Chaos and regional war in the Middle East? - MÜFIT YÜKSEL

Chaos and regional war in the Middle East?

Comments are continuously written and issued about the prediction of a chaotic atmosphere in the Middle East by a number of lobbying and power centers known as Neocon-Evangelists. According to the West, the heart of the Old World, called the Middle East or the Near East, has been subjected to the interferences by rising powers, namely foreigners, in Western Europe over the past two centuries. The U.S. became more prominent after World War II in the design of the region where first the Portuguese, the French and then the British infested.

The Pax Ottomana formed by the Ottoman Empire in the region in 1517 dissolved in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Wahhabi uprising and French emperor Napoleon's short-term occupation of Egypt in the late 18th century was the beginning of this situation’s dissolution. The Gulf of Aden, Oman and Bahrain issues of the 19th century were the consequences of interventions by great powers, especially Britain, which established dominance in distant seas. Over time, the local administrators, who accepted the Ottomans as lieges in these regions, transformed into local power groups that cooperated with foreigners. The dissolution accelerated considerably in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It can be understood that Talip Pasha, the Emir of Macca, had secret correspondences with the British during the period of Sultan Abdul Hamid.

Mubarak Al-Sabah, the District Governor of Kuwait, signed an agreement with Britain in 1899. A local administrator named Sheikh Ali Abu Sabit tried to sell Yemen’s Sheikh Said coast to a French company for 425,000 francs in 1868. Although the local administrator denied it, the French attempted to occupy this coast several times, claiming that the sale had taken place. In 1882, the British government occupied Egypt under the leadership of the Khedive, citing the ‘Urabi revolt. In 1911, the Italians deployed troops to the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi. With the outbreak of the Balkan war in 1912, Libya, Benghazi and Tripoli were all left to the Italians.

The British and the French agreed to share the region during World War I in 1916.  The region was shared according to the consensus reached between British diplomat Mark Sykes and French Foreign Minister François G. Picot. This agreement later formed the basis for the new borders and boundaries of nation states. Foreigners became permanent in the region, proving Sultan Selim III’s statement “I feel the hands of foreigners on my chest,” in reference to Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s statement “I feel the hands of foreigners in my lungs” to be true. Foreign interventions were unending. The region also became an arena of competition and conflict for foreign power groups. During World War I, the famous letter by Arthur Balfour, Deputy Foreign Minister of Great Britain, who predicted the founding of a Jewish state in Palestine, was published.

After the Ottomans completely withdrew from the region and disintegrated, vassals and nation-states were formed. The Jewish settlement concentrated in Palestine under British mandate resulted in the establishment of Israel in 1948, sporadic Arab-Israeli clashes and Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem, Masjid al-Aqsa, West Bank, Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula in 1967, all of which constituted Israel's Middle East policy. The Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988, the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam in 1990, the first Gulf War in 1991, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Arab Spring and the civil wars which started in 2011 were all the results of various projects implemented in the region.

The fall of the region and the Muslim world in the past three centuries appeared in the form of the rise of Western Europe and its establishment of dominance in distant seas and the rising technological developments and control. The state of passivity and defeat of the Muslim world which has persisted for centuries continues to grow.

Yet, a series of articles were continuously published in Western journals about the collapse of the bipolar world system following the redrawing/alteration of maps in the region after the fall of the Soviet/Eastern bloc and the Gulf Crisis. While Evangelist Neocons foresee chaos in the region with an Armageddon-like perception, some globalists foresee new smaller, fragmented, and reduced political units/structures. It is seen that chaos dominates the region when the differences of opinions and contradictions between the different power groups/lobbies are reflected in the region. As these reflections are manifested through local forces with strong foreign links, there is hardly any resistance.

The Arab Spring of 2011 that turned into Fall was the trigger of a chain of chaos. The ongoing civil war in Syria, the PYD/Zionism corridor that formed as a result of this, its reflection on the Iraqi Kurdish region and Turkey, the unending war in Yemen, the upsurge of Saudi-Iranian rivalry, the alliance between Turkey, Russia and Iran during this process, the latest Qatar Crisis, the U.S.- backed royal coup in Saudi Arabia and the rising Lebanese crisis demonstrate that events are making rapid progress.

The discharge operation in Saudi Arabia by the new crown prince, which resulted in the death of some princes, relies on the U.S. and may trigger many painful developments. While the Saudi administration is based on the foreign support and design of Anglo-Saxon mind, it is a coalition based on delicate balance domestically. The Saudi dynasty shares the administration with other powerful families and privileged tribes. Apart from the royal family, the Alush-Sheikh family, the grandchildren of Mohammed bin Abd al-Wahhab, and strong families like the Beni Shaybah family, who have held the keys of the Kaaba since the days of ignorance, are the partners of power. The confederations of privileged tribes like the Anayzah, Harb, and Juhany, which are said to be members of the Saudi royal family, are also stakeholders of power. The balances are based on sharing power and prosperity.

In Saudi Arabia, the financial cost of the Gulf wars and the fall in oil prices adversely affected the economy and the distribution of prosperity, and the failure to distribute wealth challenged even the privileged tribes, such as the Harb and Juhany.

In Saudi Arabia, the Haramain administration, judiciary/courts, muftis, mosques and religious education institutions are under the control of the Alush-Sheikh family. The crown prince’s “moderate Islam” project toward ultra-modernization and Westernization would face great resistance from this family in the future. A possible conflict between the royal family and the Alush-Sheikh family would mean the collapse of the spine of the administration. In this case, the Alush Sheikh family could come closer to its relatives, the family of the Qatari Emir. The war in Yemen as well as the Qatar and Lebanon crises and the escalating tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The operation by the U.S.-backed crown prince would result in the disintegration of Saudi Arabia and possibly in exposing the entire region, including Turkey, to spiraling chaos. 

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