The West’s Grand Strategy For Civil War in the Mideast

While many perceived the Arab Spring revolutions as legitimate calls for democracy and freedom, they have been influenced by foreign parties that are striving to preserve their own interests in the region.

al-monitor Damaged cars are parked near a screen erected to protect against snipers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in the al-Khalidiya neighbourhood of Homs, June 28, 2013.  Photo by REUTERS/Yazan Homsy.

Topics covered

us, turkish-syrian relations, arab

Jul 3, 2013

In the post-Ottoman Middle East, Arab dictators and monarchs served well the interests of the West and Israel.

Anyone studying Middle Eastern history knows that sociology and political sciences do not mean all that much in this region. In the British-American creation of the Middle East, many kings and dictators are appointed by other states or their collaborators.

The biggest problem in the region for the West and Israel after the Cold War has been the impossibility of sustaining the old regimes. Dictators and kings will either step down voluntarily or they will be forced to leave because the existing structures can no longer control growing populations and their demands.

If you look at it from the angle of Israel and Zionist American political groups that gained prominence in 1990s, unless the Middle East is reshaped, anti-Western and anti-Israeli Islamists will take over. That will mean that the Middle East will be totally out of control.

The United States that entered Iraq after 9/11 completely dissolved the glue that held the country together. That is how one of the most secular and terror-free countries in the world became a center for religious and ethnicity-based conflicts and terrorism. According to Israel and Zionist American groups, Syria and Iran should have come next, following the disintegration of Iraq. It was the heavy US casualties in Iraq that stopped former US President George W. Bush from going after those two countries.

After Bush, America’s economic losses because of its Middle East policies have played a key determinant role. But there are constants of US policy in the region. First and foremost is the realization that the region cannot continue with old regimes and leaders [or even borders].

In this context, the Arab Spring, as we noted at the very beginning, was not a spontaneous popular uprising, but rather controlled explosions of Arab regimes. When the shield protecting the dictators disappeared one by one, regimes without popular bases could not confront the accumulated reactions of the people. What I am trying to say is that there are other forces behind the Arab Spring that have been manipulating the process.

No matter what the true intentions of US presidents are, forces that determine US policies such as the congressional powers, powerful media groups, lobbies, pro-Israeli bureaucracy and Israel’s own plans for the region, prefer a controlled but major civil war in the region.

These actors are working on three lines to achieve their civil war aims: secular-religious polarizations, sectarian differences, and ethnic tensions. This is how the process that began with the Iraq war will continue in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and other countries. The civil war strategy is applied inside those countries, between countries and in the entire Islamic world.

Unfortunately Turkey is not outside this vision. I wrote back in 2011, “The idea is to ease pressures on Israel by having Turkey clash with Iran and Syria.” I had drawn attention to the danger of a massive sectarian war and noted the efforts to instigate a Sunni-Alevi civil war in Turkey.

In this process, perhaps Turkey's fatal mistake was to perceive the Arab Spring as a pure democratization process.

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