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Editorial

The Ottoman illusion and the last cards of the attack on Syria

During this past week, talk emerged regarding Turkey’s possible engagement in a military attack on Syria. By looking into the balances and equations, this could be considered a possible option, although it is unlikely based on logical calculations. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan linked his political fate to Turkey’s future role in the Syrian crisis, while fearing the end of the crisis with Syria’s victorious exit from it, as this would mean the emergence of a new regional order led by the bloc that includes Syria, Iran, Iraq and the resistance. Indeed, this would mean the development of Syria’s role and that of its president instead of its retreat, as it had been hoped by the prime minister of the government of Ottoman illusion at the beginning of the crisis through an urgent wish to impose Turkish influence within Syria by giving a prominent role to the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the context of the Syrian political equation.

What is certain is that any Turkish step under the headline of the buffer zone or humanitarian corridors would mean the introduction of troops into Syria, at a time when the announced Syrian decision is to strongly defend national soil. In other words, any Turkish step will trigger a Syrian-Turkish war that will herald a greater regional war. It is known that the government of Ottoman illusion is acting as the agent of Western colonialism in the region and wants to improve its role by extending its hands deep within the Arab scene, thus contributing with the West or under its umbrella to the restructuring of the political authorities via the Muslim Brotherhood and with Qatari and Saudi funding. Nonetheless, the Turkish regional action cannot surpass the American instructions, which is why the military adventure – if it were to occur- should have at least earned an American yellow light, if not a full authorization.

Although the foreign minister of the government of Ottoman illusion, Ahmet Davutoglu, announced on Friday night that war on Syria was out of the question and that the priority was to ensure the discontinuation of the military operations and the success of Annan’s initiative, this does not mean the removal of the Turkish threat off the table in light of Erdogan’s rowdy statements and the clear American confusion. The American administration for its part did not do enough to deter the government of Ottoman illusion while it has become certain that it is unwilling to provide cover for any new war in the region due to its economic and financial crisis. In the meantime, NATO is stuck in Afghanistan and does not need a new predicament, whose repercussions could cause a global confrontation threatening Israel’s existence.

The American administration is thus sustaining this margin to be able; to contain the consequences, in case Erdogan were to become engaged in the war on Syria, knowing that the Turkish loss is confirmed due to the following strategic elements:

The consequences of war inside Syria will be highly costly on the economic and military levels due to the use of rockets and aircrafts in the combat. Moreover, the adventure in Syria would mean risking the resumption of war between the Kurdish revolutionaries and the Turkish army as announced by the PKK. On the other hand, the actions of the Turkish opposition against Erdogan’s government will grow fiercer and more efficient than before, due to the direct military intervention and its human, security and economic effects in a country mainly relying on tourism and the exportation of goods to the surrounding states. In addition, war on Syria will not offer any convincing accomplishment to the Turkish public opinion, except for the partisan factions loyal to Erdogan, and while the newspapers of the ruling party are calling for such a war, the other newspapers keep warning against it.

The war will have regional repercussions that will affect Turkey’s interests and relations. Indeed, the Turkish clash with Iran, Russia and the BRICs group will cause the latter axis to consider itself targeted by any attack on Syria. Ankara will not be able to afford the cost of the tensions with Tehran and Moscow with which it enjoys economic relations, considering that such tensions will undoubtedly provoke paralysis at the level of the Turkish economy and threaten the oil and gas exports in a way that will cost turkey an economic exchange estimated at 150 billion dollars per year. Moreover, the Arab echoing of the aggression will be reflected in a state of solidarity with Syria, which will undermine the positive image Turkey wanted to promote in the context of the so-called Arab Spring. On the international level the Turkish war will be perceived as a threat that might ignite a sensitive region in which the West fears for Israel’s existence, while Turkey will have to face an active international axis that is led by Russia and that will treat it as a hostile state, without Saudi Arabia or Qatar being able to provide sufficient Arab cover for the aggression on Syria, especially under the Iraqi chairmanship of the Arab League.

Erdogan is puzzled while conducting the calculations of failure, and is detecting his investable collapse in internal Turkish calculations in the face of Syria’s rise and exit from the predicament. He is thus acting as the primary loser, which increases the chances of seeing him committing lethal and foolish acts.

New analysis

Annan’s mission and war in other forms

The political and media facts reveal that the colonial Western alliance and its tools are continuing to escalate the pressures on Syria. For their part, international and regional sides have tried and are still trying to impact Annan’s mission and its field and political course based on a series of signs, the most prominent of which being the refusal of the Western states to offer clear commitments regarding the discontinuation of the funding and arming of the opposition and at the level of forcing the Turkish and Gulf governments involved in the war on Syria to adopt steps going in line with that direction.

Despite the Syrian national state’s commitment to the implementation mechanisms of the initiative proposed by the international envoy, and instead of welcoming and cooperating with that initiative, an instigative regional and international campaign was launched under the command of the American administration, in a way revealing a determination to proceed with the failed war by all means necessary. The Security Council statement and Annan’s appointment as the UN envoy to Syria were prompted by the deadlock reached by the foreign military intervention attempts and the developments inside and around Syria on the regional and international levels, which made the invasion calculations retreat under the pressures of the deterrence deployed by Syria and its strategic partners in the region and around the world. Now, the international community recognizes there is no alternative for the political solution in Syria through dialogue between the national state headed by President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition forces, and by resorting to the ballot boxes to ensure the reformation and rotation of power.

Hence, the statement and the initiative constitute an American recognition of the collapse of the wager on the changing of the regime, in parallel to the discontinuation of the calls on President Bashar al-Assad to step down. The latter two slogans were depleted throughout a year of the global war on Syria, after the country proved its strength, the cohesion of its state’s structure and the loyalty of its national army. The new international balance generated by the Syrian crisis secured the appropriate environment which produced Annan’s mission, thus forcing the United States and its allies to succumb to the facts and to contain the great failure which affected their plans in the region through the mission of the international envoy, whose details and various chapters have started to constitute an arena to proceed with the war in other forms.

Indeed, the alternative American plan was drawn up based on an understanding with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to set a trap for Syria in the first stage of Annan’s mission, by turning the agreement over a ceasefire into a dupery similar to what was seen when the Arab observers launched their mission. This was revealed by the mechanism to stop the combat operations which was proposed by Kofi Annan, by asking the Syrian army to implement the ceasefire two days before the armed groups. This two-day difference aimed at repeating what happened to the Arab observers, by allowing the return of the armed men to the areas from which they were ousted by the state. However, the Syrian state –through an agreement with Russia- was able to impose its conditions over the ceasefire formula which was announced by Annan from Tehran and whose implementation was launched on Thursday morning.

Hence, the army troops remained in a state of alert and maintained the right to intervene to respond to any operations affecting the security situation, in order to prevent the armed groups from expanding their deployment and allow the army to uphold its accomplishments on the field. It has also become clear that the step on which the war alliance is counting is an attempt to mobilize provocative demonstrations by the Muslim brotherhood, the takfiris, and other opposition formations before the discontinuation of the fighting, in the hope of provoking violence again and hold the Syrian authorities responsible for confronting a new situation that constitutes a threat on the political and security levels. Moreover, the Syrian state was able to earn an international submission to the Syrian decision related to the formation of the observers teams, in regard to whom a special protocol will be signed with Annan’s team, at a time when it has become certain that the Russian participation in these teams will be wide and constitute a guarantee for the Syrian state.

In conclusion, the war on Syria is continuing in other forms and the attempts will proceed to sabotage or impact the course of Annan’s mission despite the preliminary success that was achieved and that will be followed by the deployment of the observers. The next stage will be extremely sensitive and filled with political pressures concealing an attempt by the colonial war alliance to obstruct the rise of the Syrian strength from the crisis, as this will herald the toppling of the regional equation and the opening of the difficult and deferred calculations that will be conducted by Syria against the alliance of aggression and sabotage.

Egypt’s presidency and the era of ongoing turmoil

The Egyptian presidential elections are governed by American attempts to create an authority that would commit to the Camp David accord through a partnership between the Muslim Brotherhood organization and the command of the military institution. This was dubbed the “Turkish option” which was adopted by Washington to reproduce Mubarak’s regime with a new political front.

Firstly, so far, the American attempts have been obstructed by disputes between the MB leadership and the generals over the demarcation of the border of partnership. Indeed, the military council is demanding a constitutional text granting it greater prerogatives, while the MB command is rejecting that under the pretext of upholding the civil rule. During the direct negotiations with the American administration, the MB command succumbed to the American conditions, at the head of which comes the commitment to the protection of the Camp David agreement and the continuation of economic and security cooperation with Israel. Erdogan’s Turkish government and Qatar had set the foundations for these relations since 2007, as per the reports of the American planning centers.

Secondly, the American circles perceived the nomination of an MB candidate to the presidential elections as being a violation of previous pledges made by the organization’s command to ensure a smooth division of power between the MB and the army. This would explain the supreme court’s decision to annul the appointment of the Constituent Assembly responsible for the drafting of the constitution - as per the People’s Assembly’s decision - and the acceptance of that step by the MB as clear proof for the difficulty to face the army’s determination to contain the MB’s area of influence and the group’s control over the drafting of the constitution.

Regardless of the results, the economic and social crisis will continue to affect Egypt’s position and role and continue to motivate the ongoing popular actions and the turmoil. Hence, regardless of the outcome of the presidential elections, depletion will be the headline of the Egyptian situation, while the fight over power between the military and the MB organization will continue to prevail.

Arab affairs

Syria

Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem assured that the government pulled out some army units from some provinces and that despite this move, the armed terrorist operations expanded and reached other provinces. He added that Syria did not ask Kofi Annan to provide written guarantees from the armed groups and their sponsor states, rather asked him to contact them and to convey the results of these contacts. During a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Minister Al-Muallem described the talks with Sergei Lavrov as being constructive, adding that the viewpoints were close and focused on the ways to allow the success of international envoy Kofi Annan’s mission.

President Bashar al-Assad stressed - during a meeting with a delegation from the Scholars’ Union in the Levant - the importance of the conference for the support of Jerusalem to confront the dangerous Israeli practices aiming at Judaizing Jerusalem and destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque. For their part, the members of the delegation condemned the campaign to which Syria was being subjected in order to undermine its position, its security and its stability by toppling the facts, generating strife and fictive enemies and causing the disregarding of the Palestinian cause.

On Wednesday, the Syrian Defense Ministry announced the discontinuation of the military activities against the armed terrorist groups starting Thursday morning, adding: “Our courageous troops will remain in a state of alert to respond to any attack carried out by the armed terrorist groups against civilians, the security and military forces and the public and private properties, in order to uphold the security of the country and the citizens.”

Egypt

On Saturday, Egypt’s Election Commission excluded ten presidential candidates from the race, including three front-runners i.e. former Intelligence Minister and Vice President Omar Suleiman, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khayrat al-Shater and Islamic hardliner Hazem Abu Ismail. The candidates have 48 hours to appeal the Commission’s decision. The MB officially announced it was opposed to the decision and accused the military council of being behind this politicized sentence, while the supporters of the Salafi candidate Abu Ismail expressed their anger amid fears that they will stage demonstrations to protest against the disqualification of their candidate.

Israeli file

The issues tackled by the Israeli papers this week varied, but as usual, the Iranian nuclear file occupied the front pages. Maariv indicated in this context that during his last visit to the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to make a commitment before American President Barack Obama that no military strike will be launched against Iran before the American elections in November, assuring that the timetable which was approved by Netanyahu stipulated the non-launching of this strike before next fall.

On the other hand, the papers mentioned that Israel enhanced its security forces around the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, thus deploying hundreds of troops to prevent the entry of the participants in the trip being conducted in solidarity with the Palestinians and dubbed ‘Welcome to Palestine’ into the areas of the Palestinian Authority.

In light of the investigations carried by the New York Times about the exceptional relations between Netanyahu and American Republican candidate Mitt Romney throughout tens of years, Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, sent a letter to the paper in which he denied that Netanyahu was intervening in the American elections that are to be held in November.

Regarding the developments affecting the Israeli negotiations with the Palestinian authority, Maariv said that Netanyahu will propose to President Mahmoud Abbas that he meets with Salam Fayyad next week in order to move to direct negotiations between Netanyahu and Abu Mazen. On the other hand, the new budget is obstructing the Israeli army training, as the reservists in one combat unit were recently surprised to receive an official notification regarding the halting of the training they were supposed to conduct due to “changes in the allocation of the army budget.”

Lebanese affairs

News analysis

The Lebanon war

On April 13, 1975 civil war erupted in Lebanon against the backdrop of an internal Lebanese conflict over the political and economic structure of the regime and Lebanon’s positions towards the international and regional issues, particularly the Palestinian cause. Consequently, Lebanon was transformed into an arena of armed chaos for around fifteen years, which caused wide destruction and devastation.

Today, Syria is in the eye of the storm and many signs are heralding the threat ranging between sectarian climates and acute divisions under the veil of a domestic cloak. But in reality, they reveal the major international camps standing behind them. Syria’s position, along with its security, its national unity and independence are at risk. However, it will recover, achieve victory and exit the crisis.

The lessons that should be drawn by the Lebanese is the following: When there is a strong army, this army can spare the country from the bitter cup of civil war and when the state has a stringent position at the level of the Palestinian cause, it enjoys popular strength and exposes whoever is standing in its face. As to the lesson that should be drawn by the Syrians, it is that no matter how beautiful the dreams are and how major the causes, they are destructive when they lead the country towards civil war and foreign intervention. Moreover, regardless of the flaws affecting the state, they remain more perfect than any anarchy.

Lebanese file

Cameraman Ali Shaaban in the Al-Jadid television channel was martyred on Monday in a shooting in the Wadi Khalid region on the Lebanese-Syrian border. The official, political, media, journalistic and syndical circles condemned the incident and demanded an urgent investigation into the backdrop of the cameraman’s killing. Al-Jadid channel assures based on the testimonies of its crew members who were on the ground that the bullets which caused the death of Shaaban were shot by the Syrian regular army. However, the official Syrian news agency SANA reported that the Lebanese cameraman was killed when the border guards responded to the shootings of an armed terrorist group.

The March 14 forces held an exceptional meeting in Meerab to look into the attempted assassination of Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea. Following the meeting, it issued a statement saying that the government’s non-surrender of the communication data to the security apparatuses was an act of collaboration with the criminals and an obstruction of the course of justice. The March 14 forces thus called on the government to recant its decision and demanded the transfer of the file of the attempted assassination to the judicial council, while reserving the right to adopt all popular and political steps if the government does not respond to this demand.

On the other hand Deputy General Michel Aoun said: “Every time there is a shooting or a crime, the choir launches its attack on the telecom minister by claiming he is not presenting the necessary information to the investigation bodies and demanding the exposure of all the information on the communication network. Nonetheless, there is a committee composed of senior judges which rejected that request and assured that the demands should be specific in order to be surrendered. Consequently, the Telecom Minister has nothing to do with this issue and there are many misleading campaigns surrounding this matter.”

On Saturday, Prime Minister Najib Mikati issued a surprising position after he criticized the visit of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to the island of Abu Musa. This position went against the government’s decision to distance itself from the affairs of neighboring countries.

Source
New Orient News