Looking back on “Assadfall” and the future of Middle East

Posted on March 10, 2017. Filed under: Afghanistan, Arab, India, Iran, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Israel, Jew, Jihad, Left, Pakistan, Palestine, Politics, Russia, Shia, Sunni, Syria, Taleban, Turkey, UK, USA |

About six years ago, when the Syrian “civil war” started off, I had already been used to frequently writing and debating on an online forum. There was a poster apparently from India, but claiming intimate knowledge of the Gulf states and having access to “higher levels” of policy-making and decision makers in both Gulf Saudi allied regimes and in India. He often gave out timelines for fall of Assad, overthrow of the Syrian regime, or even sometimes how Saudi forces were preparing for the final assault that will annihilate Syrian government, and occasionally the imminent victorious or successful battle plans of Israel, USA and others against Assad. Sometimes it was about how in the following weeks the Russians were going to abandon Assad to his fate.

I had already clashed with him on his whitewashing of the history of Palestine in favour of Islamic occupation of the Levant following Byzantine withdrawal, or the legitimacy of the claims of the Jews on their current lands (leading to the series I wrote on this blog on Palestine and Islamo-Judaic relations). So when he declared that Assad was going to “fall” in the “next two weeks”, I thought I would have some fun by contradicting him on his “sure” predictions on Syria, (this led me to coin the term “Assadfall” – something that is promised to happen the next day or next week but never happens even in years) and proposed,

(1) If Assad could  hold onto the narrow ridge highland that separated coasts from the eastern trough before the vast eastern plateau he was not going to fall. Not in two weeks. Not in two years.

(2) Syria was going to be partitioned one way or the other and the Kurds were going to get their independent homeland.

(3) Russia was not going to abandon Assad, and Israel was not going to move against Syria.

I was of course laughed at just like the time when I had predicted that the US forces will be withdrawing from Afghanistan, that the British forces would make no headway against the Taleban, and that the Taleban were going to re-emerge as the main power in Afghanistan. My reasons for predicting the resurgence of the Taleban is perhaps material for another post, so skipping it now.

Returning to this six-year old issue, I can see that my reasons for predicting the outcome of the Syrian adventure by Sunni-Saudi-West have not really changed. But the fallout needs to be fleshed out in further predictions. So what will be the major trends for the future for the region?

(a) I find that there is a remarkable lack of awareness of the historical reality of the Kurds among western audiences and perhaps even so-called think-tanks. The Kurds, after Islamization, were at the vanguard of Islamic expansionism, with the most famous example perhaps being the forces around Salahuddin the expeller of crusaders. Kurdis were also implicated as the main forces used by the Ottomans to “manage” the Armenians which later came to be seen by non-Turkish scholarship as the Armenian genocide. Ironically, it was this cooperation with Ottoman regimes that helped coalesce military strength around family, clan and regional lines among the Kurds. The Kurds were not free of Islamist theological-political admixture with leadership held within pseudo-dynastic frameworks.

(b) With the break up of the Ottoman empire, this Kurdi nucleus of state formation around charismatic and pseudo-dynastic clan leadership in one particular remote terrain among all the regions inhabited by the Kurdis, began to pursue political independence more vigorously. Like with Saudis, western powers toyed with but dashed their hopes of political sovereignty. But Ottoman failure also led to soul-searching by new generation of Middle East’s muslims, and one section of Kurdis, like all over both Arabs and non-Arab population in the zone, began to explore “Left” approach. This tendency eventually led to the modern PKK.

(c) The current Kurdi assertion is split between the “Leftists” in PKK and its armed wings, which have fought alongside the more “mainstream” Peshmarga, the forces around the “clan”. The Peshmarga will compromise on independent state-formation as its leadership will be more interested in keeping their personal control over Kurds, which might be less assured at current stages if the dissenting factions come into a sovereign state where other national governments cannot be tasked with reducing this opposition.

(d) Given that Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and even Iran would not like an independent Kurdi nation being carved out as it would bite into each of their current territories, at this stage, its Turkey which stands to lose most and the other countries involved may concede a little just so that the major portion of the new Kurdi territory is taken out of Turkey.

(e) Since the forces around Peshmarga are likely to be softer on independent state formation, and the balance of forces would like to see Turkey being cut down a bit, it’s the PKK led faction and its forces which are likely to gain increasing political support from within Kurdi populations, and they will gradually replace the political predominance of the current clan based framework that Kurdis have.

(f) Turkey, Saudis and Qataris or Kuwaitis, who most likely supplied and deemed the ISIS as deniable assets of an army of expansion, will seek to carve out a territory for the ISIS assets. This Turkey, European powers, are going to try to do by overtly representing it as an autonomous or independent region of “Sunni” “moderate rebels” just south of Turkish borders. In fact this could also be a part of a deal in which both Kurdis and ISIS re-packaged as “moderate rebels”  have each their adjacent “independent states”. Turkey may accept this as a check against Kurdis and as temporary compromise to protect its jihadi assets. Saudi money might also work behind the scenes in western corridors of power to create pressure to accept this model.

However in the long run, this will just be an interim redrawing of Middle Easts borders. The main objective of Europe, and Saudis will be to transfer the jihadi assets developed in the plains of Iraq and Syria into two directions – east and north against Russia and Iran, and further east towards Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. We may already see the beginnings of this policy in increased activities of claimed ISIS operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, even within that, its India’s north that is the target.

Enticing them into India is the thing to do. As I have been projecting for years, any such jihadi incursion will create the conditions for eventual erasure of Islam and jihadism.

 

 

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: