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YUSUF KANLI

yusuf.kanli@hurriyet.com.tr

YUSUF KANLI > Which country will be next?

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Conflicting reports from and about Syria indicate that perhaps the Syria chapter of the so-called Arab Spring – or should I say “the Greater Middle East and North Africa Project”? – is approaching a close as well. Whatever opened in Libya, Egypt or Tunisia with the closure of the “spring” may soon open in Syria as well.

Barack Obama, the American president who has proved to be a “Black Bush,” and may indeed be worse than the original white one, the other day voiced his praise for the Muslim fighters for democracy in the Middle East and elsewhere. His words reminded me, and perhaps many others, of the Rambo series: fighting hand-in-hand with the Muslim Taliban and other Muslim guerillas against the Soviet infidel occupiers in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union is long gone, and Americans are now fighting the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other Muslim guerilla groups in Afghanistan in a war that has begun to turn into a second Vietnam.

Yesterday was the time of the “Green Belt Policy” devised by the great strategist Zbigniev Brzezinski, the aim of which was to shield and contain the advancing communists. Today, many people have fathered a bastard called the Greater Middle East and North Africa Project. It is still ambiguous. Some say its goal is to change the political map and produce a more secure living area for the Jewish state; some claim is it a project to domesticate the rough Muslims into a milder version of Islam, allowing some sort of democratic governance, thanks to a friendly Muslim cleric now living in Pennsylvania. Those goals might be valid, but it is obvious that the real aim of the project is to convert these large regions into an open market and capitalize on their vast natural riches. That’s what must be seen after the mask is removed: the mask that says the aim is to bring democracy to those countries, grieving under dictatorial, oppressive regimes.

Guess who is the co-chair of the project, which has been under implementation for quite a long time through exploitation of governmental woes, poverty, oppression and gross violation of human rights? Turkey, where critics of the Islamist government are either physically imprisoned or imprisoned in their brains, scared to speak or write. Who is financing it? The Saudis and the Qataris. Are they more democratic than, let’s say, Syria?

In some parts of the region, disorganized, unarmed and civilian opposition groups were armed to the teeth and organized as much as possible; “advisors” helped them to develop strategies, and they began “rebelling” against oppressive regimes. In some other parts of the same region, neighbors and regional organizations helped with international approval to silence people demanding rights, at gunpoint or under the turrets of tanks.

The operation is continuing: On a December day in 2010, Mohammed Buazizi converted his body into a torch to herald the “coming of spring.” Tunisia plunged into unprecedented chaos; 23-year-old Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime collapsed within days. Since then, Iraq has become further destabilized, Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi has become history, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has been toppled, and now Bashar al-Assad of Syria appears to be on the way out.

Which country will be next? Saudi Arabia? Turkey? Which country, indeed?

July/23/2012

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