A couple of things that do not change in the Middle East

7 May

Because these last couple of days we heard a lot of big brilliant generalities about the Middle East, we wanted to add some of our own.

  • There is no « regional war »

Politicians and leaders in the Middle East are extremely brave in their speeches but really not in their actions. When there is a conflict or a tension or a war, everyone wants to take advantage of it but no one wants to be hit. So what happens is that : leaders and powers agree to fix their problems or tensions on a specific location. They will help this country to become the putrid point and will fill it with every shit they got so the problem don’t backfire. You can try them and spread two world wars in the Middle East, it will still hardly become regional.

Palestinian « problem » never spilled over the whole region. It was “fixed” in Jordan then in Lebanon. Lebanese civil war never spilled out to the whole region, rather the whole region spilled in the Lebanese civil war. Syria and Israel carefully fed the Lebanese civil war for a decade. Iran Islamic revolution never spilled out neither. It was carefully fixed on the Iran-Iraq border and also carefully nourished by everyone for eight years. When the US invaded Iraq, they were not met with Arabic hordes but rather by a civil war everyone around was happy to help. When Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006 to destroy Hezbollah, Iran or Syria (the indestructible and holly “shia axis”) barely blinked. Currently, all the « problems » of the Middle East are being fixed in Syria. Every neighboring country will fill Syria with its own shit and power game. But the key here is that Syria « crisis » will never become regional “crisis”. It is the regional crisis that wants to overthrow the revolution in Syria. Everyone will do whatever they can so Syria becomes a horrible nightmare for the next decade but this nightmare will stay located in Syria and killing only Syrians. Did you ever wonder why civil wars are called civil wars? Basically it is because they stay in one country. No one wants to fight a regional war but the whole region is dying to use Syria as a battlefield.

This rule is to help journalists dealing with the myth “Syrian crisis could extend to Lebanon”. It will not. What happens is that Lebanon shitty sectarian politics is extending to Syria. Syria “crisis” will not harm the “fragile sectarian balance” of Lebanon because this balance does not exist. What exists in Lebanon is the rule of the rich against the poor, the mafia against the people and never-dying nepotistic leaders hiding their interests behind sectarian rhetoric.
The number of Syrian refugees is a problem not because the country is small but because the society is deeply racist and eager to blame refugees or “foreign influence” for all problems. Crime is rising but this may be related to the lack of government and security (or any basic social service) in the country.

Truth is, when there is indeed a regional movement like the Arab Revolution, everyone agrees it has to be stopped, countered, killed, butchered, and divided into shia-sunni.

  • Israel leaders have no strategic thinking

Israel leaders have no strategic thinking and never really had any. At first, they were thinking that they were a foreign corpse in a hostile Arab region and, because Arabs only understand the stick, they would have to use the stick. So every time they are afraid, they hit an Arab something with a big stick, just so the other Arabs learn the lesson : Israel does not like to be afraid. After the time, the use of the stick extended. It was not when leaders were afraid anymore but also when they were lost, bothered, bored, running an election campaign or did not know what else to do.

Syria is Israel neighboring country. Syria experiences a revolution and a counter-revolution at a scale no one predicted. Israel leaders are incapable of picturing themselves with the very concept of freedom in an Arab country. All they can think of is Assad dictator (bad) or Islamic theocracy (worse) and they have no idea what to do. But they know they have to do something. If they do not hit an Arab agitation with a big stick, Israeli citizens are going to ask for their own right: housing, education, health and public services, complain about corruption. They may even ask for peace… If Israeli leaders stop feeding the people with existential threats and “right to security” they may face the horrible prospect of actually building a country. A dire prospect indeed. And this is why they hit. Why they draw red lines that where not there before, why they prepare for war and why they keep themselves and their people afraid.

What they think now is hard to tell for that reason. Do not be surprise if the next air strike happens to be against the rebellion so the stick has some sort of balance. When two kids are fighting you punish them both…

  • Assad does not retaliate against Israel

Assad (father or son) never has and Assad probably never will. He will do a lot of barking though. Information minister immediately said that Israeli attack “opens up to all possibilities”, including of course, the possibility of not doing anything at all.
Truth is, Assad is currently too busy with his ethnic cleansing to retaliate against an enemy he never dared to attack before. Assad does not care about Israel, he wants to wipe Syria out of the globe because he knows he is lost and he would not tolerate that Syria survives after him. Assad will massacre some children, call them terrorist and explain these terrorists are supported by Israel so here was the retaliation.

  • No matter how hard they tried, no one ever managed to create a sectarian state in the Middle East

And God knows they tried. They all got somehow convinced that harmonious sectarian zones had to be the best for the Middle East. So the French tried (and failed) to create an Alawi state. They also tried and failed to create a Druze state. They tried (and succeeded) in creating Lebanon, a Maronite state that later became the most multisectarian state in the middle east. That of course, after the inevitable civil war. British thought it would be a good idea to allow a Jewish state in Palestine. This is now called Israel and people there start to realise a “Jewish state” means apartheid with barbed-wires, nukes, and homophobic ultra-orthodox zealots demanding theocracy. And this is not to mention the Kurdistan, French and British always promised but were never able to deliver.

So the rule in the middle east is that no sectarian state has ever been or will ever be possible. But the other rule pertaining to the first one is that no matter how obvious is the predicted failure, analysts will always keep thinking harmonious sectarian zones are the best solution for the Middle East. When the US invaded Iraq they created three sectarian zones. It ended up in a bloody sectarian civil war. It was a proof that these people can’t live together and Middle East needs more harmonious sectarian zones.

Now analysts and commentators are pretty sure Assad is planning to (re)create an Alawi state on Syrian coast in case he looses his capital city. The recent massacre in Banyas indicates Assad is following this idea with a good head-start on the ethnic cleansing. Thank you all experts and analyst who helped fill Assad’s head with the idea that an Alawi state might work. What that proves is also that Assad is the rightful heir of colonialism.


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