Erdogan’s War of Words Inciting Terror in Europe

Erdogan’s War of Words Inciting Terror in Europe

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 26.03.2017 | OPINION

Erdogan’s War of Words Inciting Terror in Europe

Only hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a bloodcurdling warning about terror attacks against European citizens, four people lay dead on the streets of London. That death toll may rise further because several of those injured in the attack this week in the British capital are in critical condition, fighting for their lives.

Erdogan was speaking Wednesday in what was yet another diatribe in his ongoing war of words with the European Union. The Turkish leader has been enraged by European governments refusing ministers from Ankara holding political rallies in Germany, Netherlands and Austria among other countries. As a result of the injunctions, he has accused the EU of displaying Islamophobia and hostility towards Turkey.

In his latest barrage earlier this week, Erdogan warned that there would be dire repercussions for EU citizens owing to the perceived stance of their governments.

«If you continue to behave like this, tomorrow in no part of the world, no European, no Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully», Erdogan said.

Tragically, within hours of announcing these very words, a British-born man plowed his speeding car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing several of them and seriously wounding dozens more. The assailant then got out of his crashed vehicle and ran into the grounds of the British parliament where he stabbed a police officer to death, before being fatally shot by another officer.

The attacker was named as 52-year-old Khalid Masood, a British citizen. It is not clear yet what his precise motives were, but the deadly attack was subsequently claimed by the Islamic State terror group.

Turkey’s Erdogan was reportedly one of many world leaders who quickly phoned British premier Theresa May to offer his condolences. Later on Wednesday night, Erdogan released a statement on social media, saying: «We stand in solidarity with the UK, our friend and ally, against terrorism, the greatest threat to global peace and security».

There is a sense here that the Turkish leader was reeling from his own earlier warnings of would-be terror consequences for European citizens, and how his tirades against the EU might be implicated in inciting violence.

Certainly, the EU, in short-order, seemed to find Erdogan’s forecasting of acts of terrorism against European citizens and how «they would not be safe on streets around the world» to be lamentable.

Turkey’s envoy in Brussels was promptly summoned to «explain» the president’s doom-laden words. The day after the London killings, the EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic reportedly said: «We have asked the Turkish permanent delegate to the EU to come… as we would like to receive an explanation with regard to the comments by President Erdogan concerning the safety of Europeans on the streets of the world».

At best, Erdogan’s chilling warnings against European citizens are grossly insensitive. Apart from the carnage in London, on the very day that he issued his grim forecast of violence, the date was also the first anniversary of the terror attacks in Brussels when more than 30 people were killed by suicide bombers in the Belgian capital on March 22 last year.

Over the past year, there have been several other terror attacks on the streets of European cities, including the carnage in Nice when a would-be jihadist drove an articulated lorry into a pedestrians last July, killing over 80.

There was also an horrific attack in Berlin when an assailant drove a lorry into a crowded Christmas market.

In all these incidents, there appears to be an Islamist connection. The perpetrators may be acting in some sort of «lone wolf» capacity, without the organizational support of the al Qaeda terror network. But that’s beside the point. The attacks appear to be motivated by some level of Islamist grievance. Perhaps acts of revenge against European governments and citizens who are perceived as being complicit in illegal wars on, or persecution of, Muslim majority countries in the Middle East.

This is where Turkish President Erdogan bears more responsibility than merely just «bad timing» or being «insensitive» remarks.

In recent weeks, Erdogan and senior government ministers in Ankara have been engaging in a reckless war of words with the EU, which can be viewed as bordering on incitement.

Erdogan has repeatedly accused Germany and The Netherlands of acting like «Nazis and fascists». He has condemned the whole of the EU as being «racist» and «anti-Islam».

Just last week, Erdogan claimed that Dutch UN peacekeeping troops were responsible for the Srebrenica massacre in 1995, when up to 8,000 Muslim men were killed by Serb forces. Erdogan said the Dutch had the blood of Muslims «on their hands».

Ankara’s fit of rage stems from European governments blocking political rallies being held in their cities by Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party. Those rallies are aimed at mobilizing Turkish expatriates to vote in Turkey’s referendum next month, which is being held to endorse increasing constitutional powers for Erdogan’s presidency.

Erdogan’s grip on power has already become increasingly autocratic since the attempted coup against his rule failed last July.

In order to push Turkish voters to back his sought-after constitutional changes, Erdogan is evidently whipping up patriotic fervor and in particular Islamist fervor by indulging in a war of words with the EU.

Denouncing European states as «anti-Islamic» and «racist» may gain Erdogan votes. But such incitement has consequences. This war of words is not an abstract phenomenon. It risks inflicting real human casualties, as Europe has all-too often witnessed over the past year.

If EU governments had any spine, they would hold Erdogan legally to account over his potentially seditious behavior.

But the supine EU is too busy trying to keep the Turkish sultan sweet so that he doesn’t open the refugee floodgates from the wars that European governments have been stoking across the Middle East and North Africa.

The Turkish madness is electoral one الجنون التركي انتخابي

The Turkish madness is electoral one

مارس 16, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

In the worst moments experienced by the administration of the Turkish President Recep Erdogan with Washington, and in the light of the developments of the events in the northern of Syria and the sticking of the US officials with the priority of their relation with the Kurds and the inability of Erdogan to understand that, for the second time the dilemma of the sense of greatness has been revealed as a barrier without realistic thinking in the Turkish ruling mentality. The issue according to the Americans neither related to the magnitude of the military capacity of the parties nor to the attitude toward the Turkish country and the keenness to ally with it.

Simply, Washington needs for a non-governmental Syrian party that grants it the legitimacy of deploying troops and experts and forming airports in Syria under the title of privacy that has magnitude of the realistic legitimacy and the ethnic or the national legitimacy, it needs for a party that responds to the US demands that is not loyal to any other country than America. In these two issues Turkey is like America it behaves like it toward the armed groups which affiliated to it, it wants from Washington to deal with it in order to get its legitimacy for the Turkish occupation that resembles the US occupation, even if the Turkish occupation was covered by a title of confronting the danger that threatens the security of Turkey, once under the pretext of the Kurds or the support of the armed factions that are loyal to Turkey. The pretext of the Americans remains the stronger in the war on ISIS and their coverage is more important through the relation with the Kurds.

The Turkish crisis occurs with Netherlands and Germany for the same reasons, the Turkish President and his government are waging a confrontation under what they consider a democratic right by communicating with the voters before the referendum, forgetting that he is talking about immigrants in another country, so what is presented by him is not to sign an agreement that allows the hosting country to organize electoral festivals and to receive the speakers from the two teams to identify the attitudes and to practice the choice, in favor of the resident communities, but it is an exclusive right of the representatives of the rule to mobilize their immigrants to vote for its favor. It is surprised to find the coming governments which want to hold elections and in respect of the privacy of the Turkish position toward the organizations of ISIS and Al Nusra and the issue of the refugees pave the way for Turkish governmental festivals that do not evoke campaigns of the extremist right, because Turkey does not see any law or logic but the one which helps it to be surprised for not dealing with its priorities, as the priorities of the others.

Politically, it is not possible to describe the Turkish anger along with the expressions and threats but only with the political madness for a frustrated country that lives the defeat and the isolation, and instead of absorbing what is surrounding its policies as complexities or making a review that allows drawing policies that commensurate with the variables it turns into a source of crises, that spreads anger and tension. This is the beginning of the tragic end of the countries which think that their size is protecting them. Previously, Turkey has experienced that with Russia, but the result was disastrous, and it has been forced to apologize, but the problem of the rule of Erdogan is that he wants to win in the referendum by provoking the Turkish feelings of the voters who live as their president the illusion of the sultanate and the arrogance of greatness, and whose their egos please the anger of the president and provoke them to vote for him according to the powers of the Sultan, but after the referendum he will leave the arrogance after he will send secretly to the Dutch government that “ I think that the crisis and the tension benefit both of us in the elections so we have to win together, in order to reconcile after the elections”.

Erdogan is a kind of the politicians who is aware how to deal with the game of the folk in the relation of the leader and the street’s people, its key is tickling the tribalism of the privacy and the greatness, then it is possible to fluctuate between the matter and its opposite without consideration or questioning. And thus the leader will be in an image that simulates the divinity over the change and its laws.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

الجنون التركي انتخابي

مارس 13, 2017

ناصر قنديل

في لحظات سيئة تعيشها إدارة الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان مع واشنطن في ضوء مجريات أحداث شمال سورية وتمسّك المسؤولين الأميركيين بأولوية علاقتهم بالأكراد وعجز أردوغان عن استيعاب ذلك، تكشفت مرة أخرى معضلة الشعور بالعظمة كحاجز دون التفكير الواقعي في الذهنية التركية الحاكمة، فالمسألة عند الأميركيين ليست بحجم القدرة العسكرية للأطراف، ولا بالموقف من الدولة التركية والحرص على التحالف معها.

إنها ببساطة حاجة واشنطن لجهة غير حكومية سورية تمنحها شرعية نشر قوات وخبراء وإقامة مطارات في سورية، تحت عنوان خصوصية لها مقدار من الشرعية الواقعية والشرعية العرقية أو القومية، وجهة تأتمر بالأوامر الأميركية ولا تدين بالولاء لدولة غير أميركا. وفي هذين الشأنين تركيا كأميركا تفعل مثلها مع الجماعات المسلحة التابعة لها، وتريد من واشنطن أن تمرّ عبرها وأن تستمد شرعيتها من احتلال تركي يشبه الاحتلال الأميركي، ولو تغطّى الاحتلال التركي بعنوان مواجهة خطر على أمن تركيا مرة بذريعة الأكراد أو يدعم فصائل مسلّحة موالية لتركيا. تبقى ذريعة الأميركيين أقوى في الحرب على داعش، وغطاؤهم أهم بالعلاقة مع الأكراد.

تقع الأزمة التركية مع هولندا وألمانيا لأسباب مشابهة، فيخوض الرئيس التركي وحكومته مواجهة تحت ما يعتبره حقاً ديمقراطياً، بالتواصل مع الناخبين قبل الاستفتاء، ناسياً أنه يتحدّث عن مهاجرين في بلد آخر، وأن ما يعرضه ليس توقيع اتفاق تتيح بموجبه الدولة المضيفة للجاليات المقيمة تنظيم مهرجانات انتخابية واستقبال المتحدثين من الفريقين للتعرف على المواقف وممارسة الاختيار، بل حق حصري لممثلي الحكم بتعبئة مهاجريهم للتصويت لحساب خياراته. ويستغرب أن تجد الحكومات المقبلة على انتخابات في ذلك، ولخصوصية الموقف التركي من العلاقة بتنيظمَي داعش وجبهة النصرة، وقضية اللاجئين، في فتح الطريق لمهرجانات حكومية تركية ما يضرّ بها ويستثير عليها حملات من اليمين المتطرف، لأن الباب العالي لا يرى قانوناً ومنطقاً إلا الذي يساعده على الاستغراب لعدم التعامل مع أولوياته كأولويات للآخرين.

لا يمكن سياسياً توصيف الغضب التركي وما رافقه من تعابير وتهديدات إلا بالجنون السياسي لدولة محبطة، تعيش الهزيمة والعزلة وبدلاً من استيعاب ما يحيط بسياساتها من تعقيدات والانكباب على مراجعة تتيح رسم سياسات تتناسب مع المتغيرات تتحوّل مصدراً للأزمات، وتنشر حولها الغضب والتوتر. وهذه بداية نهاية مأساوية للدول التي تظن أن حجمها يحميها، فقد جرّبت تركيا سابقاً ذلك مع روسيا وكانت النتيجة كارثية واضطرت لكسر أنفها والعودة إلى الاعتذار، لكن مشكلة حكم أردوغان أنه يريد الفوز بالاستفتاء من موقع الاستثارة للمشاعر التركية لدى الناخبين الذين يعيشون مثل رئيسهم وهم السلطنة وعنجهية العظمة، ويرضي غرورهم غضب الرئيس ويستنهضهم للتصويت له بصلاحيات سلطان. وهو بعد الاستفتاء سيعود عن العنجهية بعد أن يرسل سراً للحكومة الهولندية، أظنّ أن الأزمة والتوتر يفيداننا معاً في الانتخابات وما علينا إلا الفوز معاً، لنتصالح بعد الانتخابات.

أردوغان نوع من السياسيين يدرك كيفية التعامل مع لعبة القطيع في علاقة الزعيم والشارع، ومفتاحها دغدغة عصبية الخصوصية والعظمة، وعندها يمكن التقلّب بين الشيء وضده من دون حساب ومساءلة، ويصير الزعيم في صورة تحاكي الألوهية فوق التغيير وقوانينه ويخلق الله من الشبه أربعين.

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What did Netanyahu and Erdogan say to Putin and what did he answer them? ماذا قال نتنياهو وأردوغان لبوتين وبماذا أجابهما؟

Written by Nasser Kandil,

مارس 15, 2017

The Russian endeavor to leave the Kurdish issue in Syria to the US specialization since Washington’s regression with its fleets from the Mediterranean Sea in order to hit Syria has played a role in the US comfort for having a reliable ally which is not shared by anyone to wage by it the battle of Raqqa when it is the time, but it played an opposite role in forming the reason which drives Turkey to Russia when Ankara will reach to the same conclusions to which Washington has already reached by virtue of the impasse in front of the choice of war to overthrow Syria militarily or politically by the force of a decisive military victory.

It was enough for the battle of Aleppo to prove to Ankara what was shown by the experience of bringing the fleets of Washington to recognize the fertility of the continuation of the war and the attempt to search for a special Turkish ceiling to intervene in Syria, it is through the prevention of forming Kurdish security privacy on the borders with Turkey. The difference in time between the US positioning to prepare Kurdish force that follows practically the US armies and the Turkish attention was enough to the rootedness of the Kurdish situation and to make Ankara worried. The leadership of Turkey tries to tempt Washington by compensating it through direct Turkish intervention in the war on ISIS in exchange of having control over the Kurds. The Turks made efforts but they failed, so they turned twice to Moscow, including their last attempt to please Washington with an offer of barter after Aleppo and before Al Bab battle and after it, which ended with a failure that was translated by Manbej today, and the horizons of Kurdish cooperation with the Syrian army under common Russian US umbrella in the battle of Raqqa.

Moscow is aware that Washington will try to sweep the cooperation in the war on terrorism with costs in exchange, but it is aware that the Turks are the desired partner in the war on Al Nusra front, and that the Americans are an imperative party in the war on ISIS without a cost in exchange, so it is enough to put them in front of the inevitability of the Kurdish-Syrian cooperation in order to be on the right track, therefore, the Russians have ignored all the US-Turkish-Israeli-Saudi escalation against Iran and Hezbollah to suggest the willingness to have a cooperation deal in the war versus resizing the role of Iran and Hezbollah, till the Turkish President resorted to Moscow once again, because the most important player in the Syrian settlement and in the war on Al Nusra is Turkey.

The Turkish President knows that he cannot wait for the decision of the war on the Kurds by the Russian President Vladimir Putin or the Americans for the sake of Turkey which it betrayed its pledges to Russia repeatedly, and that he is going to Moscow to lose his bets, and to make the others lose their bets as well, like the Kurds. What is waiting for him in Moscow is a call to rationalize the influence in Syria in favor of the formation of a country without any security privacy. The sooner the Turks are in their cooperation to end the militia’s dominance which they support in Syria and in the partnership in the war on Al Nusra and in a support of a settlement which the Kurds are participating that is translated by a government under the leadership of the Syrian President and the Syrian army, the more attainable the opportunities become to end the chances of the birth of Kurdish canton which the Turks are afraid of. The more the Turks stick to the dominance areas in Syria, the more the Kurdish dominance gets rooted.

The Russians play their calculated steps in the war. While the justification of the survival of  the  troops of the American who accelerates to have a war on ISIS in Raqqa will end with the end of the war, whenever the settlement path accelerates where there will be no justification for any Kurdish canton that they hide behind, therefore the way to that is Turkish by facilitating the influence in the settlement project instead in the dominance areas which will legitimize the Kurdish privacy, in return the Israeli attempts to stick to the search for privacy in the southern of Syrian will not withstand according to what will happen in the north where the big war theatre, and where the Syrian army has drawn through its field movement strategic changes through its reaching to the Euphrates channel and has imposed its presence as an inevitable partner in any war on ISIS.

A long time ago Netanyahu went to Moscow, but he was a Russian ridiculous subject, but at present when Erdogan went to Moscow he became a sad dramatic subject. Netanyahu started his talking with the Russian President about the Persian Minister Haman in the time of the King Ahasuerus who has issued a demand of the extermination of the Jews, just in order to say to the President Putin that the Persians are here, this has happened since 2500 years ago, and today we are celebrating Purim for being saved from the extermination at their hands. So we do not accept them to threaten us once again, the answer was a cynical smile by the Russian President who was playing with his mobile phone in front of the TV cameras, this was broadcasted by the Russian channels. He answered those who lived in the fifth century BC cannot deal with the challenges of the twenty-first century; everything has changed, so you have to find solutions from that time. But well informed Russian resources say that Putin’s suggestions about the past time and the old history is double, he foretells Netanyahu that everything is changing in Syria specially through his clarifications to him and to Erdogan that the cooperation with Iran is so good and that Hezbollah is an important partner in the war on terrorism, moreover, its presence is accepted by the Syrian country. The resources say that Putin’s suggestion is not only for the fifth century BC and the current century but regarding what has changed in the northern of Syria and  the moving towards the demise of the dominance areas which some of them remove the others. The solution from the bygone time is a mockery of Netanyahu’s historic words, where the feast of Purim is the celebration of the success of Esther the niece of Moedecai the adviser of the King Ahasuerus with the support of his uncle to tempt the King to marry her in order to appeal him to abolish the decision of the extermination of her people.

The Russian media resources say that the President Putin has put the Turkish and the Israeli visitors in front of the fact of the Russian Iranian cooperation and the Russian confidence in the relation with Iran and Hezbollah, calling them to be convinced that the political solution in Syria and the return of the powerful Syrian country despite its difficulty and cruelty on the two guests is the least losses which may occur, because the alternative is a Syrian country that is prevented from being dominated on the  whole area of its national territory by the force of the foreign interventions. It has the right to grant some of its geography for others who disturb whom disturbs it. The more the time passes the changes get rooted, and their eradication becomes more difficult. As the moving toward a settlement is an adventure because the Syrian country may decide to enhance its relation with Iran and Hezbollah, as the opposite moving is a bigger adventure because the areas under the domination of the Kurds will get rooted, as there will be similar areas in which the Iranian will be present more freely, and areas where Hezbollah will be rooted more, while the formation of the country which is responsible of the security in the entire country is the least adventurous choice.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ماذا قال نتنياهو وأردوغان لبوتين وبماذا أجابهما؟

ناصر قنديل
مارس 11, 2017

– لعب الاستثمار الروسي على ترك المسألة الكردية في سورية اختصاصاً أميركياً منذ تراجع واشنطن بأساطيلها عن البحر المتوسط بنيّة ضرب سورية دوره في استرخاء أميركي لامتلاك حليف يمكن الاعتماد عليه، ولا يشاركها به أحد لخوض معركة الرقة بواسطته عندما تدقّ الساعة، لكنه لعب دوراً عكسياً في تشكيل المهماز الذي يرمي تركيا في حضن روسيا، عندما تصل أنقرة للاستنتاجات التي وصلت إليها واشنطن لجهة انسداد الأفق أمام خيار الحرب لإسقاط سورية عسكرياً، أو سياسياً بقوة نصر عسكري حاسم.

– كان يكفي أن تقول حرب حلب لأنقرة ما قالته تجربة استقدام الأساطيل لواشنطن، للتسليم بلا جدوى مواصلة الحرب والاستدارة للبحث عن سقف تركي خاص للتدخل في سورية، وهو منع قيام خصوصية أمنية كردية على الحدود مع تركيا. وكان فارق الزمن بين التموضع الأميركي على خط الإعداد لقوة كردية تتبع عملياً للجيوش الأميركية وبين الانتباه التركي كافياً ليتجذّر الوضع الكردي الذي يسبب القلق لأنقرة، والذي تسعى قيادة تركيا لإغراء واشنطن بتعويضها عنه بتدخل تركي مباشر في الحرب على داعش للحصول على رأس الأكراد، وحاول الأتراك ما استطاعوا وباءوا بالفشل فاستداروا مرتين إلى موسكو بينهما محاولة أخيرة لاسترضاء واشنطن بعرض المقايضة، بعد حلب وقبل معركة الباب، وبعد معركة الباب، وهي التي انتهت بفشل ترجمه حال منبج اليوم، وآفاق تعاون كردي مع الجيش السوري بمظلة روسية أميركية مشتركة في معركة الرقة.

– تدرك موسكو أن واشنطن ستسعى لمقايضة التعاون في الحرب على الإرهاب بأثمان مقابلة، لكنها تدرك أن الأتراك هم الشريك المطلوب في الحرب على جبهة النصرة، وأن الأميركيين هم طرف حتمي في الحرب على داعش بلا ثمن مقابل، ويكفي وضعهم أمام حتمية التعاون الكردي السوري حتى يكونوا على المسار الصحيح، فتجاهل الروس كل التصعيد الأميركي التركي «الإسرائيلي» السعودي ضد إيران وحزب الله، للإيحاء بالاستعداد لصفقة تعاون في الحرب مقابل تحجيم دور إيران وحزب الله، حتى وقع الرئيس التركي في حضن موسكو مجدداً، لأن اللاعب الأهم في التسوية السورية وفي الحرب على النصرة وهي البعد السوري من الحرب هي تركيا.

– يعلم الرئيس التركي أنه لا يستطيع أن ينتظر من الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين قرار حرب على الأكراد ومعهم الأميركيون، كرمى لعيون تركيا التي خانت تعهداتها مع روسيا مراراً، وأنه ذاهب لموسكو ليخسر رهاناته، لكن ليجعل الآخرين يخسرون مثله رهاناتهم، وفي المقدمة الأكراد، فما ينتظره في موسكو دعوة لترصيد النفوذ في سورية لحساب قيام الدولة بمنع أي خصوصية أمنية، وكلما أسرع الأتراك في التعاون لإنهاء السيطرات الميليشياوية التي يدعمونها في سورية، وفي الشراكة بالحرب على النصرة، وبدعم تسوية يشترك فيها الأكراد تترجمها حكومة في ظل الرئيس السوري والجيش السوري، كانت الفرص حقيقية للتحرك لإنهاء فرص ولادة كانتون كردي يخشاه الأتراك، وكلما تمسك الأتراك بمناطق نفوذ في سورية تجذّرت منطقة النفوذ الكردية.

– يلعب الروس نقلاتهم المحسوبة وأمامهم رقعة الحرب، فالأميركي المسرع بحرب على داعش في الرقة، سينتهي مبرر بقاء قواته في سورية بنهاية الحرب، كلما تسارع مسار تسوية لا يبقى فيها مبرر لكانتون كردي يستظلون به، والمفتاح تركي بتسييل النفوذ في مشروع التسوية بدلاً من مناطق النفوذ التي ستشرع الخصوصية الكردية، وبالمقابل لن تصمد محاولات التمسك «الإسرائيلية» بالبحث عن خصوصية جنوب سورية، مع ما سيحدث في الشمال، حيث مسرح الحرب الكبرى، وحيث الجيش السوري رسم بحركته الميدانية تغييرات استراتيجية ببلوغه مجرى الفرات وفرض حضوره شريكاً لا مفر من شراكته في أي حرب على داعش.

– ذهب نتنياهو من زمن غابر إلى موسكو، فكان موضوع سخرية روسية، وذهب أردوغان من الزمن الحاضر فكان موضوعاً درامياً حزيناً. نتنياهو يبدأ حديثه مع الرئيس الروسي عن الوزير الفارسي هامان في زمن الملك أحشويروش الذي استصدر أمراً بإبادة اليهود، ليقول للرئيس بوتين إن الفرس صاروا هنا، وقد حدث هذا قبل 2500 عام، ونحتفل بعيد المساخر أو البوريم لنجاتنا من الإبادة على أيديهم، فلا يمكن قبولهم يهدّدوننا مرة أخرى، فكان الجواب ابتسامة ساخرة من الرئيس الروسي الذي أخذ يلاعب هاتفه الخلوي بيده أمام كاميرات التلفزة، وتنقله القنوات الروسية بهذا المشهد، ويجيب أن من يعيش في القرن الخامس قبل الميلاد لا يستطيع التعامل مع تحديات القرن الحادي والعشرين، فقد تغير كل شيء، وإلا عليك بحلول من ذاك الزمن، وتقول مصادر إعلامية روسية مطلعة أن إيحاءات بوتين عن الزمن الغابر والتاريخ السحيق مزدوجة فهو ينبئ نتنياهو أن كل شيء يتغيّر في سورية، خصوصاً مع إيضاحاته له ولأردوغان أن التعاون مع إيران على أفضل ما يكون، وأن حزب الله شريك هام في الحرب على الإرهاب ووجوده يحظى بتغطية الدولة السورية. وتقول المصادر إن إيحاء بوتين ليس مقصوداً به فقط القرن الخامس قبل الميلاد والقرن الحالي، بل أيضاً ما تغيّر في شمال سورية والسير نحو زوال مناطق النفوذ، بعضها يتكفّل بإزالة بعض، وأن الحل من الزمن الغابر هو سخرية من كلام نتنياهو التاريخي، حيث عيد البوريم هو احتفال بنجاح أستير ابنة أخ مردخاي مستشار الملك أحشويروش التي تمكّنت بمساعدة عمّها من التسلّل لإغراء الملك والزواج منه لتقوم بالتوسط لديه لإلغاء قرار إبادة قومها.

– تقول المصادر الإعلامية الروسية إن الرئيس بوتين وضع الزائرين التركي و«الإسرائيلي» أمام حقيقة التعاون الروسي الإيراني والثقة الروسية بالعلاقة مع إيران وحزب الله، داعياً إلى الاقتناع بأن الحل السياسي في سورية وعودة الدولة السورية القوية رغم مرارته وقسوته على الضيفين هو أقل الخسائر التي يمكن أن تحدث لأن البديل هو، دولة سورية ممنوعة من السيطرة على كامل ترابها الوطني، بقوة التدخّلات الخارجية، فلها حق منح بعضاً من جغرافيتها بالمقابل لآخرين يسببون الإزعاج لمن يزعجها، وكلّما مرّ الزمن تجذّرت التغييرات وصار إنهاؤها اشد صعوبة. ومثلما السير بالتسوية مخاطرة لأن الدولة السورية قد تقرّر تعزيز علاقتها بإيران وحزب الله، فالسير العكسي مخاطرة أكبر، لأن مناطق سيطرة الأكراد ستتجذّر ومثلها ستنشأ مناطق مشابهة يتواجد فيها الإيرانيون بحرية أكبر ومناطق يتجذر فيها حزب الله أكثر، ويبقى قيام الدولة المسؤولة عن الأمن في كامل بلادها الخيار الأقل مخاطرة.

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Will Saudi Arabia be saved and will Turkey fall? هل تنجو السعودية وتقع تركيا؟

مارس 14, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It seemed that since the Turkish positioning after the battle of Aleppo and the launch of Astana path Ankara knew how to play its cards at the appropriate time, how to stop at the expected Russian US intersection, and how to arrange its cards quietly with Russia as an active regional partner, depending on being the traditional ally of America in the NATO. Because the table has one left seat from the opposite bank of Iran in the region, Turkey rushed to the Russian-Turkish-Iranian tripartite meeting and presented it as a new reference for the new Middle East, but when the new US administration stumbled through its proceeding toward Russia, as was suggested by the enthusiasm of the President Donald Trump for the resolving of ISIS. Ankara stopped its movement and positioned at the line of escalation against Iran in order to keep up with the US discourse. Through Geneva Talks it tried to pass the time waiting for the effective US movement according to timing of Washington not the timing of Moscow. As the Turkish acceleration was towards Astana path to get Saudi Arabia out of the parallel seat to Iran, as the coup was on Astana through the visit of the Turkish President to Saudi Arabia to rehabilitate it and to give it its status.

Turkey found itself in a deadlock after the battle of Al –Bab which it waged for its own account and without the knowledge of Moscow and the promised pledges, in an attempt to bypass what is supposed to be done by the Syrian army after the battle of Aleppo, in addition to its coup on Astana path, so the Turks found that the Syrian army is preceding them in Al Bab towards the lines of the deployment of the Kurdish forces and leaving them alone, making a primary barrier between them and the units that belong to the Turks as the militias of the Shield of Euphrates which descendant of Wahhabi origins as branches of Al-Qaeda organization that work under the banner of Ankara, which are not reassured neither by the Russians nor the Americans. The Syrian army blocked the way which was drawn by the Turkish President in order to enter Raqaa across Manbej in front of Turkey as a temptation for the Americans to give him the green light to enter Manbej and getting the Kurds out of it. The Kurds announced their demand of the deployment of units from the Syrian army in many demarcation villages in which the Kurds live. The events occurred quickly and Turkey became in isolation unable to move forward in the battle of Manbej, after Russia and America became on the line directly, and it is unable to participate in the war on ISIS despite its losses when it announced the war on the organization which it sponsored and thinking that it is enough credentials for the Americans to sell it the Kurds. Despite the meeting of the chiefs of staff of America, Russia and Turkey the Turkish discourse is still escalating against the Kurds. Turkey seems on the eve of the visit of its President to Moscow in a state of embarrassment and in front of difficult choices.

In coincidence with the Turkish confusion, Saudi Arabia succeeds in recapturing its status at the Americans contrary to the Presidential speech during the elections. The new administration seems that it handed over the regional policies to the tripartite; the Pentagon, CIA, and the diplomacy which the Saudis have considerations and effects on them. Saudi Arabia has surpassed through surprising indicators the escalated relationship with Iran which is still in its beginning, but it is meaningful. In conjunction with the announcement of the return of the peaceful endeavors to solve the crisis in Yemen, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Jayad Zarif visits Doha announcing a successful visit for the sake of Iranian-Gulf dialogue, and the Advisor of the Foreign Ministry Hussein Sheikh Al Islam who is closer to the decision –makers announced his optimism regarding the results of the talks of Iran’s resumption of its participation in the next pilgrimage season.

Will Turkey and Saudi Arabia exchange the seats once again?

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

هل تنجو السعودية وتقع تركيا؟

مارس 10, 2017

ناصر قنديل
– منذ التموضع التركي بعد معركة حلب وانطلاق مسار أستانة بدا أن أنقرة عرفت كيف تلعب أوراقها في التوقيت المناسب، وتقف عند التقاطع الروسي الأميركي المتوقع، وترتّب أوراقها بهدوء مع روسيا كشريك إقليمي فاعل، وتنطلق من كونها في الناتو حليفاً تقليدياً لأميركا، ولأن الطاولة تنتظر مقعداً واحداً من الضفة المقابلة لإيران في المنطقة، سارعت تركيا لاجتماع موسكو الثلاثي الروسي التركي الإيراني وتقديمه كمرجعية جديدة للشرق الأوسط الجديد، وعندما تعثرت الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة في تقدمها نحو روسيا كما كانت توحي حماسة الرئيس دونالد ترامب للحسم مع داعش، فرملت أنقرة حركتها وتموضعت على خط التصعيد بوجه إيران لتتماشى مع الخطاب الأميركي وتلاقيه، وسعت في محادثات جنيف لتمرير الوقت بانتظار الحركة الأميركية الفاعلة، وفقاً لتوقيت واشنطن لا توقيت موسكو، وبمثل ما كان الإسراع التركي نحو مسار أستانة إخراجاً للسعودية من مقعد اللاعب الموازي لإيران، كان الانقلاب على أستانة من منبر زيارة الرئيس التركي للسعودية ليردّ لها الاعتبار والمكانة.

– وجدت تركيا نفسها في مأزق كبير بعد معركة الباب التي خاضتها لحسابها ومن وراء ظهر حسابات موسكو والتعهّدات المقطوعة لها، وفي محاولة تجاوز لما يفترض أن يقوم به الجيش السوري هناك بعد حلب، هذا عدا عن انقلابها على مسار أستانة، فاستفاق الأتراك على الجيش السوري يتخطاهم في الباب ويتركهم بداخلها متقدماً نحو خطوط انتشار القوى الكردية، مقيماً حاجزاً أولياً بينهم وبين الوحدات التابعة للأتراك من ميليشات درع الفرات، المتحدّرة من أصول وهابية كتفرعات لتنظيم القاعدة تعمل تحت لواء أنقرة، والتي لا يطمئن لها الروس والأميركيون، وأغلقت على تركيا الطريق عبر منبج التي رسمها الرئيس التركي لدخول الرقة كإغراء للأميركيين لمنحه الضوء الأخضر لدخول منبج وإخراج الأكراد منها، فقد أعلن الأكراد مطالبتهم بنشر وحدات للجيش السوري في عديد من قرى التماس التي يوجد فيها الأكراد، وتدحرجت الأحداث لتجد تركيا أنها في عزلة، عاجزة عن المضي قدماً في معركة منبج وقد صارت روسيا وأميركا على الخط مباشرة، وعاجزة عن المشاركة في الحرب على داعش رغم ما تكبّدته من خسائر بإعلان الحرب على التنظيم الذي رعته وفي ظنّها أنها أوراق اعتماد كافية لدى الأميركيين ليبيعوها رأس الأكراد. ورغم اجتماع رؤساء الأركان الأميركي والروسي والتركي لا يزال الخطاب التركي تصعيدياً ضد الأكراد، وتبدو تركيا عشية زيارة رئيسها إلى موسكو في وضع حرج وأمام خيارات صعبة.

– بالتزامن مع الارتباك التركي تنجح السعودية باسترداد مكانتها عند الأميركيين خلافاً للخطاب الرئاسي خلال الانتخابات. فالإدارة الجديدة تبدو قد سلمت السياسات الإقليمية لثلاثي البنتاغون والـ»سي أي أيه» والدبلوماسية، التي يحتفظ السعوديون بحسابات وتأثيرات فيها وعليها، وتخطّت السعودية بمؤشرات لافتة العلاقة التصعيدية مع إيران التي لا تزال في بداياتها، لكنها ذات معنى. فبالتزامن يعلن عن عودة المساعي السلمية لحل الأزمة في اليمن، ويزور وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف الدوحة معلناً عن زياترة ناجحة لحوار إيراني خليجي إيجابي، ويعلن مستشار وزارة الخارجية حسين شيخ الإسلام القريب من مصادر القرار عن التفاؤل بنتائج مباحثات استئناف إيران مشاركتها في موسم الحج المقبل.

– هل تتبادل تركيا والسعودية المقاعد مجدداً؟

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Erdogan: The Sultan Of An Illusionary Ottoman Empire

Global Research, March 09, 2017
Erdogan-turquie

This is the fourth and last in a series of articles based in part on eyewitness accounts about the rapidly deteriorating socio-political conditions in Turkey and what the future may hold for the country. The first, second and third articles are available here: First, Second, Third.

In many conversations and encounters I had over the years with former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, he emphatically echoed his boss President Erdogan’s grandiose vision that by 2023 (the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic), Turkey will become as powerful and influential as the Ottoman Empire was during its heyday. Under the best of circumstances, Turkey cannot realize Erdogan’s far-fetched dream. Had he stayed the course, however, with his socio-political and judiciary reforms and economic developments, as he had during his first nine years in power, Turkey could have become a major player on the global stage and a regional powerhouse.

Sadly, Erdogan abandoned much of the impressive democratic reforms he championed, and embarked upon a systematic Islamization of the country while dismantling the pillars of democracy. He amassed unprecedented powers and transformed Turkey from a democratic to an autocratic country, ensuring that he has the last word on all matters of state.

In retrospect, it appears that Erdogan had never committed himself to a democratic form of government. The reforms he undertook during his first nine years in power were largely induced by the European Union’s requirements from any country seeking membership, which he exploited as a means by which to propel himself toward his ultimate goal. A quote attributed to him in 1999 describes precisely what his real intentions were from the day he rose to power. “Democracy” he said, “is like a bus, when you arrive at your destination, you step off.”

His role model is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (meaning “Father of the Turks”), who founded the Turkish Republic in 1923.  Both share similar personal attributes as they sought to lead the nation with an iron fist while disregarding any separation of power. However, Atatürk was determined to establish a Westernized secular democratic state while Erdogan went in the opposite direction.

Erdogan steadily moved to create a theocracy where Islamic tradition and values reign supreme while assuming Atatürk’s image, which is revered by most Turks. Erdogan presents himself as one who leads with determination and purpose, generating power from his popular support, ultimately seeking to replace Atatürk; with the new amendments to the constitution, he will be endowed with powers even greater than Atatürk ever held.

With his growing popularity and most impressive economic growth, Erdogan successfully created the status of a strong and resolute leader—the “father” of a new Turkish Republic—and artfully penetrated the consciousness of the Turkish public while using Islam as the undisputed pathway that will lead Turkey to greatness. He is determined to preside at the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic over a powerful nation among the top ten largest global economies and that extends its influence East and West, akin to the prodigious influence that the Ottoman Empire enjoyed.

To realize his grand vision, Erdogan took several measures to consolidate his absolute power.

First, clearing the way: Erdogan embarked on the complete marginalization or elimination of anyone, in and outside the ruling AK Party, that challenged his authority or advanced new ideas for solving the country’s problems. Those who did not support his policies and dared to question his judgment were not spared. He resorted to conspiracy theories, accusing his political opponents of being enemies of the state aiming to topple his government, in order to continue unopposed to realize his vision for the country, analogous to the influence and outreach of the Ottoman Empire. He even fired his long-time friend and confidant Davutoglu because Davutoglu differed from him in connection with the Kurdish problem, and especially because of Davutoglu’s reluctance to support the constitutional amendments that will grant the president sweeping and unprecedented powers.

Second, the need for a culprit: Erdogan needed a scapegoat to blame for any of his shortcomings, and found the Gulen movement to be the perfect culprit that would provide him with the cover to overshadow the massive corruption that has swept his government. This also provided him with the “justification” to crack down on many social, political, and institutional entities, silencing the media, controlling the judiciary, and subordinating the military.

The aftermath of the attempted military coup in July 2016 gave him the ammunition to conduct a society-wide witch-hunt, providing him with the excuse to purge tens of thousands of people from academia, civil society, judiciary, military, and internal security. This has allowed him to assume total control of all departments in the government and private sector. He described his purge as a necessary evil to cleanse the public of the ‘cancer’ that has gripped the country. In so doing, he ensured that the political system revolves around the presidency, leaving him completely unchallenged to pursue his imperial dream to resurrect the stature of the Ottoman Empire as the country prepares to vote in the constitutional referendum on April 16.

Third, the creation of Ottoman symbolism: To project his grandiose vision, Erdogan needed to instill Ottoman images into the public consciousness, including the building of a 1,100-room ‘White Palace’ as his residence at a prohibitive cost to taxpayers. His most recent project was the Çamlica Mosque, the now-largest mosque in Istanbul, standing on the eponymous hill that overlooks the entire city.

Recently, Erdogan started the construction of another mosque in Taksim Square—once the site of the fiercest protests against Erdogan in his career—with all the style of the Ottoman era. Erdogan has even instructed that the national anthem be played on modified drums and brass instruments to make the music sound as if it were being played by bands of the Ottoman period. His purpose is to indoctrinate the public in a subliminal way to his perspective of the glorious Ottoman period.

Fourth, foreign policy assertiveness: Under Erdogan, Turkey has become increasingly assertive and forceful in the region. In Cyprus, he is determined to strike a deal largely on his terms. In Iraq, he placed Turkish troops over the objections of the Iraqi government to maintain his ruthless war against the Kurds. In Syria, he allowed thousands of foreign fighters, including many who have joined ISIS, to cross the border to strengthen the anti-Assad fight, while fighting the Syrian Kurds to prevent them from establishing their own autonomous rule, fearing that the Turkish Kurds would also demand autonomous rule of their own.

Erdogan further promoted the policy of “zero problem with neighbors,” and although presently Turkey has problems with just about every neighbor (and its prospective EU membership has completely diminished), he continues to claim that Turkey enjoys good relations internationally. Erdogan still uses Turkey’s membership in NATO as a sign of greatness; the fact that Turkey has the second-largest number of ground troops in  NATO reinforces his illusion that Ankara enjoys unrivaled military prowess in the region and commands the respect and attention of the international community that the Ottoman Empire was accorded.

Fifth, promoting Islam as a powerful tool: Erdogan is also using Sunni Islam to promote the country as a republic with Islamic ideals supported by a loyal state apparatus. He portrays himself as the leader of the Sunni world that would restore the Ottoman era of influence while cementing his authoritarian rule in the form of a neo-Sultan. To be sure, Erdogan is vigorously promoting – with the support of his party – Islamic nationalism systematically and meticulously. Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish analyst of politics and culture and author of the new book The Islamic Jesus says that “political propaganda is in your face every day, every single moment. If you turn on TV, if you open newspapers…”

Former Prime Minister Davutoglu said in 2015 that Turkey “will re-found the Ottoman state.” Although Davutoglu was fired, he—like most Turkish officials—depicts the government as the rightful heir of the Ottoman legacy. To that end, Erdogan uses Islam as the unifying theme that would propel Turkey to the greatness that the Ottoman Empire enjoyed. In fact, Turkish religious leaders have always thought of themselves as the standard-bearer of Islamic civilization, and though this failed with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, to them it must now be corrected. As they would have it, “Turks once again should lead the ummah [Islamic community] as the new Ottomans.”

Sadly, Erdogan, who is still seen as a hero by nearly half of the Turkish population, is leading the country on a treacherous path. Turkey and its people have the resources, creativity, and institutions to make Turkey a significant power. Erdogan, who demonstrated an uncanny ability to harness his country’s natural and human resources, could have made Turkey such a power on the global stage. Indeed, he would have been the Atatürk of the new era had he simply continued with his historic reforms while protecting the rights of every individual and creating a real model of Islamic democracy.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire was largely precipitated, among other things, by its internal political decadence, the arbitrary exercising of power, and gross violations of human rights that dramatically eroded the foundation on which the empire was built.

In whichever form Erdogan wants to resurrect the Ottoman Empire, he will fail because no country can survive, let alone become great, as long as the government walks on the backs of the people and stifles their freedom to act, speak, and dream.

There is where the greatness of any nation rests and endures—the Ottoman Empire never provided a model worthy of such emulation.

 

Syria – Erdogan’s Lost Bet – Trump Likely To Follow A Cautious Strategy

By Moon Of Alabama

March 02, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  “Moon Of Alabama” – The last Syria thread noted:

South of Al-Bab the Syrian army is moving towards the Euphrates. It will cut off the Turkish forces path to Raqqa and Manbij.

That move concluded. The Turkish invasion forces are now blocked from moving further south. They would have to fight the Syrian army and their Russian allies to move directly onto Raqqa. They would have to fight the Syrian-Kurdish YPG and its U.S. allies to move further east.

For the first time since the start of the war the supply lines between Turkey and the Islamic State are cut off!
map by Peto Lucem bigger
map by South Front bigger

Erdogan is still hoping for U.S. support for his plans for Raqqa but I doubt that the U.S. military is willing to give up on their well regarded Kurdish proxies in exchange for an ill disciplined Turkish army in general disarray and with little fighting spirit. Erdogan removed any and all officers and NCOs that he perceived as not being 100% behind his power grab. That has now come back to haunt him. He is lacking the military means to pursue his belligerent policies.

Last year Erdogan had allied with Russia and Iran after a (U.S. supported?) coup attempt against him failed. He felt left alone by the U.S. and its reluctance to support his plans in Syria. After Trump was elected Erdogan perceived a coming change in U.S. policies. He exposed himself as the ultimate turncoat and switched back to a U.S. alliance. His believe in a change of U.S. policy drives his latest moves and announcements.

Elijah Magnier reports that his sources in Damascus have the same impression of Trump as Erdogan. They believe that Trump will strongly escalate in Syria and will support the Turkish moves against the Syrian state.

But it is the U.S. military that drives the strategy in the Trump cabinet. The Pentagon has no appetite for a big ground operation in Syria. The plan it offered Trump is still the same plan that it offered under Obama. It will work with Kurdish forces to defeat the Islamic State in Raqqa. Notable is also that a director of the Pentagon financed think tank RAND Corp publicly argues for better cooperation with Russia in Syria. The old RAND plan of a decentralized Syrian with zones under “international administration” (i.e. U.S. occupied) is probably no longer operative.

Recently Erdogan announced that his next move in Syria would be to towards Manbij, held by the YPK. Shortly thereafter pictures of U.S. troops in Manbij displaying U.S. flags were published on social networks. The message was clear: stay away from here or you will be in serious trouble.

On Monday planes from the Iraqi air force attacked Islamic State positions within eastern Syria. The attack followed from intelligence cooperation between Syria and Iraq. It is easier for Iraq to reach that area than for Syrian planes stationed near the Mediterranean. This cooperation will continue. In western Iraq militia integrated with the Iraqi military are ready to storm Tal Afar. This is besides the besieged Mosul the last big Islamic State position in the area. The U.S. had planned to let the Islamic State fighters flee from Mosul and Tal Afar towards Syrian and to let them take the Syrian government positions in Deir Ezzor. Syrian-Iraqi cooperation blocked that move. The U.S. attempt to separate the war on the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq failed. Any attempt to again use the Islamic State as a means to destroy Syria will meet resistance in Iraq where the U.S. is more and more engaged. U.S. commanders in Iraq will be well aware of that threat.

In my opinion Trump’s more belligerent remarks on Syria, on safe zones and military escalation, are rhetoric. They are his negotiation positions towards Russia and Iran. They are not his policies. Those are driven by more realistic positions. Obama balanced more hawkish views supported by the CIA, Hillary Clinton and the neoconservatives against reluctance in the military to engage in another big war. Trump will, even more than Obama, follow the Pentagon’s view. That view seems to be unchanged. I therefore do not believe that aggressive escalation is the way Trump will go. Some additional U.S. troops may get added to the Kurdish forces attacking Raqqa. But any large move by Turkish or by Israeli forces will not be condoned. The big U.S. invasion of Syria in their support will not happen.

Meanwhile the Syrian army is moving on Palmyra and may soon retrieve it from the Islamic State. A new Russian trained unit, the 5th corps, is in the lead and so far makes a good impression. With Palmyra regained the Syrian army is free to move further east towards Raqqa and Deir Ezzor.

Erdogan may still get some kind of “safe zone” in the area in north Syrian his forces now occupy. But Damascus will support Kurdish and Arab guerilla forces against any Turkish occupation. The Turkish forces in Syria will continue to be in a lot of trouble. Erdogan will not get active U.S. support for further moves to capture Syrian land. His change of flags, twice, was useless and has severely diminished his standing.

Netanyahoo and the Israel lobby also want a “safe zone”. This one in south Syria and under Jordanian command. This would allow Israel to occupy more Syrian land along the Golan heights. But the areas next to the Golan and towards Deera are occupied by al-Qaeda and Islamic State aligned group. These groups are a serious danger for the unstable Jordanian state. There is nothing to win for Jordan in any “safe zone” move. Likewise the U.S. military will have no interest in opening another can of worms in south Syria. Like Erdogan Netanyahoo will likely be left alone with his dreams.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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Syria towards the resolving سورية إلى الحسم

 Syria towards the resolving 

فبراير 28, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Syria has endured a lot of the pressure of its people and their boredom of the cruelty of going on into political process that will end with the participation of hired killers in a government that rules the country, establishes a new constitution, participates in the elections, and gets number of seats by the force of money, media, and the external support, so that qualifies it to participate in a government of a national unity and reconciliation after the elections. That was because the Syrian state is keen to abide by the credibility of its vision to the war on Syria as a war that must be confined with the terrorist formations on one hand, and as an external war that used Syrian pleas  on the other hand, but when the circumstances of its end become mature due to the despair  of the abroad from achieving its goals, then it is not possible to stop the war without granting this abroad which most of it are superpowers led by America what can face -saving and what can facilitate the retreat behind saying that the Syrian embassies were closed and the sanctions on Syria were imposed in order to support a local opposition, but as long as the reconciliation has been settled with this opposition and there was a Syrian  unified government, so we will deal with it and we will accept what is accepted by the Syrians after the elections.

It was noticeable in the positive dealing of the Syrian state with the political initiatives, which are led by Russia “the allied country” which stands with Syria with its full force, without hesitation and has endured intense pressures but has not changed what is worthy from Syria according to what is represented by the political process as an importance in making its role at the international level. So in many times the Syrian state was responding to the Russian endeavors of announcing a truce or to start a dialogue, although Syria saw that it is in vain but it trusts that the Russian allies will conclude that through the experience. This has happened a year ago with the endeavors of the truce, and when it gave the armed factions which fought in Aleppo with Al Nusra front an opportunity to improve its situation under the Turkish cover, and when it was driven to Astana after dismantling its relation with Al Nusra and the repositioning under the umbrella of the political solution. The Syrian state looks at these factions as the same composition of Al Nusra and ISIS, but it meets the invitations and responds to the calls leaving the matters to the realities which will say the final word.

Syria was not deceived by the Turkish repositioning, it remained looking at it with the logic of acts and the law as a foreign occupation, but it granted the Russian endeavors their opportunity to modify the Turkish performance in a conformity with the requirements of the recognition of the Syrian legitimacy, and the respect of the international law standards in the sovereign relations between the countries. Syria has done that when it sent the positive messages to what was announced by the administration of the US President Donald Trump about his intention on making the priority of the war on terrorism and building his alliances and disputes on that basis, criticizing what was announced by the previous administration  as the war on Syria, he disclosed its role in launching ISIS and bringing the fighters of Al-Qaeda organization to Syria, but the Syrian country has heard statements not deeds, it feels that the new US administration is wandering among the issues and mazes, so it is difficult to expect qualitative steps that will contribute in changing the Syrian scene.

The US reluctance and the Turkish tampering intersect with the malice of the factions, while the desire of Saudi Arabia is to keep the war ignited, while Al Nusra front emerges again as a leader of the factions. Turkey takes the position of quarrelsome and sabotage contrary to the promises and pledges, so the truce becomes fragile in more than one front, the factions follow Al Nusra supported by the Turkish Saudi coordination and maybe the Israeli. America which is in a state of confusion and chaos is preoccupied with how to reassure the ally Benjamin Netanyahu that he is not alone and that he will be supported by Washington in all the criminality and the aggression. This is the new priority of Washington.

What is going on in the northeast of Syria around Al Bab city and near the capital Damascus in Qaboun, Jobar, and Harasta, and in Daraa, in addition to what is issued as statements by the nominations of the opposition which stem from Riyadh Conference about the Dialogue Conference in Geneva, and from the armed factions about the relation with Al Nusra front show that Syria is on a date with a round of confrontation for many forthcoming months, which means that the resolving will be the choice of the Syrian country to deal with the next phase.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

سورية إلى الحسم

فبراير 21, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– تحمّلت الدولة السورية الكثير من ضغوط شعبها وتململه من قسوة السير بعملية سياسية ستنتهي بمشاركة قتلة مأجورين في حكومة تدير البلد وتضع دستوراً جديداً وتشارك في الانتخابات، وتحصل على عدد من المقاعد بقوة المال والإعلام والدعم الخارجي ما يخوّلها المشاركة في حكومة وحدة وطنية ومصالحة بعد الانتخابات، وذلك حرصاً من الدولة السورية على الالتزام بمصداقية نظرتها للحرب على سورية كحرب يجب حصرها بالتشكيلات الإرهابية من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة كحرب خارجية استعملت واجهات سورية، وعندما تنضج ظروف وقفها بيأس هذا الخارج من تحقيق أهدافه، لا يمكن التطلع لوقف الحرب بغير منح هذا الخارج، وهو في غالبه دول عظمى تتقدّمها أميركا، ما يحفظ ماء الوجه ويسهّل التراجع عبر الاختباء وراء القول أُغلقت السفارات السورية وفُرضت العقوبات على سورية لدعم معارضة محلية، وطالما تمّت المصالحة مع هذه المعارضة وتشكلت حكومة سورية موحّدة فسنتعاطى معها وبعد الانتخابات نرتضي ما يقرّره السوريون.

– كان حاضراً في التعامل الإيجابي للدولة السورية مع المبادرات السياسية أن في طليعة مَن يقودها روسيا الدولة الحليفة التي وقفت مع سورية بكل قوة وبلا تردّد وتحملت ضغوطاً شديدة ولم تتغيّر، ما يستحق من سورية مبادلة روسيا ما تمثله العملية السياسية من أهمية في صناعة دورها على المستوى العالمي. ولذلك كانت الدولة السورية في مرات كثيرة تستجيب لمساعٍ روسية لإعلان هدنة أو لبدء حوار وهي لا ترى منها جدوى، وتثق بأن الحلفاء الروس سيصلون عبر التجربة للاستنتاج ذاته. وهذا ما حدث قبل عام مع مساعي الهدنة، وما حدث بطريقة أخرى في منح الفرصة للفصائل المسلحة التي قاتلت في حلب مع جبهة النصرة ليتم تبييضها تحت الجناح التركي وتؤخذ إلى أستانة وتقوم بقطع صلتها بالنصرة والتموضع تحت مظلة الحل السياسي، والدولة السورية تنظر لهذه الفصائل كجزء من العجين ذاته الذي خبزت منه النصرة وداعش، لكنها تلبي الدعوات وتستجيب للنداءات وتترك المجال للوقائع تقول الكلمة الفصل.

– لم تنخدع سورية بالتموضع التركي وبقيت تنظر إليه بمنطق الأفعال والقانون كاحتلال أجنبي، لكنها منحت المساعي الروسية فرصتها لتعديل الأداء التركي، بما ينسجم مع مقتضيات الاعتراف بالشرعية السورية واحترام معايير القانون الدولي في العلاقات السيادية بين الدول. وكذلك فعلت سورية مع إرسال الرسائل الإيجابية نحو ما أعلنته إدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب عن عزمه وضع الأولوية للحرب على الإرهاب، وبناء تحالفاته وخصوماته على هذا الأساس، منتقداً ما قامت به الإدارة السابقة من إعلان الحرب على سورية وفاضحاً دورها في إطلاق تنظيم داعش وجلب مقاتلي تنظيم القاعدة إلى سورية. لكن الدولة السورية سمعت أقوالاً ولم تر أفعالاً، بل تستشعر غرقاً للإدارة الأميركية الجديدة في ملفات ومتاهات ستجعل من الصعب توقع خطوات نوعية تسهم في تغيير المشهد السوري.

– التباطؤ الأميركي والعبث التركي يتقاطعان مع خبث الفصائل، ومن حلفهم رغبة السعودية ببقاء نار الحرب مشتعلة. وتتصدّر جبهة النصرة المشهد وتظهر مجدداً كقائد للفصائل، وتنتقل تركيا لموقع المشاكسة والتخريب، خلافاً للوعود والتعهّدات، فتترنّح الهدنة في أكثر من جبهة، وتصطف الفصائل وراء النصرة ومن خلفها يعود التنسيق التركي السعودي، والإسرائيلي ليس بعيداً، والأميركي في حال التشوّش والارتباك منشغل في كيف يطمئن الحليف بنيامين نتنياهو بأنه ليس وحيداً وأن واشنطن معه في كل الإجرام والعدوان، لتبدو هذه هي الأولوية الجديدة لواشنطن.

– ما يجري في شمال شرق سورية حول مدينة الباب وجوار العاصمة دمشق في القابون وجوبر وحرستا وفي درعا، وما يصدر من مواقف لمسمّيات المعارضة المنبثقة من مؤتمر الرياض حول مؤتمر الحوار في جنيف، وعن الفصائل المسلحة حول العلاقة بجبهة النصرة، يقول إن سورية على موعد مع جولة مواجهة لشهور مقبلة، ما يعني أن الحسم سيكون وصفة الدولة السورية للتعامل مع المرحلة المقبلة.

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