Ethnic wars and interests in the Middle East
Analysis: While everyone claims to be fighting ISIS in order to deceive the US, they are actually engaged in their own wars: The Turks are destroying the Kurds, the Russians are destroying Sunni jihadists, the Iraqi army is destroying Sunni forces, and the Iranians are glad the Sunnis are keeping busy in Syria and Iraq.
Once again, many countries will gather soon to "end the conflict in Syria," as it is presented by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Well, there will be no "ending." It's not a "conflict" but a global war, and there is no more "Syria."
The United States, Russia and a number of European countries are caught in illusions, and the area which was once Syria and Iraq will keep serving as the arena of a huge storm. Even worse is the fact that Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are being dragged into the center of this storm against their will, and 2016 could be a critical year for some of them.
First of all, we are talking about a Sunni-Shiite world war, which has been going on for 1,300 years now, and so the Sunni-Shiite problem must be solved before anything can be done in Syria.
This ethnic rift clearly outlines the camps: The Shiite camp, which includes Iran, the Baghdad government, the Damascus government, Hezbollah, some of the Kurds and the Russians; and rival Sunni camp, which includes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Saudi Arabia, most of the Gulf states, al-Qaeda (through the al-Nusra Front, its arm in Syria), the jihadist rebels, some of the Kurds, and at a distance - but still in the same camp - the Islamic State. The West is teaming up with the Sunni axis.
Assad needs ISIS, because it may force the West to support him for lack of any other choice; and ISIS needs Assad, because the Sunnis will then have no choice but to support the Islamic State (Photo: AP)
We are talking about wars within wars, and countless sub-wars. Everyone claims to be acting against ISIS, in order to deceive the Americans, but they are actually waging their own ethnic wars: The Turks are destroying the Kurd PKK underground; the Russians are destroying the Sunni jihadists, who in Western eyes could serve as an alternative to Syrian President Bashar; the Iraqi army (which is already mostly Shiite) is destroying the Sunni forces in Iraq; and the Iranians are happy that the Sunnis are being kept busy in Syria and Iraq, so that they will not reach their territory so fast. The Sunnis themselves are split into hundreds of militias which are hostile to each other.
How can this mess be solved? It's a case of hatred in which no side can give in, because if it does it will be annihilated by the other side. The Sunni jihadists have vowed to infiltrate Lebanon and slaughter all the Shiites there. They plan to saturate the Mediterranean Sea's water with the blood of the Alawites. The war is feeding itself, and it's only expanding. It's a dead end.
The ethnic interests exceed the considerations of the war on ISIS. Who is more dangerous as far as the Saudis are concerned - the Shiites or ISIS? The Shiites of course. And the same applies to Erdogan. So why should they actually fight ISIS?
Assad needs ISIS, because the West may then have to support him for lack of any other choice; and ISIS needs Assad, because the Sunnis will then have no choice but to support the Islamic State. Now, with the $150 billion the Americans are about to release to the Iranians, Russian weapons will flow into the ground even more and the ethnic fire will reach the sky. Iran versus Turkey, Turkey versus Baghdad and Syria. The circles of shock will expand.
And there is the presence of the Islamic State, a magnate for tens of thousands of volunteers which are flowing in from around the world. The jihadist system has created perpetual motion ("perpetuum mobile") with Europe: Thousands of radicals are flowing into Europe from the Middle East, and Europe is sending thousands of volunteers to ISIS. This process can no longer be stopped.
And let's assume that the Islamic State's lands are occupied by the West. So what? Out of 80,000 fighters, 20,000 will be killed, and then the rest will move to Europe to shake it even more?
And finally, the migration of the millions will only intensify: Three million this year, five million next year. Twenty-six percent of the Arab world's residents want to immigrate to the West. The strong ones have already immigrated, the economy has immigrated, and the hope has left too.
The locked demons have been released, and the Pandora's box of the dying Arab states will not be closed in our generation. Whether the miserable West likes it or not, it's already irreversible.
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