Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Tajikistan

Iraq:  What after the withdrawal of US troops?

US troops are supposed to withdraw completely from Iraq in 2011 (it is done, and Iraqis celebrated, and the US soldiers celebrated, and the US soldiers in Afghanistan are preparing to celebrate next year…)

So far, 50,000 soldiers have been transferred to Afghanistan from Iraq via two main routes.  The mostly used route is heading south of Iraq by sea and ocean, toward Pakistan and then forward by land to southern Afghanistan. The second route is going north of Iraq toward the Kurdish enclaves, Turkey, Azerbaijan, river routes, and entering Tajikistan to north Afghanistan.

It seems that moving troops and materials from Iraq to Afghanistan is one of the most complex logistic headaches of all time.  The US has to have deals with over two dozen States for the transport to reach destination relatively safely: any trouble at any junction and the logistic plans go awry for many months. The logistics troubles have surfaced violently: The safest and quickest route to Afghanistan via Pakistan is no longer that safe, that fast, or as economical:  Pakistan society is very unhelpful and unfriendly with the US taking casual liberty with their drones, bombing communities and friendly allies on the ground of mistaken identity…The collateral damage in this war far outnumbers the few tracked and targeted “terrorists”

What of Iraq after the withdrawal of US troops?  Iraq will still be a member of the United Nations in the form; Iraq will still be “independent” with a central government in the books, as is the case of the status of Lebanon.  In reality, Iraq will be controlled by three regional powers and the US.

A few districts around the Capital Bagdad will be under direct rule of the central government; the districts in the south around Basra and in the Kurdish north-east region will be self autonomous under the indirect supervision of Iran; the districts in the Kurdish northwest will be under Turkish supervision; districts in the west will be mandated to Syria, and a few districts in the Kurdish zone will be reserved to the two main Kurdish parties and supported by the US.

The two parliamentary elections and the time required to forming governments prove that forming union government is directly related to agreement and consensus with Iran, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the US.  The complex political structure in Iraq after the invasion is far worse than Lebanon’s.  Lebanon has to negotiate with 18 formal religious sects and two regional powers (Syria and Iran) and the US.

Iraq has more religious sects and many ethnic diversity than Lebanon.  Iraq has two main Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia (Chiaa) and dozens of minority Christian sects and Yazd.  Iraq has basically four ethnic groups: The Sunni Arabs, the Chiaa Arabs, the Chiaa Persian of origin, and many Kurdish ethnic bordering Turkey, Syria, and Iran.

Iraq has to negotiate with the US, Russia, and China in addition to four regional powers.  Thus, forming a union government in Iraq is not an easy endeavor.

Oil revenue will “logically” be shared with districts proportionally to population and the level of pollution generated from extracting oil and refining it (rational guesses).  A large portion will be allocated to central government and the federal army.  Regional power control will be exercised through two main mechanisms:

First, the high level public servants in the autonomous regions will be appointed by the respective regional powers and

Second, each regional power will have its lead political men in the highest echelons in the government, Parliament, and central public servant administrations.

Weak central governments have distinct characteristics:

First, reforms are incremental after exhaustive consensus procedures;

Second, crucial decisions are taken in consensus, and

Third, foreign policies in the main lines are uncompromising in order not to disturb internal coherence.

There are advantages to this potential future Iraqi status.

First, Iran’s huge interests and dominant influence in Iraq will have the most at stake for the stability of Iraq.  Thus, the stability of Iraq will be the best guarantor for cooling off any expansionist policies in the Arab/Persian Gulf such as Bahrain and Oman.

Second, Syria interests in a stable Iraq will strengthen its alliance with Iran with more glitches to iron out.  For example, Syria will have to seek greater ties with Turkey in order to counter balance Iran’s overwhelming influence in Iraq. (With current Syria mass revolts and Turkey getting involved against the regime, Syria has no choice but to tighten its links with Iran and Russia…)

Third, Israel’s intelligence agencies in Iraq and the Kurdish regions, which  grew astronomically after the invasion in 2003, will be disbanded gradually:  The regional powers will supervise tightly Israel’s interferences in Iraq.  For example, the visit of Kurdish leader Barazani to Turkey Erdogan has a major purpose to clipping Israel’s intelligence activities in the Kurdish regions. Israel had increased in the last two years its destabilizing schemes in Turkey.

Iraq has been in fact subdivided according to the US objective before invading Iraq in 2003.  Iraq has no alternative but to be a central junction of the economic union among Turkey, Iran and Syria. Such a strategic location will witness massive investment in Iraq’s infrastructure  for communication, transport, warehouses, ports, and oil pipelines.

Iraq will be the next Dubai with vaster wealth and strategic needs but no tangible independence as a State.

Note:  The highest Chiaa religious authority, ayatollah Sistani and residing in Najaf (Iraq), is adamantly opposed to any federal political structure; this is a commendable attitude but the stability of Iraq at this junction is close cooperation with the three powerful border regional powers of Iran, Syria, and Turkey.

Sovereignty is a very loose robe that fits vast countries, large population, and a history of resilience and determination to paying the exorbitant price for the luxury of dignity and being recognized as an intrinsic civilization “under the sun”. You may read one of my other posts on Iraq https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/09/25/why-the-invasion-of-iraq-because-of-china/

Hezbollah to desist spreading myths: Encore; (October 16, 2009)

 

            In a previous post I discussed the two myths: dress codes, and the mixing of State and religious responsibilities. I also stated the reasons for selected Hezbollah for my topic. There are three reasons: first, I need to have a specific target in order to minimize tendencies for generalization; second, Hezbollah is the most powerful movement in Lebanon in number, organization, military training, and in readiness and thus, this important social and political force can either spread havoc or strengthen the independence of Lebanon depending on close dialogue and communication among the Lebanese political parties; and third, because I have a high respect for this organization that saved Lebanon twice from becoming a total non-entity within the last decade. Yes, with Hezbollah I feel that Lebanon is no longer just a State recognized by the UN but has acquired the status of a Nation; a tiny Nation but with the potential of agreeing that we are one people under the law and against all contingencies.

            There is this boring and unsettling tendency at Hezbollah’s leadership to start their speeches with a long litany of the “honored” descendents of the Prophet Muhammad.  I understand that most diseases are inherited but I have not stumbled on studies characterizing intelligence, learning, and wisdom attributed to inherited genes.  Actually, research have demonstrated that offspring of highly intelligent men to be born mostly idiots. 

            The Prophet Muhammad did not die suddenly; he felt terribly sick for eight days and realized that he is to die soon.  The Prophet was fully conscious many times and he said the Morning Prayer before he died in the arms for his beloved and young wife Aicha. If the prophet wanted a close relative to inherit the title of Imam he would have done so; he still had two daughters and two son-in-laws and many close relatives who were Moslems. (Muhammad had four daughters, all married, and two sons; two of the married daughters died before him and his two sons died in infancy before reaching the age of 4).

            Maybe it is time for Hezbollah to desist forcing on people untruths of super great offspring generated by the Prophet. Yes, we must be inclined to pray even more forcefully for them because the odds are that they suffered immensely by the high expectations impelled upon them by ignorant and lazy-minded followers. Maybe it is time to expect the next Mahdi to be born from the common people instead of some “noble” creed.

 

            My fourth worry is this trend of re-writing history to please cultural propaganda of a nascent Islamic regional power such as Iran.  Chiaa have lived in northern Palestine, Lebanon, and northern Syria many centuries before the Turkish Safafid Empire ruled Iran in the 17th century and decided to adopt the Chiaa sect as the Kingdom religion.  The Chiaa had to flee the Arabic Sunni Caliphate Empire for two centuries and suffered frequent persecutions during the Ottoman Empire.

            The Chiaa took roots in India and in the Maghreb in North Africa. From the Maghreb they converged to Egypt and ruled during the Fatimid Dynasty for over a century and enjoyed many converts in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria when Baghdad’s central power was very weak; the city of Aleppo and its district was a major focal point for the Ismaellia Chiaa. The Chiaa also converged from India to Herrat (west Afghanistan) and to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan before spreading to East Iran and the eastern shores of the Arabic Peninsula.  Consequently, the Chiaa in the Near East are its inhabitants and form an intrinsic part of the fabric of this region: they adopted the same customs and tradition.

            If for political exigencies Hezbollah needs to select leaders who attended religious schools in Qom of Iran, then it does not follow that this short–term need should be the trend.  Hezbollah has no advantage to alienate the main religious center in Al Najaf and then Koufa simply because its members are Near Eastern and not Persians.  It will pay in the medium-term for Hezbollah to re-write the history of the Chiaa in Lebanon and changing their tradition for a far away civilization and taking official sides for this Iranian Ayatollah or that, or this Iraqi Ayatollah or that.  Hezbollah is a resistance movement against any invader to Lebanon because it is Lebanese people and not a branch or an extension or a mercenary force to any regional power. Changing culture and history of the Chiaa in Lebanon can be as dangerous a trend as fomenting civil war.

The Urumqi debacle: China old and new challenges; (August 3, 2009)

 

            In the most western frontiers of China you got the province of Xingjian bordering Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Tibet.  The Capital of this province is Urumqi where the Han Chinese ethnic group has become slightly majority while the rural province is of ethnic Ouigour Moslems in majority (45.5%).  This supposedly autonomous province since 1864 is as large as Spain, France, Germany, and Italy combined with just 21 millions of over eight kinds of minorities.

 

            The Ouigour written language is fast disappearing because learning Mandarin as first language for civilian administrative and employment reasons has been supplanted in schools in the major cities.  The Xingjian province has been experiencing fast development compared to its neighboring provinces because of its rich mineral and power resources and mainly because it is the Carrefour of States constituting over two billion people transacting through it.  Consequently, the poorer ethnic Han flocked to Xingjian in the last two decades along with the more educated and speaking the official Mandarin language.  The Hans have thus snatched the most key positions in companies dealing with the central authority.  There is a quota system for minorities in the administrations but the Hans captured the key and main power positions.

            The ancient “Silk Road” crosses Xingjian from Turfan, Urumqi, Korla, Aksu to Kashgar (Kashi), at the end of the second largest desert in the world Taklamakan.  During the Chinese counter-revolution in the sixties almost all the mosques were destroyed.  In the last decade Xingjian is enjoying over 4,000 mosques.  In Urumqi the Han eats pork and rice; the Ouigour does not eat pork or rice.  The Han prefers to learn English as a second language and is not interested in the Ouigour language.

            The central authority in Peking would love to tame the Ouigour as it successfully did with the 10 millions Moslem Huis.  This is not going to be an easy program: the Ouigour are bordering Moslem Republics that freshly separated from Russia.  They speak the same language and share the same customs and traditions as the Moslems in Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, and Tajikistan.  Worst, the Ouigour want to emulate those bordering States in independence.  Actually, Xingjian enjoyed a short lived independence in 1933 to 1934 under the name of Western Turkistan. The Soviet Union extended its territory in this province from 1944 to 1949 before withdrawing. The Ouigour in Xingjian have the feeling that they are descendents of powerful Nations that were rivals to China.

            The Hans receive much higher wages than the Ouigour; the higher the concentration of Hans in districts the higher the internal GDP that can span from 15,000 yuans to 2,500 in Hotan (at the southern border of the big desert). The group of Shanghai was created in 1996 comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, and Tajikistan. The main purpose of this group is targeting security along the borders: no extremist, separatist, or terrorist elements are to transfer and cross the borders.  The captured elements are returned to their homeland to be imprisoned and executed.  The Shanghai group is mainly interested in the transaction of mineral, gas, and oil resources and expanding their market.

            What is particular to Xingjian are the “bingtuan” military brigades that were created in 1954 of the demilitarized civil war soldiers.  These brigades were to safeguard the long frontiers and to clear wild lands for agriculture. All the brigades have been demobilized except the one in Xingjian.  The bingtuan brigade is part of the Chinese military and more powerful than the governor or state administration; it is a state within a state. The bingtuan (CPCX) has  about 2 millions members, raises taxes in the districts that it directs, owns 1,500 industrial groups, controls two third of the cultivated lands in Xingjian, produces one forth of the industrial products, and export two third of all the productions.

 

            In July 5, 2009 the Ouigour in Urumqi took to the streets; the next day the Hans counter-attacked. By July 8, China declared that 200 died and over 1,700 were injured in the mayhems.  China statistics are biased; the same for almost all governments and multinationals.  The Ouigour created an international organization located in Munich; its present leader is the lady leader Rebiya Kadeer living in Washington, DC.  China is on the offensive and putting diplomatic pressures on any government permitting Kadeer to speak to the international community.

            As long as the group of Shanghai is intent on closing the borders to the dissidents then China is free to use force without impunity. China has prosperous and active commerce and trade with mostly all States and is about to finish installing the longest pipeline to Russia.

 

            Apparatchik of Big States are vying to unseat traditional colonial powers in production, standard of living, industrialization, and modernity; people weary of the man-made anti-environmental future; people unprepared and unfamiliar with newer fast pace challenges.

 

            Tiny and gigantic States are same different: the challenges are innumerable and the resolutions unsatisfactory band-aid remedies.  There are no “final solutions” for the febrile human kind with dizzying capacity for hallucinations. Any trend must be globally tried and emulated; otherwise, globalization has no meaning.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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