Can this equation change?
A total failure: this is the current point we are at as far as the Syrian policy, based on the assumption that the Bashar al-Assad regime would be toppled in a matter of days when the turmoil started.
Let’s recall: in those days, it was not enough for our rulers to be a regional power; we were about to take our place in the competition among global powers.
For now, let’s set aside the global and take a look at the regional.
*We have not been at war with Iran since the agreement signed in 1639 but that does not mean that we do not have a regional power rivalry. Iran and Turkey have always been regional competitors. Presently, Iran first established itself in Iraq and now in Syria.
*Following the demise of the Soviet Union, Russia had lost its claim to be a global power. As a result of Vladimir Putin’s expansionist policies, we are now facing a country, an unpredictable global power, threatening Turkey. Russia has established itself in Syria and it will be one of the principal actors in the regional power game.
*It will not be the West and Turkey but Russia which will decide how long Assad will stay in Syria. We need to live with that fact until Russia decides it can sacrifice Assad.
*I am not sure to what degree we can talk about Iraq as a country that maintains its territorial integrity. Kurds in its north can declare their independence at any moment. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an important part of the country. The rest is under the control of Iran. If Massoud Barzani, the president of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), insists on independence; the situation is going to become even more complicated. And Turkey has no leverage over Iraq. We are not in a position to say a word on the situation.
*Our allies in the region are limited to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In our relations with both of them, we are not the one who shapes and determines the relationship; we follow their tail.
* Kurds in Syria are in cooperation with the United States on one hand and Russia on the other hand. It seems that they will not experience a big problem with the Assad regime. And there is no place for Turkey in this equation.
*It is not possible to imagine a Middle East where you cannot feel American power; our ally Washington tells us to stay away from Syrian Kurds and withdraw our little contingent in Iraq.
We set on the road to become a global power yet we have fallen into a position where our voice can be barely heard at a moment when the region is being redesigned.
The rulers whom we might expect to solve these utterly complicated problems are those who made these problems so complicated.
Can they solve this situation with the demagogic lectures they deliver every day?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to give a positive answer to that question.