Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Kurds

Will Biden be able to stop Erdogan neo-Ottoman expansionism?

Christian Malard, International policy expert and diplomatic consultant

The Ottoman Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to reweave the nationalist fibre, through external provocation, because he is weakened on the inside by a sluggish economy and growing unpopularity.

It is a dangerous game because he wants to project himself beyond his borders and is once again seeking to settle scores with his historical Armenian enemies, whose genocide in 1915 was caused by Turkey (and processed and executed by the Kurds?). Which Erdogan denies. And that is a shame

Erdogan also defies Europe, the United States and NATO (Trump had an open and almost daily communication with Erdogan), of which he is a member, and above all Russia, on three fronts:

In Syria, where he provides military aid to Islamist rebels hostile to Bashar al-Assad supported by the Kremlin; in Libya, where he supports the camp opposed to Vladimir Putin; and in the Caucasus, at the heart of the Russian president’s sphere of influence. (And still, Putin is patiently negotiating Russia economic interests with Erdogan)

NATO, for its part, shows a distinct weakness by refusing to sanction him. Undoubtedly for fear of letting go the second most powerful army, after that of the United States, within the Atlantic Alliance. (Like what the Turkish army can come to aid against Russia army?)

Diplomats stationed in the region, for the most part, say that Erdogan is opening new fronts as a diversionary tactic because his cursor is set by the 2023 presidential election.

Erdogan fears late fallout from the “Arab Spring”. He still has in mind how his late friend, the Egyptian Muslim Brother, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in 2013 by the military after a year in power.

And then, it should be recalled, first of all, that the Russo-Turkish alliance is an unnatural alliance, even if it has erased, in recent years, its numerous geopolitical divergences.

History is there to remind us that the Ottoman and Russian empires fought many wars for the domination of the Middle East. (Actually, the decision to get rid of the Armenians during WWI was because they consistently supported Russia wars against the Ottoman empire, as Germany was confronting the Russia emperor forces on the Turkish front.)

Until now, their good relations have been based on a common will to drive the West out of conflict zones and to take advantage of the vacuum left by Donald Trump’s America in the Middle East.

Today, we must ask ourselves two questions:

  1. Has the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict signed the end of this unnatural geopolitical alliance? And is Vladimir Putin going to want (and be able) to continue to use Turkey to divide NATO? For, by opening a third front in the Caucasus against Russia, Erdogan has called into question the status quo that Vladimir Putin maintained in the region.

2. If Turkey persists in tilting the balance of power, Vladimir Putin will no doubt end up coming out of his reserve. And the anti-Western policy will no longer suffice to mask the growing differences with Ankara.

Things aren’t looking good with France either.

It should be remembered that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a Muslim Brother, therefore being an Islamist. And as such, it is unacceptable for him to hear Emmanuel Macron’s speech against the Islamist pandemic launched against the West and its values.

One wonders who Fahrettin Altun, Erdogan’s communications director, is mocking when he says that “the insidious policy of cartoons, separatism against the Muslims and searches of mosques are not linked to freedom of expression.

Erdogan, who had thousands of soldiers, lawyers, judges, politicians, journalists, Kurdish activists, etc… eliminated to establish his power. Is he best placed to give lessons on freedom of expression?

Erdogan wants to challenge the secular heritage of Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, which dates back to 1924, by initiating a resurrection of the Ottoman Empire. He seeks to appear as the best defender of Muslims throughout the world and the leader of a Sunni world in which he wants to compete with Saudi Arabia, which he classifies as an anti-Turkish axis, along with the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Like Vladimir Putin, he took advantage of the American withdrawal from the Middle East to increase his influence and territorial expansionism.

Through this international outbidding, Erdogan aims to create a diversion to hide the chaotic economic situation in his country: the unemployment rate is 13% and affects 26% of young people.

And the Turkish currency the lira is collapsing against the dollar. So much so that there is no longer a sacred union around Erdogan, despite all the powers he enjoys.

His popularity is waning; his Islamist conservative party, the AKP, is torn apart since its defeat at the 2019 municipal elections.

His former Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, and his former Minister of Economy, have gone into opposition.

And if the presidential and legislative elections, scheduled for June 2023, were held today, he would come out losing to his republican rival, Ekrem Imamoglu, who took away the mayor of Istanbul, held by the Islamo-conservatives for 25 years.

Weakened as never before on the inside, Erdogan tries to bounce back, multiplying provocations and outrages on the international scene.

But a question now arises for him: will the arrival of Joe Biden force him to revise Turkey’s foreign policy, at a critical moment for him internally?

Just over a year ago, Joe Biden called Erdogan an “autocrat” and pledged to support the Turkish opposition.

More recently, during the Turkish president’s intervention in Nagorno-Karabakh, Joe Biden called Erdogan’s bellicose rhetoric, including the use of Syrian jihadist mercenaries to terrify the Armenian population, “irresponsible”.

For the time being, Erdogan wants to be conciliatory, but we cannot be fooled by his manoeuvres.

As always. He bets on the idea that Joe Biden will ensure, like all his predecessors, the stability of his relationship with Turkey, so as not to weaken the Atlantic Alliance, which has several hundred nuclear warhead missiles on Turkish soil (to do what with these atomic bombs?).

Titbits #101

Posted on December 25, 2017

Note 1: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains months-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

I’m stunned with talks and essays on “Futuristic trends”, intended for the “developed Nations”. Totally forgetful of the behaviors of the 6 billion wretched people, working hard to save a train ticket for the city.

Wretched people are cognizant of the power of monsoon. Rich people assume that well-built homes withstand these calamities. They can’t see the 10-meter waves crashing on: all windows and doors boarded.

Opinions: Either “You know” or Don’t know “scientifically” the subject matter.

Position on issues: You care, and get engaged or don’t give a hoot. And keep your silence

If the Style is different, then it’s Not the same idea

The game is far more fun when done voluntarily: You step in the field and declare “I want to play”

Être un professionnel est au-dessus de ma patience

Kurds in Syria have No one to protect them but the State of Syria. The sooner they demand from the USA to vacate their military bases in North Syria, the higher the perception of confidence and integrity.

Temperature rise makes the ocean water too warm and prevents ocean water movement to travel from cold parts to warmer parts. Consequently, the diluted oxygen in water could no longer travel and the ocean stagnated and marine organism died.

Une façon comme une autre de vendre sa salade: l’Amérique est terre d’élection des puritains, alcooliques et de “enfoncez-vous-bien-dans-la-tête”.

Les riches partagent avec les pauvres des intestins nauseabonds: Personne ne se rendrait compte de cette verité si les riches prennent en charge la maintenance de leurs domiciles, par eux-meme

Wars of choice“, decided by the 1% elite class in the “war industry” and the plunderer of other nations raw materials and oil.. and open market…

Visit Latin America, the non-Arab Africa, or the Philippines and you discover the dancing gait of people, the colorful dresses, and the generous genuine smiles.  The entire posture of the body, the gesture, and the gazing are seductive.

J’aime le grand air et marcher les champs, mais pas travailler la terre

Ce serait heureux de vivre dans un climat ou les fruits et la nourriture ne demandent pas de mains-d’oeuvres. En tout cas, qui Ne façonne pas des gens violents et déprimés, ce qu’on appelle une terre qui “forme ces characters

Faut savoir choisir ou’ on dine: Tu ne veux pas la sauce d’aujourd’hui et la viande d’hier

Elle avait des mouvements de grande violence d’amour, mais pliait d’abords ses vêtements

Le jeune homme travaillait l’itinéraire le soir: il est bon que les adults continuent à croire que la jeunesse est un miracle.

Il ne pouvait que tourner en rond sur la place de l’Etoile pour éviter l’orgueil des automobilistes: dans le monde moderne, si on s’arrete on est foutu.

J’aime bien ta conversation: tu te charge de tous les clichés et ca soulage

C’est facile d’être audacieux dans ce pays: Dit ce que tout le monde peut voir en s’en donnant la peine.

Tidbits and notes. Part 291

Twitter demands that I share my phone # in order to resume sharing my comments, and I refuse to abide by this constraint. I don’t know the dangerous consequences. Facebook is smarter and wiser: It also request my phone # but doesn’t exclude me from “sharing” and commenting.

The Modern States that learned to listen to the demands and request of its people and reacts promptly in reconsidering its laws are the most advanced, regardless of their size in land and population and are the most respectful of the UN resolutions regarding human rights. They have confidence that their educated and cultured citizens are more attuned to the world calamities than their functional institutions.

If Raping is not about power, then what is it? Shattering another person life for a stupid exercise in power exhibition. And Not even being endowed by gender to get the pleasure that women get.

Experiments on mice with cancers revealed that the mice that fasted two days before being injected with heavy dose of chemo lived and were found very active, while 40% of non-fasting mice died. Why?

The third day in the fast protocol is the toughest: The person feels joint aches, headache, nausea, feeling under the weather, and craving all kinds of food that he loves…

By the fifth fasting day, a state of euphoria and well-being submerges the fasting individual, and life is light and the tasks are very manageable…

My daydream project is opening a fasting clinic with the motto: “Fast your own protocol”. The client will check in the clinic and will submit to two days of learning everything on fasting, the research papers, the statistics, its consequences, the processes, the benefits, the side effects…and thorough physical tests.  The client will end up devising his own protocol for the staff in the clinic to supervise…

White, middle-class, heterosexual men, usually middle-aged or the “Default Man” dominate the upper echelons of our society, imposing, unconsciously or otherwise, their values and preferences on the rest of the population. They make up an overwhelming majority in government, in boardrooms and also in the media.

I can conjecture that the US in Tanaf military base (south-east Syria) are already sick and tired of remaining in this isolated desert hot location. Summer has Not even started and the sand storms will break any time soon. Even mercenaries are Not willing to go there. Get out quick: it is Not that strategic in the first place and Jordan and Iraq are sick a tired of USA antics.

I contend that the “Armenians” and the “Kurds” were initially of the same tribes, roaming the same Land: of all the Black Sea regions and all the mountain range from Turkey to Iran. They constituted powerful successive empires. As the Armenians and the Russians adopted the Orthodox Christian sect, the Armenians sided with Russia in all its incursions and expansion on the Ottoman Empire. The Kurds adopted Islam and sided with all the empires that ruled Turkey. Turkey vastly relied on the Kurds to prosecute its genocide plans on the Armenians. And some people claim that “monolithic” religions are benign forces.

I contend that it is inevitable that Iran and Turkey will strike a long-term deal, as they always did in the past. Iran and Turkey are the most advanced economically with stable political systems. Iran will effectively “administer” southern Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the northern seashore provinces of current Saudi Kingdom. Turkey will administer all the remaining parts of so-called Greater Syria. That would be the consequences of the western colonial powers dividing the Near-Eastern and Middle-Easter people, even before they created their Zionist movement.

One version of the story goes like this: Daesh Abu Baker was a member of Saddam Hussein Republican guards and many of Al Nusra “leaders” were members of Jordan Royal guards. These “guards” were trained to behave as reckless assassins, modern razzia without any restrictions, when let loose by the Saddam or Jordan monarch. Syria had in its prisons most of the Muslim Brotherhood Al Nusra and Abu Baker also. As the uprising in Syria spread in most cities, Syria President liberated 1000 of Al Nusra and also Abu Baker to incite exaggerated killing and ransacking. The USA and colonial powers had all the intelligence pieces and capitalized on them to divide and “exhaust” the Syrian people.

Apparently, most of the powerful “Arab” tribes in Deir Zour and North-East Syria paid allegiance to Saddam Hussein during the Baath Party feud between Saddam and Hafez Assad. The houses posted the pictures of Saddam and were well armed. No wonder then how Daesh (ISIS) quickly entered Al Raqqa and swiftly advanced to Mosul.

Notes and tidbits on FB and Twitter. Part 66

La civilisation consiste en un long effort pour tromper les hommes sur eux-même. les calamités des guerres civiles sont la consécration que cette civilisation pourrie a reussi son objective

On a été élever pour prendre place dans un monde de gentlemen. Les coups bas étaient hors-la-loi. Et pourtant, ces coups bas sont devenus la régle

We all dance to a mysterious tune, people, animals, plants… To basic laws of nature Science is never finished: the human mind only uses a small portion of its capacity, and man’s exploration of his world is also limited.

Behind each cause is still another cause; the end or the beginning of all causes has yet to be found.

The whole of nature is life, and life, as I observe it, rejects a God resembling man.

The world needs new moral impulses which, I’m afraid, won’t come from the churches, heavily compromised as they have been throughout the centuries. If we want to improve the world we cannot do it with scientific knowledge but with ideals.

Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Gandhi have done more for humanity than science has done.

The combination of scientific knowledge guided by humanistic ideals toward all living creatures can change the course of this rotten civilization

Trying to find out the laws of nature has nothing to do with mysticism, though in the face of creation I feel very humble.

I have faith in my intuition, the language of my conscience, but I have no faith in speculation about Heaven and Hell.

I’m concerned with this time—here and now. Intuition tells man his purpose in this life. Though we cannot strengthen our intuition without comprehending the limitation of accumulated facts

Robert Ford, former Ambassador in Damascus: Game is over in Iraq and Syria. Iran won and Assad won. We didn’t take into consideration the mass engagement of Iran and Hezbollah in Syria. (And 7ash sha3bi in Iraq).

Israel knows that the game is over in Iraq, Syria and even Lebanon.

It still sustain Trump’s illusions that something can be done. No US military bases will remain, unless the US wants a repeat of suicide attacks like in Beirut.

The Kurds in Syria must have no illusions of any kinds of independence: encircled on all fronts (Turkey, Syria and Iraq), no amount of weapons can sustain a food and energy blockade.

The most foolish Kurd leader is Barazani: He might attempt a suicidal confrontation with Iraq and Iran

Nadia Choukeir and Mariam Jawhari and their entire families died in the burning of the building with 58 other people. These two ladies were activists and submitted petitions demanding for remedies for the fire hazard to the rental administrators of Kensington and Chelsea 

The purpose of life is to reflect and decide after due diligence. Even domestic animals appreciate this acquired quality

It was in the making: dictatorship added to absolutism in Saudi Kingdom: wali wali al 3ahd stepped in after demoting wali al 3ahd

The missiles of Iran into Syria had 2 main messages for Kurdish Barazani and Jordan monarch: You harbour, train and dispatch terrorist Iranians in Iran and face dire consequences

Le capitaine decide, le commandant remarque, le colonel rappelled et le general s’étonne

On ne tue pas quelqu’un dont l’opinion est de donner á la paix une chance

On ne traite pas de traitre le pacifiste pour satisfaire les industriels de guerre

Les Francais hautement qualifiés et eduqués furent faucher en premiére lignes pour satisfaire “L’égalité du feu”, chair á canon égalitaire

Les Syriens et Libanais ont souffers du mandat Francais après WWI á cause de la pénurie de Francais éduqués et qualifiés en administration. On était réduit á endurer des militaires bornés.

If Kant made a difference in Einstein rational thinking, it maybe worth reading Kant.

Il y a une categorie de la plebe qui survit par calomnier tout le monde. Méprisant tout le monde. Une maladie incurable, mais vit trop longtemps.

Tant qu’elle mange, pisse et chie par l’anus et le larynx.

Une grande tribue qui n’a pas grand chose avec l’argent. Il y a des coins óu les indigénes vivent sur les arbres. C’est pas moi qui les forceraient á descendre.

On croit souvent qu’on est chez les autres, alors qu’on est seulement chez soi

L’irritation que l’on resent malgrés soi, lorsque les estropiés blessent votre vue. Ces fâcheux que l’on reproche d’y avoir survécu.

L’idée que les gens qui ont trop souffert ne sont plus capable de confiance, d’optimisme et de bonheur. Ces derniers characteristiques s’ appliquent aussi aux estropier emotionelles

On peut naturellement poser la question: “Que faites- vous ici au Tchad?” á pas mal de gens, ce qui fait qu’on ne la pose jamais.

Ca gratte: on a l’impression d’avoir Non pas choisi sa vie, mais de l’avoir manquée. Surtout quand on doit retourner 9 mois dans la forêt avec l’image des beaux yeux gris de la belle fille.

Les contradictions sont la roncon de toutes les veritiés á peu prés humaines. Et comme tout est contradiction, les vérités sont des création simplement humaine

Cette masse acharnés á la poursuite d’un ideal de dignité humaine, sans jamais parler de tolérance, de justice et de liberté.

Il me méprisait de toute la hauteur de 10 siècles de civilization trés blanche

In order to avoid any attempt to re-launch another peace process, Netanyahu and his extreme right parties has no choice but to divert attention to strategic Iran. Now that Iran won, Assad of Syria won, Hezbollah won, Iraq 7ashd sha3bi won… How long can Israel Netanyahu fool Trump and push him around and further into this quagmire?

The main fundamental ideology of Israel right parties is never to negotiate on acquired occupied Palestinian lands

A few of my comments on FB: USA, Syria, Lebanon, Kurds, Turkey, Climate Change


While the Pentagon and the White House’s national-security apparatuses were still moving toward war (John Kerry told me he was expecting a strike the day after his speech), the president had come to believe that he was walking into a trap
A trap laid both by allies and by adversaries, and by conventional expectations of what an American president is supposed to do.
The US intelligence told him that the Syrian regime use of Sarin gas “Was Not a slam dunk” as the propaganda was confirming.
Actually, Al Nusra and ISIS have been gazing regions before any and military incursions

When the USA responded to Putin withdrawal of his troops in Syria that the sanctions will remain relative to Ukrain problem, we hope it was simply a temporary slap for Putin’s over-extension of his troops.
Putin knows very well that his undertakings do Not constitute a real threat to the US: No military excursions without a strong economy is a credible threat. (Russia GNP is as large as Italy and less diversified)
But Putin valiantly wants a tacit recognition from Washington that he can contribute effectively with whatever means he still has to world peace and confronting world terrorism.
Otherwise, Putin will have Not many options but to dovetail China’s world policies.

The second conclusion of Obama is that even if the Middle East were surpassingly important, (Not to his opinion) there would still be little an American president could do to make it a better place.

Climate Change

We have a structural problem to approach climate change.
You can simultaneously understand the medium to long-term risks of climate change and also come to the conclusion that it is in your short-term economic interest to invest in oil and gas.
Which is why anybody who tells you that the market is going to fix this on its own is lying to you.
But the government institutions are wary of changing this mid-fix of market stupid fixing of anything that drastic and existential

So the agreement says that we pledge to keep temperatures below two degrees and we’ll endeavor to keep them below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Now, we have already increased temperatures to one degree Celsius
So we’re already in the dangerous era of climate change.
But we can’t stop now
We need to rely on coal and oil to get more cash to invest in climate change alternastive?
And you are telling me that the conference was a success story?
Just because we recognize this existential threat?


The Syrian government will have to boldly admit that an alternative political discourse has to be contemplated after 45 years of same political mentality.
A different political structure needs to be revised for a sustainable reform

The best news in Syria is the coming together of all minorities in the north to proclaiming a federated province.
Until a new constitution is agreed upon for the Syrian people, the Kurdish federation will be the focus point to discussing a new perspective of how to govern Syria.
And an example to other countries on how to restructure their political perception on minorities and the role of central governments and the basic central institutions

The Kurds in north Syria are working for a federal status. This should be good news to the central Syrian government:
1. It insure unity of the land
2. the central government will spend its reconstruction infrastructure on the heavily dense regions.
3. This Kurdish zone will become a buffer to Turkey frequent blackmailing of Syrians whenever it is angry or upset with Syria decisions

China has stopped investing in Russia air strikes in Syria. The deal was for 6 months
Iran has to increase its share of the expenses for the necessary airstrikes to get control of Aleppo, Tadmor and a few other strategic locations.
The US and Nato are to bomb Al Rakka
Turkey is to handle Edleb for a resolution to the political settlement


After each terror attack in Turkey, the government immediate announcement is: This is the doing of either Da3esh Or the PKK.

A suggestion to this Turkish befuddled Erdogan government:

  1. If the target is a security post, lay it on the PKK
  2. If the targets are tourist sites and religious sites… lay it on ISIS

Feltet bi Tirkiyyat wa daa3 al shenkesh


Over the past 2 years, Hezbollah deployed a real army in Syria.
Wars always find ways to generate cash money.
It is the peace periods that have hard time finding the necessary funds.
In order for Hezbollah to return its army into Lebanon, it badly needs vast opportunities in Lebanon to relocate and tame the returning soldiers.
What Saudi Kingdom and the Gulf Emirates are doing are exactly the contrary to what is necessary for Hezbollah to repatriate its troops: Hitting hard on Lebanon financial system, deporting working Lebanese in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, and officially lambasting Hezbollah as a terrorist organization
In fact, they all want Hezbollah to export its troops beyond Syria and Not return to Lebanon.
Otherwise, Hezbollah will have Not many options but to create a climate for wars, and most probably initiate a war on Israel in order to create a proper climate for his requirements to be taken seriously by the regional powers

Hezbollah has demonstrated that it is a powerful and effective movement for securing the stability and peace of Lebanon and providing an excellent deterrent force against the successive Israeli pre-emptive wars.

Ain (3ain) el Tineh?  It is the palace of Nabih Berry, chairman of the Parliament. And he has been in this position for ever, longer than any known dictator in the Arab World.

Did any one notice this phenomenon?
Every politician pay visit to Berry residency and He never pay visit to the residency of anyone?
Ain el Tineh is becoming the tacit siege of the parliament where the deputies come to meet.

And where the government members come to meet, including Tamam Salam PM.

While Berry doesn’t set foot in the Serai?
Jumblat visit Berry but Berry doesn’t set foot in Moukhtara or Clemenceau?
General Michel Aoun (3oun) visit Berry but Berry never set foot in Rabiyeh?
Sa3d Hariri visit Ain el Tineh but Berry doesn’t set foot in Al Wassat?
Who is the President, the PM and also the Legislative chairman?

Berry is a civil war Shi3a militia leader (Amal) who enjoyed total Syrian backing and who blockaded  the Palestinian refugee camps for 6 months and attacked them by order of Hafez Assad.

Berry has his own internal security forces, special brigades of the regular army and his own militia.

The beauty is Not a single one of his extended family members are permitted to be on the media or newspapers, either in photos or interviews or voicing any opinion. Only his second wife appears in charity events.

I lean to believe that Berry is the richest man in Lebanon, but no one dare voice it: He still control the Black Box for the reconstruction of the south, he has shares on every deal in Beirut and the south, on of his daughters has a diversified portfolio in many businesses, his sons in the US have scores of gas stations in Dearborn and other cities…

No one is a viable candidate to inherited Berry’s political power, neither his sons, daughters or any member in the Amal movement.

Sa3d Hariri was implicitly clear yesterday on Kalam Nass:
“I don’t mind 3aoun as President. It is Berry and Jumblat who don’t want him.”
And Suleiman Frangiyyeh cannot be elected because Ja3ja3 and 3aoun don’t want him (The Christians don’t want him).
Who is the third candidate allied to March 8 who will be elected in April?
Frankly, Frangiyyeh does Not satisfy mouwasafaat President.
After kel hal te3teer, yijilna ekta3i m3antez wa moush met3alem?

My greatest pride and achievement in my life is the speech I delivered the second day of the pre-emptive war of the Saudi Kingdom on Yemen.
Since 2005, we all knew that the main source of all the assassination, car bombing,terrorist behaviors, security instability in Lebanon and the Arab world… were initiated by the Saudi Kingdom, in cooperation with Israel, USA, England…
Since 2005, I refrained from confronting publicly the Saudi Kingdom policies and barbarity, mindful of preserving the unity in Lebanon and minimizing its repercussions on the strategy of dividing Sunnis and Chi3as.
I will no longer desist of exposing and challenging the actions of the Saudi Kingdom at every occasion.
(Hassan Nasr Allah speech this March 1, 2016)

What do I think of Syrian and the Syrians

Syria has a new refurbished army, liked and supported by the Syrians.

Since 1974, the Syrian soldiers and lower ranked officers were trampled, humiliated, and abused by the Assad regime.

The soldiers were used as slaves to the high ranking officers, working to increase the wealth of the officers and the political structure of the Baath and Assad oligarchy.

The brave and steadfast Syrian soldiers were dispatched to fight outside their borders, in Lebanon and Iraq, without any good reasons and without the modicum of dignity.

The Syrian soldiers were left uncovered beside their tanks and air missiles, and harvested by Israeli fighter jets like sitting ducks.

The Syrian soldiers were assigned in freezing mountain tops, wearing sandals and thread bare blankets.

This is history. The new Syrian army has its own patriotic structure, honored and respected by the citizens and enjoying the confidence and support of the people who experienced unimaginable horrors and miseries.

All the recent victories against the terrorist armed factions have nothing to do with the standing power of Bashar Assad.

Bashar is just a figure head, a symbol of continuity for the State against the belligerent hateful neighbors and western powers.

The Syrian people suffered since 1974 from multiple indignities.

They were shackled, intimidated from expressing their opinion, denied the right to demonstrate their individual private entrepreneurship, to open up to foreign experiences… A people under the close surveillance of the Mukhabarat (secret services agents) and cowed into silence.

There were over 200,000 Kurds, born in Syria, who were denied even an Identity Cards.  They were the “invisible” Syrians who could not secure a passport to leave, living in “No State” recognized by the UN.  They were afraid of taking a bus to another city in order to avoid being checked by a security or a police man.

These Kurds have since secured “full citizenship” since the revolution started, as many minorities left incognito because no one dared to demand his rights.

These same Kurds are now fighting the extremist factions in the Kameshly and Hasakeh provinces by the Iraqi and Turkish borders. The terrorist factions want to secure an outlet for the stolen oil extracted in the region and sold to Turkey.

The brave Syrians lived in silence, in exchange of free primary and secondary schooling and for a national health care, low cost of medication and affordable basic foodstuff and clothing.

This armed civil war that was concocted and planned years ahead on Syria was never to fight and bring down the Assad regime: It was to ruin and humiliate the Syrians and the nation of Syria.

This nation that remained self-sufficient, even in the darkest periods in history. This people who was among the wealthiest among people throughout history.

What we have now is a “guerrilla State” so that the foreign States that hate the Syrian people stay in the dark of plans and objectives of the war in progress.

A guerrilla State intent on wiping out all the external extremist terrorist Islamic factions, particularly the Al Qaeda Nusra Front that pay allegiance to Zawahiri.

The Syrian people got the message clear and loud: they know exactly who are their nemesis and why they hate the Syrians as a people.

Syria is “The Arab”, the Arab culture, language, resistance, soul and spirit.

Without Syria there is no Arabic roots, culture and civilization.

Bashar will be re-elected, and not because he is loved, but in defiance as a symbol of continuity of the institutions.

Bashar will ultimately bow down to the determination of the Syrians to start a new beginning, and he will graciously fade away once a political settlement is achieved.

And the negotiations will be carried out with the new refurbished “Free Syrian Army” opposition, after it let go of and discard all its leaders who closely cooperated with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and France.

The Syrian people have pinpointed their nemesis:

1. Israel who has known from its inception that Syria is the sole danger for its existence and that the Syrians will never acknowledge this foreign implanted State in the Near East.

2. Monarchic Wahhabi Saudi Arabia that knows that Syria is the main obstacle to the widespread of its obscurantist sect in the Near East. Actually, the main ally to Israel is Saudi Arabia.

3. Turkey and regardless of who is in power: the military of the current Moslem Brotherhood. Turkey has made it a strategy to regularly humiliate, threaten, blackmail and antagonize the Syrian people.

Turkey wants to cut-off the water supply of the Euphrates River to Syria by building more and more dams without any serious negotiation with Syria. And Turkey has occupied the north-western province of Alexandretta during the French mandate in 1936.

4. The previous mandated power of France has been the arch traitor to Syria’s interests since it vacated its troops in 1936 and has been trying to destabilize this State at every opportunity.

The French political system actually hate the Syrian people and totally and unconditionally support the Zionist State of Israel. since its inception in 1948. France was the main weapon provider to Israel for 2 decades and built Israel nuclear power plant and aided in its atomic bombs.

5. Germany is another State that staunchly aided Israel in all kinds of financial aids and nuclear submarines. Germany was the main supplier of weapons to the armed Syrian factions and reeked plenty of money from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the Gulf Emirates in order for the civil war to linger.

There are about 1, 25 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon and will reach 1.5 million by the end of this year: A third of Lebanon’s population and they are constituting a huge burden on the capability of this tiny State that is suffering from economic downturn for 2 successive years and struggling with internal and external political pressures and conflicts.

The able Syrians have demonstrated entrepreneur talents and are opening side businesses and getting involved in the civil work construction. It is the Syrian kids, women, the elderly and the handicapped who are not receiving the proper care and facilities for education and health care. And only 17% of the promised $1.7 billion have been forthcoming.

The Syrian refugees have started their journey back home.

The regions of 16 million Syrians  have been liberated from the extremist factions, and only the second city of Aleppo (the industrial hub) is still not fully secured.

This extended calamity has toughen the Syrians up to resist any other kinds of oligarchy to sneak in the cracks of intimidation and political maneuvering.

Syria will regain a glory that was denied her and will keep resisting any foreign meddling in its business of extending dignity to all its citizens.

Democracy and civil laws will prevail in Syria: The true revolution in the Arab world.

Note: What they said of the Syrian soldier

Political Islam: Any demonstration of democratic turn-over of power?

“After Tunisia revolution, I returned to my homeland.  I am moving from one group to another on Bourguiba Avenue, listening to heated conversations.  All political spectrum are concatenated here and have their speakers.

Secular tendencies are dominant. But, in every circle, there is someone defending an Islamic perspective for transforming democracy into an Islamic alternative democracy. The far more organized Islamic party of Nahda dispatch experienced members to calm down recalcitrant civic citizens, by claiming that the Islamists are for democracy, that they are ready to discuss all opinions, even Marxist and atheist positions.

Islamic party of Nahda monopolizes the passion and militant techniques among the youth who were the real power behind the Jasmin Revolution.  The middle class citizens who made the uprising a success claim to be basically apolitical, in the sense of caring that much of political issues and discussions…Middle class Tunisians think that they can resume their engagement through social platform means…

The Islamists Nahda keep announcing that they completely adhere to democratic principles, that they evolved, that they are emulating the Turkish AKP of Recep Tayyip Erdogan…  The question is: “How they comprehend democracy to mean, and how far are they willing to share power or turn over power if the votes are not to their favor?”

The Islamists in Turkey of Erdogan, ten years in power, have not yet demonstrated that they are willing to hand over power, in case they fail.  How can they fail in an Islamic country?  Ever since they got in power, they are in the ascendance after each election.  Secular forces managed to retain power under the guise of preserving the Republic.  All is right for preserving the Republic, even bashing and flaunting human rights, freedom of expressions and of gathering; such as in Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Iraq…

So far, Turkish Islamists of the AKP have not demonstrated any application of democracy, but persevered with the former Republican concept that governed Turkey for over 50 Years.  The sticky issues of minorities in Turkey are there to find any agreeable resolution.  For example, the Kurds (20% of the population), the Alawit sect (15%), the Armenians (Turkey still refuses to apologize for the genocide committed in 1915-16)…

It would be hard to be convinced of the democratic evolution in Turkey Islamists until they recognize the identities of the Kurds, the Alawit, the diversity of languages and dialects, the anthropological particularities.  The experiment of Turkey is not achieved, and it cannot be reclaimed as a successful alternative for Tunisia democratic principle and style.”

It is my contention that the best test for democracy in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria to eek its head and have a chance to start its journey is that the clause “Islamic chari3a is the foundation of judicial system” be entirely dropped from Constitutions.  A referendum of such as draft constitution should be tested right away, before parliamentary and presidential election.  The people in the Middle East want to know this simple pre-requisite: “Do we have a chance for a democracy of the people, from the people, to the people?”

Syria of Bashar al Assad can turn the table around in order to complete his term by putting to referendum a draft constitution that eliminates the “Chari3a clause” and the clause that the Baath Party is the leading political party.

Note:  Article inspired by the French book “Tunisia Spring revolution: Metamorphosis of history” by Abdelwahab Meddeb

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 inevitable Northern Middle East strategic block

(Report #30); (October 21, 2009)



            There would be much turmoil within the next five years in the Greater Middle East.  There is this inevitable trend toward forming a strategic and economic bloc in the northern Middle East region of Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq.   Turkey and Iran are the main regional powers with the means to drive this trend to fruition.  Saudi Arabia is in line to supporting this bloc which will secure to the monarchy a new lease on life and not relying exclusively on the US Administrations.

            To prevent this new emerging bloc many superpowers are in a frenzy to obstruct this natural trend in economic and financial stability.  For example, this week the south eastern region of Iran witnessed a terrorist attack that decapitated the military leadership of the paramilitary Pasdaran or Guardian of the Islamic Revolution.  Iran is blaming Pakistan to facilitating the movements of the Sunni “Jund Allah” with full backing and finance from Britain and the USA. Personally, I tend to see indirect coordination of the Iranian regime in that attack: decapitating the paramilitary organization is the first phase into disbanding an organization that is no longer the guardian of the revolution but the military backer of the retrograded clerics working on maintaining their hold on the political climate in Iran.

            Another example is the terrorist blasting of a couple of ministries in downtown Baghdad.  This attack followed the signing of full diplomatic relation with Syria at the instigation of the US and France.  In retaliation of Syria cozying up with Maliki of Iraq without Iran’s full consent a prompt response sent the appropriate signal; Maliki promptly broke diplomatic ties with Damascus under lame excuses.  Syria got the message clear and loud not to cooperate with France, the US, or any regional power without prior coordination with Iran.  Syria is not about to ruin its internal security for any baits extended to it by the Western powers.

            The Arab Emirates are under pressures to kick out all Islamic Chiaa immigrants, starting with the Lebanese.  Israel is constantly pressuring the US to get militarily involved in Iran. Turkey is in excellent terms with Syria and Iran: it has canceled an air exercise with Israel and the US that was intended to cross the borders of Syria, Turkey, and Iraq; it is an exercise for Israel to take this alternative air route to blast Iran’s nuclear power stations.  Lebanon is unable to form a government for 4 months; it is waiting for green light of the new strategic block that is now backed by Saudi Arabia.  The US, Israel, and Egypt are counter blocking any unity government in Lebanon.

            The trend toward forming a strategic and economic bloc in the northern Middle East region started in 1979 as the Islamic revolution in Iran came to power and the Shah went to exile (Only Sadate of Egypt accepted the Shah to take political refuge in its land). Thus, the first clue goes back to 1979.  Iran of Khomeini, Syria of Hafez Assad, and President Bakr of Iraq decided on a rapprochement of Islamic sects (Sunni and Chiaa).  Saddam Hussein was chief of security and Vice President of Bakr; Saddam hated the Chiaa as well as Hafez Assad his archenemy to the leadership of the Baath Party.  At the instigation of Saudi Arabia and the green light from the USA Saddam deposed Bakr and swiftly executed all the Iraqi Baath members who supported this entente; these prominent members of the Iraqi Baath were mostly Chiaa. At the time the Saudi Defense Minister Sultan and the Interior Nayef (Sultan’s cadet brother) hated the Chiaa and were worried for their obscurantist and salafist Wahhabit Sunni sect. Thus, Saddam and the Saudi monarchs joined forces to destabilize Iran of Khomeini.  Many regional States, the US, France, and Britain would not allow a strategic and economical block in the Middle East to be formed of Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. Thus, Saddam was encouraged to invade Iran. After two years, Saddam had to retreat his troops from Khuzestan.  Iran wanted this war of attrition to resume as an excuse to clean and re-structure its Islamic regime; (this nonsense war lasted 8 years).  

            The second clue is after invaded Kuwait in 1990.  Saddam’s regime was publicly terribly weakened; the Chiaa in southern Iraq and the Kurds in the north were threatening to destabilize Saddam’s regime.  The US wanted to help Saddam by any means to prevent Iran from taking hold of Iraq and joining forces with Syria (Iran’s ally).  The short-term strategy was to give Saddam an external activity or a semblance of war to re-unite Iraq on a national excuse.  To that effect, the US lured Kuwait to pressure Iraq into refunding 50 billions in war loan.  Saddam amassed his troops on the borders with Kuwait. The unstable Saddam wanted to believe that he got effective green light to conquer Kuwait. Bush Senior formed a coalition and forced Saddam to retreat from Kuwait. Saddam was defeated and the US and coalition forces could easily enter Baghdad. The purpose of this war was not to depose Saddam but for Iraq to be a buffer zone between Iran and Syria.  Saddam was permitted to crush the Chiaa insurgency in the south and the Kurdish upheaval in the north. Turkey strengthened its relationship with Syria and Iran. Syria was given bait for a mandate over Lebanon. Moubarak of Egypt was ordered to accept the deal and help put an end to the civil war in Lebanon. These hot regions needed to be pacified while the US and Europe tends to bigger problems: the proper dismantling of the Soviet Union, stabilizing Europe, and overseeing the financial globalization.

            The third clue is the massive occupation of Iraq by the US troops in 2003. (Read my post “Why the massive occupation of Iraq?”).  After 9/11/2001, the US demoted the Taliban regime in Afghanistan but did nothing to finish off the job and stabilize Afghanistan: the US Administration had other strategic plan than worrying about Sunni salafist Al Qaeda “terrorism”: it was contained in northern Pakistan.         

            At the time of the invasion there was no nuclear program in Iraq and the Bush Junior Administration knew that fact.  Iraq had resumed the development of two other means of mass destruction: the biological and the chemical arms. Saddam Hussein prevented any further inspections by the UN for two years because he had these two arms programs functional.  Thus, the US employed Russia and France to misinform Saddam: Russia would displace and decontaminate the presence of the biological and chemical arms that it had supplied Iraq in return for vetoing any pre-emptive attack by the US in the UN.  This maneuver was effective and the inspectors found no arms of mass destructions in Iraq. It was when the US was totally confident that Saddam had no arms of mass destructions that it invaded Iraq; Saddam had nothing to counter the massive offensive of the US forces, especially that the officers in the field of the Iraqi army had no power but to wait orders from central commands:  that was how Saddam restructured his army since 1980 to prevent any army rebellion to his regime.

            Why the US had to completely occupy Iraq?  Saddam could have been deposed in many ways without any military invasion or at least a partial occupation of south Iraq with Chiaa majority and the north with Kurdish majority. Why the US did not invest one more year in Afghanistan to stabilize this country before turning on to Iraq?  Why the US failed to get out after Saddam his entourage were finished?  Why this occupying force is still there after seven years of the invasion?  The US wanted its physical presence in Iraq to prevent the formation of the Northern Middle East Block. Turkey was against this invasion and did its best to prevent the US troops crossing its territory to northern Iraq.  Syria and Iran played cats and mouse with the US to harass its presence in Iraq.

            Thus, deposing Saddam without US military presence in the field meant that Iraq will quickly link with Iran; the other bonus was to control oil production and distribution of the second largest oil reserve to put the squeeze on the giant economic power of China. This “pre-emptive” intervention didn’t turn right: first, radical Islam increased and proliferated even further; second, it was the catalyst for the severest financial crash ever, and it alienated Turkey. 

            What are the scores at this junction?  The Saudi Arabia click of (Sultan, Nayef, and Bandar) is deposed and Saudi Arabia is seeking stronger ties with Syria.  Turkey is increasingly improving its ties with Syria and de-linking with its former “strategic” ally Israel. Iran is recapturing its initial strategy of uniting the Islamic sects.  Pakistan will cooperate fully with Iran to stabilize Afghanistan and save the unstable State of Pakistan deeply involved militarily to crush the Taliban brand in northern Pakistan. Thus, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Armenia are changing their policies to join this bloc as allies if not partners.

            The trend is already inevitable and it cannot be stopped with the world economy and finance state in such disarray.  It is the movement of political leadership in the four States that is the driving force and not simply individual leaders. By the end of 2011 the US is to remove all its military troops from Iraq. During this period, the US, Russia, France, and Britain will coordinate efforts to keeping Turkey and Iran on tip tow; Syria and Iraq are to be frequently destabilized.

Mutual genocide: Armenians and Turks

 Note: The Armenians in Lebanon demonstrated yesterday against the potential accord between Armenia and Turkey.  What is the story?

            There are geographical locations and regions that are cursed historically.  This essay is not about cities that experienced frequent disasters by natural calamities; for example, we have cities that had vanished because built near active volcanoes such as Pompeii in Italy, others because of being located on seismic faults such as Beirut and lately the Abruzzi region in Italy, and others succumbing to tidal waves and hurricanes such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, the USA Gulf regions, and Rangoon where people perish by the hundred of thousands every year and keep rebuilding in the same devastated areas. 

This article is about cities located on major trade routes and suffered recurring genocides because of human greed for domination and power.  I will focus on the city of Karss in Turkey on the eastern side of the Anatolia Plateau (Anadol).  Karss is built by the river Karss and a must cross location on the route from Georgia, Tabriz (Iran), the Caucasus and Tiflis. I urge my readers to recollect other cursed cities through history.

Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus form one homogeneous geographic area in economy, culture, and social communication and trades. The Armenians on both sides preferred to pay allegiance to Christian Russia and wished that Russia would grant them administrative autonomy in the Caucasus; the Moslems on both sides paid allegiance to the Moslem Ottoman Empire. The triangle of the current States of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan were the scenes of major battle fields and invasions through history and is still a hot area till now.

            The Nobel Literature Prize winner Orhan Pamuk published “Snow” that described the calamities suffered by the inhabitants of the Karss region.  The Armenian people lived in that region for a thousand years and then many waves of immigrants and refugees from persecutions flocked to it.  The Karss region hosted people from the Empires of Persia, Byzantium and then Moguls, Georgians, Kurds, and Cherkessk. In the 17th century, the Karss region was predominantly of Moslems and then Armenians were second in numbers.

The Russian Empire vied for this region since the 18th century. In 1827, Russia entered Karss and chased out over 27,000 Moslems and transferred 45,000 Armenians to this city from Iran and the Anatolian Plateau. The city of Yerevan (Capital of the current State of Armenia) that was mostly of Iranians was transformed demographically in 1827.  In every Russian invasion to the Karss region, the Russian troops could rely on the Armenian population for auxiliary regiments, logistics, and intelligence services. As the Russian troops vacated the region in 1829, over 90,000 Armenians fled with the Russians fearing well deserved persecutions.

During the Crimea War, that confronted Russia against the combined alliance of Britain, France, and the Ottoman, the Russians put siege on Karss in 1855 for many months and all the Ottoman army within the city was massacred.  The Paris treaty of 1855 forced the Russians to vacate the Karss region. The Ottoman troops retaliated heavily on the Armenians.

In 1859, the Cherkessk, led by their leader Shamel, revolted against the Russians and were defeated; many Christian Russian Orthodox were transferred to Karss to replace the Moslem Cherkessk.  The same eviction process befell three-quarter of the Moslems of Abkhazia in 1867.  Thus, in less than 30 years, the Russian Empire changed the demographics of the Caucasus from mostly Moslems to mostly Christians. Over 1, 200,000 Moslems were forced to transfer to other regions; 800,000 of the Moslems settled in the Ottoman Empire. 

In 1877, the Russians amassed troops on the border with Karss; Sultan Abdel Hamid preempted the invasion by massacring the Armenians on ground that they will inevitably aid the Russians. After 93 days of war, the Russians entered Karss and a pogrom on the Moslems proceeded for many days. The treaty of San Estephanos relinquished the region to the Russian Empire. The Russians built a new city south of the city of Karess where the Emperor Alexander III met with his concubines and hunted. In the next 43 years, the Armenians harassed the Moslems of this region and thousand had to flee. In retaliation, Sultan Abdel Hamid formed in 1891 a special regiment of Kurdish cavalry with the purpose of harassing the Armenians of the Karss region and the pogrom around Lake Van raised an outcry in Europe.

During the First World War, the Armenians again aided the Russians and formed semi-regular armies to fight the Ottoman Empire.  Consequently, in 1915, the Ottoman Empire launched the genocide plan against the Armenians and thousands died of famine during the long march out of Turkey; the Armenians settled in Constantinople (Istanbul) and Adana shared in the mass persecution; only the Armenians in the Caucasus, within Russia, were spared.  The British occupied the Karss region in 1919 and gave some authority to the Armenians who gathered arms from the Moslems and gave them to the Armenians and another round of harassment and massacres took place.

The Turkish General Mustafa Kemal re-occupied the Karss region in 1920 after defeating the Armenian army: the Bolsheviks were then allied to the new Turkish Republic. The Russians transferred the Armenians from the region of Patum to Yerevan.

In 1927, all the properties of the Armenians in Karss were confiscated. The Armenians were robbed of a homeland because Turkey ceased Cyprus to Britain in exchange of guaranteeing the Karss region to Turkey.  Mustafa Kemal (Attaturk) also negotiated a political deal with France to relinquish the Syrian region of Alexandrite to Turkey, setting the premises for future regional feuds.

Nowadays, there are no Armenians in Karss; the imposing buildings of Tsarist Russia are government Administrative offices; a vast villa of 40 rooms is transformed into hospital, and a Jewish museum. An entire century of struggles, massacres, harassments, genocides, and useless hate to their neighbors in order to gain self-autonomy rewarded the Armenians nothing.  They had to wait for the break down of the Soviet Union to enjoy the Armenian State that is totally dependent in its economy on the neighboring States.  Kosovo, Kashmir, Jerusalem, Gaza, and Palestine are current examples of lost opportunities for stability and peace.

Armenia and Turkey owe each other deep apologies for the mutual genocide they perpetrated in history.  I applaud the rapprochement between the two neighboring states as a start for serious active and pragmatic apology and remuneration.




March 2023

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