Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The tectonic shift in the Middle-East - finally a cause for hope?

While Commentary, JINSA and AIPAC are in a panic mode because they believe that the MB will soon become Egypt's main political force, Rabbi Michael Learner, editor of Tikkun, rejoices over the liberation of the Egyptian people from the dictatorship of Mubarak.  He writes:

To watch hundreds of thousands of Egyptians able to throw off the chains of oppression and the legacy of a totalitarian regime that consistently jailed, tortured or murdered its opponents so overtly that most people were cowed into silence, is to remember that the spark of God continues to flourish no matter how long oppressive regimes manage to keep themselves in power, and that ultimately the yearning for freedom and democracy cannot be totally stamped out no matter how cruel and sophisticated the elites of wealth, power and military might appear to be.  Many Jews have warned Israel that it is a mistake to ally with these kinds of regimes, just as we've warned the US to learn the lesson from its failed alliance with the Shah of Iran. We've urged Israel to free the Palestinian people by ending the Occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza. Israel's long-term security will not be secured through military or economic domination, but only by acting in a generous and caring way toward the Palestinian people first, and then toward all of  its Arab neighbours

Rabbi Learner's positive reaction is echoed in a Haaretz editorial which, far from showing any signs of panic, simply writes:

The time has come to start preparing for a new regional order. Instead of clinging to the old, collapsing order, Netanyahu must seek peace agreements with both the Palestinians and with Syria in order to make Israel a more welcome and desirable neighbor

This is very interesting. What Learner and Haaretz are saying is that Israel only needs brutal tyrants as neighbors if it continues to be hell bent on a policy of full-spectrum aggression against its Arab neighbors.  Hardly big news for most of us, but a quite revolutionary idea for a society which is used to mantrically repeat that only brute force and rabid violence can prevent the destruction of Israel.

Remember Condi with her "birth pangs of a new Middle-East" in 2006?  Well, it appears that five years later this is actually happening, though not at all the Middle-East she wanted to see.  Really, what has happened is a tectonic shift for the entire region.  Consider:

Lebanon:  Hezbollah needed only about 1'000 of its 2nd rate soldiers (the best ones were kept north of the Litani River) to comprehensively defeat the IDF.  The Hariri/Siniora puppets have lost power and Hezbollah has finally taken political control of Lebanon.

Iran:  The "Gucci Revolution" in Iran failed, Mousavi and his patron Rafsanjani were defeated, probably for a long time.  The USraelien Empire, bogged down in loosing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan has failed, so far, to militarily strike at Iran.  Economically and politically, Iran is as strong as it ever was.

Turkey: The Turkish leadership has fundamentally reassessed its strategic alliance with Israel and has clearly concluded that this alliance is a costly and, possibly, dangerous liability.  Though its participation in NATO still is keeping Turkey very much in the US sphere of influence, its regional stature in the Middle-East has immensely benefited from its new policy.

Syria: Syria has always been the paper tiger which never really threatened Israel.  The regime in power is corrupt, unprincipled and clearly deeply infiltrated by US and Israeli interests.  And yet Syria is hedging its bets by maintaining a close relationship with Iran and with Hezbollah (at least officially).  Bottom line - for all its corruption, Syria cannot be considered as much of an ally for Israel, and not much of a good neighbor either.

Jordan: Alongside Egypt, the Jordanian regime has always been the other faithful puppet of Empire in the Middle East: a sniveling, subservient, utterly corrupt regime fully dependent on the Empire for its survival and welfare.  Though this regime still appears to be firmly control of the situation, it also is showing signs of being nervous of a "contagion" of the Tunisian model.  So far, all the recent talk of "reform" in Jordan appears to be cosmetic, but that is also how it all began in Tunisia.  The Israelis better not place too many hopes in the future of the Jordanian regime.

Iraq: the US Empire is so weak that it could not even impose its own regime in Iraq.  Instead, this was done by Iran.  The Iranians have very skillfully federated the various Shia forces and they are now clearly calling the shots in Iraq.

Afghanistan: Faithful to its historical role of "graveyard of the Empires", Afghanistan is a complete and total disaster for the US military whose performance in this war has been nothing short of pitiful and who latest escalation of the war into Pakistan will only make things worse.

Pakistan: Yet another comprehensive failure of a US Empire which clearly has absolutely no understanding of the countries it wants to bully into submission.  It appears that other than "using drones" the US Empire has by now absolutely no real plan for how to deal with the bloody mess it created.

Somalia: So far the combination of a covert CIA/DIA war against the Islamic Courts of Somalia and a war by proxy (via Ethiopia) has only made a mess of the place.  The USA is definitely not any closer to controlling Somalia than it was in the past.

Yemen: In Yemen the US Empire used pretty much the same "recipe" as in Somalia - a covert CIA/DIA war was combined with a war by proxy (via Saudi Arabia) and the results are not much better, except that a friendly puppet regime is still in power.  One wonders for how long.

Gaza: For all its long list of strategic mistakes, Hamas has proven to be a capable tactical foe.  The mere fact that it is still in control of Gaza shows that the combined might of the USA and Israel is not even capable of dealing with a rather 'soft' target like Hamas in Gaza.  My bet is that the blockade of Gaza will collapse very soon, either because of the events in Egypt, or because of the next flotilla organized by Ken O'Keefe and his friends.  Or a combination of both.  Bottom line: Hamas has prevailed against Israel.

West Bank:  One would imagine that at least in the West Bank Israel and the USA would be able to achieve a modicum of success.  But no!  Thanks to the absolutely phenomenal ineptitude of Fatah, and courtesy of al-Jazeera's "Palestine Papers", the days of Fatah in the West Bank are also probably numbered.  It is rather unclear to me who could replace Abbas and his goons, but at least the power of the "Ramallah oligarchs" is as discredited as Mubarak's.  To make things worse, more and more nations are recognizing Palestine in its 1967 borders (even though the PA does not want them to do so!)

Saudi Arabia: the last totally trustworthy ally of Israel in the USA in the region.  The degenerate monarchy of the House of Saud is still as corrupt, as evil, as degenerate, as crazy and as ruthless as it always has been.  Next to Kuwait - which does not even deserve to be mentioned here - the KSA appears, at least externally, to be the last truly rock solid ally of the USA in the region.  But what can it really do to help Israel and the USA?  Being ideologically "fulled" and dependent on the worst type of Wahabi ideology, the regime has to constantly appear to be Islamic and pious.  Worse, some elements in the Saudi elites are truly religious and pious, not just for show (of this I can attest personally).  It is a safe bet to say that "regime survival" is The One Paramount Concern of the House of Saud and that it will therefore be very limited into what it can do to help Israel.  It is one thing to funnel money to Hariri, and quite another to wield some real political influence.

Bottom line: Over the past five years the overall situation of Israel and the USA in the Middle-East has undergone what can only be called a catastrophic decline in influence and power.  Condi did get her new Middle-East, but it is definitely not the one she was hoping for.  And yet, it is against this background that some Jewish voices in the USA (Learner) and Israel (Haaretz) appear to be seriously promoting what can only be considered a fundamental reevaluation of traditional Israeli policies.  By accepting the reality that corrupt dictators cannot rule their people forever, these Jews are also accepting that they will have to relinquish control over the masses they are currently oppressing: the Palestinian people.

I am not being naive here, trust me.  I know that Haaretz and Tikkun are not exactly representative of the mindset of the Ziocrazies currently in power in Israel, or even of a sizable minority of the Israeli society or US Jewry.  No.  But even if this idea of actually truly trying to find some kind of modus vivendi with the rest of the region is currently only held by a tiny minority of Israelis and Jews, it is one which will inevitably become hard to ignore by those who gradually are finding it difficult to convince themselves that they can count on the US Empire to maintain their ugly little experiment in colonial racism and slow motion genocide (otherwise known as "Jewish state of Israel") going forever and ever.

Whether it will go down in an orgy of violence or by long and difficult negotiations, it is clear that the days of the racist Apartheid regime of the "Jewish state of Israel" are numbered.  For all its tanks, nuclear weapons, propaganda machine or trillions of dollars in US aid - this regime is an abomination whose survival is a dialectical impossibility as the seeds of its own destruction are inherent to its nature.  Though it would be naive to expect a peaceful collapse of this regime, it is something which we all have a moral obligation to at least hope for.  This will certainly remain my personal choice.

The Saker