gulf kingsTHE POST-SYRIAN DEBACLE IN THE MIDDLE-EAST

IS IT THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE MUSLIM

MONARCHIES/SHEIKHDOMS?

By Mansoor A Malik

The beginning of the 20th Century still persisted with strong Monarchies in Europe even after more than hundred years of the French Revolution which dethroned one of the longest King Louis lineages. This was cleverly maneuvered by the Monarchists Club to retain power by portraying the European political stability factor.  This was completely shattered by the fast moving events of the first decade of the last century. Illiyich Lennon and Leon Trotsky were gearing for a Proletariat European Revolution from the soil of Germany where King Frederick Wilhelm was in power with all his pomp and show. The German King went for the bait along with his close friend the Turkish Sultan to go for the triggering of the First World War and the world would never be the same again. The major casualties as an aftermath of this First World War was the fall of the Czars of Russia by the rag tag Red Army led by Trotsky and Lennon in Moscow, King Frederick of Germany and the Turkish Sultan losing their thrones and a new World Order emerged with the victorious British and the French in the drivers’ seat with America as an innocent onlooker.

Germany was subdued with the humiliating Treaty of Versailles till it rose again under Hitler almost twenty years after this embarrassing surrender document. The real British and French strategic actions came in the re-drawing of the Middle-Eastern map and division of the lands under the control of the Turkish Sultan including the important countries of Palestine, parts of Egypt and Iran, Arabian Peninsula, Jordan, Trans-Jordan (presently, Iraq), Syria and Lebanon. The wily British gaining control of the oil producing regions in their fold and planting their stooges by carving out new countries boundaries to look after their vested interests. The Persian Gulf was divided into Sheikhdoms according to the British convenience and the House of Saud, through the famous Lawrence of Arabia, were installed on the land of our two Holy Places, Mecca and Medina. The French of course, got a bad deal in having to look after Syria and Lebanon only. This was the status till the Second World War with the creation of Israel soon after its cessation in 1948 under the UN Palestinian Mandate.

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This Anglo-French map of the Middle-East was more or less retained for more than ninety years with only a few distractions including ousting of King Farooq of Egypt by the energetic Colonel Nasser, King Idrees of Libya by the erratic Colonel Qaddafi, Shah of Iran by Dr. Mussadaq and then his re-instatement with the help of CIA and the assassination of King Abdullah of Jordan. The first real challenge of the Middle-East status quo came in the beginning of the 21st Century through the wiz kids of the US Pentagon led by Mr. Wolfowitz under the shadow of the ultra-conservative Defense Secretary Mr. Rumsfeld during the first term of President George Bush junior. The Iraq War was imposed to primarily redraw the Middle-East Map according to the American Democratic lens. This campaign was a total disaster and de-stabilized the region for which both Mr. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz had to loose their jobs. Then came the turn of the Smart Alecs in the White House led by the first Afro-American President Barak Obama with their plan for Democratization of the Middle-East with American facilitation. Soon the Arab Spring started with Tunisia and quickly gripped Libya and Egypt. Cairo’s Tahrir Square became a rallying point for challenging the dictators which had long been in absolute power. Tunisia quickly established political stability after ousting its dictator and going for a legitimate elected government whereas, Libya is still in a state of turmoil and Egypt is back to square one after the recent ouster of its duly elected President by its Army.

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The first phase of American strategy in the Middle-East may be coming to a closure with ousting of the long surviving dictators starting with Mr. Saddam Hussain and ultimately finishing with Regime Change in Syria by sending Mr. Basher-ul-Assad into exile soon. Old dictators may have shown the door but a new and un-wanted dictator General Sissy occupies the throne of the Pharoes. The all out support of the new Egyptian dictator and the outright help of the Syrian armed rebels fighting against President Assad’s government by the Muslim Monarchies/Sheikhdoms have fully exposed themselves as never before and un-necessarily dragged themselves into the eye of the democratic storm spreading all over the Middle-East. It could be one of the American ploys to bring these long serving Monarchies/Sheikhdoms in full limelight of the fast changing Middle-Eastern Political Re-structuring by creating a schism between these birthright rulers and their masses.

The recent turbulence by the indigenous Bahrainis could be one clear indicator of the things to come. It may have been temporarily crushed by the mighty American Abrahams Tanks and the show of Military Equipment acquired by these Monarchies/Sheikhdoms under a phased programme worth hundreds of billions of American Dollars fully integrated into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).  These GCC countries are fast moving into the strangle hold of the US Military hierarchy and may be left with little space for political maneuvering. Independent Sovereign States have to create a balance between its Political and Military Institutions otherwise instability haunts at every nook and corner.

The looming Syrian crisis could serve as a powder keg in the region and initiate a new movement for Freedom and Democracy. Turkey could have played a dominant role as a neutral umpire but committed itself on the side of the Syrian rebel forces a little too soon. This leaves, perhaps, Pakistan and Indonesia as two major Muslim Powers to diffuse the situation and carry out some damage control before the events overtake us. If better sense does not prevail amongst the warring groups and a political via media not arrived at then the whole Middle-East may be in flames which may engulf not only Jordan, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq but also the GCC countries as a whole. This would shake up the very foundation of the Lawrence of Arabia’s map drawn on the moving sand dunes of Arabia more than ninety years ago.

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