What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, received Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Discussion focused on security challenges in the Middle East, from Syria to the Sahel. Both of them concurred that political polarisation and huge economic and social needs had to be addressed to prevent instability from growing. Yet three major countries there, Iraq, Syria and Egypt are in the verge of destruction, bloody civil war and effective partitioning. (EC Audiovisual Services, 25/06/2013).

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, received Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Discussion focused on security challenges in the Middle East, from Syria to the Sahel. Both of them concurred that political polarisation and huge economic and social needs had to be addressed to prevent instability from growing. Yet three major countries there, Iraq, Syria and Egypt are in the verge of destruction, bloody civil war and effective partitioning. (EC Audiovisual Services, 25/06/2013).

Three major Middle East countries, Iraq, Egypt and Syria are in a transitory phase or in deadly civil war and all of them being threatened with effective partitioning. After Iraq, the US supported actively by Britain, is now planning an attack to Syria which will certainly lead to a partitioning of the country. In this case the Americans have in their side also France and to lesser degree Germany. As for Egypt the scenario has just begun to unfold and the country will be tested in every respect, with social cohesion being already the first victim. Egyptians are now divided mainly by religion.

Divide them as you may

The attacks on Christians and the fight between the traditional Muslim majority against the army and a westernised minority has taken the dimensions of a real civil war. It’s highly possible that Egypt would end up like Syria. Actually the two countries have a lot in common and were for a brief period from 1958 until 1961 united in one statehood, the United Arab Republic. They share a common past being governed for decades by secular and ‘enlightened’ militaries like Gamal Abdel Nasser and Hafez al-Assad, the father of the present ruler of Syria.

Probably the two countries will share also a common future in a complete destruction. It’s certain that if Egypt was not in such a deplorable situation, Syria wouldn’t end up like that. Even Hosni Mubarak could have saved Syria from the claws of the West. Now Russia and China would ‘negotiate’ with the West the destruction of Syria and Egypt. Yesterday afternoon the two countries walked out from the UN Security Council and left the other three permanent members, the US, Britain and France to continue planning a military intervention in Syria.

Probably with a good concession from the West, China may abstain like in the invasion of Libya or present no active resistance. Russia is a different case given its strong military presence in Syria. If Moscow feels that it can actively and successfully resist the Western military assault, America and Europe would pay a very dear price to Kremlin in order to secure its neutrality. Syria is the last place in the whole Middle East where Russia has a presence. If the West manages to uproot the Russians from Syria the entire region will come under NATO’s sword. It’s more than certain that after Syria it will come the turn of Egypt to pay the price for still being in one-piece.

Russia will resist

In view of that Russia will resist with all it’s got the US-European plans for Syria. In this game there is also the factor of Iran. Tehran has already threatened that in case of a Western assault in Syria, it will be Israel to pay the price. The thing is however that Tell-Aviv can successfully protect itself and Iran cannot deliver its threats that easily. Let alone that in such a case the Iranian uranium enrichment installations would come under fire.

At the end of the day it’s only Russia that not only has a lot to lose in Syria but at the same time Moscow has the ability to effectively protect its interests there. The question is up to which point the Kremlin will choose to confront the West militarily.

Unfortunately the lesson to be drawn from this serious affair is that the West is playing the power game in the Middle East, using military force at will. Iraq and Libya were the first in the row. There is not escape for the smaller players and it’s only the guns that count. Nobody cares any more about international law and the right of self-determination. The UN has become a power brokerage facility offering good environment for negotiations between those who have access to this market place. The game includes also the control of media and free use of provocations of any kind. As for those who don’t count for anything, like Tunisia, the world lets them to rot alone.

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