Shah mawt

In Middle East on 21. September 2014 at 17:23

King is dead says the opponent and have you trapped on the chessboard. That is exactly what Bashar al-Assad has gotten right now, he has the entire Middle East in checkmate – most of all because none of the other regional powers cares for human suffering, but for their political ambitions in region.

Bashar and his father Hafez both practiced this give and take game. Give concessions with one hand, be it in secret or in public, and take with the other. Do give shelter to Hamas in one turn, while massacre entire Ikhwan al-Muslimeen chapter in Syria, do get rid of Rafiq al-Hariri, while give free access to UN teams who investigate the case. Jail jihadis who regroup to fight US in Iraq, at the same time give them space enough to do exactly that under the radar. Scare international community of a jihadist backlash, while release the same militants from jail and give them free access to join Jabhat al-Nusra or Daesh/IS.

The strategy works perfectly well. If not, then there are the social constructions and imaginations to use as help. Jewish and American agents create unrest in Syria, or Daesh is a product of CIA strategy where its Caliph is a trained agent, or Oil. Simple. Mention oil and western leftists will nod. Such theories are helpful as they are popular, and therefore makes military interventions unpopular.

Another factor, the more secure one, and which Assad does not even need to orchestrate is the Saudi-Iran hostility. A modern-day Shia-Sunni rivalry, mainly and predominantly initiated by Saudi Arabia two centuries ago adopted by Ikhwan factions, Iran followed suit four decades ago. That is where you have the impossible Gordian knot.

Daesh will not be defeated, its production of horrible tales will not end by shouts of it being non-Muslim, by it being a prophesised enemy, or by writing columns. It is a military power, and it wants power, it gets so by pillaging, killing and conquering. Daesh will be defeated by military might, and for that, none in the region is willing to fight it if it is not for the benefit of their primary interest.

Daesh can only be defeated if hit in its political and administrative centre, which is in Syria. To align Assad would only strengthen Daesh and weaken the Syrian opposition and rebel alliances. Comprehended by Obama-administration, but its interest has been to stay out of this fight, because nothing is to be gained from it.

For Kurds it is a fight for survival, but also a fight to control territories wanted, but not granted. For Bagdad, it is a threat to its sovereignty, but a coalition is bound to take on Assad as well, which is not in the interest of its Persian friend. That colludes with the interests of beheading-factory Saudi Arabia. While Daesh is a threat, the prime object is to rid Assad and get a Government of liking in Damascus. That is why these states would have supported Daesh if they fought Assad only, even though they continued with their heinous crimes.

For no one objects to Jabhat al-Nusra or other fractions so-called revenge attacks on Alawi Muslims. Rape, torture, murder, pillage, and beheading, blood, gore, brains and limbs are off the record, but they are there. So Who to turn to? Some in Capitol Hill talks of talks with Assad, while Arab monarch’s wants case Assad as one bullet point in the anti-Daesh coalition.

Then you have the brave in name only Turkey. While being that much of a concerned brother for Palestinians, Erdogan barely has any strategy or will to fight this menace. Primarily because it will have a serious backlash as thousands of its citizens have joined ranks. Secondly, Daesh is fighting Assad as well, let them, and ignore the rest, and it is nodded by some segments of Ikhwan branches in Syria and Iraq. The measures that have come, those that expels thousands of would-be-jihadis and closure of illegal oil pipelines are too slow, and too late.

Shah mawt yells Assad, the Persian equivalent to checkmate, wherever he is. And gives a gentle smile with that colgate smile, proving his dentist skills and thankful to self-interested autocrats in region.

Blood, death, barrel bombs, chemicals, more chemicals, red line, concessions, OPCW Nobel Prize, and then more blood, limbs, suffering, human chains, human beings, individuals – three million individuals.


However, regional instability harms everyone, especially the economic superpower. So US asks for wider concessions from Bagdad for this alliance, but it is too much for Iran aligned Shia constituency as Muqtada al-Sadr. US asks for even more concessions, but that becomes enough for the pragmatic Ali al-Sistani. Checkmate, mate.

Then you have the Libyan case that was supposed to be a success. NATO did a necessary and needed intervention in Libya, but without UN-led peacekeeping forces, the Libyan state building was doomed to be in risk of disintegration. As time passes, another monster will spawn in this desert land, close to European borders.

Syria needs, and needed three and a half years ago a similar no-fly zone, against Assad, and against militant jihadis. Syrian official rebel alliance needs including all factions, be it Kurds, Christians, Druzes, Alawis and parts of Assad-regime. The spectre needs representation, and UN-peacekeeping forces needs to administrate buffer areas under this alliance control. Needed in areas where Daesh loses territory, needed wherever resentment exists, because resentment demands retaliation – and there are plenty of innocent civilians ready and waiting to pay the prize.

Peshmerga and Iraqi forces, given air support, can handle Daish in Iraq, in addition addressing Sunni grievance and political pressure is a necessity in post-IS scenario. Riyadh can easily be tempted to duplicate Putin-tactics in western Iraq. However, the main theatre in Syria needs not only military action, but also UN-troopers on ground. Without the latter, it is doomed to fail, as has been experienced.

Syria operation lacks UN-legitimacy, because to hell with laws when critical level is reached, as per the western right’s tradition. That level reached because international law was denied its flexibility, rather was subject to some few powerful veto votes. They fail their own words for praise of UN-institution.

This is a costly project, but it will be more costly if not handled in this proper way. You cannot sign in a certain amount of refugees, they will come in hordes because they need shelter, and need makes one risk lives. When more of them knocks the door, in comes your right-wingers who will talk of national values, and how darker pigments blocks their sun. Then you can make that grim face, arrange anti-racist demonstrations and chant peace and love, just remember to shut that TV-screen and those borders. Because to avoid reality, you need to dig your head in the ground.

While that happens, someone shouts Shah mawt, and you will realize it’s a move against your king.


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