Come save me, Superman

Come save me, Superman

The Middle East is in a mess; there is no argument about that. The most popular word these days is Sykes-Picot, the agreement that shaped the region, defining the borders of Iraq and Syria. 

The existing borders will change, this is what all the analysts have been writing about night and day. We are witnessing mass migration; millions are literally fleeing Syria, Libya and Iraq. All of the three are failed states, as of now. Will there be a Mehdi or Jesus Christ to come and save the region in the blink of an eye? It’s not likely, but there are eager ones willing to be the “superman” of the region.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, noted the “Geometry of Revolution” on Twitter. “According to Imam Khomeini (RA), issues of people, countries’ independence, faithfulness and commitment to Islamic bases, fighting arrogance and oppression, Palestine, the living conditions of the people, care for the oppressed and the removal of poverty are the main guidelines of revolution whose formulation forms the “Geometry of Revolution.”

Revolution is meant to be the savior of the oppressed. That is nothing new though; this had been the pillar of Iran’s foreign policy, the enemy of the enemy is Iran’s friend. Since the ultimate enemy is the United States and Great Britain, Third Worldism is the scheme for Iran’s policy makers. The oppressed does not necessarily have to be Shiite; as long as the groups fit the Iranian criteria, as we have been seeing in Gaza, Iran will be there to be the savior of the oppressed.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told Justice and Development Party (AKP) members last week that “wherever oppressed people exist, we are with them. Whichever people pray for help from God, we are with them.”

As I was listening to his speech, out of nowhere the image of Superman involuntarily popped up in my mind, but that is out of the context anyway. 

On the other hand, Cenk Başlamış, a journalist who had spent many years in Russia, defines Russian policy in similar terms. He outlines that Russia with its outdated state structure, is actually far behind the West; as such, Russian President Vladimir Putin has designed Russian foreign policy to be the patron or rather the protégé of the so-called Anti-American oppressed.

Clearly, there is an inflation of saviors here. However, the situation of would-be saviors is, as we all know, dramatic in many aspects. Turkey cannot even stabilize the situation in the east. Russia is having tough times with falling oil prices. Although Iran might seem to be having a honeymoon with the West, it has its own huge structural problems within the system.  

At the end of the day, the discourse of being the superman for the needy of the region “sells” in domestic politics in all countries. Turks, Iranians and Russians at large feel a bit of pride as they listen to their leaders’ messianic propaganda. And obviously most of them buy that discourse also. 

It seems the United States is willing to make use of a protégé in Syria. As there will be no boots on the ground from the American side. The situation has come to be an oxymoron itself, with Iran and Russia being perceived as potential stabilizers for Syria. 

It’s probably high time someone started asking: Who will save the savior?