria, Yemen and Libya, neutralizing Egypt and alienating it from national role to confront Arab real enemies overseas.  Since 1973, we have not seen a true Arab battle against Israel. The reason is, that many Arab states, even those which have no normal ties with Tel Aviv, have sought neutrality in the Arab Israeli conflict for their own survival, regardless of the fierce war Iraq had to undergo against Iran and the hundreds of thousands in death toll in both sides and the volume of destruction in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen for these “friendly" to Israel Arab countries  in order to thrive and to avoid any setback on their economies. No one would ever believe that such cities and states would develop without the Iraqi sacrifices against Iran at that time which the Iraqis are paying until now. It is the same countries which push forward for prolonging the war in Syria, Yemen and Libya as well as other places in the Middle East as this serves the economies of those who are lobbying for the “Century Deal” at the expense of Arabs: Christians and Muslims.

For many Arabs, Iran is not the enemy of Arabs; it is the enemy of the minority of Arabs, who are under the influence of the West. Israel believes that Iran is its enemy which Tel Aviv seeks to destroy before Tehran becomes a major power that would threaten Israel’s presence in the region. Why do some Arab rulers conspire against Arabs? Who will benefit from a devastating war in the region? What gains will get the Arabs who will be involved in the battle against Iran or Syria, if pushed to by the West and Israel? What happens if Iran wins the battle?

Observers believe that Arabs will not achieve anything useful from any regional war against Iran and its alliance or Turkey and its coalition. Supposedly, if a war breaks out between Israel, the US and its Arab allies against Iran, the end will be that the Areb countries would be further divided to be better controlled and monitored by Israel and its Western allies, where oil and gas resources will be fully controlled by these countries for decades to come. However, if Iran wins the war, the first victims will be those countries which have taken part in the aggression against Iran and its allies. By then, new demonstrations in the region will arise against Arab rulers who have destroyed their countries’ economies and armies for the sake of foreigners and who mortgaged their states’ wealth and natural resources to their enemies.

Arabs are a nation plagued by some failed rulers who cannot read the international developments and threats correctly, and who prefer to cooperate and ally with the enemies of the nation. The greatest enemies of the Arabs are some Arabs who conspire against their peoples for the sake of their enemies who have no morals and who do not respect their promises.

In Munich Security Conference which was held February 2018, most Arab governments have demonised Iran and considered Tehran a greater enemy; their behind-the-scenes collaboration with Israelis against Iran has become an uncluttered secret. The West including the US along with Israel are aligning with some Arab because oil is a crucial concern and a top priority. Thus, demonising Iran or any other country other than Israel at this time is very fruitful as this will be a credit for the Americans and their allies in the West to abuse the Arabs and abuse their resources to the last single penny.

Is it likely that the Middle East will be redrawn, but this would happen in the coming ten years with the creation of an independent Kurdistan state even if Turkey and Iran fight against that tooth and nail. The next era will witness not only partition of countries that witness infighting, but also those which will witness chaos in the coming years dividing countries whose areas are millions of square kilometers into various states. The Arab world will continue cracking further and Arabs will be seeking shelter in other countries in waves of immigrants.

Article published by Valdai club: http://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/the-21st-century-more-cracks-in-arab-countries/

Photo credit: Felipe Dana/AP

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