The new geopolitics: Cairo and Paris instead of Ankara and Riyadh الجغرافيا السياسيّة الجديدة القاهرة وباريس بدلاً من أنقرة والرياض

The new geopolitics: Cairo and Paris instead of Ankara and Riyadh

Written by Nasser Kandil,

     During the past ten years, the region as entitled by the Americans the Great Middle East has witnessed major transformations where wars were the decisive element in them. The wars on Syria and Yemen were the most important tests of the balances of power, because the American project which aims at imposing hegemony on the region through weakening the resistance axis especially Iran and distancing Russia and China away from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea puts into consideration after the failed wars of Afghanistan and Iraq and the failed wars of Israel on Lebanon and Gaza that the wars by proxy will made out of its allies partners in the new regional system. It was clear during the past years that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have supported America whether in cooperation or alternation or competition, but it was clear too that the Mediterranean was a Turkish mission while the Gulf and the Red Sea were Saudi-Emirati mission. This means that waging a war on Syria under Turkish leadership and a war on Yemen under Saudi leadership. Meanwhile America and Israel continue the military and political intervention and maneuvers when needed without getting involved in open confrontations.

     The early months of this year 2020 witnessed a number of developments, starting from the American assassination of the two commanders Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, followed by the announcement of the Deal of the Century, opening pending governmental issues in Lebanon and Iraq, and the American understanding with Taliban Movement which included an American commitment of withdrawal. The decisive battles in Syria and Yemen showed that this year is the year of reaping, the year of resolving and determining options. This is can be deduced by linking what is done by America itself not by proxy. Therefore, it becomes clear that the goal of assassination and the Deal of the Century is to prepare for the withdrawal by breaking the link between staying in the region and the requirements of the security of Israel, and between securing these requirements through the assassination and the legislation of the annexation of the Palestinian territories and Juduazition and settlement, and ensuring the flow of money and weapons from Washington to Tel Aviv without restrictions that were before the deal of the century. What has been illegal before has become now legal; furthermore, the Palestinian geography in the occupied territories in 67 has become the way for the Israeli security after its barter for peace was the way for security.

     If the strategic axis of the American movement is the withdrawal as shown in the interconnected American steps, then the wars of proving eligibility from Syria to Yemen become necessary for each of Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Therefore this grants the battles waged by Turkey and Saudi Arabia this year in Syria and Yemen a different meaning from those waged in previous battles, and this grants the victories of Syria and the resistance axis especially Hezbollah on one hand and Ansar Allah and the Yemeni army on the other hand different meaning from the previous ones. This is the meaning of reading differently the geography of battles. With regard to the Saudi security the Yemenis succeeded in having control on the strategic province of Al Jawf, as the Syrians along with the resistance forces succeeded in defeating the Turkish army in Saraqib the strategic security knot according to Syria and Turkey. Therefore, the upcoming settlements become projects of face-saving for each of Saudi Arabia and Turkey as an interpretation of the regional failure.

     In the axis of the alliance with Washington, and in the time of defeat those who were out of the range of war will have role as Egypt and France. Egypt which considers well the Saudi considerations did not accept to participate in the war on Yemen and it maintained its relationship with Syria especially in confronting the Turkish and Muslim Brotherhood danger. France which works under the American policies has shown a different approach towards Iran and Hezbollah in the main issues of the nuclear file and the dealing with the Lebanese government. At the time of the preparation for the American withdrawal, America becomes in more need of those who can deal with the opponents. So, this grants Egypt and France different advanced roles in the upcoming stage especially because Israel is living in a state of strategic confusion that goes beyond the inability to fight wars, to the extent of the inability of running politics which repeated its elections for the third time and still unable to form a government, and if it does so it will not be able to take the initiative due to the fragility of its political and military situation.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

الجغرافيا السياسيّة الجديدة: القاهرة وباريس بدلاً من أنقرة والرياض

ناصر قنديل

– خلال عشر سنوات عرفت المنطقة التي يسمّيها الأميركيون بالشرق الأوسط الكبير تحوّلات كبرى، كانت الحروب هي العنصر الفاصل فيها، وشكلت الحرب على سورية والحرب على اليمن الاختبارات الأهم لموازين القوى، حيث المشروع الأميركي الهادف لفرض الهيمنة على المنطقة، عبر إضعاف وترويض محور المقاومة وقاعدته إيران، وإبعاد روسيا والصين عن مياه البحر الأبيض المتوسط، يضع في حسابه بعد حربي أفغانستان والعراق الفاشلتين، وحروب «إسرائيل» الفاشلة على لبنان وغزة، أن حروب الوكالة التي سيتولاها حلفاؤه، هي التي ستصنع منهم شركاء في النظام الإقليمي الجديد، وكان واضحاً خلال السنوات التي مضت أن تركيا والسعودية قد شكلتا ميمنة الأميركيّ وميسرته، سواء بالتعاون أو بالتناوب أو بالتنافس، لكن كان واضحاً أيضاً أن البحر المتوسط مهمة تركية، والخليج والبحر الأحمر مهمة سعودية إماراتية. وهذا يعني خوض حرب سورية بقيادة تركية، وحرب اليمن بقيادة سعودية، فيما يواصل الأميركي والإسرائيلي التدخل والمناورة العسكرية والسياسية حسب الحاجة، لكن من دون التورط في مواجهات مفتوحة.

– شهدت الشهور الأولى من هذا العام 2020 جملة من التطورات، بدأت باغتيال الأميركيين للقائدين في محور المقاومة قاسم سليماني وأبي مهدي المهندس، وتلاها الإعلان عن صفقة القرن، وتلاهما فتح ملفات حكومية معلقة في لبنان والعراق، والتفاهم الأميركي مع حركة طالبان وما تضمنه من التزام أميركي بالانسحاب، وجاءت المعارك المفصلية في سورية واليمن، لتقول جميعها إن هذا العام هو عام الحصاد، وعام حسم الاتجاهات، وبلورة الخيارات، وهو ما يمكن استنتاجه من الربط بين ما فعلته واشنطن بأيديها وليس بواسطة الوكلاء، أي اغتيال القادة وصفقة القرن والانسحاب من أفغانستان، ليصير بائناً أن هدف الاغتيال وصفقة القرن هو التمهيد للانسحاب، عبر فك الارتباط بين البقاء في المنطقة ومقتضيات أمن “إسرائيل”، وتأمين هذه المقتضيات عبر الاغتيال وتشريع عمليات ضم الأراضي الفلسطينية وعمليات التهويد والاستيطان، وضمان تدفق المال والسلاح من واشنطن إلى تل أبيب، دون قيود كانت تترتب على هذه العمليات قبل صفقة القرن، بحيث بات شرعياً بعدها ما كان غير قانوني قبلها، وصارت الجغرافيا الفلسطينية في الأراضي المحتلة عام 67 أداة الأمن الإسرائيلي، بعدما كانت مقايضتها بالسلام هي الطريق للأمن.

– إذا كان المحور الاستراتيجي للحركة الأميركيّة هو الاتجاه للانسحاب، كما تقول الخطوات الأميركية المترابطة، تصير حروب إثبات الأهلية على نيل الوكالة، من سورية إلى اليمن، امتحانات العبور الضرورية لكل من تركيا والسعودية. وهذا ما يمنح المعارك التي خاضتها تركيا في سورية والسعودية في اليمن هذا العام، مضموناً مختلفاً عن معارك الأعوام السابقة، وما يمنح انتصارات سورية وقوى المقاومة وعلى رأسها حزب الله من جهة وأنصار الله والجيش اليمني من جهة مقابلة، معاني مختلفة عن الانتصارات السابقة. وهذا ما يفرض القراءة لجغرافيا المعارك بعيون مختلفة، فقد نجح اليمنيون بالسيطرة على محافظة الجوف الاستراتيجية بالنسبة للأمن السعودي، بمثل ما نجح السوريون وقوى المقاومة بكسر الجيش التركي في سراقب عقدة الأمن الاستراتيجي لسورية وتركيا معاً، بحيث باتت التسويات المقبلة مشاريع حفظ ماء الوجه لكل من السعوديّ والتركيّ، لكن على قاعدة الفشل الإقليميّ.

– في معسكر التحالف مع واشنطن، يتقدّم عند الهزيمة موقع الذين كانوا خارج الحرب. وهذا هو حال كل من مصر وفرنسا، فمصر التي تراعي الحسابات السعودية كثيراً، لم ترتضي المشاركة في حرب اليمن وحافظت على علاقاتها مع سورية بعناية، خصوصاً في مواجهة الخطر التركي والأخواني، وفرنسا التي تعمل تحت سقف السياسات الأميركية عموماً أظهرت مقاربة مختلفة تجاه إيران وحزب الله في الملفين الرئيسيين، الملف النووي والتعامل مع الحكومة اللبنانية، وفي زمن التمهيد للانسحاب الأميركي تزداد حاجة واشنطن لمن يمكنهم التحدث مع الخصوم، ويصعد دور الذين يملكون قدرة بناء الجسور لا الجدران. وهذا ما يمنح لمصر وفرنسا أدواراً مختلفة ومتقدّمة في المرحلة المقبلة، خصوصاً أن “إسرائيل” في غرفة العناية الفائقة، فهي تعيش مرحلة ارتباك استراتيجي يتخطى العجز عن خوض الحروب، إلى حد العجز عن تسيير الآلة السياسية للكيان الذي يقوم بإعادة انتخاباته لمرة ثالثة ولا يزال عاجزاً عن تشكيل حكومة، وإن فعل فلن يستطيع الانتقال إلى المبادرة بسبب هشاشة وضعه السياسي والعسكري.

Orwellian Logic Of Corporate Censors & Government Budget Suckers

South Front

Over the past months, SouthFront, among other dissident media and analytical organizations, has been facing an increasing pressure.

In January and February, SouthFront Team became the target of a technical and media pressure campaign from Google because of our independent and critical coverage of the escalating US-Iranian conflict and its negative consequences for the stability of the Greater Middle East. (LINK 1LINK 2)

In March, it appeared that an independent point of view is now terrifying propaganda & censorship structures of the European Union. The developing economic crisis and coronavirus outbreak threw Europe in chaos, smashed the myth about the so-called Euro-Atlantic solidarity and demonstrated the failure of the EU bureaucracy to do something besides sucking budgets and selling sovereignty of European nations to the United States and the global capital. However, instead of facing the reality and starting to work to contain the real problems, EU budget suckers started searching enemies to blame for the disinformation about epic successes of Brussels in fighting against coronavirus.

The European External Action Service named southfront.org among key platforms providing ‘wrong coverage’ of the situation. The Orwellian logic of the European bureaucrats insists that if facts, real developments or history contradict their interests, they must be hidden, bury in oblivion or at least labeled enemy disinformation and propaganda.

In particular, SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence, was mentioned in a Deutsche Welle article on March 21, 2020. The article “Corona-Desinformation: immer dieselben Muster” mentions SouthFront even before huge-funded RT and Sputnik accusing our organization of spreading fake news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and alleging that SouthFront is a part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Click to see the full-size image

SouthFront cannot talk on behalf of RT or Sputniknews, but in our coverage, we rely on facts. If SouthFront provides some expert opinions, it always explains them using facts and logic.

It is interesting to note that since the declaration of the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic SouthFront has not criticized actions of European national governments (Germany, France, and even Italy). A couple of times we drew attention of the audience to too emotional actions of US President Donald Trump. On the other hand, we released several indeed critical articles about the internal political situation in Russia. In all articles mentioning the medical and pandemic situation, we were referring official scientific and medical centers: the Robert Koch Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Statale di Milano University as well as other official and respected bodies from Italy, Spain, Russia and other countries.

In response to this situation, SouthFront sent Deutsche Welle’s editorial staff the following email:

Greetings, Deutsche Welle’s editorial staff!

It has been brought to our attention that our international endeavour, SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence, was mentioned in a Deutsche Welle article on March 21, 2020.

The article “Corona-Desinformation: immer dieselben Muster” mentions SouthFront alongside with RT and Sputnik accusing our organization of spreading fake news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and alleging that SouthFront is a part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

This claim made by the article’s author is itself fake news, which is easy to confirm by taking a closer look at the articles and videos actually published on southfront.org. In its coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and social phenomena caused by it, SouthFront always references the sources of the data used. These are the Robert Koch Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as other official and respected bodies from Italy, Spain, Russia and other countries. SouthFront is used to see accusations that we are an Iranian or Russian mouthpiece regarding the Middle East agenda.

SouthFront has never claimed that the COVID-19 outbreak is a result of a conspiracy by  “global backstage elites” or that COVID-19 has been created artificially. Indeed, we shared opinions of Global Research and ZeroHedge on the topic: https://southfront.org/coronavirus-covid-19-made-in-china-or-made-in-america/https://southfront.org/the-real-umbrella-corp-wuhan-ultra-biohazard-lab-was-studying-the-worlds-most-dangerous-pathogens/ with all references to the sources of these opinions. The publishing of these two opinion pieces from other sources does not justify the assertion that SouthFront is itself making these claims. ZeroHedge and Global Research see SouthFront as an independent reliable partner because our relations are fully transparent and noncommercial.

SouthFront’s position is that various influence groups and powers, including Russia, are now using the COVID-19 outbreak to push their own agenda. Incidentally if SouthFront has criticized any official authorities in the framework of pandemic issues, it was in fact the Russian ones: https://southfront.org/while-the-world-is-in-disarray-covid-19-is-breaking-up-russia/https://southfront.org/russia-to-halt-flights-returning-its-citizens-from-abroad-as-tens-of-thousands-still-wait-evacuation/https://southfront.org/mandatory-lockdown-in-russia-is-extended-until-april-30/

SouthFront is an international, crowdfunded endeavor uniting people with various political views from more than a dozen countries. It receives no support from any governments and corporations. We rely only on a comprehensive co-working of our multiple proactive authors and volunteers, and a fact-checking control by our big international team. SouthFront is always open for a constructive dialogue.

The SouthFront team is united by the will to provide comprehensive analysis and independent coverage of key military, survival, political and security developments around the world.

We suppose that the decision to mention SouthFront in the aforementioned Deutsche Welle article was an oversight in that the author did not take the opportunity to check his facts through a closer look at SouthFront coverage. We would hope and do assume that this was not the result of someone directly wishing to harm our organization.

In the interests of professional journalism, we ask you to investigate this situation promptly and remove the fake information forthwith.

Sincerely yours,

SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence

On April 9, Facebook placed limits on SouthFront’s page due to activities that “don’t comply with Facebook’s policies.” Apparently, this is a first thing of a new wave of war on independent media carried out corporations and bureaucrats affiliated with the global elites.

Click to see the full-size image

We believe all these attacks, accusations and attempts to censor SouthFront are a strong signal that we  are on a right track. SouthFront steadily faces pressure and accusations regarding its coverage: the situation in the Middle East, the US-Iranian tensions, the US-Chinese global standoff, actions of the Russian foreign policy etc. Today, a new global issue appeared – the COVID-19 pandemic, and SouthFront is once again being targeted. This happens despite the fact that SouthFront provides a very careful coverage of the COVID-19 crisis based on facts. SouthFront understands the importance of the pandemic and social economic crisis caused by it.

Regardless of the challenges that we face, SouthFront will continue to do its best to provide you with an independent look at key military, security and political developments around the world.

IF YOU THINK THAT SOUTHFRONT’S WORK IS IMPORTANT, YOU CAN HELP OUR ENDEAVOUR TO STAY ALIVE BY YOUR DONATIONS:

PayPal

Account: southfront@list.ru

Click to donate

Click to donate

DonationAlerts

Donate via VISA, PayPal, Paysafecard, Bitcoin and other options.

CLICK TO DONATE

Tinypass (Piano)

This systems accepts all types of cards, PayPal, Amazon Payments, bitcoin (FAQ is under the main text, in P.S.)

You can subscribe for a monthly donation of $15 (or any another amount) OR make one time donation by clicking buttons below

Orwellian Logic Of Corporate Censors & Government Budget Suckers
Orwellian Logic Of Corporate Censors & Government Budget Suckers
Orwellian Logic Of Corporate Censors & Government Budget Suckers
Orwellian Logic Of Corporate Censors & Government Budget Suckers
Orwellian Logic Of Corporate Censors & Government Budget Suckers
Orwellian Logic Of Corporate Censors & Government Budget Suckers

Patreon

Donate via SouthFront’s Patreon account (click here)

Orwellian Logic Of Corporate Censors & Government Budget Suckers

SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence Team

أردوغان تحت أقدام الجيش السوريّ

د. محمد سيد أحمد

قبل بدء الحرب الكونية على سورية في مطلع العام 2011 كانت العلاقات السورية – التركية قد وصلت إلى أفضل حالاتها، فمن المعروف أنّ العلاقات السورية – التركية ومنذ حصول سورية على استقلالها عام 1946 لم تكن في حالة جيدة حتى تمّ توقيع اتفاقية أضنة عام 1998 فخلال هذه الفترة التي تجاوزت نصف قرن كانت العلاقات متأزّمة وعدائية بسبب استيلاء تركيا على أراضٍ سورية بمؤازرة الانتداب الفرنسيّ، أهمّها لواء إسكندرون عام 1938، ثم اختلاف الخيارات والتحالفات الاستراتيجية لكلا البلدين، حيث انحازت سورية إلى التوجهات الاشتراكية، مقابل توجه تركيا نحو السياسات الرأسمالية الغربية.

وخلال العقود الخمسة الممتدة من منتصف القرن العشرين وحتى نهايته سادت حالة من النزاع بين البلدين كادت تتحوّل إلى حروب مدمّرة، وخلال هذه المرحلة قام الأتراك بتعزيز وجودهم العسكري على الحدود وقاموا بزراعة الألغام حتى لا يتمكّن أحد من العبور، ولمزيد من التوتر قامت تركيا في تسعينيات القرن العشرين بإنشاء مجموعة من السدود الكبرى على نهر الفرات، فحجزت القسم الأكبر من مياهه، وحجزت مياه نهر الخابور بأكملها حتى جفّ وتوقف جريانه في الأراضي السورية، أما الأزمة الكبرى في العلاقات السورية – التركية فكانت مع تنامي التعاون العسكري والسياسي والأمني بين تركيا والعدو الصهيوني سعياً لوضع سورية بين فكي كماشة بما يهدّد الأمن الاستراتيجي القومي في مختلف المجالات.

في المقابل كانت تركيا دائماً تتهم سورية بدعم عناصر حزب العمال الكردستاني، وأنها تستخدم الورقة الكرديّة لزعزعة أمنها، هذا إلى جانب تخوّفها من العلاقات السياسية والتعاون السوري – اليوناني والعلاقات مع الشطر اليوناني من قبرص، وبلغ النزاع أوجه عام 1998 حين هدّدت تركيا باجتياح الأراضي السورية بحجة وقف هجمات حزب العمال الكردستاني واشتعلت نيران الأزمة وتدخلت بعض الدول الإقليمية، وانتهت الأزمة بتوقيع اتفاقية أضنة وخروج عبد الله أوجلان ومقاتلي حزب العمال الكردستاني من شمال سورية.

ومن هنا بدأت العلاقات تتطوّر نحو الأفضل فبدأ التوافق والتعاون في الجانب الأمني ثم انتقل إلى الجانب الاقتصادي والسياسي وجرى توقيع اتفاقيات عدة في جميع المجالات بين البلدين، نفذ معظمها في أوانه، وتطورت العلاقات نحو الأفضل بزيارة الرئيس التركي أحمد نجدت سيزر لسورية في عام 2000، ثم زيارة الرئيس بشار الأسد لتركيا عام 2004 عززت أكثر من العلاقات، ومع صعود حزب العدالة والتنمية في تركيا أحدث تحوّلات كبرى في العلاقة بين البلدين حيث تحوّلت العلاقات بين البلدين إلى تفاهم وتعاون فوقعت اتفاقية إزالة الألغام من على الحدود لإقامة مشاريع إنمائية مشتركة، ورفضت تركيا المشاركة في سياسة العزل والحصار التي حاول الرئيس الأميركي جورج دبليو بوش فرضها على سورية، وتمّ توقيع اتفاق التجارة الحرة بين البلدين والذي سمح بتدفق البضائع في الاتجاهين وإقامة مشاريع مشتركة، وأخيراً جاء اتفاق إلغاء التأشيرات الذي يسمح بدخول السوريين والأتراك دون الحاجة إلى إجراءات قنصلية والذي شكل قمة الانفتاح والتعاون الاقتصادي بين البلدين.

هذه كانت حقيقة العلاقات السورية – التركية في مطلع العام 2011 لذلك حين بدأت المؤامرة الكونية على سورية لم يكن متوقعاً أن تتورّط فيها تركيا بهذا الشكل، لكن الواقع قد أفرز ومنذ اللحظة الأولى تحوّلاً كبيراً في الموقف التركي، حيث شكلت تركيا خنجراً طعنت به سورية فأسال دماءها بغزارة. فالعدو الأميركيّ والصهيوني حين خطط لمشروع «الشرق الأوسط الكبير» كان قد اتفق مع تركيا بزعامة عضو التنظيم الدولي لجماعة الإخوان المسلمين الإرهابية رجب طيب أردوغان أنه سوف يُمنح مكتسبات تمكنه من عودة دولة الخلافة على أن ينفذ كلّ التعليمات وبدقة.

وبما أن المشروع الأميركي – الصهيوني يقوم على تفجير المجتمعات من الداخل عبر تجنيد بعض العناصر الإرهابية فقد تمّ التواصل مع العناصر الكامنة من تنظيم الإخوان المسلمين في الداخل السوري لتكون شرارة البدء، بعدها قام أردوغان بفتح الحدود لتعبر الجماعات التكفيرية الإرهابية التي تمّ تجميعها من كلّ أصقاع الأرض كي تخوض الحرب مع الجيش العربي السوري على كامل الجغرافيا السورية، وخلال السنوات الأولى تمكن الإرهابيون من الاستيلاء على مساحات واسعة من الجغرافيا السورية وكانت غرف العمليات التي تدار منها المعارك أهمّها في تركيا، وعبر الأراضي التركية عبرت الآليات العسكرية والأسلحة بكافة أشكالها لدعم الإرهابيين وكلّ يوم كان يعتقد أردوغان أنّ حلم الخلافة قد أصبح قريباً.

لكن هيهات! فقد بدأ الجيش السوري في معارك التحرير بعد التنسيق السياسي والعسكري مع الحلفاء خاصة الروسي والإيراني. وبالفعل تمكن الجيش العربي السوري من تحرير المساحة الأكبر من الجغرافيا السورية عبر معارك كبرى في حلب ودير الزور والغوطة الشرقية ودرعا… وكان دائماً يتمّ الاتفاق بعد الانتصار إلى السماح للإرهابيين بالتوجه إلى إدلب في الشمال بالقرب من الحدود التركية والتي أصبحت آخر معاقل الجماعات التكفيرية الإرهابية على الأرض السورية وأصبحت أيضاً الأمل الوحيد لأردوغان ليحفظ ماء وجهه أمام شعبه وليحافظ على مقعده في سدة الحكم بعد أن تبدّد وللأبد حلم الخلافة.

وبعد أن فشل الحلّ السياسي لخروج الإرهابيّين من إدلب قرّر الجيش السوري تحريرها عسكرياً وهنا جنّ جنون أردوغان وبدأ في التهديد والوعيد بعملية عسكرية موسّعة إنْ لم يتراجع الجيش العربي السوري، وطلب العون من الأميركي الذي كعادته دائماً يتخلى عن عملائه في حالة هزيمة مشروعه. فلجأ إلى الاتحاد الأوروبي وحلف الناتو للمشاركة فلم يجد مَن يعينه، فقرّر أن يتوجّه منفرداً فوجد جنوده يسقطون صرعى تحت أقدام بواسل الجيش السوري، وهو ما يزيد من اشتعال النيران من حوله في الداخل التركي، لذلك ورغم شراسة المعركة فإنّ الجيش السوري قد تلقى تعليمات قائده الرئيس بشار الأسد باستكمال مسيرة تحرير إدلب دون الالتفات إلى الفقاعات الصوتية الأردوغانية. وهو ما يجعلنا على ثقة بأنّ أردوغان سيسقط تحت أقدام الجيش العربي السوري. اللهم بلغت اللهم فاشهد.

The Afghanistan ‘peace deal’ riddle

Pepe Escobar for the Saker Blog : Posted with permission 

As far as realpolitik Afghanistan is concerned, with or without a deal, the US military want to stay in what is a priceless Greater Middle East base to deploy hybrid war techniques

In this photo taken on February 21, youths and peace activists gather as they celebrate the reduction in violence, in Kandahar. A week-long partial truce took hold across Afghanistan on February 22, with some jubilant civilians dancing in the streets as the war-weary country prepared for this coming Saturday’s planned agreement on a peace deal between the Taliban and the United States. Photo: AFP / Javed Tanveer

Nearly two decades after the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan post-9/11, and after an interminable war costing over $ 2 trillion, there’s hardly anything “historic” about a possible peace deal that may be signed in Doha this coming Saturday between Washington and the Taliban.

We should start by stressing three points.

1- The Taliban wanted all US troops out. Washington refused.

2- The possible deal only reduces US troops from 13,000 to 8,600. That’s the same number already deployed before the Trump administration.

3- The reduction will only happen a year and a half from now – assuming what’s being described as a truce holds.

So there would be no misunderstanding, Taliban Deputy Leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, in an op-ed certainly read by everyone inside the Beltway, detailed their straightforward red line: total US withdrawal.

And Haqqani is adamant: there’s no peace deal if US troops stay.

Still, a deal looms. How come? Simple: enter a series of secret “annexes.”

The top US negotiator, the seemingly eternal Zalmay Khalilzad, a remnant of the Clinton and Bush eras, has spent months codifying these annexes – as confirmed by a source in Kabul currently not in government but familiar with the negotiations.

Let’s break them down to four points.

1- US counter-terror forces would be allowed to stay. Even if approved by the Taliban leadership, this would be anathema to the masses of Taliban fighters.

2- The Taliban would have to denounce terrorism and violent extremism. That’s rhetorical, not a problem.

3- There will be a scheme to monitor the so-called truce while different warring Afghan factions discuss the future, what the US State Dept. describes as “intra-Afghan negotiations.” Culturally, as we’ll see later, Afghans of different ethnic backgrounds will have a tremendously hard time monitoring their own warring.

4- The CIA would be allowed to do business in Taliban-controlled areas. That’s an even more hardcore anathema. Everyone familiar with post-9/11 Afghanistan knows that the prime reason for CIA business is the heroin rat line that finances Langley’s black ops, as I exposed in 2017.

Otherwise, everything about this “historic” deal remains quite vague.

Even Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was forced to admit the war in Afghanistan is “still” in “a state of strategic stalemate.”

As for the far from strategic financial disaster, one just needs to peruse the latest SIGAR report. SIGAR stands for Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. In fact virtually nothing in Afghanistan has been “reconstructed.”

No real deal without Iran

The “intra-Afghan” mess starts with the fact that Ashraf Ghani eventually was declared the winner of the presidential elections held in September last year. But virtually no one recognizes him.

The Taliban don’t talk to Ghani. Only to some people that are part of the government in Kabul. And they describe these talks at best as between “ordinary Afghans.”

Everyone familiar with Taliban strategy knows US/NATO troops will never be allowed to stay. What could happen is the Taliban allowing some sort of face-saving contingent to remain for a few months, and then a very small contingent stays to protect the US embassy in Kabul.

Washington will obviously reject this possibility. The alleged “truce” will be broken. Trump, pressured by the Pentagon, will send more troops. And the infernal spiral will be back on track.

Another major hole in the possible deal is that the Americans completely ignored Iran in their negotiations in Doha.

That’s patently absurd. Teheran is a key strategic partner to its neighbor Kabul. Apart from the millenary historical/cultural/social connections, there are at least 3.5 million Afghan refugees in Iran.

Post 9-11, Tehran slowly but surely started cultivating relations with the Taliban – but not at a military/weaponizing level, according to Iranian diplomats. In Beirut last September, and then in Nur-Sultan in November, I was provided a clear picture of where discussions about Afghanistan stand.

The Russian connection to the Taliban goes through Tehran. Taliban leaders have frequent contacts with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Only last year, Russia held two conferences in Moscow between Taliban political leaders and mujahideen. The Russians were engaged into bringing Uzbeks into the negotiations. At the same time, some Taliban leaders met with Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives four times in Tehran, in secret.

The gist of all these discussions was “to find a conflict resolution outside of Western patterns”, according to an Iranian diplomat. They were aiming at some sort of federalism: the Taliban plus the mujahideen in charge of the administration of some vilayets.

The bottom line is that Iran has better connections in Afghanistan than Russia and China. And this all plays within the much larger scope of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The Russia-China strategic partnership wants an Afghan solution coming from inside the SCO, of which both Iran and Afghanistan are observers. Iran may become a full SCO member if it holds on to the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, until October – thus still not subjected to UN sanctions.

All these actors want US troops out – for good. So the solution always points towards a decentralized federation. According to an Afghan diplomat, the Taliban seem ready to share power with the Northern Alliance. The spanner in the works is the Hezb-e-Islami, with one Jome Khan Hamdard, a commander allied with notorious mujahid Gulbudiin Hekmatyar, based in Mazar-i-Sharif and supported by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, more interested in restarting a civil war.

Understanding Pashtunistan

Here’s a blast from the past, reliving the context of the Taliban visit to Houston, and showing how things have not changed much since the first Clinton administration. It’s always a matter of the Taliban getting their cut – at the time related to Pipelineistan business, now to their reaffirmation of what can be described as Pashtunistan.

Not every Pashtun is a Taliban, but the overwhelming majority of Taliban are Pashtuns.

The Washington establishment never did their “know your enemy” homework, trying to understand how Pashtuns from extremely diverse groups are linked by a common system of values establishing their ethnic foundation and necessary social rules. That’s the essence of their code of conduct – the fascinating, complex Pashtunwali. Although it incorporates numerous Islamic elements, Pashtunwali is in total contradiction with Islamic law on many points.

Islam did introduce key moral elements to Pashtun society. But there are also juridical norms, imposed by a hereditary nobility, that support the whole edifice and that came from the Turko-Mongols.

Pashtuns – a tribal society – have a deep aversion to the Western concept of the state. Central power can only expect to neutralize  them with – to put it bluntly – bribes. That’s what passes as a sort of system of government in Afghanistan. Which brings the question of how much – and with what – the US is now bribing the Taliban.

Afghan political life, in practice, works out from actors that are factions, sub-tribes, “Islamic coalitions” or regional groups.

Since 1996, and up to 9/11, the Taliban incarnated the legitimate return of Pashtuns as the dominant element in Afghanistan. That’s why they instituted an emirate and not a republic, more appropriate for a Muslim community ruled only by religious legislation. The diffidence towards cities, particularly Kabul, also expresses the sentiment of Pashtun superiority over other Afghan ethnic groups.

The Taliban do represent a process of overcoming tribal identity and the affirmation of Pashtunistan. The Beltway never understood this powerful dynamic – and that’s one of the key reasons for the American debacle.

Lapis Lazuli corridor

Afghanistan is at the center of the new American strategy for Central Asia, as in “expand and maintain support for stability in Afghanistan” coupled with an emphasis to “encourage connectivity between Central Asia and Afghanistan.”

In practice, the Trump administration wants the five Central Asian “stans” to bet on integration projects such as the CASA-1000 electricity project and the Lapis Lazuli trade corridor, which is in fact a reboot of the Ancient Silk Road, connecting Afghanistan to Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia before crossing the Black Sea to Turkey and then all the way to the EU.

But the thing is Lapis Lazuli is already bound to integrate with Turkey’s Middle Corridor, which is part of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative, as well as with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Plus, also part of Belt and Road. Beijing planned  this integration way before Washington.

The Trump administration is just stressing the obvious: a peaceful Afghanistan is essential for the integration process.

Andrew Korybko correctly argues that “Russia and China could make more progress on building the Golden Ring between themselves, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey by that time, thus ‘embracing’ Central Asia with potentially limitless opportunities that far surpass those that the US is offering or ‘encircling’ the region from a zero-sum American strategic perspective and ‘forcing’ it out.”

The late Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski’s wishful thinking “Eurasian Balkans” scenario may be dead, but the myriad US divide-and-rule gambits imposed on the heartland have now mutated into hybrid war explicitly directed against China, Russia  and Iran – the three major nodes of Eurasia integration.

And that means that as far as realpolitik Afghanistan is concerned, with or without a deal, the US military have no intention to go anywhere. They want to stay – whatever it takes. Afghanistan is a priceless Greater Middle East base to deploy hybrid war techniques.

Pashtuns are certainly getting the message from key Shanghai Cooperation Organization players. The question is how they plan to run rings around Team Trump.

Erdogan Killed 2 More Turkish Army Soldiers to Defend al-Qaeda in Idlib

February 20, 2020 Arabi Souri

Turkish madman Erdogan today continued his adventure in Syria by pushing al-Qaeda terrorists loyal to him and supported by the Turkish NATO artillery against the Syrian Arab Army in Al-Nerab (Nayrab), Idlib countryside in a desperate attempt to capture any meter of land. Instead, 2 more Turkish soldiers killed, 5 injured by the Syrian Arab Army and the Russian Air force.

Erdogan, who was assigned a leading role in the Greater Israel Project aka Greater Middle East by George W. Bush, is still going full force in this evil plot despite the setbacks and failures he received in Syria, and the large number of innocent people killed, injured, destruction of properties and families.

Today’s attempt by al-Qaeda terrorists of a new formation of al-Qaeda Levant fighting under the banner of the so-called ‘National Army’ was targeting the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) posts in Neirab town, cleaned by the SAA recently from the terrorists.

Serious development of today’s attack was the announcement of the contribution of the Turkish artillery in the terrorists attack by all of Erdogan’s media in Turkey which was celebrating the commencement of the military operation to remove the Syrian Arab Army from the Syrian Idlib province which NATO was pushing Erdogan to carry out.

The desperate attempt of the terrorists today against the SAA posts comes a day after the Turkish hypocrite madman believed the ‘liar, cheater, and thief’ of state of the USA that the US will support the Turkish attacks against the Syrian Arab Army in Syria, Erdogan met his mate in Pompeo it seems.

The SAA absorbed the terrorist attack and foiled it within minutes, the terrorists failed to advance in any meter, the Russian air force joined very shortly after the beginning of the suicidal terrorist attack and bombed artillery posts set up by the Turkish Army effectively killing 2 Turkish soldiers and injuring 5 more.

Four of the Syrian Arab Army soldiers were injured in this attack as reported by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Erdogan’s ministry of war admitted the sacrificed Turkish soldiers but stopped short of stating whether they were killed by the Russian air force or by the SAA.

Of course, as is the custom now, Erdogan’s propaganda claimed they fired back at the SAA posts and ‘neutralized’ 50 of them, and as usual the only one source for this claim is Erdogan’s war ministry.

Arabi Souriعربي سوري@3arabiSouri

The #SAA is responding to #Nusra Front terrorists (#alQaeda Levant) who waged an attack on Neirab Town and might mistake them with #Erdogan‘s #NATO forces, they’re sharing the same posts.#Syria #News #Idlib #Aleppo #Turkey11Twitter Ads info and privacySee Arabi Souriعربي سوري’s other Tweets

Meanwhile, the terrorists Erdogan is sending and sacrificing the Turkish Army soldiers to protect are accusing him of failing them and that the units he’s sending are not to fight the Syrian Arab Army, rather block their attempts to go back to mommy Erdogan. Terrorist coordination pages are full of such accusations, it’s all not good times for the anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood madman and his dreams.

After the Libyan National Army bombed the Tripoli seaport Turkish weapons depots and boats shipping them and the EU agreeing to impose a blockade on Libya, Erdogan cannot ship more terrorists from Idlib to Libya. He cannot accept them in Turkey as they will clash with the security forces there when they practice their terrorist rituals, and also cannot convince them to surrender to the SAA. Soon enough, the majority of these terrorists will realize how Erdogan is letting them down and after they will realize they won’t be a match to the advancing SAA, they will slaughter the Turkish Army sent to protect them.

The author is personally anticipating a military coup in Turkey, it needs a trigger, I’m personally hoping that Mr. Putin will not save Erdogan this time, whoever comes in his place even if it was Satan in person won’t be as hypocrite as this madman, although Satan had some lessons to learn from Erdogan, but so did the rest of the world and any new leader in Turkey will have to face the ‘all enemies’ policy Erdogan led his country into.

In related news leaked from Turkish sources: Erdogan asked Pompeo to supply him with Patriot missiles to defend his forces from Russian and Syrian Air forces, the S400 air defense missile systems he bought from Russia do not work against Russian fighter jets and its allied forces, he is just discovering.

Previous Turkish Soldiers killed by Erdogan to defend al-Qaeda in Syria and why:

The SAA Killed 5 More Turkish Soldiers in Taftanaz East of Idlib

I assure you that those fighters are closer to Erdogan’s heart than the Turkish Army itself.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad

Erdogan Regime the Dumbest in the World; Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister

Kilichdaroglu: Dialogue with Assad is the Key to Solving the Problems Erdogan Created

 

Turkey CHP Party Leader CHP lideri Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (Kilichdaroglu)

Kilichdaroglu, the CHP Republic People’s Party leader in Turkey met with Al-Mayadeen’s and Turkish veteran journalist Husni Mahali, the talks covered the blunders caused by Erdogan which harmed the Syrian people and harmed Turkey as well, tarnishing its image, causing severe financial hardship on the Turkish people, and isolating the country regionally and on the international political arena.

Husni Mahali is, himself, a victim of the Turkish pariah Erdogan and his oppression and dictatorship, Mahali was imprisoned by the highly flawed Turkish judicial system which fell under the influence of Erodgan and his anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood AK Party. Mahali’s crime was expressing his opinion in articles and interviews criticizing Turkish policies against Syria.

The following is from Al-Mayadeen Net, first published in Arabic on November 01, 2019:

Turkey CHP Party Leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu Kilichdaroglu with Al Mayadeen Husni Mahali
Turkey CHP Party Leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu Kilichdaroglu with Al-Mayadeen Husni Mahali

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the Republican People’s Party CHP in Turkey and its leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroglu (Kilichdaroglu), have taken a clear and decisive stance against the Turkish President’s policies and his direct intervention in Syria.

This is the position taken by a number of Turkish politicians, including former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Shinar of the Erdogan government (2002-2007). in addition to Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis in the first government of justice and development after the 2002 elections, with them are a number of journalists, academics, generals and retired diplomats.

One of them is Turkey’s former ambassador to Washington, Faruk Lugoglu, who met President Bashar al-Assad on 5 September 2011 in Damascus as a representative of Kilichdar Oglu.

Since that date, Kilichdaroglu has taken a clear position against the policies of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Syria and the region in general, “He is following America’s instructions in Syria as a partner in the Greater Middle East project,” he said.

From this point of view, the question of Syria was necessarily the main topic during our long meeting with Kilichdaroglu, where we discussed the details of Turkish domestic policy as well.

The CHP leader blamed the Arab media for his lack of interest in his anti-Erdogan party since the beginning of the Syrian crisis. I said to him, “In this case, I will summarize what I hear from you for Al-Mayadeen Net, at least the resistance media, you also resisted the so-called Arab Spring. Our host smiled and said, “You also paid the price. They put you in prison but you still write and talk here and abroad.”

We started our interview from the talk of the hour, the first was the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. Kilichdaroglu’s response was swift and decisive: “The threat of IS continues, despite the killing of its leader, Baghdadi and several of his aides, this is because the organization has sleeping cells in Syria, Iraq, and other countries. Thousands of ISIS members and their families are in camps protected by Kurdish militias after hundreds have been transferred to Turkey, others were transferred to US bases in western Iraq.”

“The organization had cells and rings in 76 Turkish states,” he continued, “for ideological reasons, Erdogan did not see ISIS as a terrorist organization. ISIS carried out a number of terrorist acts in Turkish cities including Istanbul, Ankara, and Gaziantep, these operations resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Turkish and foreign citizens, which the Turkish authorities could have prevented, but it did not do so by government order, If it had seriously confronted ISIS since 2014, when it threatened to destroy the mausoleum of Suleiman Shah near Raqqa, the organization would not have reached its point in Syria and Iraq.”

Kilichdaroglu reiterated his stated position on more than one occasion regarding Turkish military operations east of the Euphrates, “Erdogan’s logic is fundamentally wrong because he and his followers are talking about conquests as if Ankara were fighting to annex the eastern Euphrates to Turkey,” he said, “Nor does he draw lessons from his failed experiences in Syria. He spoke of a safe area along the 480-kilometer border with Syria. but he settled for to two narrow areas between the Ras Al Ain and the Tal Abyad, he was forced to end military operations on the instructions of Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.”

He added: “He (Erdogan) should have discussed this issue from the beginning with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, because Turkey can get rid of terrorism and terrorists except through reconciliation with, and thus direct coordination and cooperation with the Syrian state as the landowner east of the Euphrates, because the elimination of terrorism and terrorists is primarily the responsibility of the state and the people of Syria, We must help them in their fight against terrorists of any name, from Nusra to ISIS, the Free Army (FSA), the YPG, the SDF, and others. Moreover, Turkey can only address the refugee problem with Damascus without forgetting that Erdogan is primarily the cause of this problem.”

Erdogan’s Policies in Syria Are a Sign of the Total Bankruptcy of Foreign Policy

Regarding the background and reasons for accusing President Erdogan on this subject, Kilichdaroglu has again made clear: “Erdogan is the one who sent weapons and combat equipment to terrorist groups in Syria in cooperation with some Gulf (Gulfies) and Western countries, he incited Muslims to kill each other, he allowed thousands of foreign terrorists enter into Syria via the shared border and their wounded were taken to Turkish hospitals for treatment, he then sent them back to Syria and announced that he would pray at the Umayyad Mosque, to this end he pursued racist, sectarian and nationalist policies, and acted as a sultan who decided everything.”

Kilichdaroglu blamed Erdogan for the isolation of Turkey because of his provocative and hostile policies, as he put it. And he said, “Thanks to these policies, we no longer have any friends not only in the region but in the world, including those countries that were allies of Ankara at the beginning of the Syrian war.”

Kilichdaroglu expressed surprise at Erdogan’s repeated talk of his commitment to the unity, sovereignty, and independence of Syria, he said: “Erdogan himself continues his adventures inside Syria and sends his troops inside Syria, he supports, equips and funds tens of thousands of armed men within the framework of the so-called Syrian National Army, which Damascus considers a terrorist organization as we consider the Kurdish militias in Syria terrorists.”

Kilichdaroglu appealed to President Erdogan to stop his military plans and projects and to consider a gradual withdrawal from Syria, and to establish diplomatic relations, friendship and good neighborliness with the Syrian state and people, this will contribute to the consolidation of broader regional relations with neighboring countries, especially with Iraq and Iran, “It is time for these countries to cooperate and agree to address their crises together away from any outside interference of any form, this will be in Turkey’s favor in all fields,” Kilichdaroglu confirms.

The Turkish opposition figure emphasizes the need to create the conditions for a final solution to the Syrian crisis within the framework of UN resolutions and recommendations of the Astana, Sochi and Geneva platforms, and calls for the assistance of the Syrian people of all ethnic, religious, sectarian, social and tribal groups in order to determine their fate freely and democratically without any external interference; he also stresses the need to protect their secular, pluralistic, and civilized system within the framework of the new Constitution without any external interference or pressure, which is the constitution that will be agreed upon by the members of the Constitutional Commission that started its work in Geneva.”

Kilichdaroglu says: “Erdogan should explain why he suddenly became a bitter enemy of President Assad and the Syrian people, and why he antagonized the Syrian state, which did not do anything against Turkey, despite all that Erdogan did against it, although he still supports and protects the terrorists in Idlib, despite his pledges in Sochi.”

Kilichdaroglu considered that Ataturk’s slogan “Peace at home and peace in the world” is very important and serves as a basis for Turkey’s relations with neighboring countries. He said: “Ataturk was also careful not to interfere in the affairs of other countries, he recommended not to interfere in Arab-Arab differences.”

Cleggadoglu expressed his dismay at President Donald Trump’s style in his letter to Erdogan, also his tweets in which he threatened Erdogan and Turkey. He clarified that: “In diplomatic relations, there is what is known as reciprocity, if Trump insulted Erdogan, Erdogan should reciprocate, not only in his name but also in the name of the Turkish state and nation.”

He added: “It seems that Erdogan is afraid of being pursued by the US judiciary because of his personal wealth and the wealth of his sons and family. Trump’s treatment of President Erdogan is a subject that deserves to be taught in the faculties of politics and international relations after he proved for some reason that he is afraid of Trump. He will only have to cancel his scheduled visit to Washington on July 13th.”

Kilichdaroglu considered that Erdogan’s policies in Syria and the region are an indicator of the total bankruptcy of foreign policy, which leads him to distract the Turkish people with outside matters so that they do not think about their daily problems, that is the financial crisis and its repercussions on the high prices, taxes, and the deterioration of the value of the Turkish lira. According to Kilichdaroglu, these issues were a reason for Erdogan’s defeat in the last municipal elections, where CHP candidates won in a number of important cities notably Istanbul and Ankara, in alliance with the democratic forces.

At the end of the meeting, I thanked Kilichdaroglu for his personal interest during my continued detention and trials, more than ever, he seemed optimistic that his party would come to power in the upcoming elections, after all polls show Erdogan’s popularity continues to decline because of his blunders, the most important his endeavors to control all state institutions and facilities, especially the judiciary, that Erdogan expects to help him get rid of all his opponents and put them in prison, as long as they object to his policies at home and abroad, especially in Syria.


To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn other ways.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open Telegram app.

The End of the “Greater Middle East Project”: The Case of Kurdistan

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential elections has had dire implications for the American “Greater Middle East” project which has guided US foreign policy in the Middle East since it was first put forward in 2003. Trump’s reorientation toward internal US problems (migration, economy, protectionism), the emergence of new geopolitical rivals (China and Iran) and the turning point being reached in the war against Daesh in Syria have resulted, more or less, in a new balance of powers in the Middle East. While the situation is still rather chaotic, one fact is certainly clear: the Americans have lost their dominant position.

On top of all of this, following the events of July 2016, Turkey, one of the central players in the Middle East, headed for geopolitical rapprochement with Russia and began to distance itself from the United States. Turkish authorities accused Washington of having played a role in the attempted coup, driving a wedge in the relationship of the long-time allies. Up to this point, Turkey, together with Israel, were seen as outposts for pushing US foreign policy interests in the Middle East. However, contradictions began to emerge over the US’ reliance on the Kurdish separatists, who are locked in a state of open conflict with the Turkish government. As a result of disagreements over this issue, America began to lose one of its most important regional partners. After the coup attempt, hostilities between Turkey and the West escalated even further: Turkey openly discussed the possibility of a withdrawal from NATO, the West countered by threatening Turkey’s ongoing EU integration process.

Unsuccessful negotiations between Washington and Ankara over the extradition of accused coup leader Fethullah Gulen only complicated matters further, as did disputes over Turkey’s detention of Pastor Andrew Branson. The contradictions eventually reached their sharpest point as the US attempted to dissuade, and ultimately, threaten Turkey over their purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems.

In parallel with these processes, Saudi Arabia and Qatar began to adjust their foreign policy accordingly. Realizing that the West could no longer fully control the situation in the region, Qatar began to seek support from Russia, which had successfully shown the strength of its influence in Syria.

Qatar, being a traditional ally of Turkey (predominantly via the Muslim Brotherhood), began to follow Turkey’s lead, even improving relations with Iran. Saudi Arabia, a regional adversary of Qatar, was forced to follow a similar strategy… of course, not in terms of improving relations with Iran (their main regional adversary) but by establishing ties with Russia. This is evidenced in Riyadh’s attempt to buy S-400s from Moscow against Washington’s wishes.

Thus, the United States has lost most of its regional partners, with only the invariable Israel remaining a part of the Greater Middle East project. Trump has bent over backward to keep this relationship secure, even if it means finally destroy Washington’s relations with the Islamic world altogether and instead rely on the Kurds… a plan as obvious as it is failed.

Revising the Greater Middle East Strategy

The Greater Middle East project was the guiding light of US foreign policy strategy in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia for decades. As of 2011, the project grew to include the Arab nations of North Africa and Syria in particular. On a project map designed by J. Kemp and R. Harkavy, the Republic of Turkey and Kazakhstan were also included.

The project aimed to spread and deepen “democracy” in the region. The plan had two sides: the official one, which was supposed to contribute to a rise in power for states led by pro-Western reformers (initially completely unrealistic) and the unofficial one, which was to actively destabilize existing Islamic regimes, support color revolutions, riots and even bring about regime change.

Creating controlled chaos has always been a central goal of the project. This goal was realized in Libya and Iraq, but its implementation in Syria was disrupted by the effective policy of Russia and Syria’s alliance with Iran and Turkey. In addition to these major powers, Hezbollah played a critical role in disrupting Washington’s plans.

However, the plan also involved the creation of a wider arc of instability – from Lebanon and Palestine to Syria, Iraq, the Persian Gulf and Iran – right up to the Afghanistan border, where NATO garrisons are located. The levers of the project were numerous: large-scale financial investments in the economies of the Middle Eastern countries, support for extremist groups, information warfare, alongside open provocations and false-flags operations. During the implementation of the project, many Middle Eastern countries underwent “color revolutions” backed by Western operators who induced controlled chaos and exploited social media networks in order to use various countries’ social, political, religious, ethnic and economic problems against them. During the “Arab Spring”, this strategy led to regime change in 3 states: Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, while Libya and Syria were left in a state of civil war.

The US and EU were never completely unified over the project. At one G8 summit, the Greater Middle East project was criticized by French President Jacques Chirac, arguing that Middle Eastern countries do not need this kind of forcibly exported “democracy.”

The strategy for “spreading democracy” in the region had essentially become thinly , if at all, veiled US intervention in the domestic political life of Middle Eastern states. Military assaults began in Afghanistan, Iraq, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan and Syria. However, the results were less than favorable for most, resulting in floods of refugees, including representatives of terrorist organizations. Western Europe was forced to face the brunt of the backlash for Bush and Obama’s Middle Eastern adventures. The globalists and neoconservatives were united in their efforts, and although their destructive goals were achieved, the majority of Americans did not even understand why these costly and brutal operations were being prioritized.

Trump properly grasped the mood of voters and promised to curtail the Greater Middle East project. After coming to power, he at least began to move in that direction: in December 2018, he decided to withdraw all American troops from Syria.

Project Implementation Opportunities

After the wave of color revolutions and the Arab spring, some states in the Middle East realized the real threat posed by America’s evolving strategy. Before their eyes, centralized and well-ordered states were turning into ruins. It was not just a change of leadership: the very existence of entire countries was threatened. Hence, many leaders concluded the need for a new emphasis on sovereignty. For example, Turkey, an important player in the region, focused on geopolitical interaction with Russia and China, reorienting itself toward the Eurasian axis which caused a crisis in relations with the United States (the purchase of the S-400s from Russia led the United States to refuse to sell Turkey F-35 fighter jets as previously agreed).

The region around Syria was gradually cleared of extremist groups, with the remaining militants relegated to the province of Idlib and the south-east of the country. When Imran Khan became Prime Minister, Pakistan also moved further away from the United States and began to develop pro-Chinese policies while establishing strategic relations with Russia.

Looking at all of these factors, we can conclude that the Greater Middle East project has already been curtailed.

However, the American strategy only partly depends on who runs the White House. That’s why it’s important to understand the role of the so-called Deep State in US politics. The Deep State has its own logic and direction, something which Trump needs to take into account. Due to the Deep State’s influence, America continues to take advantage of a number of complex problems for the region, one critical example being its tactic of fomenting conflict through support for the forces fighting for an independent Kurdistan. This conflict in particular is shaping  up to be the “last battle” of the Greater Middle East project.

The Kurdish Map

The Greater Middle East project, according to Ralph Peters and Bernard-Henri Levy (the plan’s most important European propagandists), involves the creation of an independent “Free Kurdistan” which includes a number of territories in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. The creation of a single state entity through the unification of the 40 million Kurds residing in these countries could lead to a number of serious problems.

The idea of ​​creating an independent Kurdish state openly and clearly began to emerge at the end of the 19th century (the first Kurdish newspaper in Kurdish began to circulate in Cairo in 1898). At the end of the 19th century, the Kurdish people seemed as though they might actually embrace Turkey. The founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey, Kemal Atatürk, was positively greeted among the Kurds – some Alevite groups interpreted the role of Atatürk as Mahdi, the last successor of the prophet Muhammad. However, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds did not receive their desired autonomy, which began to cause problems.

Historically, the “Kurdish map” has always been an ace-up-the-sleeve of various geopolitical powers striving for influence in the Middle East: Woodrow Wilson first supported the creation of an independent Kurdish state after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the US again supporting Kurdish forces in the 1970s in an attempt to overthrow the Iraqi Ba’ath party… in 2003, it used the Kurds to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The Iranians used the Kurds against Iraq in the 70s as well, while in more recent times the Syrians have tried to use the Kurdish issue against Turkey. Israel has strongly supported the Kurdistan project in order to weaken the Arabic States.

The fragmentation of the Kurds who live in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, as well as in the Caucasus, is one of the reasons why it is currently impossible to build a single Kurdish state. The Kurdish people have historically been prone to clan and political fragmentation. There are several factors which strongly separate the various groupings of Kurds.

One complication to the formation of an independent Kurdistan is linguistic fragmentation – Soran is spoken in eastern Iraq and Iran, while Kurmanji is spoken by Syrian, Iraqi and Turkish Kurds. Some Kurds in Iraq speak yet another dialect – Zaza.

Religious issues also hinder the unification of Kurdish tribes and clans into a single state: the majority of Kurds are Sunnis (with a large number of Sufi tariqas),  while Zoroastrian styled Yazidism is less widespread. Meanwhile, In Iran, Kurds are mainly followers of Shia Islam. Yazidism is considered the Kurdish national religion, but it is too different from orthodox Islam and even from the rather syncretic Sufi Tariqas.

Yazidism is prevalent mainly among the northern Kurds – Kurmanji.

New year celebrations in Lalish, 18 April 2017. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Religion is a mixture of Zoroastrianism (manifested in the doctrine of the seven Archangels and a special attitude to fire and the sun, along with a strong caste system) with the Sufi teachings of Sheikh Abi ibn Musafir. The unexplored and closed sources of the Yazidi religion strongly complicate the Kurdish factor. The Muslim nations surrounding them often characterize the Yazidi Kurds as worshipers of Shaitan. Shiite-style Kurds (mainly residing in Iran) are a separate group, difficult to reduce to the Shiite branch of Islam as such, and are more approximately a Zoroastrian interpretation of it. Interestingly, Shiite Kurds believe that the Mahdi should appear among the Kurds, suggesting a degree of ethnocentrism.

Another important factor in assessing the chances of creating an independent Kurdistan is their cultural specificity in the Iranian context: the Kurds, unlike other Iranian peoples, maintained a nomadic lifestyle far longer than others.

We can conclude that building a unified Kurdistan is essentially a utopian idea: the rich diversity of the religious, linguistic and cultural codes would be impossible obstacles in building a traditional nation-state… and this is without taking into account the stiff opposition to the project from other states in the region, including Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. For these countries, the implementation of the Greater Kurdistan project would actually mean the end of territorial integrity and a fundamental weakening of their sovereignty, and perhaps even their complete collapse (particularly given the fact that other ethnic minorities would likely want to follow the Kurdish path).

Although an independent state might be a pipe-dream, Turkey’s current tactical ally, Russia, could play a positive role in solving and regulating the Kurdish issue by other means. Being neutral in the conflict, despite historically positive relations with the Kurds, Russia could act as a mediator and guarantor of Kurdish rights while fighting to maintain the territorial integrity of existing states. Russia could assist in providing the Kurds with the possibility of cultural unification, protection and the development of their identity, but this implies the concept of a cultural and historical association rather than a political one. This association could grant the Kurds a certain degree of autonomy while preserving the territorial borders of the states in which they live.

In Iraq, a solution to the Kurdish issue is possible through the construction of a tripartite confederation between the Shiite majority, the Sunnis (with the rejection of Salafism and extremism and with the Sufis playing a predominant roe) and the Kurds (mainly Sunnis). It is also necessary to take into account Assyrian Christians, Yezidis and other ethnic-religious minorities of Iraq.

At present, Iraqi Kurds have the maximum autonomy and prerequisites for the implementation of the Kurdistan project under the leadership of Masoud Barzani. The origins of the relative independence of Iraqi Kurdistan are in American operations during the 2000s. It was during this period that Iraqi Kurds gained a maximum degree of autonomy. At the moment, Iraqi Kurdistan has its own armed forces, currency and even its own diplomats. Its main income comes from oil sales. Interestingly, the per capita GDP in Iraqi Kurdistan is quite high and exceeds that of Iran and Syria.

Moreover, in September 2017, the autonomous region’s leadership held a vote on secession from Iraq – 92.73% voters voted in favor of creating an independent Iraqi Kurdistan. Erbil’s plans in this direction have been met with negativity both in Iraq and in Turkey (despite Erdogan’s partnership with Barzani).

However, the situation in Iraq has its own difficulties and complications – the Barzani clan controls only half of the region, the second part of Iraqi Kurdistan, including the capital located in Sulaymaniyah, is controlled by the Talabani clan (the “Patriotic Union of Kurdistan” party is subordinate to it). Conditional partnerships have been established between the Barzani clan and the Talabani clan, but their orientations differ due to their diverging political priorities: this also manifests itself in terms of foreign policy: The Talabani clan is focused on Iran while the Barzani clan is focused on Turkey. This situation shows that even in the strongest part of Kurdistan there are heavy internal contradictions which make state-hood impossible.

In Turkey, the project faces several particularly sharp problems, a notable one being the ruling circle’s strong views on the Kurdish issue. Erdogan came to power in part by playing on the Kurdish factor (in efforts such as the Western-supported Kurdish–Turkish peace process), but, as relations with the West worsened, he began to return to a national Kemalist course, which traditionally takes a tough anti-separatist position, seeing any compromises with separatists as weakening Turkey’s national unity. As a result, Erdogan is now pursuing a policy of suppressing the movement for Kurdish autonomy – the PKK has responded in turn by carrying out terrorist attacks and issuing ultimatums.

The most stable situation for the Kurds in the Middle East is the one in Iran. The Kurds there live in four provinces – Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Western Azerbaijan and Ilam.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The second seed of the Kurdish state is a network of associations of followers of the partisan leader Abdullah Ocalan, a left-wing politician, and the mastermind/creator of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Ocalan’s teachings are about creating a special political union of Kurds in the spirit of “democratic confederalism”. This project promotes the creation of a virtual Kurdish state, based on socialist ideas. The center of this teaching is currently Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), which has raised strong concerns from Turkey who sees the Syrian Kurds as an integral part of the PKK. Consequently, Erdogan’s policy is based on the uncompromising political rejection of the Syrian Kurds political formations, which is why he is preparing for military operations in northeastern Syria.

In Ocalan’s ideas, we find the interesting postmodern political project of creating a post-national virtual state called a “confederation” which relies on disparate associations, clans and tribes rather than a formal nation. This network-based society surprisingly coincides in its general features with postmodern theories in international relations, promoting the end of the era of nation-states and the need for a transition to a virtual structure of power. In philosophical terms, the idea is inspired by left-wing French postmodernists, in particular, the Deleuzian concept of the “rhizome” – a scattered mushroom in which there is no center, but everything is still connected in a network. The idea is manifested in the Kurdish anarcho-communist project which combines leftist ideas, postmodern philosophy and feminism. Representatives of anarchist communities inspired by globalist financier George Soros also have sympathy for the idea of a virtual rhizomatic state.

The main enemies of Ocalan’s project are Turkey and Syria (in Syria, the followers of Ocalan are based in the North – they call themselves the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria). Support for the Syrian Kurds has also come from the US government… for several years, they have sent financial assistance to the Kurds to fight Daesh terrorists. In the Western media, far more attention was paid to the Kurd’s fight against Daesh than the actual large-scale victories of the Syrian and Turkish armies.

Israel is betting heavily on the Kurds in its regional policy since the Israelis are well aware that a Kurdish state would be a fundamental problem for all of their regional opponents (Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria). Although the Kurds are Muslims, and therefore hardly enthusiastic about Israeli policy toward Palestine, the pragmatic interests of Kurdish nationalism often outweigh confessional solidarity.

Following the recent strengthening of Assad’s position in Syria, Iran’s tough opposition to US policy and Turkey’s geopolitical reversal toward multipolarity, America is also increasingly putting its money on the Kurds, literally and figuratively. In 2019, the Ministry of Defense allocated $300 million to support Kurdish forces in the war against Daesh. The United States, according to UWI sources, continues to supply arms to Kurdish militants from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) today, using them as a weapon in the struggle to overthrow Assad. A report by the Carnegie Foundation notes that Kurdish groups in Syria and Iraq that successfully conducted operations against Daesh are “key US allies.” In the Western media, the Kurds are usually portrayed as “peacekeepers.”

The Americans (who are well aware of the difficulties involved) believe that the process of trying to build a Kurdish state will weaken or destroy their Middle Eastern rivals. After all, the creation of a free Kurdistan would entail the territorial division of Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey, creating a wide-ranging but controlled chaos.

An Alternative to the Greater Middle East Project

It has become apparent that the Kurdish issue needs to be resolved in the framework of a new project, an alternative to the globalist’s Greater Middle East strategy. It is important to create an alternative project that could rely on Ankara, while taking into account the interests of Baghdad, Tehran and Damascus. It should be Moscow, and not Washington (at least, not the American deep state) that plays the central mediating role. The project should work to preserve the territorial integrity of existing nations and even strengthen their overall sovereignty… at the same time, it is extremely important to take into account the diversity of peoples in the Middle East, and the Kurds in particular. Within this new political framework, the Kurds should have certain powers and guarantees – but at the same time, they must not be allowed to be exploited by globalist forces looking to destabilize the region to their own advantage.

In the context of the transformation of the Middle East, powers should reorient themselves towards cooperation with the Eurasian pole. China and Russia could become the key players in resolving the Kurdish issue, ensuring a balance between real Kurdish interests and the countries seeking to maintain their territorial integrity. The only way out of the current Kurdish impasse is finding a strict, consistent and integrated approach to solving the problem of Kurdish identity.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

All images in this article are from UWI unless otherwise stated

%d bloggers like this: