G-Zero and Syria
This week, during which the massacres in Syria have considerably increased, the G-20 summit took place in Mexico, even though there were only nine foreign ministers in attendance and even though Russia, China, India and Brazil did not even have ministry level presence.
There could at least have been a discussion of a perspective on Syria at the summit even without the presence of the foreign ministers. It did not happen. The reason behind this is partially the complex structure of the Syrian problem, and partially the transformation of the G-20 into the G-Zero in 2012. It would be all right if the only elections that took place this year were in Mexico and Egypt, but there were elections and transitions of power in countries that produce almost half of the GWP (Gross World Product) such as China, the United States, Russia and France. Europe will spend this year not on an economic recovery but dealing with a threat that could have a domino effect on the disaster scenario: the threat of a member dropping from the eurozone such as Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc.
Almost all of the international political and economic institutions developed post-World War II have come to a standstill. The U.S. actively defers almost all issues until after elections. The functioning of the global platforms comes to an even more screeching halt de facto when the U.S. remains passive. When these are the circumstances surrounding the largest 20 economies in the world in terms of their statistical data, the G-20 becomes the G-Zero, an organization that cannot take any initiative or make any decisions in the face of regional and global problems.
Syria, which is the most wounding issue we face today, has turned into yet another test for the global platforms. Does anyone understand what is said about Syria, especially by the U.S. or Europe?
Excluding Sarkozy’s Libya provocations since the Arab revolts have begun, does anyone comprehend what the West says or even wants? Has anyone heard of a tangible approach to the issue besides the generic speeches that focus on “change”? Similarly, does anyone know what Russia wants or says? In the last five or six months, we have left tens of meetings or conferences titled “Russia and the Middle East” with more questions than we arrived with.
Syria is quickly turning into a situation resembling the Israel-U.S.-Europe triangle.
It will not come as a surprise to see Syria turning into Israel, Iran into the U.S. and Russia into Europe as time passes. While Russia maintains its support of the Baath regime, albeit from a distance, Iran will be forced into a trap resembling U.S.-Israel relations by its involuted relations with the Baath regime due to Iran’s short-term calculations, ideological engagements and geographical position.
Turkey will maintain its unique political position, similar to its stance on Israel. Today, the Baath regime stands – and stands far away from justice – due to the indifference displayed by the U.S. and the support given by Iran and Russia. The massacres in Homs are the beginning of a new episode in Syrian political history. In this new episode, the responsibilities of the G-20, the G-Zero and the U.S. fall onto the shoulders of Turkey and of countries that share Turkey’s vision. Syria is no longer an issue, it is a test.