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MIDEAST MIRROR 09.06.15, SECTION B (THE ARAB WORLD)

 

1-The curtain has yet to fall

2-The rational and the irrational

3-Hasty assumptions

 

1-The curtain has yet to fall

 

The world's concern has centered on Erdogan's person, not on Turkey or its ruling party or government. Cutting the man down to size (who as we have said has turned from an asset for Turkey into a burden) is the source of the satisfaction that has sometimes reached the point of gloating, at the Turkish elections’ results. Yet the [ruling] AKP has retreated and was not defeated. It still came out first with a wide gap separating it from the party next in line. And the curtain has yet to fall on Erdogan's political march. The man does not lack new means of resuming his course, regaining his role, and pursuing his dreams. Nonetheless, it is still a major setback for the party and an even stronger slap to the man's face --'Urayb ar-Rintawi in Jordanian ad-Dustour

 

A snowball will form and with it will roll the head of the Brotherhood's project; one that lost a redoubt in these elections through which it had hoped to regain what it has lost in Egypt and Tunisia by taking Syria by force... A fateful and crucial round has turned the leaf on the Brotherhood and Ottomans in the region's life. And it has turned the most dangerous leaf of the war on Syria. But most important is not what is happening today; most important is the track that has been inaugurated and that will have countless repercussions. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that it is Syria, its army and its president that have made the Turkish opposition's victory against Erdogan and his party possible. They are full partners in that victory and, inevitably, in the gains that will be gleaned from it--Nasser Qandil in Lebanese al-Bina'

 

Turkey's interests do not change when the ruling party changes. The tools and methods may change, such that we may find Turkey showing greater concern for the Kurds' interests in Syria, and recognizing the role of the liberal and secular currents on the Syrian arena. But it will stick to its position in rejecting Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and it will continue to side with that regime's enemies because of its own regional interests. There is no doubt that the elections' results will not lead to a change in Turkey's foreign policy, but to some new balance. Ankara will not refuse to back the Brotherhood; but it will not side with them at the expense of others on the Syrian arena either--Dawood ash-Shiryan in pan-Arab al-Hayat

 

Most of the world and the region seem to be relieved at the results of the weekend Turkish parliamentary elections, argues a leading Jordanian commentator. Yet while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) remains the strongest single party, three scenarios await Turkey today, two of which are bad for it and one is good. More important than the different scenarios for post-elections Turkey is the fact that President Erdogan's prestige has been badly damaged, which means that he will now face greater domestic opposition, maintains the editor-in-chief of a pro-Damascus Lebanese daily. Moreover, Syria and its allies have played a major part in making the AKP's defeat possible, and will therefore share in the fruits of the Turkish opposition's victory. Those who expect a change in Ankara's policy towards Syria as a result of the elections are engaging in wishful thinking, maintains a leading Saudi commentator. Turkey's Syria policy may change its tools and methods, and be less supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood; but it will continue to oppose the Assad regime and seek to topple it.

 

SMILING FACES: "Many people had smiles on their faces the night before last as they followed reports of the drop in the Turkish ruling AKP's support in the recent elections, led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan," writes 'Urayb ar-Rintawi in Tuesday's Jordanian daily ad-Dustour.

Assad and as-Sissi may have had more than a smile on their face. The same goes for Tehran, Baghdad, and Beirut's Dahyieh [Hizbollah’s stronghold]. The first irony is that a faint smile may also have spread across the faces of numerous Gulf capitals, with the exception of Doha. The second irony is that Israel, Iran, and Hizbollah share-- each from their position-- the desire to see the end of the new Ottoman leader's myth, and that desire was satisfied.

Western capitals, in turn, felt no sorrow at the slap in the face that Turkish voters delivered to the 'Sultan's' [Erdogan’s] ambitions. For in the latter years of his rule, Turkey was beginning to veer towards a hybrid form of government: a mixture between a democracy on the retreat and an autocracy raising its ugly head, wrapped in the thick blanket of 'Sunni theocracy.'

The manner in which Erdogan has been dealing with the region's crises, his discourse that was beginning to overflow with confessional overtones, and his frivolous reactions to certain diplomatic crises, were all cause for broad concern, especially since they coincided with a tendency to limit freedom of the press, stifle opinion and free expression, attack the judiciary's independence, and mount a systematic assault on civil society as in the [2014] peaceful demonstrations in Gezi Park and Taksim.

Russia also has good reason to feel satisfied at the fact that the man’s wings have been clipped, as he is responsible for weakening its ally in Damascus. He is also the greatest facilitator of ISIS and the Nusra Front's movements along the borders with Syria, and from there into Iraq. Moreover, the man has expressed positions that were not to Moscow's liking regarding the Crimean crisis. And he does not refrain from tampering with the Kremlin's backyard in the former Soviet republics.

Only Qatar and the various branches of the Muslim Brotherhood felt disappointed and let down. Both spent an unhappy night waiting for the elections' results. And both are sure to be engaging in very delicate calculations, for many of their wagers and hopes in the region have been pinned on Turkey; more specifically, on the special role that the AKP’s leader and the country's president was supposed to play. But his dreams of reviving the glories of the Sultanate, the Caliphate, and the [Ottoman] Empire have all been dashed.

The truth is that we are facing the first test of [Turkey’s] 'zero problems with neighbors' theory, which was transformed into a 'zero friends' reality during the Arab Spring years. The first official and unofficial responses have indicated as clearly as possible that the world's concern has centered on Erdogan's person, not on Turkey or its ruling party or government. Cutting the man down to size (who as we have said has turned from an asset for Turkey into a burden) is the source of the satisfaction that has sometimes reached the point of gloating, at the Turkish elections’ results.

Yet the AKP has retreated and was not defeated. It still came out first with a wide gap separating it from the party next in line. And the curtain has yet to fall on Erdogan's political march. The man does not lack new means of resuming his course, regaining his role, and pursuing his dreams. Nonetheless, it is still a major setback for the party and an even stronger slap to the man's face. And this leads us to the third irony, namely, that the outcome of the elections will ultimately be in favor of Turkey, its future, its role, and its alliances – assuming that Erdogan does not decide to rebel against the elections' results in some way or another.

Three scenarios await Turkey after the elections. Two are very bad and extremely dangerous for its future and stability. The first and worst consists of the president’s decision, backed by one-third of the elected parliament, to call for early elections in 45 days’ time. That would amount to a soft coup under cover of the legitimacy of the law, the constitution, and ballot box – just as Egypt’s anti-Mursi] soft coup enjoyed the cover of the legitimacy of the June [2013] Revolution and the millions of people who took to the streets after it proved impossible for them to head to the ballot box because of Mursi and the Brotherhood’s intransigence.

The second scenario, which is no less bad, would be if the nationalist and secular opposition were to try and exclude the AKP from power based on close to two-thirds of the parliamentary seats. This will force the party that won the elections into opposition, which will create a crisis in the transfer of power, or one that arises from dealing with the new authorities. In such a scenario, Turkey will not enjoy stability.

The third and most logical scenario would be to form an expanded coalition government that breaks the [AKP’s] monopoly over power and consolidates the peaceful transfer of power, restraining the Islamists' and the [AKP] leaders' impetus and curbing their regional adventures. It will also open the door to [their] accountability over issues of corruption, the repression of liberties, and the attacks on the judiciary, press, and civil society.

This last scenario will save Turkey from the threat of sliding towards deadly 'dualisms' and prepare the grounds for a new phase without a decisive role for a single man. For it has been tangibly proven that most of that man's recent decisions have stemmed from a deep faith in himself and his leadership, and from a discourse booby-trapped with the man’s personal, individual, and cultural complexes.

"And these have reflected a large dose of taqiyya [dissimulation] that required ten years to reveal what lay hidden deep inside," concludes Rintawi.

End…

 

MAJOR EARTHQUAKE: "Ever since the neo-Ottoman project emerged clearly from the AKP and its leader Erdogan's discourse, and ever since this coincided with the American and Israeli moment of weakness and their inability to fight wars capable of breaking Syria as the central link in the chain of the pro-resistance axis stretching from Iran to Lebanon and Palestine, the region has been at the center of a major earthquake," writes Editor-in-Chief Nasser Qandil in Tuesday's pro-Damascus Lebanese daily al-Bina'.

With its one hundred million people, its large economy and the most powerful army in the region and its membership in NATO, Turkey's appetite for swallowing up Syria or taking control of it was whetted. It hoped to use it as a passageway and as the headquarters for its project, which cannot survive in Egypt or Tunisia unless Syria fell into its lap based on the deal Turkey struck with the U.S. and Israel.

The importance of Qatari and Saudi money, media, intelligence and fatwas may be one side of the balance, while Turkey’s role is on the other. For without Turkey, no one would dare to offer their borders for an undeclared war; or have the ability to absorb a quarter-of-a-million fighters from around the world, organizing them, arranging their affairs, arming them, and supplying them with the necessary financing from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and the arms supplied by France or bought in Libya. All such preparations and capabilities are important to the extent to which Turkey is ready to employ them and join in leading this war.

Turkey’s verbal incitement and its subsequent practical incitement on the ground were sufficient to initiate a series of Syrian/Turkish border wars. Many Syrians and lovers of Syria believed that the alternative to the deadly hemorrhage imposed on the country by Turkey would be less harmful than pushing matters to a state of open war. Turkey may have been deterred if it felt that the prospect of such a war were serious. And if it was not deterred, the repercussions of such a war as missiles fell on Turkish cities, would have been sufficient to alter the equation.

But Syria behaved on the assumption that Erdogan's provocations aimed to drag Syria into a war that renders his intervention acceptable to the Turkish people, motivated by their patriotism and right to self-defense. Syria decided that patience would be good for Syria as it bled, because the Turkish people's patience with Erdogan would run out sooner or later, and the hour would come when the Turks would say to the petty sultan 'Enough!' Once that happens, all equations would change.

The dynamics of Syrian steadfastness succeeded in stirring Egypt’s army and elite to stand up to the Brotherhood's attempts to impose themselves on society, and speeded up Mohammad Mursi's fall. Similarly, Syria's steadfastness was one cause for foiling Qatar's role and its [former] emir's promises to the Americans [to topple the Syrian regime] until his hour came and he was sacrificed on the Saudi altar. Saudi Arabia then joined the fray and took it upon itself to pursue the war and throw its weight behind al-Qa'ida in the war. But throughout, Syria was sure that its steadfastness would mean that Erdogan's end would be nigh and that this will come at Syria's hands.

Erdogan and his party’s resounding defeat does not stem from their ability or lack thereof to form a government. It stems from the damage done to Erdogan's standing and the fall of his leadership. Both these factors mean that various forces, currents, and institutions in the judiciary and the army and elsewhere will now more openly dare to express their desire to withdraw from his failed project, leaving him to bear the consequences and pay the price on his own. What we have thus witnessed in the elections is but the first signs of change, much more of which will emerge later. A snowball will form and with it will roll the head of the Brotherhood's project; one that lost a redoubt in these elections through which it had hoped to regain what it has lost in Egypt and Tunisia by taking Syria by force. After all, the Brotherhood has lost what it has lost because of Syria; and it wagered that it would gain much if it can take Syria again.

A fateful and crucial round has turned the leaf on the Brotherhood and Ottomans in the region's life. And it has turned the most dangerous leaf of the war on Syria. But most important is not what is happening today; most important is the track that has been inaugurated and that will have countless repercussions. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that it is Syria, its army and its president that have made the Turkish opposition's victory against Erdogan and his party possible. They are full partners in that victory and, inevitably, in the gains that will be gleaned from it.

Israel is lame and cannot wage war. It is shackled by the lethal balance of deterrence with the resistance [Hizbollah]. Saudi Arabia is emerging from Yemen with a humiliating defeat, accepting a political solution that bears no resemblance to its initial discourse regarding the war. Egypt is marginalized and deeply wounded. As a result, Turkey was the spearhead of the Turkish/Israeli project. The fact that it has now moved into the intensive care unit means that the hour of agreement over Iran’s nuclear program is near, and that the region must prepare for a new reality. And Syria lies at the heart of these new equations. With it, the features of a victory are being drawn, with its glorious pages being written by the Syrian army and the resistance's men in the Qalamoun.

"Congratulations to Syria and the resistance. Their pure blood that was shed in the Qalamoun has flowered and born fruit on Istanbul's streets," concludes Qandil.

End…

 

GLADDENED AND SADDENED: "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's failure to win an absolute majority in the parliamentary elections, and his failure to transform the Turkish political system into a presidential regime, have gladdened the enemies of the Muslim Brotherhood and the supporters of Iran’s policy in the region," writes Dawood ash-Shiryan in Tuesday's Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily al-Hayat.

They have also saddened the Muslim Brotherhood's supporters and the Syrian regime's enemies. The commentaries in the newspapers representing both sides spoke of the AKP leader's defeat because he did not secure a majority of seats in parliament, as if Turkey had returned to the 1980 coup.

The press that supports Iran and Bashar al-Assad's regime ignored the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and its leader Selahattin Demirtas's success. The party had decided to fight the elections for the first time with a single party list, representing the Kurds and the minorities in Turkey. Its success was ignored even though the fact that a Kurdish party has entered parliament will strengthen Turkey’s position regarding Syria, even if in a different manner and may give Syria's Kurds a greater say.

Most of the coverage gloating over Erdogan's failure saw his defeat as an indicator of a radical change in Turkey's foreign policy towards numerous Middle East issues, the first of which is the Syrian crisis. Some have gone so far as to claim that Erdogan's defeat will cut Turkey's regional role down to size, and will contain its efforts to impose the Muslim Brotherhood's project on the Turks and the region. But the opponents of Assad's regime and the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were less rash in their analysis of the results. They spoke of consequences, but did not portray the AKP's defeat as a coup.

Anyone observing the coverage of the Turkish parliamentary elections in the Arab press would notice that it is grounded in a refusal to accept that Turkey has experienced genuine elections. They view what has happened as nothing more than party-political conspiracies. This is not strange. For these papers are published in states that practice a false 'democracy' where the ballot box always has 'holes' in it. This is why the redistribution of seats in the Turkish parliament was portrayed as if this parliamentary experiment were a fake game supervised by former Egyptian [Mubarak era] interior minister Zaki Bader.

Talk of a radical change in Turkish regional policy after the elections is wishful thinking. Turkey's interests do not change when the ruling party changes. The tools and methods may change, such that we may find Turkey showing greater concern for the Kurds' interests in Syria, and recognizing the role of the liberal and secular currents on the Syrian arena. But it will stick to its position in rejecting Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and it will continue to side with that regime's enemies because of its own regional interests.

There is no doubt that the elections' results will not lead to a change in Turkey's foreign policy, but to some new balance. Ankara will not refuse to back the Brotherhood; but it will not side with them at the expense of others on the Syrian arena either.

"The results of the Turkish elections have proven that the democratic process there has reached the stage of maturity. In fact, these results indicate that the Turkish people have decided to transform the 1980 coup into nothing more than a story from the past," concludes Shiryan.

Ends…

 

 

2-The rational and the irrational

 

There is nothing ‘rational’ about seeking an alliance with Israel against Iran, and Saudi Arabia should be wary of the potential fallout, says 'Abdelbari 'Atwan on today’s pan-Arab www.raialyoum.com

 

The meeting between a former senior Saudi intelligence officer and an advisor to the Israeli PM, as well as other meetings between Saudi and Israeli officials, are motivated by the view that Iran represents a greater threat to Saudi Arabia than Israel, maintains the editor-in-chief of an online pan-Arab daily. But this is a mistaken assessment that will only fuel the homegrown and foreign threats facing Saudi Arabia.

 

FROM SEMI SECRET TO PUBLIC: "Throughout the past five years, we have grown accustomed to reading or hearing of semi-secret meetings, that have developed into public ones between former head of Saudi intelligence head Prince Turki al-Faisal and former Israeli officials," writes Editor-in-Chief 'Abdelbari 'Atwan on Tuesday’s pan-Arab www.raialyoum.com.

The most recent was held about a year ago with the former head of Israel’s Mossad Amos Yadlin. Throughout, Prince Turki has stressed that he occupies no official position in the state, and that he holds these 'normalizing' meetings based on his own personal convictions and views that do not commit his government. In fact, he went so far as to write an article and publish it in a Hebrew daily in which he spoke of peace and expressed his wish to visit the Holocaust Museum in occupied Palestine.

It was no coincidence that the same sort of initiative was taken by retired Saudi General Anwar Eshki who was an advisor to Prince Turki when he was his country's ambassador in Washington, and who now heads a center for strategic studies in Jeddah and actively participates in political conferences and forums, one of which took place in Tehran a few months ago.

The picture of Dr. Eshki shaking hands with Dore Gold, one of Binyamin Netanyahu's most prominent advisors, at a conference organized by the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington a few days ago was on the front page of most Israeli newspapers; but not a single Saudi or Gulf newspaper published it. The Israeli papers described this meeting as an important development in relations between the two countries who are confronting the same enemy, Iran.

Dr. Eshki described the meeting as a coincidence. He said that he met with Gold in the latter's capacity as the head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, not as an Israeli official. Dr. Eshki seems to have forgotten that such a meeting should not have taken place at a time when the academic boycott of Israel, its professors and universities is on the rise across the whole of the U.S. and Europe.

But Dr. Eshki’s meeting with the extreme right-winger Dore Gold is not new. Gold has confirmed that this meeting was at least the fifth between them, which raises many questions regarding Eshki's claim, especially since he presents himself as a specialized academic who believes in objectivity and professionalism in dealing with issues.

When a fellow journalist asked Dr. 'Eshki about the interview he gave to an Israeli newspaper during his participation in the Conference on Democracy and Free Trade held in Qatar last month, he answered that he gave it to a Dutch journalist who took the initiative of publishing it in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth without his knowledge or permission.

But the truth is the exact opposite. Israeli journalist Smadar Perry, who participated in that same conference, was asked whether Eshki had been hesitant about an interview in an Israeli newspaper when she presented herself as an Israeli journalist. She answered that he was not, and according to her story, that he welcomed that because he wished to convey a message through her and her newspaper to Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu to the effect that 'the time has come for Israel to recognize the [2002/2007] Saudi Peace Initiative.' In that same interview, he revealed that 'King Salman bin 'Abdulaziz supports this peace initiative,' and added: 'Give us all the occupied territories and you will get full peace and normalization with 22 Arab states.'

The danger of such Saudi/Israeli meetings even if they are 'academic' in nature, stems from the fact that they occur with a green light and perhaps encouragement from the Saudi authorities. For those who know the kingdom and the decision-making process fully understand that it is impossible for a person of Prince Turki al-Faisal or General Anwar Eshki’s status to shake hands or hold a secret or public meeting with Israeli or any other officials without prior consultation or coordination with the man in charge in his country.

But such meetings with Israelis and the fact of their growing frequency at a time when the kingdom is engaged in numerous wars on a number fronts, in Yemen, Syria and Iraq as well as on a domestic front where it is facing terrorist attacks and bombings by sleeper ISIS cells, reveals a mistaken and short-sighted reading of the Kingdom and the entire region's priorities. This is especially so since these meetings provide lethal live ammunition to those who wish to undermine Saudi Arabia's stability and threaten its security.

The Israelis have celebrated a sentence repeated by strategic expert General Anwar Eshki: 'Israel is a rational enemy, and Iran is an ignorant enemy.' That is an implicit praise for Israel, and a clear denunciation of Iran and it amounts to an implicit acknowledgment that his country prefers to cooperate with the former against the latter on the grounds that Iran is a common enemy.

I do not know what General 'Eshki’s conception of reason and ignorance really is. Does he, for example, believe that those who occupy the Aqsa Mosque, undermine its foundations, work on Judaizing occupied Jerusalem and erasing its historical Arab and Islamic character, settle 800 thousand settlers in the West Bank, divide Abraham's Tomb, kill thousands and destroy 80-thousand homes in the Gaza Strips, wage wars on south Lebanon, and occupy Arab, Lebanese, and Syrian lands – does he believe that all of this is done by a rational enemy? If so, then who counts as irrational? Those who do the opposite?

Saudi Arabia is passing through an awkward phase. We do not believe that a rapprochement with Israel at any level can lead it to the shore of safety. On the contrary, it will only aggravate the threats surrounding it; the domestic ones before the foreign ones.

We do not believe that Iran and its allies in the region, who raise the banner of hostility to Israel and back the resistance to its occupation in word and deed, represent an ignorant enemy. On the contrary, they are very clever and rational, and point their compass in the right direction.

It may be worth reminding our brothers in the Saudi camp that is pushing for contacts with the Israelis and is trying to campaign for seeking their aid as an ally in the war against Iran, that Israel has lost all its recent wars and that its air power has not decided any of them. In this, it is exactly the same as the U.S. Air Force, which has failed to destroy ISIS even though it has already conducted four thousand air strikes on it, and its Saudi counterpart, which has failed to impose surrender on the Houthi/Saleh alliance so far after three thousand raids and 73 days of continuous bombardment.

Saudi Arabia can, if it wishes, win the hearts of the Arabs and Muslims – and its own citizens before anyone else – if it points its compass towards Palestine and the Aqsa Mosque as its late King Faisal bin 'Abdulaziz did. That is the shortest route to preserving its security, stability, and territorial and demographic integrity.

"For it is the land of the Two Holy Shrines come what may, and God has bestowed this beneficence upon it; therefore, its officials should rise to the level of this responsibility and all its religious and historical consequences," concludes 'Atwan.

Ends…

 

 

3-Hasty assumptions

 

Syria’s Kurds would be making a grave mistake if they were to wager on winning their independence as a result of standing neutral between ISIS and Damascus, says Mohammad Kharroub in Jordanian al-Ra’i

 

The Syrian Kurds' neutrality in the ongoing battle for al-Hasaka exposes their hidden agenda of using the confrontation between ISIS and the Syrian army in order to carve out an independent Kurdish state, claims a Jordanian commentator. But they may be too hasty in their assumption that such a state would be acceptable to the major regional powers that have the ability to prevent its establishment.

 

CAUSE FOR SUSPICION: "The position adopted by the 'Kurdish Self-Administration' in northern Syria, which is referred to as Rojava (that is, Western Kurdistan) in Kurdish, is both noteworthy and cause for suspicion," writes Mohammad Kharroub in the Amman daily al-Ra’i.

It decided to adopt a neutral stance in response to ISIS’s intensive and fierce attacks on the Syrian city of al-Hasaka that has a demographic mix of numerous ethnicities and that cannot be classified as purely Kurdish or Arab given the presence of other races and groups.

This raises many serious questions as the aims behind such a suspect stance when everyone knows that ISIS's next target after the Syrian troops and the Popular Forces fighting on their side will be these very same Self-Administration forces. These forces control entire neighborhoods of the city, which have so far remained far from the frontlines and safe from ISIS's shells, car bombs, and rockets.

If we were to refer to the recent reports by Lucinda Smith in the UK daily Times regarding the Kurds 'ethnic cleansing' operations against tens of thousands of Arabs in northeast Syria – which confirm what human rights organizations active in the area have said, namely, that the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have been burning Arabs villages down after taking control of certain areas – we would seem to be confronting a series of carefully studied steps taken in accordance with a timetable that relies on foreign support.

In fact, it would be no great risk to say that certain international and regional capitals believe that the establishment of a Kurdish state in northern Syria is only a matter of time. Moreover, there would be no harm in deploying ISIS's power to achieve this aim, as long as this serves two other aims: Exhausting the Syrian army and driving it out of these areas; and luring ISIS into a trap where it can be bombarded by the international coalition from the air and resisted by YPG forces on the ground. This is what happened in 'Ain al-Arab (Kobani) where the battle was decided in the Kurds' favor.

In addition, this further deepens the Kurds' alliance with Washington, which reports suggest is now in favor of the establishment of a Kurdish state (or states) in historical Kurdistan. These lands are scattered over four states, but Syria and Iraq seem 'qualified' for the implementation of such an idea.

The ongoing attack on al-Hasaka, the success of the Syrian army and its allied forces in repulsing them and the YPG’s insistence on remaining neutral or making impossible demands on the Syrian army in return for backing it (and not taking part in the town’s defense against ISIS) – all clearly reveal the extent of the many-sided conspiracies against Syria. These conspiracies, moreover, all intersect at the project of partitioning Syria or toppling its state and transforming the country into sectarian and confessional mini-states.

That, in turn, would put an end to Syria's geopolitical role and provide a launching pad for the new colonial project that hides behind the claim that the Sykes/Picot agreement has ran its course and that it is time to draw new maps for the region. And these maps will strip the region's countries of their Arab identity and transform it into a geographical area inhabited by a number of ‘nations’ that have multiple connections and fragmented identities. Furthermore, the Arab language alone (or even the [Islamic] religious link) will not succeed in uniting these 'nations' or in providing them with the same goals. This is the plan in which numerous Arab and Islamic regimes, organizations, and groups have been implicated.

The battles now raging on the various battlefronts across the whole expanse of Syrian territories that have recently taken a path that has exposed their aims more clearly, have apparently acquired a momentum that was not there a few months ago. This has resulted in [the opposition’s] 'achievements and victories' on the ground in northern and southern Syria, leading some rash commentators or those deceived by illusions and media drivel to write the Syrian regime's obituary, deeming its fall to be certain.

But this seems just a return to a deluded form of wishful thinking that recalls the foolish predictions made by the same people at the start of the events in Syria, only to subsequently discover that they were wagering on mirages and on the promises of 'friends' that could not take material form on the ground.

Syria's Kurds or the Kurds of the YPG, and especially the leadership of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) would be gravely mistaken if they were to believe that the Americans were truthful in their promises and that they will be 'best man' at the wedding that leads to the birth of the long-awaited Kurdish state. They must learn the lessons and morals of the Kurdish past from the [1946] Mahabad Republic that lasted for only one year, and up till now. Throughout, the Americans have let the Kurds down and left them at the slightest turn at which Washington could uphold their interests.

Nor would Israel be of any use this time round, even if Syria's Kurds believe that Tel Aviv represents the shortest path to Washington. For there are Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan who are 'ideologically' opposed to Syria's Kurds and are allied with their enemies (Turkey). Moreover, Syria's Kurds failure to realize that the decision today is not in the hands of the U.S. alone, because certain important regional capitals that also have influence and power will not 'digest' the idea of an independent state in northern Syria.

The Kurds’ neutrality regarding what is happening in al-Hasaka bears some illusions stemming from arrogance and hasty – not to say mistaken – calculations. They seem to assume that their victory against ISIS is 'guaranteed' at a time when this organization is expanding and when its project to establish its state clearly enjoys the implicit support of certain Arab capitals.

"For these capitals view ISIS as a weapon that they can use to smuggle through the conspiracy to partition Syria and tear the Arab region apart," concludes Kharroub.

Ends…

 

 

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