Friday, October 21, 2005

Bashar, the Gulf, Iran and Israel

the death of the military elite in the middle east is comming very soon. Mehlis' report may very well be one of the last nails in that coffin. The first domino to fall was Jamal Abdel Nasser. Eventhough he died of natural causes, he died a defeated man. Communist Yemmen fell soon after, then Saddam, and now, maybe the Ba'ath in Syria. Who was this epic battle waged against? The business/oil elite of the Gulf, who have no armies, yet who do not suffer from a lack of dollars.

I am of mixed feelings about this development. Jamal Abdel Nasser, in his own way, represented a modern option for the Middle East. He ruled Egypt in a time when you could watch Um Kulthum sing to a mixed crowd of men and women (the overwhelming majority of whom were not wearing hijabs). Of course, the Assads, and Saddam also raised the banner of modernity in their own respective countries (at least up to a certain point in time).

The Gulfies, on the other hand, represented traditionalism, tribalism, fundamentalism and everything I stand against! But now they won. They want to get rid of Bashar because they are sick of the old military regimes, and they want to show everyone in the region who's the boss. They also want to get rid of him because they need as much help as possible in their never ending conflict against the Iranians.

Although divided, I sense that the one threat that brings all the gulfies together, is that behemoth called Iran. I've said this before and I'll say it again: I truly believe that they percieve "the persians" to be much more of a threat than the Israelis. And now that Iraq (once a buffer against Iran) is up for grabs, they're probably gonna wanna get Syria on their camp as soon as possible.

Once bashar is out of the way, the Gufies are gonna wanna do two things:

1. gradually suffocate hizballah
2. come to a quick and amicable agreement with Israel

I am definitely seeing an implicit Metternicht-style alliance between the Israelis and Gulfies against Iran. Heck... why not? Haven't the Turks done it? Are they not Muslims? Shit...

We are in for one heck of a ride in the Middle East! And if the Iranians acheive their nuclear ambitions, I wonder what the hell will happen then! All I know for sure is that Bashar is fighting for his life, and that the odds are stacked against him.


Anonymous said...

hey you think Mr X is walid joumblat?

Raja said...

no... b/c joumblatt had not been on syria's good side for quite some time before hariri's assassination - don't forget how they tried to kill hamade.

Mr. X had to be someone who was on good terms with the syrians up until the point of the assassination. there is no other way he could be a valuable whitness.

Hassan said...

The gulfies probably do fear the Iranians most, but they also have to pay special attention to their domestic salafi groups and power-prone Muslim Brotherhood. For now, Iraq is the place for young Arab Jihadists to go and fight; the Gulf rulers are thankful to Iran and Syria for “supposedly” letting those eager fighters pass through their land into Iraq, a long way from the streets and malls of Riyad and Kuwait cities.

I don’t think Bashar is fighting for his life, or even power, anymore. The Syrian regime will probably survive this stage by scapegoating some intelligence officers who are already an internal problem to Bashar anyway. Most probably, they will make some concessions in Iraq, but will start learning from the Iranian policy there.

As for Iran’s nuclear ambitions, there have been contradicting reports, with estimates ranging between months and (ten) years before Iran get the bomb. And I believe this scenario is still unlikely.

Raja said...

wle Hassan!!! you're still awake?!?!?

Anonymous said...

who said that Mr. X is a witness? The report says " an intercepted telephone conversation between General Ghazali, head of Syrian intelligence in Lebanon, and a prominent Lebanese official on 19 July 2004, at 0945 hrs "

Raja said...

ooops! my bad! I need to read this report more closely!

Ghassan said...

Bashar is a stupid dictator who does not how to control even his own brother, Maher! At least Saddam was much smarter dealing with controlling his country inside! Both anyway are dumbs dealing with the outside world.

Sooner or later Bashar will have to give up Sharaa' the lier, Ghazala al-Houanri and anyway who was involved in killing Hariri or he will lose his throne! Bye Bye Assads!!!

Hassan said...

Still awake!! Read the report! I go sleep now! Work in 4 hours!

What do you think of the internal danger to gulf rulers?

Raja said...

internal danger to gulf rulers is significant. religion to tribal chiefs is a double-edged sword. it can be used to legitimize their domination of the other tribes. it can also be used to delegitimize their rule. their situation (especially the saudi situation) could have been much more precarious had oil prices not been so high.

Anonymous said...

Is the text of the report available online?

Hassan said...

Go to:

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Frankly, I’m fed up with all these self-proclaimed Lebanon “experts” avidly commenting excerpts from the Mehlis report as if it were some kind of exercise in exegesis.

OK some Marxist/Syrian “Mukhabarât” thugs might have contributed to the killing of one of their former protégés… and, after all, so what?

Rafiq Hariri was a notorious Saudi-sponsored fraudster and embezzler who had stolen billions from the Lebanese government’s coffers with the complicity of resident Syrian Gen. Ghazi Canaan who skimmed his infamous “khamseen” percent commission for the big boys back in Damascus and Qardâha.

Faux “sheikh” Hariri was most likely killed in a settling of accounts between rival Syrian mafia gangs: that type of crime happens every now and then in Palermo and in the south side of Chicago without eliciting the appointment of a German special prosecutor or impromptu meetings of the UN’s Security Council!

Contrary to the tall tales peddled on Fox News, Future TV, Al-Nahar-al-Wahhabist and other Saudi and/or Hebrew controlled media outlets, “sheikh Rafiq” was no “disinterested defender of freedom”

Actually, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Saddam’s Iraq and the French government were the only members of the international community who stood squarely on the side of Lebanon’s sovereignty while the country was being ripped/raped by Syria and Saudi Arabia: in those days, the White House courageously looked the other way while Syrian generals tortured at will from Beirut to Zahleh and “sheikh” Rafiq handed no-bid government contracts to his family’s construction firms and organized Oriental orgies cum crystal waterpipes and deluxe Lebanese sex slaves for his Saudi masters.

Doha said...

Victorino, Wake up the truth!

Anonymous said...

ok, what if Mr X was Murr senior, or junior. as minister of the interior he would be in the perfect position to "stage a demonstration" as the report claims he decided with ghazaleh. he would also have an important role in the logistics of any operation.

this would give sense to his assassination attempt: he knew too much.

Raja said...

anon 10:45,

I wouldn't be surprized if that really was the case.