Tuesday, September 3, 2013

THE ALLIANCE OF THE FEARFUL By Ghassan Kadi 10 June 2012

THE ALLIANCE OF THE FEARFUL
By Ghassan Kadi
10 June 2012

 Sheikh Abdullah Tamimi is a rather insignificant figure in the Levant and the future of Syria is not contingent upon his radical views, but when he appears on Israeli TV (Channel 2. Link below, in English with a... short Arabic intro)) proclaiming that Syria and Israel are not enemies, he is in fact talking about a paradigm shift, a shift that is trying to draw new lines and new alliances in what an analytical assessment of the recent events in the Levant can only regard as one that is desperate.

His stand is an overt exposure of what is better known as the Arab Spring; a term that was meant to signify self-expression, deposing dictators, and the establishment of long-awaited political freedom in the Arab World.

The desperate nature of this shift is a direct result of reality; a reality that implies that time is neither on the side of the foreign policies of the USA, nor it is on the side of the expansive aspirations of Israel.

There is little doubt that Israel reached its peak on the eve of its 6-Day War victory in 1967. The military triumph soon turned into a nightmare, and Israel is still reeling from the downfall of its victory not knowing and not able to deal with the land and people it occupied.

Several Intifadas in Palestine and several defeats in Lebanon later have painted Israel in a corner; not knowing if a military solution is any longer feasible, albeit conceivable.

To compound Israel’s dilemma further, the clock is ticking and the economic demise of the USA is only a question of time. Even if this demise does not eventuate in a crash as some pundit predict, there is little doubt that America will soon lose its global economic superiority and that as a consequence, the flood of funds to Israel will be reduced to a trickle and even perhaps be totally cut off.

Knowing that it can no longer win wars without taking huge risks that could well and truly challenge its very existence, Israel is trying to turn some of its regional foes into friends and even perhaps allies.

It is fortuitous for the strategists in Israel that the Sunni/Shiite divide has been rekindled in the region. The rise of Iran has evoked dormant fears within the hearts and minds of Sunnis who fear what they refer to as “Tashyee’a” (ie turning the region into a Shiite enclave).

The Arab states that are most fearful of this spectre are the “Gulfies”; ie the Saudis, Qataris, Bahrainis, etc… Ironically, the ongoing uprising in Bahrain is not seen as part-and-parcel of the Arab Spring, but to the ruling families of the Gulfies, they regard it as a pilot light, a fire that could engulf them all.

Iran’s aspirations, including its nuclear agenda, are any one’s guess.
On the surface, Iran defines itself as an Islamic State with Shiite Islam being its foundation.

A closer look at the current military map of the region however clearly shows that Iran is surrounded by NATO troops, in Afghanistan, Iraq, bases in Turkey, naval ships in the Persian Gulf, and last but not least a strong logistic base in Qatar and a virtually endless oil supply in Saudi Arabia. And this is not to mention the on-going Israeli threats of military action and cyber warfare.

If Iran indeed has aspirations to develop an A-Bomb to create a deterrent, strategic military thinking would “justify” such an aspiration. After all, events in the last few decades have indicated that having a nuclear arsenal was the only guarantee that the USA would leave a nation that does not tow the US line alone..

The above scenario exposes two rising groups in the Levant; the fearful and the hopeful.

The hopeful group is the one that can see the unstoppable tide of change, a change that can bring Israel to its knees. This group includes Iran, Syria, and all other factions who oppose Israel.

The fearful group is one that has two main subdivisions; those who want to maintain the status quo (ie Israel and US interests), and those who are fearful of being swallowed up by a Shiite take-over; ie the Sunni fundamentalists.

The fearful subgroups, when/if united, constitute very odd bed fellows to put it mildly. After all, NATO is still engaging in a deadly war in Afghanistan against the Talibans.

Recent developments in Syria and Lebanon have however clearly indicated that both of those fearful subgroups are prepared to turn a blind eye to Afghanistan. The interview of Sheikh Abdullah Tamimi says it all; if one is able to read in between the lines.

There is little doubt that we are seeing the emergence of the most unlikely alliance; an alliance that includes Sunni fundamentalists, Israel and the USA.

All the while, Turkey is watching with the eyes of a vulture because it has its own regional historic ambitions. It may join this group and/or wait to form its own, under a new Ottoman umbrella.

That said, the sovereignty of Syria and Syrians should only be decided by its people. This however cannot be achieved before decisions are made at national level. And when Syrians reach this level of awakening, decisions of this nature will need to overcome volatile sectarian divisions that find easy and multitude of sponsors to support.

Syria has been on this path. For the last forty years or so, it stood alone as an independent self-sufficient secular state that opposed the Israel lobby and the NATO plans in the region.

It is little wonder why Sergey Lavrov Russian Foreign Minister has recently said that: “The way world is in the future depends on the outcome of the Syrian crisis”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xbu864lfwg&feature=youtu.be&fb_source=message

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