Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘European Union

 

All European newborn Babies will be Microchipped starting May 2014

 posted on January 22, 2014

On May 2014, newborn children, throughout Europe,will be compelled to take in a subcutaneous RFID chip.

Public clinics in the European Union are to be alerted.

The chip will contain the report sheet on the newborn.

This chip will be doted with an impressive GPS sensor that will task with a micro- disposable battery every 2 years in state clinics. GPS chip grants an edge of error of 5 meters.

The GPS will be linked straight to a satellite, which will guide the networks.

As forecasted, this chip will be essential for all kids born after May 2014 , but with a present confirmation date until December 2016.

Note 1: Apparently, babies in Europe are becoming an endangered species given the low demographics trends

Note 2: I have a few worries:

1. Endangered species have been tagged for quite some time to study their whereabouts and how they are faring. You are under the impression that microchipping at this early years is safe and has no collateral damages as the babies grow up. I beg to differ.

2. Before this method is applied systematically, all the thousands of babies undergoing the “micro-chipping” will be analyzed as cobays.

RELATED:

Former DARPA director Wants You to Swallow ID Microchips

All Americans Microchipped by 2017 (Video)

It is good what is happening in Syria

Peaceful demonstrations in Syria got usurped by violent armed militants.  The regime of Bashar Assad reacted accordingly and very efficiently to armed uprising, as it used to do for 40 years.  The tanks of the army entered and “cleaned up the violent elements” in Daraa, and moved on the “cleaning machines” to Banias, and Homs…

As the regime is about to proclaim that it stomped out the armed elements, and the counter-offensive ia about to end on violence, the next phase for the non-violent marches will prove to be very efficient in winning political changes. Whoever was excited to destabilize Syria in violent tactics will be proved wrong in his judgment.

Syria has always been a cross-road to extremist Islamic militants, converging in Syria before forking out to “hot regions”.  The Syrian regime has accurate intelligence on most of these extremist factions and has used them frequently in many bordering States.  Lebanon suffered heavily from these Islamist militants in the war of the Nahr al Bared Palestinian camp (over 200 Lebanese soldiers killed during 6 months of fighting), and in the slaughter of 11 civilians in the Lebanese village of Halba in 2008.

It is not a matter of earning higher salaries.  The people in Syria are demanding that opposition movements share in political decisions and processes.  The people want to feel safe expressing their opinions and upholding their rights of gathering, and organizing publicly and privately.  The people want equitable and legitimate legal systems, legitimate election laws, fair representation in the parliament and municipal councils…

The next phase of non-violent marches will face harsh difficulties.  In Egypt, the non-violent movements were against a Mubarak regime that demonstrated total subjugation to the US and Israeli dictates and senile incapacity of reigning in the wave of blatant speculations, at the expense of the growth and need of the people; speculations run by Mubarak sons and close relatives…

Syria has disseminated the image of confronting US and Israel interests in the region.  It was basically an image, since the regime in Syria is holding tight for the tacit support of the US and Israel.  And the Syrian regime has maintained a socialist policy that provided free education and health care…

It will not be enough to brandishing the banners of democracy and liberty. The non-violent Syrian movements will need time to structure a very convincing alternative that should secure the same level of basic care, in addition to reforming the political decision-making system.

It is total nonsense proclaiming that the Syrians are not ready for democratic institutions:  Syria enjoyed democratic institutions for two decades and it had the highest education level in the region.  The Syrian people has experienced many forms of political systems and they can design a system that is very performing in matters of human rights and human development indicators.

Unlike the non-violent movements in Egypt and Tunisia, the non-violent movements in Syria will have to negotiate with the tyrant Bashar and his oligarchy:  Simply because this regime is supported by the US and Israel.  The interim phase of succession will keep Bashar in power (without the close oligarchy), and Israel will be wise to accept a short timetable for withdrawing from occupied Golan Heights.  The next regime in Syria will have no alternative but to recover the occupied lands by force, and nothing but force, no matter the cost, and it will be successful.

The Assad dictatorship has to go and its oligarchic structure, but how to go about it? The Syrian people are about to shed many more sacrifices (proportionally to the population) than the Egyptians might have been ready to. A people’s victory in Syria will be the definitive proof that non-violent resistance movements can smash any kinds of oligarchies, no matter how entrenched the system is.

Once the people change this regime that lasted 40 years, the Syrians will be freed from the constant humiliations of pressures exercised by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia and will recover their lost lands occupied by the puny State of Israel.

Note 1: Rami Makhlouf (41 of age and a close relative of Bashar) and the main financier of the family Assad said in an interview to the New York Times “Any destabilization of Syria will have direct destabilizing effects on Israel.  The Syrian government has decided to fight back and the “oligarchy” has rallied around Bashar in this critical moment.

Note 2:  The European Union has listed recently 13 Syrian officials as persona non-grata for participating in the repression of civilians.  Among these names: Maher Assad (younger brother of Bashar) and chief of the 4th army division; Ali Mamlouk (chief of general intelligence); Hafez Makhlouf (close relative of Bashar) in the military intelligence; Rami Makhlouf (close relative of Bashar) and the main financier of the family Assad; Munder and Fawwaz Al Assad; Rustum Ghazali (chief of military intelligence in the suburb of Damascus (reef Damascus) and who was the latest highest Syrian official during Syria occupation of Lebanon before 2005…

“French diplomats” by Frank Renault

This book on French diplomacy and ambassadors is of 350 pages.

France has currently 160 embassies, 27 multilateral representations, 98 consular posts, and 154 cooperative services and cultural actions in the 192 recognized States around the world.

France is just behind the USA in official representations, but has a small Foreign Affairs ministry of only 16,000 jobs:  5,700 are employed directly by the ministry. The education ministry employs over one million public servants and the Justice four times more than the Foreign Affairs ministry. The budget of the Foreign Affairs ministry is around 5 billion Euros, including the 2.6 billions in public aids administered by the ministry. The French Foreign Affairs ministry has been undergoing modernization in the last ten years (read severe budget cuts).

For example, Ambassadors are vehemently encouraged to seek private donations and private industry sponsors to celebrating the 14th of July French Revolution.  There are two parties during that National celebration; lunch for around 300 of the local celebrities and politicians of the State and the evening celebration for the French expatriates.  Well, money lacks for the evening event and the common French have to eat home before converging to the ambassador’s residence for any fireworks.

Maybe the European Union would designate a single yearly National Day and save on the expenses for each State performing their private arrogant colonial expansionist remembrance.

For example, in order to make ends meet out of the cuts in salaries, ambassadors and employees at embassies acquire imaginative embezzlement mentality. The ambassador invites faked guests to his luncheons and dinner parties; furniture and work of arts are replicated by master artisans and the original are sold. Many diplomates used their diplomatic valises to moving hard drugs and secret documents spying for other governments.

The famous porcelain vases made in Seve are highest on the list of  the most common “displaced” of pieces (French diplomacy invented the verb “adirer” to mean displaced and not accounted for).  In France, there is this department that stocks items to be distributed to various ministries and called “Mobilier national” or National Furniture; its records show that it received 93,000 pieces from the factory in Seve;  the Mobilier inventoried only 20,000 in 2007.  One out of five rare pieces decorating French embassies are declared adirer.  A high level diplomat counseled a new recruit: “If you discover the young secretary steeling than most probably she is the ambassador mistress.”

Most ambassadors empty the wine cave and do not leave a single bottle to their successors, who have to reply on their “representation expense account” to replenish the cave.

In 2008, Foreign Affairs ministry instituted a crisis center to come to aid the two million French citizens established in foreign lands.  It had become evident that crisis and catastrophes are increasing dramatically from volcano eruptions, earthquakes, civil wars, airplane crashes and kidnapping for ransom.

The prime Minister appoints an ambassador for each major catastrophes to be the main coordinator with the government; for example during the earthquake in Haiti or a plane crash boarded mostly by French citizens or the repatriation of French expatriates from disaster plagued countries.  Thus, when you hear your government ordering you not to visit certain countries, you must comprehend that the government is unhappy to pay the expenses of securing boats and planes to bring you home.

The budget of the current Foreign Affairs ministry is about 5 billion Euros, and half of it is earmarked for obligatory foreign aids that the ministry is in charge of distributing.  Thus, if a few of these aids are delayed then, most probably, the ministry is experiencing serious urgent small cash liquidity problems.

Bernard Kouchner is trying to concentrate the French cultural centers overseas in order to cut expenses; and after several foiled attempts because of the aversion of the French diplomats of losing power, Kouchner ended up with only a name “French Institute“, though he preferred “Institute of Victor Hugo” to emulating the German “Goethe Institute“, Spanish “Cervantes Institute“, the Chinese “Confucius Institute” and the “British Council“.

Cultural centers are the “soft power” or diplomacy of influence of the developed States.  France has 144 cultural centers, 1,007 French Alliances, 461 French high schools, 154 cooperative services, and 27 institutes for research  overseas.

In “The Ambassadors”,  Roger Peyrefitte wrote: “We are the last of the Feudal Medieval classes of knights and lords:  We enjoy vast privileges in exemptions, immunity, and franchises and we lead the life style of the most favored citizens all around the world.” If given choices overseas, diplomats would select the location with the highest “residency remuneration“:  This extra money is considered as money saved in the bank and can be used to invest in their Real Estates properties in France.  Category A of diplomats can expect remunerations reaching over 20,000 Euro per month.

For example, the ambassador to Salvador pockets around 18, 400 Euro, next ranks Lebanon around 18, 200, then the ambassador to Iran 17, 700 Euro.  Ambassadors to European States receive less than 10,000 Euro.

An ambassador reported that: “If an ambassador does not dispose of enough means (read financial resources) his level of anxiety cannot be compared to the common people. He feels that he is lacking the clear mind to function properly and represent his nation accordingly.” (more on successive updates)

EU higher education system; (Mar. 15, 2010)

There are currently hot discussions on what kind of university system students in the European Union want.

For example, Vienna is welcoming 46 education ministers of Europe on March 11 and 12, 2010 to celebrate the anniversary of 10 years of the Bologna (in Italy) accord.

In 1999, 29 European States adopted a common declaration for the creation of a “European higher education space” to be applicable in 2010, so that any university student can transfer to other universities within Europe.

For this objective, there was the need to agree on:

1.  Compatible diplomas and curriculum.  The first diploma or cycle (bachelor degree) was to be of 3 years and obtained within the Nation-State of the student; the second cycle or masters was to be of 2 years and the PhD degree could be obtained at any university selected by the student across borders.

2. This accord was to encourage mobility and promote professional formation.  Universities agreeing to compatible standards were evaluated twice a year.  Although this accord was not initiated by the EU it benefited from the active support in investment by the European Investment Bank for modernizing university programs and infrastructure toward research/development and innovation/competitiveness.

While the ministers of education are celebrating, a counter movement is actively demonstrating in Vienna.  The movement is denouncing the non-democratic accord (non participation in reforms by the people) and worrying that universities are being transformed into centers for market oriented products (students) instead of graduating well-rounded conversant graduating students in world challenges and problems that require global resolutions.

Ulrich Beck, a German sociology emeritus professor who regularly teaches at Harvard, is worried that the first cycle of 3 years is inevitably dropping general knowledge courses and pressuring students to attend 60 hours of courses per week.  He claims that universities are still educating within the Nation-State concept.

For example, the notion of Nation is transformed into Nation-State, society in general into national society, and history into the national history in order to strengthen national unity and cohesion.  These programs inevitably translated into imperialism tendencies in mentality and practices.

Thus, modern general knowledge in Europe should no longer be exclusively focused on national education (this should be the job in secondary schools), but emphasis should be on modern international understanding of challenges and problems.

Global resolution is the job of the educated masses as well as the elite classes.

General knowledge should be intended into forming international citizens ready to participate in solidarity with developing states

I suggest that the accord of Bologna restructures the academic first cycle program as follows:

First, the first cycle needs to be split into two qualifications or degrees and extended to 3 and a half-year.

Second, Qualification (A) of 18 months should be related to world challenges such as environment, poverty, health, deforestation, decimation of species, solidarity associations, NGO, the European Union organization, policy making procedures, and so forth.

This general knowledge on world challenges and global resolution program can be selected by the student among the universities across borders that have excellent current general knowledge programs; anyway, most subtends would love to spend time away from their nation-state for a change as they graduate from high school.

Third, Qualification (B) of 2 years will focus on the fields of interest for market demands or job carrier.  This cycle will be done within the nation-state universities.

Otherwise, many universities will experience harsh competition from heavy weight more famous and solidly grounded universities in the more developed States in Europe and be forced to close down.

This suggestion combines the need for global general education and encourages universities to upgrade their programs related to global challenges and resolutions.

This reformatting of the first cycle is a pragmatic solution that transforms universities into centers of equality among classes differing in financial means and privileges.

It is imperative to bridge the chasm between inter-connected cosmopolitan elite and the medium and lower classes in matters relevant to decisions on global resolution.

Otherwise, middle classes people will be forced to think and work locally; thus, unable to compete globally and reduced to frequent upheavals in a fast internationally changing environment.

The two most powerful regional powers: Turkey and Iran; (Nov. 10, 2009)

Turkey is the 16th ranked economy and Iran the 17th, with the understanding that Turkey has no oil or gas production while Iran was the second exporter of oil and the second in world’s reserve.

Turkey has a population of 70 million while Iran is about 60 million.

Iran is much larger than Turkey in size, but the two nations are big enough to be considered continent ,self-sufficient and independent nations.

Turkey planned to be  the turnpike for most of oil and gas pipelines originating in Russia, Iran, and central Asia and converging to Europe.  (The upheaval in Syria is mainly due to foiling Turkey strategy). Iran has a strategic access to the Straight of Hermouz.

Russia has borders with both nations that dictated the foreign policies of both countries.  Both countries have over 7 States along their borders.

Both nations share the Kurdish problem for self-autonomy: The Kurds are about over 20 millions and live in inaccessible mountain chains and high plateaus in Iraq; they overflow to vast regions in East Turkey, West Iran, and North Syria.

Turkey is mostly Moslem Sunnis and Iran Moslem Shiaa since the 18th century. Turkey has the least number of Christian  in the Moslem world in proportion to the total population, due to successive genocide policies in the last century that forced the minorities to exit this country. Before last century, the Ottoman Empire was the most lenient empire in matter of religious belief.

Since antiquity, Turkey influence reached to the Euphrates River in Syria while Iran to the Tigers River in Iraq. Both large rivers take sources in Turkey. and the Euphrates River crosses Syria and Iraq.

The good news is that these two most powerful regional powers have many interests in common that dwarf any petty political divergences; they are the cornerstone for a new economic and strategic alliance in the Middle East.

Turkey has cultural and linguistic influence in Azerbaijan, the Caucasus regions, Serbia regions, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Iran has the same kinds of influence in most of these regions in addition to Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Brief history:

Throughout antiquity till our modern days 3 main empires dominated the landscape of the Middle East. Turkey, Iran, and Egypt were vast economic and political empires before the advent of Islam. Turkey and Iran managed to enjoy a semi-continuous existence of empires, but Egypt had large vacuums of many centuries in between empires since the Pharaohs.

Egypt enjoyed special status during the Greek, Roman, Arab, and Ottoman empires and was a world apart as wheat basket and the most advanced in civilization.

Turkey and Iran could benefit from stable “national” entities, but Egypt experienced foreign leaders as kings or sultans and relied on foreign officers to lead its armies, the latest dynasty was from Albania with Muhammad Ali.

The former 3 empires are currently mostly Moslems and they were in general lenient with the minority religious sects.

The three empires have vast lands, rich in water, and have currently about the same number of population of about 70 millions and increasing at high rates.

The Iranian empires relied on Afghanistan’s and the central Asian’s tribes for their armies.  As the frequent Mogul raids descended on Persia its armies went on the defensive.

The Turkish and Ottoman empires relied on the Caucasus tribes from current Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia States, and also from Albania and Romania.

As Russia started to expand southward and occupied many of these regions, then Turkey curtailed most of its vast military campaigns and went on the defensive.

The Caucasus triangle of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia is still a hot spot for domination among Russia, Turkey, and to a lesser extent Iran, especially with the oil and gas pipelines that pass through them.  My post “Cursed Cities: Kars” would shed detailed historical accounts on that tragic triangle.

Modern Status:

In around 1920’s, two military dictators ruled over Iran and Turkey.  Rida “shah” in Iran and Mustapha Kemal “Ataturk” in Turkey were attempting to modernize their infrastructure and civil administrations by emulating the European examples.   Ataturk went as far as changing the Turkish alphabet to Latin.  Both dictators confronted the religious clerics for establishing secular States with unequal long-term successes.  Iran has reverted to religious oligarchy after Khomeini came to power.

While Iran was historically more lenient with its minorities, it appears that Turkey is practically taking steps to outpacing Iran in that advantage; for example, Turkey is translating the Koran into the ethnic languages such as Kurdish.  Women in Turkey are prominent in businesses such as Goler Sabanji; 9% of women are represented in the Parliament.

In Iran, Shireen Abadi is Nobel laureate for defending women’s rights; Iranian women represent only 3% in the Parliament though they constitute 65% in universities.

In the 70’s, Iran was flush with oil revenue while Turkey was struggling to establish an industrial infrastructure. It appears that in the long-term, oil in underdeveloped nations is definitely a curse for emerging nations because wealth is not invested on the human potentials and stable modern political structure.

In 2008, foreign investment in Turkey was $14 billions and increasing while it amounted to just one billion in Iran.  Turkey has expanded its representation in Africa by opening 12 new Embassies and 20 new consulates.

Nisreen Ozaimy is from Iran by origin and fled to Turkey; when her family lived in Turkey it was impressed by the confidence that the Turks valued their various ethnic nationalities; they had this implicit feeling that Turkey is in fact a bridge between East and West.  The Turks managed to blend harmoniously the secular and religious inclinations.

Turkey is a member of NATO and has a chance to joining the European Union.  Turkey is out of its 60 years hibernation and is currently very active in Middle East Affairs.  Turkey was on excellent terms with Syria (until 2011): they recently opened their borders to enter without visas and are conducting joint military maneuvers.  Turkey is about to reach a peace agreement with the Kurdish opposition movement.

Iran is struggling to be incorporated in the world community and the nuclear issue is poisoning its relations with the western nations.

Note 1 :  this is a revised and updated version of my post “Turkey and Iran: Same and Different (April 25, 2009)”

Note 2:  Turkey has the potential to normalize its political and diplomatic relations with almost all Islamic and Arab States except Saudi Arabia.  The most obscurantist theocratic and monarchic Wahhabi sect would never forgive Ottoman Turkey to have sent a military expeditionary force in the 19th century that destroyed and erased the Wahhabi Capital in Najd.

The same Wahhabi dynasty would never normalize relation with Shiaa Iran because it is always feeling insecure of this close powerful State that infiltrated the northern regions of Saudi Arabia in the last two centuries.

The European Union (EU) describes Modern Europe; (Nov. 7, 2009)

The European Union is the most striking political and social achievement in the 20th century.  The backbones of most of the UN peace keeping forces around the world are European contingents; the EU is the highest contributor in humanitarian budgets and for reforming obsolete public institutions in the under-developed States.

This post will cover a few statistics and then a short description of the EU administrative and legislative institutions.  The follow up post will cover what is working, then analyzing what need to be ironed out, and then how the world community is expecting modern Europe to lead.

The founding six States are Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and tiny Luxemburg; that was in 1951 with the objective of regulating the industrial output of coal and steel and resolving differences on egalitarian terms instead of purely diplomatic processes using the “community method”.  The treaty for Agricultural Common Policy (PAC) intended to insure food sufficiency was signed in 1962 which encourage exportation.  Total suppression of tariff on borders was abolished in 1968. As Nixon floated the dollars and de-linked it from gold in 1972, the EU of the Six created a mechanism to reducing fluctuation among the six States and called the “European monetary snake”.  In 1973, Denmark, Ireland and Britain were included in the union.  The European Parliament was elected by the universal vote in 1979 by the nine States.

By 1986, Spain, Portugal, and Greece adhered to the union of the 12 States and a unique market is launched for free circulation of goods, people, capitals and services. The fall of the Berlin Wall enhanced this union to expand into the east. The treaty of Maastricht opens the way for a unified monetary system; it expands the power of the European Parliament and contemplates extending foreign policies and defense to the union institutions.

In 1995, Sweden, Austria, and Finland enter the union of the 18 States. The accord of Schengen of 1995 eliminates borders’ controls among the citizens.  In 1999, 11 States adopt the Euro for common money which was introduced on the market in 2002.   By 2004, eight central European States join the EU; they are: Estonia, Hungry, Latonia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Cyprus.  In 2007 there was a serious proposal for a European Constitution.

The founding Six States constitute about 50% of the EU population of 330 millions of the 27 current States; over 55% of its total economy amounting to 10 trillion euros.  Germany contains 16.5 % in population, followed by France 13%, then Italy 12%, then Spain 9%.   The economy of Germany represents 20%, France 15.5%, Italy 12.5% and then Spain 9% of the total.  England and France are about equal in population and economy.

The EU established institutions for the union such as The Commission, The European Council, the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament (all located in Brussels), and the Court of Justice. The EU is NOT a Federal State; it is a much better political concept that preserves higher democratic representations and elaborate dialogues that enrich the cultural content of any joint agreement among the States. The institutions are being developed and elaborated toward a more effective executive power in times of emergencies such as defense, finance, and foreign policies.  Currently, the EU has a unified security system and unified money with open borders.

The Commission is constituted by representatives of each States; the members are nominated by each State and it is up to the European Parliament to confirm nominated members; the President of the Commission is selected by the European Council and there is a trend to reducing the numbers for efficient collective work; it has weak executive power.

The Council of Ministers has legislative power and may reject the initiatives of the Commission. The presidency rotates among States every semester.  The voting power of each minister is proportional to the State’s population.

The deputies of the European Parliament are elected based on distinct election laws in each States.  The Parliament shares with the Council of Ministers the legislative responsibilities.

The European Council is represented by the States’ government Chiefs; it has the power of selecting the target objectives for the Commission. The High representatives for foreign policies and common security are members in the Commission.

Each State has a justice in the Court of Justice located in Luxemburg.  The jurisprudence of this Court supercedes State’s jurisprudence in matters proper to its competence.

Turkey is currently the main cornerstone regional power;

Erdogan next in line for Nobel Peace; (October 21, 2009)

 

            In December 18, 2004 I wrote “Turkey: A Regional Power in the Making “.  In February 4, 2009 I updated my article “A Regional Power out of hibernation in the Near East“.  Another update is required because Turkey seems to vigorously and quickly act everywhere.

Turkey forgot the Islamic world for over 60 years and relied on its military to impose a secular state and emulate the Western culture in alphabet and in dress codes. Ataturk wanted to shed the image of backward Ottoman Empire that lost an Empire extending from Hungry to Iraq to Arabic Peninsula, the Near East, Egypt and all Northern Africa.   The other Empire to the east was the Persian Safafid Dynasty that extended to Pakistan. The Safafid Empire was founded by another Turkish leader and opted to adopt the Chiaa Moslem sect as the religion of his Empire.

Turkey is part of NATO (this year is its turn to lead the NATO forces in Afghanistan) thanks to the cold war against the defunct neighbor of Soviet Union: Turkey was the main effective ally to the US in the region during the cold war. Turkey was denied full membership in the European Union because the same Soviet Union disintegrated into “independent States” recognized by the UN; France and Germany offered a rational for their refusal on ground of Turkey not satisfying the basic social and political requirement of a homogenous member.  For 60 years Turkey had turned its back to the Arab problems, and allied to the State of Israel and the Shah of Iran.

Things are changing fast after the horrors of Gaza and the tearing down of the mask of the Zionist ideology of terror, expansion, and apartheid.  Turkey was playing the fair mediator between Syria and Israel in order for the return of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Turkey was mediating between Israel and the Palestinians to render the life of the Palestinians under occupation more bearable during the peace negotiations for a separate Palestinian State.  Israel Olmert PM lied to the Turkish PM Erdogan before the barbaric re-incursion into Gaza.

Rajab Tayyeb Erdogan, Turkey’s PM is undeniably the most powerful leader criticizing the Zionist State for its genocide in Gaza. He canceled a joint military maneuver with the US and Israel. The US has nobody else to conduct military maneuvers but Israel in this region; the latest naval one is to last two weeks with objective to save Israel of mass missile attack!

Turkey, under Erdogan, is currently more powerful than the whole of Europe in the Near East for establishing peace, stability and equitable political resolutions.  Turkey is a self sufficient independent Nation and has ruled the whole Middle East for four centuries. Turkey has awakened from a long hibernation and decided to be a major regional power broker.   

Turkey is demanding and acting as the main power broker in the Near East because it has interest in the stability of its south eastern borders with Syria, Iran, and Iraq.  So far, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq were peons for the larger policies of the US, Europe, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.  Turkey’s current policies beg to differ: “no more war zones at my borders and in my back yards”.  The US and Israel must have understood the message clearly and loudly. The so-called “moderate” Arab States of Egypt and Saudi Arabia are cowering down and are taken by surprise to the emergence of the new revitalized Turkey siding with the underdogs.

We are not hearing anymore about the Turkish war on the Kurdish self-autonomous movement.  I wholeheartedly wish that negotiations are secretly and seriously underway with the Kurdish Workers’ Party for a peaceful resolution.  The Kurdish problem was used by the USA and Israel to blackmail Turkey.  I have a feeling that the Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran appreciate the new directions of Erdogan’s government and would find in Erdogan a viable interlocutor and would cooperate with Turkey to lighten up this heavy burden of a useless and fruitless civil war. The new policy in Turkey is to open peaceful negotiations with the opposition Kurds; around 200 Kurdish leaders in the resistance movement have turned themselves in and all indicates that a resolution is palpable.

Turkey will be asked to exercise its beneficial influence in restoring peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region.  It will inevitably join the European Union with the unavoidable important changes that Turkey will have to accept and undergo in matters of democracy, liberty, human rights, social and economical constraints.

This transformation of a powerful neighbor will transcend into a drastic transformation of the societies surrounding Turkey. The benefits are already materializing in closer ties with Syria, pressures on Israel to agree on a Palestinian State, and greater normalization with Iran.  Turkey is obviously the main power that can provide autonomy to the Kurdish nationalism spreading among Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Turkey is the main power that can efficiently check US omnipotence in the Middle East and any resurgence of Russia militarism. Turkey prevented Bush Junior to invade Iraq through its territory; the US air base in Interlink was prohibited to launch air raids on Iraq.  I have great hope in this new power amongst us, especially that the current Turkish government has proven to be far sighted and confident in its power and role in this region.

For a couple of years after Europe shut off the door for Turkey entering the Union Turkey felt the need to crawl in a cave and hibernate; Turkey shook off its lethargic attitude and is now in the driving seat and operating a strategy that befits its power in the Middle East.  It has surmounted tough obstacles in economic difficulties, human rights issues that are frequently reemerging, and demonstrations that are occasionally broken by brute force. Turkey is no longer allowed to relax.  Turkey is quickly learning that it has to keep pace with the culture of Europe and to fight harder to catch up with lost time. Its dialogue with Syria has brought fruits: no visas are needed to cross joint borders, seasonal water resource shortages are frequently revised, and the western world had come to term that it can no longer circumvent Syria in this volatile region with Turkey’s backing.

Europe must be appreciating the decision of Turkey to play a major role in the Near East but the US is very wary because it refuses to share pre-eminence in the Middle East.  Turkey active diplomacy and clear policies should weight heavier in the decision process for joining the European Union.  The frustrations of Turkey with the EU must have given it a clear hint of what its policies should be based on and where its focus should be directed to.

            Turkey is the new pivotal power in the Middle East in the coming decades.  It is the cornerstone for new emerging Northern Middle East Block with Syria, Iraq, and Iran.  This strategic block in formation is inevitable after the US troops leave Iraq and would constitute the best guarantee for this volatile region to peace and security.

            Erdogan should have received the Nobel Award for Peace instead of Barak Obama who has no active records to show for earning this prize (Read my post “What that! Nobel Prize for Passivity?”  Erdogan has already executed peace treaties with his archenemies: Syria, Armenia, the Kurds, soon with Cyprus, and has definitely sided with the Palestinians against apartheid Israel.  Normally, Erdogan is in line for the peace prize. Judging from the trend, the cynical Nobel Committee never feels comfortable awarding Peace Prizes to Middle Eastern leaders unless it is shared with the devils such as Began and Shimon Peres. Erdogan got my highest prize and we all feel much more optimist in our future.

Three Global Temptations (May 8, 2009)

At this junction of human development, the global problems we have to face attest to the successes and accomplishments of man, his mental scientia genius, his legitimate ambitions for acquiring what he can afford to, his quest for liberty and the reward for a comfortable life after a hard day work.  The global problems we have to resolve attest to man ethical and moral failures to catching up to his mental agility.  Man has proven his individual instinct capability for survival in a sustainable earth; man has now to prove that he developed enough collective instinct to survive, an earth on the way to depletion.

It is appropriate to consider the example of a team of rock climbers.  The team has the appropriate equipments tested scientifically and the proper training physically.  There are three main risks for the team to fail in the mission of reaching the top.

The first temptation is that a member of the team to go berserk and take a dive and thus carries the rest of the team with him. A few people have this urgent temptation to dive, and with available opportunities, they would try dangerous acrobatics.  Luckily, the two populous nations of China and India have taken off; they have the tools, the technology, and the means to care for their over 2 billion citizens if they don’t try to catch up in a few decades what took centuries for the USA, Europe, and Japan to reach in stable governments, and legitimate desires for comfort.

There are many more millions who have been humiliated for centuries and robbed of their basic dignity; they are not going berserk because of poverty:  They have individual means for survival.   They can become highly dangerous because of a collective sense of insignificance and desperation toward the policies of the superpowers; those same colonial powers resuming this process of humiliation in “soft” strategy of financial control, and denying them even diplomatic respect as recognized States.  Not all Moslem States feel this desperation: Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Turkey have taken their destinies in their hand.  What the European Union and the USA have to focus on, right now, is to salvage the remnant of dignity among the Arab populations.

The second temptation facing the team of climbers is the wall, the rock face. Most team members might have the techniques of sheltering from falling rocks, slippery sections, brittle portions, and blowing winds.  Human kind has learned to take shelter until the danger passes over.  Most of us have developed the instinct of prudence, not interference, and keeping low levels. We are at a junction where danger is not to pass over on its own volition and no sheltering behavior can protect us for survival. Human kind has to move as a team of bold activists and turn out heavily to put their words, opinions, and actions at work.  We may hold to our tribal customs, our illusory identities, our comfortable life styles, our chimerical convictions and then, all is lost.  The team has to support the weakest member as difficulties surge and be confronted collectively.

The third temptation braving the team is deciding on the target of the mission and it has to be a collective goal. There are no tops to reach in human progress but there are defining phases.  We are at the dawn of Prehistory and a new kind of history has to be achieved and written. Tribal history has done its function but it is alive in many countries and is a danger to our current global problems. National wars, religious wars disguised as ethical values, ideological wars, cultural wars, or war of “civilization” have been tried and they all failed to bring reprieve and salvation. A new adventure for human kind is facing us boldly and we have to invent a new kind of history more appropriate to our survival. The new history should be focused on resuming our medical successes, eliminating pain and diseases, eradicating weapons of mass destruction, keeping us functional in old age, overcoming illiteracy, investing on continuing education, creating opportunities for various skills, desires, and achievements, preserving thousand of languages from certain death and many unknown literature, managing human rights, and salvaging the dignity of every human being.

Frankly, The European Union is actually the main laboratory for confirming that “Tribal History” is exhaling its last breath; that human dignity is not measured by fictitious apartheid scales based on color, religious affiliation or ethnic origins; that humiliating man is not a point of view or can generate any temporary benefit. If God has been angry for millennia then He has an opportunity to feel proud of his Creation.

Bi-Weekly Report (#21) on the Middle East and Lebanon (May 9, 2009)

 

            The US Administration keeps flopping between the policy of a peace treaty (Israel/ Syria) first or a Palestinian homeland in the Near East.  So far, the US Administration has changed priority more than once in a single month and the US delegates are crusing the regions for a hint and a suggestion while carrying all kinds of tentative projects.  The energumen Israeli foreign affairs minister, investigated for criminal activities by the Israeli police, is visiting a few European States to confirm his opposition for a Palestinian State.  Thus, the US is pleasuring Israel by shifting its priority to (Israel/Syria) peace treaty first.

            Anyone of these projects to take off there are powerful regional powers to satisfy.  For Syria there are Iran and Turkey that should cooperate fully and sign their agreements.  Iran would pressure the US first, to handle the nuclear arm policy equitably since Israel owns one too many nuclear arms; and second, that the treaty preserves unconditionally the sovereignity of Syria in the Golan Heights. This is no longer a State to State treaty but a regional status of dignity that no usurper is to enjoy advantages by military forces.

  1. Turkey would insists that France drops her veto to a potential attachement of Turkey to the European Union; otherwise, why Turkey would go at such length and effort to get re-immersed in regional quagmires?   The other condition of Turkey is that Moslem Syria is not pressured into “losing face” and thus, exacerbates the sense of humiliation and desperation that the Arab World has been subjugated to for centuries.

 

            One policy that the US Adminstration has decided on and is executing with the support of the Pakistany army and government is to defeating the military power of the Taliban style ideology in norther Pakistan.  Pakistan is the main source of instability in order to re-arrange the Greater Middle East stability.  I hope that the Barak Administration has already extended its military policy in Pakistan into including the social and economic stability and viability of the Pakistani State.  Pakistan is worth heavy investment in money and time until the Taliban (Wahhabit) ideology is contained and controlled.

 

            For the Palestinian homestate to take off there are Egypt and Saudi Arabia to be satisfied, assuming that Syria has signed a peace treaty with Israel.  Egypt would insist that first, its enjoys the status of the most preferred nation in Gaza, kind of practical mandate if not diplomatically; and second, that Israel relinquishes any kinds of controls in the Palestinian State that Egypt might be denied, and third, (during the Mubarak dictatorship) that Hamas is not to be the most powerful faction in the Palestinian government and Parliament: Mubarak understands that the “Moslem Brotherhood” party in Egypt has more legitimacy among the population than his regime.

            Saudi Arabia would insists that the clerics to the Mosques that it invested in building or maintaining in Palestine be hired by the wahhabit sect and answering directly to the “fatwas” emanating from the Capital Riad.

 

            The President of Lebanon, Michel Suleiman, has declared yesterday that after the Parliamentary election in June 7 the Dawha agreement will have been satistisfied and the Taef Constitution will be applied: The winning coalition in the parliament will govern and the losers will oppose.  The leader of the Tayyar al Horr (Change and Reform Party), and currently the dominant “Christian” representative in the parliament, General Michel Aoun has been promoting the advent of the Third Republic to replace the governing system imposed on Lebanon since 1993 during the Syrian mandate and after the withdrawal of the Syrian troops in 2005.  The polls favor the opposition (Tayyar, Hezbolah, and Amal) to gaining 65 deputies out of 120. 

Michel Aoun has decided to run in the district of Jezzine (a Christian enclave) with his list of 3 candidates when all the attempts for an agreement with Berri failed.  Berri is the Chairman of the Parliament and the leader of the Shiaa Amal Party that represented the Shiaa during the civil war but was supplanted by Hezbollah.  Berri understands that his weight and standing in the political structure are solely based on heading the parliament and all his machinations are to securing this post that he chaired for over 20 years.

Regardless of the wining coalition, the Taef Agreement will be re-applied in its entirety with various success and time span. For example, a second confessional Partiament of the 19 religious sects will be formed so that the popular Parliament will be elected devoid of sectarianism and hopefully according to a new law based on relative percentages (nisbiyya) and not on majority.

If the Tayyar returns with additional gains into the Parliament then the application of Taef Constitution will accelerate with modification after substantial lapse of time such as providing the President of Republic additional leverage and imposing time constraint on the government (mainly the Prime Minister) to ratifying decision as it is imposed of the President.

In case the Tayyar loses then a dangerous cycle await Lebanon with end results of sharing power not on the basis of 50/50 between the Moslem sects and the Christian sects but on the basis of three major sects, the Shiaa (the most populous), the Sunni, and a combination of the Maronite and Christian Orthodox. 

  1. Lebanon is a precarious State depending on many foreign interests in the Middle East and not specifically for the sake of Lebanon.   In any case, a stable Lebanon is connected with a stable Syria that is satisfied with Lebanon’s foreign administration of relations. The fundamental interests of Syria cannot be circumvented and supersede the USA if Lebanon is to enjoy security and stability.

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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