The latest news from the Middle East is far from good news. First of all, I have no idea about the group in Libya who have started hitting out, and have done things like kidnapping members of the Red Crescent. Something does not pass the sniff test… perhaps they are the minority Al Qaeda Islamists who are upset over the outcome of the elections. On the other hand they could be paid by the Qadhafi family to cause strife. I have no idea about who they might be. If I read something then I will report on what is taking place. Libya continues to go through a transition phase and so far the transition has been almost smooth. I know next to nothing about the man who has been nominated to lead the country. We shall just have to sit back and watch what will happen in the future….
Then there are more noises about the intentions of Iran and their nuclear weapons. I have no doubt in my mind that the Iranians are intending to use them against Israel. The point I have always made is that we do not truly understand the thinking of someone like Ahmahnutjob and the Grand Poohbah. They believe in something like Armageddon, since they believe that some boy who fell down a well is going to come back and be the 12th Imam (in their dreams!!). Either way, it is this delusional thinking that means that we need to be wary about anything thing that is being done in Iran.
This brings me to Syria, the hub of the Middle East tension. As I have attempted to explain, the Syrian situation will not be resolved overnight, and quite frankly diplomatic efforts to find a resolution are a waste of time. There is going to be a civil war in Syria and it will be tribal in nature. Even if Bashar al-Assad finally decides to leave the country, there will be no end to the strife. This is because there is both a sectarian and a tribal divide. Looking beyond the locals, though, I see Syria as being a bit of a nightmare of the future. This is because of the outside influences, including the influence of Iran, Russia and China. We have already seen Russia and China play their hand by the way in which they have been causing stagnation in the United Nations Security Council, preventing any form of condemnation etc. from taking place. This is because Russia and China remain upset that they lost very badly over the events in Libya – they supported Qadhafi and they were prepared to push the Qadhafi propaganda. However, in Syria there are more players because the flight of refugees has led to some involvement from Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.
I have already written about the clashes with Turkey, and I am trying to keep an eye out for any information relating to the border between Syria and Turkey – the Turks have been moving missiles to the border, and they have been caring for refugees in camps on the border. However, people are also fleeing to Jordan and Lebanon. Now it is Jordan’s turn and it has been reported that there have been some clashes on the border between Jordan and Syria with Jordanian troops attempting to protect the refugees.
I cannot see any value in Madame SoS going to Syria for talks because those talks are bound to fail. I still think that we should just let these people sort it out for themselves. If Assad loses, then those who supported him are more than likely going to face some tough times, and yes that includes those Druze Christians who have pinned their well-being on Assad. It is going to be tough and it will probably get very ugly. Neither side wants to compromise, and on top of that there are extremists who have joined in the party.
UPDATE: The most disturbing news is coming out of Egypt. There has been a purge of the army which now leaves Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi in firm control in Egypt. This is not the best case scenario for the Middle East. I will have more when I learn more about what is happening. As far as I am concerned it is very bad news with regard to the relationships in the Middle East.
2nd UPDATE: In regard to Syria, there is now concrete evidence that this is a Sunni vs. Shia conflict, just like in Iraq. This has come to light due to the capture of a member of Hezbollah who was sent into Syria, from Lebanon in early August. As far as I am concerned, we should stay outside of this form of conflict. I have always said that the conflict is tribal in nature. The mere fact that both Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon (a satellite of Iran anyway) are involved means that the situation is one that is very dicey. Outside involvement from Western nations would be a very bad thing in my opinion. If the West intervened then Russia would join in the conflict because Russia is determined to hang on to its influence in Syria. It could also involve Iran in that their operations might become overt rather than covert as they are at the present time. Other than this, the regime itself really looks like it is crumbling.