Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Near East

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 228

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

“Satisfy the stomach, and abiding by customs and traditions would follow“.  The immigrants with delicious cuisine constitute tight family communities, and barely diverted from the guidelines of visiting frequently and sharing in the frequent festivities.

Immigrants are brought up to know a lot of geography and history.   Learning more than two languages was a must and communication is not a major problem.

Archaeologists have only traced the history of the pillow back about as far as the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia—about 7,000 BC—but a survey of primates shows our closest relatives build elaborate nests where they can lay their heads.

Scientists have made a number of discoveries about the pillow-like nests assembled by our closest mammalian relatives. The great apes—including gorillas, orangutans, chimps, and bonobos—all build cozy sleeping platforms, while large monkeys and baboons do not.

Anthropologist David Samson, “big brains need big pillows.”

Pillow talk in bed:,“examining the effect of sexual priming on self-disclosure.”

 “We discovered that by every measure of sleep quality, orangutans are the ‘better’ sleepers; that is, compared to baboons. Orangutan sleep is deeper, longer in duration, and less fragmented,” anthropologist David Samson of Duke University told the BBC.

Comment domestiquer les decisions des puissance des pays coloniaux par l”ONU/UN? Par attacher les institutions financieres (World Bank and IMF) a l’ ONU, et que L’Assembler Generale decident par vote des allocutions des creance aux pays sous-developes

“Le development economique est un outil de prevention des conflits”? La question est: Quel sorte de development et par qui?

Si l’Assemble Generale de UN est la caisse de resonnance des problemes mondiales, le coeur cache’ du reacteur, les institutions financieres mondiales (World Bank and IMF) ne lui sont pas attaches. Toujours a mendie’ les pays coloniaux

John Stewart Kenneth wrote:

1. 61% of the US “Arabs” earned the highest university degrees versus 30% of the average US citizens. The Arab citizens are mainly Lebanese (40%), Syrians (12.3%), Egyptians (12%), Palestinians (6%), Iraqis, North Africans (or 60% are from the Near East States)… earned the highest university degrees versus 30% of the average US citizens

2. The average “Arab” in the US earn $54,000 versus $43,000

3. 57% of the “Arabs” in the US own single family homes versus 43% of the average ratio.

4. The Arabs in the US hold the highest posts and the most private businesses than the other US minorities, including European, Japanese, and Chinese.

The most educated and well-to-do among immigrants from the Near-East went to Palestine, and on to Egypt at the turn of the century, where they were the vanguard in creating daily presses, translating scientific research and the newer technologies,  and disseminating the notion of freedom of expressions and promoting the values of Western Europe in matters of democracy, republic, equality, constitutional political systems, and justice to all under the law…

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La paix au Proche-Orient en sept échecs

La conférence de Paris pour la paix dimanche va réunir de nombreux pays. Un effort de plus dans la longue liste des initiatives pour tenter de régler le conflit israélo-palestinien

La conférence de paix sur le conflit israélo-palestinien prévue dimanche à Paris se déroule à cinq jours de la prise de pouvoirs par Donald Trump à la présidence des États-Unis.

La question reste entière sur ses intentions pour tenter de résoudre le conflit. Elle s’ajoute à une série d’initiatives internationales depuis les accords d’Oslo en 1993 pour tenter de régler ce conflit, vieux de plus de soixante ans. Qui n’est toujours pas réglé.

François Hollande lui-même se dit “lucide” sur l’importance de cette conférence

1. Les accords d’Oslo, les premiers d’une longue série

Le 13 septembre 1993, après six mois de négociations secrètes à Oslo, Israël et l’ Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP) se reconnaissent mutuellement et signent à Washington en présence du président Bill Clinton une “Déclaration de principes” sur une autonomie palestinienne transitoire de cinq ans. (Israel didn’t recognize the right of return of Palestinians to their homeland, according to UN resolution 198)

Cette autonomie débute le 4 mai 1994 avec un accord au Caire prévoyant qu’Israël évacue 70% de la bande de Gaza et Jéricho (Cisjordanie).

En juillet, le chef de l’OLP Yasser Arafat retourne dans les territoires palestiniens, après 27 ans d’exil.

Il y établit l’Autorité palestinienne.

Le 28 septembre 1995, un nouvel accord intérimaire (Oslo II) est signé à Washington sur l’extension de l’autonomie en Cisjordanie, portant sur des retraits israéliens.

Mais le 4 novembre, le Premier ministre israélien Yitzhak Rabin est assassiné par un extrémiste juif opposé au processus de paix.

2. Les accords de Wye Plantation

Le 23 octobre 1998, Yasser Arafat et le Premier ministre israélien de droite Benjamin Netanyahu, opposé aux accord d’Oslo, signent à Wye Plantation aux États-Unis un accord intérimaire sur les modalités d’un retrait israélien de 13% de la Cisjordanie.

Les Palestiniens doivent annuler leur charte qui appelle à la destruction d’Israël. Mais l’État hébreu le gèle deux mois plus tard après un retrait de 2%. Bill Clinton a tout fait pour cette signature.

3. Sommet de Camp David : le plan Clinton

Du 11 au 25 juillet 2000, au sommet de Camp David (États-Unis), les deux camps achoppent sur le problème de Jérusalem et des réfugiés de 1948

En décembre 2000, Clinton prône la création d’un État palestinien sur la totalité de la bande de Gaza et 95% de la Cisjordanie. En échange, les Palestiniens doivent renoncer au “droit au retour” des réfugiés Palestinians en Israël.

4. Initiative Saoudienne

Le 28 mars 2002, un sommet arabe à Beyrouth (Liban) adopte un plan saoudien préconisant un retrait israélien de tous les territoires occupés depuis 1967, dont le plateau du Golan, en échange d’une normalisation entre pays arabes et Israël.

Mais le Premier ministre Ariel Sharon lance une grande offensive en Cisjordanie, après des attentats suicide palestiniens.

5. Feuille de route

Le 30 avril 2003, le Quartette sur le Proche-Orient (États-Unis, Russie, Union européenne, ONU) présente une “feuille de route” qui prévoit un État palestinien d’ici 2005 en échange de la fin des violences de l’Intifada et un gel de la colonisation juive.

Le 4 juin, à Aqaba (Jordanie), Israël et l’Autorité palestinienne s’engagent à l’appliquer devant le président américain George W. Bush.

6. Processus d’Annapolis

En novembre 2007, près de Washington, Israël et l’Autorité palestinienne, qui ne contrôle plus que la Cisjordanie après avoir été chassée de Gaza par le Hamas, tentent de parvenir à un accord d’ici fin 2008. Mais les négociations sont plombées par la poursuite de la colonisation juive, et l’Autorité palestinienne se retire des négociations avec l’offensive israélienne sur Gaza fin 2008.

7. John Kerry impuissant

Le 29 juillet 2013, le secrétaire d’État américain John Kerry annonce la reprise pour neuf mois des négociations directes interrompues depuis trois ans.

Mais Israël les suspend à une semaine du terme après une annonce de réconciliation Fatah-Hamas. Le processus de paix est depuis au point mort.

L’incertitude Trump

Que va faire Donald Trump après sa prise de fonctions à la Maison-Blanche?

C’est toute la question, après avoir opéré de nombreux revirements au cours de sa vie. Il était habitué aux blagues antisémites et avait peu de considérations pour les Juifs.

Puis sa fille Ivanka, qui s’est convertie au judaïsme pour épouser Jared Kushner, l’a convaincu.

Kushner a également fait une grande partie du travail. Et aujourd’hui, Donald Trump s’offusque de la résolution de l’ONU condamnant la colonisation israélienne :

“Nous ne pouvons pas continuer à laisser Israël subir un tel mépris et manque de respect. Les États-Unis ont été leur grand ami mais…ce n’est plus le cas. L’horrible accord avec l’Iran a été le début de la fin et maintenant il y a ça (l’ONU) ! Israël doit rester fort, le 20 janvier arrive vite.”

Trump a nommé son beau-fils de 36 ans, Jared Kushner, au poste de premier-plan de conseiller du Président. Trump envisagerait de lui confier le dossier du Moyen-Orient. Il espère que Kushner l’aidera à être celui qui fera la paix entre Israël et les Palestiniens.

En attendant, Trump maintient sa volonté de déménager l’ambassade américaine en Israël de Tel-Aviv à Jérusalem.

Selon la direction palestinienne, ce déménagement signifierait la fin d’une solution à deux États.

Who is slaughtering Hope for a better future in the Near East?

MH-BP

The Middle East is home to many great civilisations in the world.

One of the latest and greatest and most everlasting is the Arab civilization.

Mohamed Gohary posted: 

 

Throughout history, the hallmark of the Middle East has been its diversity and prosperity.

From the scientific discoveries of Ibn Toulon and Al Khwarizmi, to the medical discoveries of Ibn Sina.

The Middle East has always been a prosperous region of the world with its vast and fertile agricultural lands, rich natural endowments, and its diverse people living in harmony.

Fast forward to the year 2014, go and sit in any coffee shop in Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, or Marrakesh.

You will meet many young educated people, ones filled with aspirations and burning with a drive for success.

All they have in common is their desire to leave the Middle East at the first possible opportunity.

This issue is not specific to any particular Middle Eastern country; it is an epidemic facing the entire region.

The educated youth are simply leaving and their countries are left neglected. The obvious question would be why?

Why is everyone leaving once they get the chance?

The answer is the loss of hope.

It may be acceptable for a country to go through certain economic, social, or political problems every now and then. It happens to all countries with no exception.

However, the case in the Middle East is different, whereby the youth’s aspirations were raised to a very high level with the onset of the Arab spring in 2011.

Most people were hopeful about a better future. Remember that we are talking about a region where young people comprise an average of 30% of the population if not more, (45% in Gaza) with youth unemployment rates of about 30% as well.

All those frustrated youth started growing up and demanding jobs, health care, and a normal life like their peers in the rest of the world. Instead, they had to face oppressive regimes that only knew the language of autocracy and violence.

Even with the initial success of some of the revolutions of the Middle East, they were soon to be hijacked by those whom I personally consider to be the most backwards-thinking forces in society: religious fundamentalists.

Those youth ended up facing one of two choices; either accept things to go back as they were before the revolutions, or accept extreme religious ideologies that want to dictate how they should live their lives.

This duality of either autocracy or religious fundamentalism is not the product of the Arab spring; it has existed since the end of the First World War and due to the creation of the many artificial states that exist in the Middle East today as a result of the Sykes–Picot agreement.

Neither choices would satisfy the youth’s demands for a better future and a normal life.

As if that is not enough, at the time of the writing of this blog post, there are 6 military conflicts simultaneously taking place in the Middle East, two of which threaten the very existence of three of its states (Syria,Iraq and Libya).

The implications of these wars goes much beyond their immediate scope in this period.

War means more children are not going to school, more people are losing their jobs, more infrastructure is being destroyed.

Faced with a choice between stability plus dictatorship or chaos plus religious extremism, the choice was inevitable: Stability over chaos.

The general feeling in the Middle East right now is that everyone is stuck in this vicious cycle with no way out.

The reason is: These conflicts are not just political, they are also religious, sectarian, and communal conflicts, which makes the prospects of solving them in the near future almost impossible.

I personally believe that the Middle East is currently going through a period similar to that which Europe has been through in its dark ages.

The lack of education, the static state of societies, the negative role religion played in politics, the spread of military conflicts, and the barbaric images of slaughter and torture all support my belief.

The only difference is that there is no renaissance coming anytime soon because this is still in the beginning.

Many say the conflict in the Middle East is about God, I say the “Good God” has left the Middle East.

The people who revoke the principles of justice, fairness, and opportunities to a better future are the very ones who are killing the spirit of God.

Mohamed Gohary, Regional Intern at World Youth Alliance Middle East.

Insipid President (The Void) vacated Palace: Filled the vacant chair and left it vacant. Account in banks by the millions

Lebanon ridiculous shadow State.

This ex-president is Michel Suleiman, the President of the Void per excellence: no one cried when he vacated the Palace, accompanied by 10 new luxury cars of his own, free from taxes.

Suleiman dreamt of extending his tenure 2 more years, as the Parliament did last year and robbed the citizens from their democratic rights, as did the ex-president Lahoud, as did the late ex- president Hrawi…

The hopes of Suleiman were dashed since his passive practices and antagonistic positions on Hezbollah alienated the Shiaa and most of  Lebanese patriots. Three months ago, in desperation, Suleiman referred to Hezbollah as talking with a “wooden mouth” since the resistance insisted on the strategic line of “People, Army and Resistance

In order to demonstrate that he can still deliver on his promises (6 years overdue) if given two more years, Saudi Arabia and the US gave the green light to the Mustakbal (Future) movement of Saad Hariri to help constitute a government that was 395 days in waiting.

The government started with a flurry of decisions, like imposing a climate of security in the city of Tripoli and the regions bordering Syria in the Bekaa Valley and appointed a dozen high-level public servants.

The public service was denied the  appointment of key personnel for a decade and the services in Lebanon were almost non-existent.

The professors and teachers in the public universities were left in the void and the government replaced the University Council in appointing and controlling every decision concerning the universities.

During Suleiman warming of the Chair, no government was formed in less than 200 days, the recent government needed 395 days of gestation.

Suleiman delivered a farewell speech suggesting dozens of constitutional reforms and failed to deliver on his promises for decentralized administration, a project that was finished when he took office, and alienated many parties and organization to boost the economy that has been experiencing a drastic slump for the last 3 years.

He also promised a fair election law, something related to proportional representation, but never acted on it.

He failed in extending rights to women or appointing more women in top posts.

Suleiman failed to efficiently control the flood of Syrian refugees, more than 1.25 million and constituting a third of the population, and allowed the Syrian insurgents free flowing and crossing of the Lebanese borders.

In essence, in 6 years, Suleiman cannot be remembered of creating any institution or bolstering any existing institution.

Suleiman was army chief when the Lebanese political leaders met in Do7a (Qatar) to decide on a replacement “neutral” Maronite  president to “lead” the country for 6 years.

On May 7, Hezbollah counter-attacked the decisions of the government to clip its control on the airport security and land communication lines. The government retracted and Hezbollah succeeded in closing down a dozen of Israeli safe havens for their agents and security offices disguised as providing civil guards to businesses and personalities.

Consequently, with ex-President Lahoud, already out with a vacant Presidential chair, and a government out of function, Qatar angered Saudi Arabia by inviting the Lebanese leaders to meet in Doha and arranged for a compromise President. And Suleiman sat on the chair of the presidency.

In democratic countries, the leader of the largest parliamentary deputies is the one selected to lead. Not in Lebanon with 19 officially recognized religious castes.

Lebanon is a parliamentary system: Nothing is run without the parliament approval, even in the executive or judiciary. But the leader of the largest group is not necessarily the de facto leader: The consensus of the two third of the deputies is required.

As the uprising started in Syria, the propaganda claimed that the regime of Bashar Assad will not last two months. And Suleiman put all his eggs in tha basket of “after Bashar” and refrained from securing Lebanon’s borders from the infiltrations of the Syrian insurgents and refugees.

For two years, Lebanon was the main source for supplying the insurgents in Homs with weapons and medical supplies, and the Syrian insurgents established bases in Lebanon in the north and in the city of Tripoli.

The Lebanese army was not covered politically to established security in Tripoli, and Tripoli was plagued with 20 rounds of civil wars within a year.

And Lebanon experienced waves of suicide car explosion attacks for 4 months due to the open borders that the army was denied the responsibility to close and control

He filled a vacant chair and left the chair vacant: The Parliament failed to elect a new President to Lebanon.

And Lebanon has no President. And this event will keep recurring. As the frequency of Lebanon having no governments.

And no decision can be legitimate without the President review and signature.

Suleiman vacated the Palace with dozens of villas newly built for him and his family members, and $1.6 million in an account in Amsterdam Bank. All the expensive watches that he received in gifts were sold, many of are in the black market. All these financial information were exposed in the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar.

And Suleiman satisfied the policies of US in the Near East, and consequently he can rest assured that he will not be prosecuted for any kinds of embezzlement or any kinds of political harassment or denied visas or any headaches

In this total void, and the illegitimacy of the highest institutions to properly function, Israel is increasing its violations on the southern borders. Pretty soon, Hezbollah would set up a trap to the incursions of Israeli troops. And Israel will be faced with a hard decision on how to respond. And the Lebanese will be convinced that all the shouting of relying on the State is totally unfounded and premature.

Lions and lionesses along the Fertile Crescent ancient Empires 

Major civilizations built empires and cities along major rivers such as the Nile, Euphrates, Tiger, Indus (Pakistan), Ganges (India), and the Yellow River in China.

At the current rate of modernization and deforestations most of the aborigine tribes would disappear within a few decades.  Many civilizations have vanished but a few have managed to survive precariously so far.

The best approach to explaining the succession of civilizations and Empires in the Fertile Crescent that raided and conquered the Near East civilizations such as in Lebanon, Palestine and Syria (Phoenicia, Canaan, Aram) is the analogy of survival among the lions and lionesses.

As a young lion attains two years, after being chased out of the clan, prowls the region for lionesses to mate and establish clans of their own.  Old lions are attacked and displaced and the cubs are eaten and slaughtered by the new King to quickly attract the lioness in heat and then new progenitors are formed.  The lioness fights valiantly to preserve her cubs but ends up giving up.

Since a lion lives to be 10 years old, on average, while the lioness can outlive him by 7 years and diffuse many progenitors of her owns then the survival of these mammal carnivores is mainly due to the survival of the lionesses.  The lionesses chase and bring meat to the clan and care for the cubs.

Almost all the ancient civilizations in the Middle East, (the Nile River excluded because in Africa), were established along the Fertile Crescent of the main Rivers of Litany, Al Aassi, Euphrates and the Tiger (for example, the people inhabiting Lebanon, Syria, the southern part of Turkey, the Western part of Iran and Iraq).

The warrior Empires were Akkad, Babylon (Iraq), Assyria (Kurdestan of Iraq), Persia, Pharaonic Egypt, Hittite (Inland Turkey), Greece, Selucian, Roman, and later Byzantium, Sassanide, Arab (Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatemid), Seljuk, Crusaders, Mamelouks, and Ottomans.

The young male lions from emerging warrior Empires, during their conquests and expansion, reclaimed the civilized glory and achievements of the Near East people as their own proper.  The Near East people were constantly behaving like the lionesses: they first fight valiantly for their cubs, and when they inevitably fail against the young lions then they mate with the conquerors after the invaders had tried to kill all their progenitors.

The latest archeological discoveries located developed urban centers around the borders of Syria and Turkey that were 10,000 years old; it is these centers that later established the Sumer Kingdom in southern Iraq around 5,000 years ago.

A few citizens of City-States like Byblos, Sidon and Tyr and much later Carthage burned down their cities and then set fire on themselves to avoid servitude and surrender. While these young lions were strutting and showing off in the regions and adapting to the new civilizations, it was the constant duty of the lionesses to chase and bring the meat to the table and care for the household:  They fed and civilized the conquerors.

The Near East people were bringing the food to the tables and caring for the glamour and wants of the invaders whose sole job was to making war and killing on their war paths.

I read chapters from an Arabic book by Georges Masrou3a.  Masrouaa asked an archeologist about the Achmoun Temple in Sidon “Saida”, built around 550 BC and he replied that it was a Persian design from King Kourush I period.

Masrouaa then asked the archeologist why he claimed that it is Persian and the latter said because that is what the archeology archives claim to be.  Persia had no such Temple at Kourush’s time; even if the Persian King paid for it at the expense of the invaded people that should not be a basis to claim achievements of other civilizations.

This is the same story with the temples in Baalbak; the archeologists would claim that it was the work of the Romans since 200 BC but if this monument was of Roman style and glory then why the Romans failed to build something close to it in Rome or in Italy? 

We have the same contentions for the impressive horse track and humongous amphitheater in Tyr (500 by 200 meters) that was built before 500 BC according to Herodotus; if this amphitheater was the work and style of the Romans then why did the Roman wait another three centuries to build their Coliseum? The same goes to the Jerusalem Temple even though the architects, builders and foramens and craftsmen and master workers were from Tyre during King Hiram or “Ahiram”. 

Euclid, Zenon, Plotin, Tales, Homer, Pythagoras and scores of great thinkers were born and lived in our coastal City-States stretching from Palestine to Turkey such as Akka, Tyr, Sidon (called the eldest son of Canaan in the Bible), Beyrouth, Byblos, Ugarit, Antaqia, and so on and yet they were labeled as Greeks.  Is it simply because we were under Greek dominion that our famous thinkers should be Greeks, even if they didn’t enjoy the privileges of Greek Athens  City-State citizens? 

Scores of our famous people were labeled Romans simply because we were under Roman hegemony.  For example, the eminent legal masters, in the third century, Papinian and Olypian lived in Beyrouth (Beryt); Olympian is indeed the martyr of jurists because he adamantly refused to offer a legal opinion in favor of Emperor Caracala for the killing of his brother Jeita.

If this is the case then, why Jesus is to be simply a Jew and not Roman?  St. Paul was actually a Roman citizen that he inherited from his father and great father and yet Paul is said to be simply a Jew.  There is undoubtedly a systematic disinformation concerning the cultural heritage of the Near Eastern civilizations.

The Europeans purposely have chosen to start their civilization from Ancient Greek in 600 BC because they claimed Athens City-State to be democratic and they had to emulate the democratic system in Greek Athens.

Democracy was developed in the City-States of Byblos, Sidon, Tyr, Ugarit and Mary several centuries before Athens existed.  These City-States had democracy within their city limits as Athens and Rome emulated later on because communication and transport were limited and the administration of such a complex democratic system was not feasible at a larger magnitude at the time.   Thus, democracy was not translated to the colonies as Greek Athens also failed to do.

Theaters via their verbal communications in plays were the main medium for spreading democracy and the clashing of ideas of various opposition groups; plays created a citizen consciousness that is different from immediate civic consciousness of oratorical speeches.  The Near Eastern civilizations were ahead of Athens several centuries in theater plays; Athens got the attention because a few of its written literatures were preserved and translated.  For example, Aeschylus wrote over 90 works but only seven of his tragedies remained to prove the dynamics of Athens’ democratic system.

Although the City-States in the Levant developed commercial empires they never built theocratic warrior Empires because their citizens focused on civilized endeavors and opted in armed struggles to just defending their central Cities. Athens managed to defend its civilization outside its City limits and even asked the cooperation of other Greek City-States like Sparta and the famous Thebes that the Phoenicians had built centuries before Athens existed and which Alexander erased completely before launching his Asian campaign.

We can confirm that the Near East region was the bedrock of all the civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea in religion, philosophy, sciences, literature and arts.

Regardless of genetic sources, which are an amalgamation of many nations and which is not that important for the purpose of this article, anyone from current States in the Near East should take pride in their ancient civilizations and their original identity as the forefathers of contemporary modern democratic civilizations in Europe and the Greater Mediterranean Sea regions.

Note:   Currently, we still have the ethnic Saamis (Norway and Finland), Inuits (Siberia, Alaska, and Canada), Ainous (Japan), Indians (USA and Canada), Zapotec (Mexico), Mosquitos (Nicaragua), Quiches (Guatemala), Cunas (Panama), Yanomamis and Guaranis (Brazil), Galibis and Akawaios (Guyana), Paez ans Guambianos (Colombia), Waoranis (Equator), Amueshas (Peru), Chimanes (Bolivia), Araucans (Chili), Touaregs and Bororos (Sahel in Northern Africa), Tigres (Ethiopia and Somalia), Dinkas (Sudan), Masais (Kenya and Tanzania), Pygmees (Zaire), Sans or Bushmen (Namibia and Botswana), Kalingas (Philippines), Kachins and Rohingas (Myanmar or Birmani), Hmongs (Laos), Santals and Gonds (India), Punans (Malaysia), Uzbeks and Tadjiks (Afghanistan), Aborigines (Australia), Maoris (New Zealand), Papous (New Guinea).

Iran and Syria:  A difficult 30 years alliance; (Apr. 20, 2010)

            Almost every day, news media analyze the alliance between Syria and Iran.  Since the Iranian nuclear program was launched, the western media and the so-called “moderate” Sunni Arab dictators and monarchs’ media would like to witness any kinds of rift in the alliance, sort of an illusion made to sound a reality anytime soon: they would also like to relieve Israel of a “psychological” nuisance that Islamic countries can also own nuclear capability if they set their mind to it. 

            Actually, there are no lack of brain power and money for Egypt, Syria, or Saudi Arabia to fulfill this project if the Arab League was up to its name.  The USA and Europe are actively working to destabilizing Iran and threatening harsher economical embargo so that Iran desist “manipulating” the dangerous products, even for civilian use such as hospital and generating electricity.  So far, Iran is within the boundaries of Atomic Energy Agency guidelines; that is why the UN is unable to threaten strong arm interventions.

            Syria’s Baath Party tried to re-unite with Iraq’s Baath branch and then have strategic alliance between the two States in 1979 but Saddam Hussein foiled the attempt of Syria Hafez Assad.  Iran of the Shah was the strongest ally to the US and Israel; Saddam Hussein went along with the Shah’s policies in partitioning the water passageway (Shat al Arab) and the Kurdistan problems.  When Khomeini revolution succeeded then Syria allied with the new Islamic regime and still is, even during the devastating 8 years war between Iraq and Iran.

            In the Near East (for example, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Syria), Iran needs the alliance with Syria more than any other States because Syria can put the squeeze on the US and Israel if conditions deteriorates.  In global politics, especially securing veto powers of China and Russia in the UN, Syria badly need the heavy weight of Iran to circumvent any economical embargoes or blockades on Syria and also for securing military credits and hardware.  In the last two decades, Syria wooed Turkey and managed to establish one of the closest alliances in the region.  As long as Turkey lacks the requisite caliber to weight on Russia and China in the UN as Iran can, then Syria has no option but to put more eggs in Iran’s basket.

            Syria has assimilated the idiom: “Never put all your eggs in one basket” and is not about to change this strategic policy. This article focuses on the deal between Iran and Syria on Lebanon. Iran grasped early on that the fundamental strategy of Syria is: “Syria military strategy is one with Lebanon”.  Thus, Hezbollah may resume its political leaning toward Iran but in no situation should Hezbollah undertake any military activities without prior consent of Syria and complete coordination with Syria.  The other deal is that the other Chiaa political faction of AMAL should share equally, if not a bit more than Hezbollah, in the parliament, government, municipality, and civil administrations. AMAL is headed by Nabih Berry, over 30 years as head of the Lebanese Parliament, and was created by late Iranian Imam Moussa Sadr in 1972 who was assassinated in Libya in 1983. AMAL is the main political party totally at the beck of Syria instructions; thus, when any Lebanese file or problem is turned exclusively to Nabih Berry for consideration then it means that the resolution is in the hands of Syria.

            Currently, the most urgent demand of Syria on Lebanon’s government is to let go of the International Court investigating the assassination of late Rafic Harri PM in 2005. Syria knows that this Court was created as a political weapon by the US to pressure Syria into political concessions. After 5 years of heavy political pressures on Syria, now the Court is turning the weapon on Hezbollah.  Syria knows that targeting Hezbollah is implicitly targeting Syria. The international political usage of this Court has to end and very soon or Lebanon will suffer great instability if Saad Hariri PM keeps his uncertain position and refuses to step down.  Most probably, another Prime Minister ready to bring the International Court to Lebanon’s jurisdiction would be selected. Fact is, France declined to resume financing the Court; a signal that France no longer sees any benefit of the Court to its current policies in the Near East.

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.

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 Peres. Erdogan got my highest prize and we all feel much more optimist in our future.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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