Arab Spring, a protracted political crisis in Syria, the situation in Iran, the events in Central Asia, high-profile scandals in Ukraine, the economic turmoil in Belarus and rallies under the slogan “For Fair Elections” in Russia gave rise to speculations about the origins and the global context of what is happening. The analysis and forecast are astounding.
Syrian Prime Minister Wa’el al-Halki recently said that the country was exposed to a plot backed by Western circles in the United States and the EU, as well as some countries in the region – Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. This conspiracy was part of a world war, in which not only military means, but also political, economic, and information tools were used. The Syrian officials have repeatedly said that their home was attacked by terrorists inserted from the neighboring countries, but this was the first time Damascus talked about the world war.
In Russia that is making a serious effort to find a way out of the Syrian crisis, politicians and analysts have heated debates about the causes and lessons of the events that took place in January of 2011 in North Africa and the Middle East, and make forecasts of the situation in the region and on global scale. The discussions attract both those whose profession is international politics, and those who do not have this direct relationship.
For the head of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship Yevgeny Fyodorov, the situation is quite clear. He said to “Pravda.Ru”: “Syria has undergone blatant external aggression, I would say, public, demonstrative, and in this respect it is not the first one, but rather the tenth or something. Before, there were Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and everything else. But Syria is a tough nut to crack, for historical reasons, due to the fact that the Syrians know what a civil war is, they remember it, but do not want it.
The MP has no doubts about the role of the “world behind the scenes” in the Syrian events and a wide scheming aimed at global destabilization: “Today the task of the Americans who organized this aggression is to put the final squeeze on Syria, preferably without intruding there by force. Actually, they do not want to send American tanks there. Syria is part of today’s resistance, one of the last to defend the world from a world war. Because, after breaking Syria, Americans will not stop – the next will be a military strike on Iran, then Ukraine, then Belarus, that is, chain of events will begin unwinding. They may put India and China against each other – they have been wanting to do it for a long time. This has happened already and will happen over and over again.”
First Vice President of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues, Konstantin Sivkov – a military man – is not expecting the third world war, at least not in the near future. As he told “Pravda.Ru,” a world war will not happen because of the apparent “serious strategic defeats of the West in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Arab Spring,” that “demonstrate its failure to address the issue of re-making the world through military force.”
For Sivkov the leading role of external forces in the launch of the Arab revolutions is evident. “A series of revolutions in a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa were launched in just a month or two – almost instantly, from a historical point of view. This suggests that these processes were adjusted from the outside, because naturally in such terms such unity could not be implemented,” he said. “This explosion was inspired by western civilization, because the global division of the world with the establishment of the global dominance of the Western civilization, in the first place, the United States, over the main resources of the world, is vital for the elite – without this it will not be able to survive under the new conditions. ”
The initiator of the revolutions was, in his opinion, “the online community and consolidation centers implemented in these countries by liberal Westerners”. Some of them, according to Sivkov, came from abroad, and some were living in these Arab countries. The bet was that as a result of this wave and subsequent events Mubarak and Ben Ali will be replaced by those who orchestrated these events. But the West was not in luck, instead of its supporters, radical Islamists came to power in the Arab world.
The U.S. and its allies did not take into account a number of factors: the regime change was somewhat delayed and Saudi Arabia that very actively worked within the concept of a new Islamic caliphate has started frantic activity in the region. The centers of Islamic movements in Egypt and Tunisia were not suppressed by the former regime to the point where they would lose their capacity to act, so they quickly managed to consolidate.
“After the defeat of liberal Western ideological basis represented by Ben Ali and Mubarak, those who destroyed them, could not offer an alternative. Demolishing leaders and offering the same ideology that the deposed rulers preached is meaningless. Those who initiated the explosion had no proposals. The “Muslim Brotherhood” proposed Islam, and the people followed them,” explains Sivkov.
According to the analyst, the only chance to gain a foothold in the Middle East for the West and the U.S. is the change of the political regime in Syria, “Thereforethey will fight hard enough for Syria. However, the events of recent months suggest that one should not expect the West’s victory in the Syrian political arena. On the one hand, in the political arena of Syria Islamists become more active, on the other hand, regular troops of the Syrian government are fighting quite successfully against these bandits. ”
The failure in the Middle East explains the change of the course to the west – in the direction of Central Asia and Russia. “The probability of the West’s strategy for the near future will be to gain a foothold in Central Asia, to deploy one or two U.S. military bases where possible,” said the military analyst. “On the other hand, the actions of the liberal pro-Western opposition will be dramatically accelerated in the Russian political scene so Moscow could be placed under a reliable control of the West that has been largely lost following the coming to power of Putin.”
According to him, the process has already begun: “The basis of the struggle for the global position in the world is struggle for Russia. Brzezinski said the United States needed Russia coherent, strong, but severely controlled by America, with the changed psychological matrix of the population – from traditional Russian to the Western, liberal one. Russia should fulfill the role of an outpost of the Western civilization in the East, because the American military machine was unable to oppose Islam supporters in either Iraq or Afghanistan. The current phase of the struggle for Russia is the war of compromising materials that may soon grow into something more serious than Bolotnaya Square or Sakharov Prospect. ”
Expert on political Islam Georgy Engelhardt disagrees with the military analyst. According to him, the West is not the instigator, but only an active player in the Arab revolutions, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar. One can assume that the motives and the format of participation of each of the players in each of the countries of the “Arab Spring” are different, he explained to “Pravda.ru.”
“We see that the Gulf monarchies have made tremendous efforts to sway public discontent and mass demonstrations in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The same is in Syria. For political mobilization of the masses they were using the media -” Al-Arabiya”and “Al Jazeera.” Also, no transformation of the opposition movement to power is possible without the money given by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Why do the Gulf monarchies support insurgents? Previously there was a serious antagonism between the oil monarchies and secular regimes of Maghreb and Mashreq (regimes of Ben Ali, Mubarak’s partners – the U.S., the current regime of Syria and even Jordan). The relations were strained, and a conflict of interest was always present. When the Arab countries saw the first unrests, the Gulf monarchies regarded them as a “window of opportunity”. They threw themselves into it,” he said.
According to Engelhardt, in the events in the Middle East the gesture of America made to the Arab world in June 2009 in Cairo cannot be underestimated. Then President Barack Obama first addressed the Muslim world with a landmark speech, designed to reconcile Muslims and Christians, mentioned Palestinian rights in a positive manner, respectfully spoke of Iran, quoted the Quran and never said the word “terrorism.” Georgy Engelhardt is convinced: “The Islamists come to power in the states of the Arab world in the wake of the U.S. support.” But this is the ideological aspect. There is also the material one: the U.S. and European countries have provided military support to Libya. In Syria, the Americans helped technically, giving the rebels what they did not have and what is important for the planning of the activities: training, assistance in logistics, professional instructors.
As for the ambitions of the West against Russia, it is certain that there is no serious action to overthrow the regime: “There is no real support for the opposition. The West has not been providing any external political support (for example, creating a base outside the Russian jurisdiction), has not been buying police and security forces, which usually makes for a regime change. The Western support today is to provide political guarantees for the individual opposition leaders. This is not comparable to the degree of support of Arab revolutions.”
When thinking about the motivation of the players, it is different in each case: in Libya it is the pursuit of resources, and, for example, in Syria – the interest in capturing the transit routes of hydrocarbons on Persian Gulf to Europe. The Western interest in Russian resources, according to Engelhardt, is decreasing. This is evidenced, for example, by the story about the Shtokman field. “We should not be expecting military power of the radical scenarios in the form of a global World War III for the purpose of redistribution of the world in the near future,” concluded the analyst.
Experts in the field of international security stick to the opinion similar to that of Engelhardt. The West has not inspired the revolution in the Arab world, but in its policy took into account processes taking place in it. The U.S. and Europe started from the assumption that “the rotting” regimes (Tunisia and Egypt) will not be able to keep the masses in order. There is an argument that the policy note on the probability of the events in the Arab countries was on the table of the U.S. President six months prior to the events in Tunisia and Egypt. The Western partners were preparing for these events, but were sure that they would go along the lines in which they would like to see that the corrupt regimes leave, and democracy is established. But they did not consider the Islamic factor and, importantly, do not consider it now. There is an example of Afghan policy: a decision on troops withdrawal is made, but even Brzezinski will not tell what will happen next.
The reasoning of the “world behind the scenes” in the direction of the global division of the world actually looks like a conspiracy theory. But if such behind the scenes plan exists, why advertise it so widely that it becomes known to a wide range of people, including a prominent United Russia’s Fedorov, communist Sivkov, and the intellectuals of the Moscow Research Institute?
“We will reliably know who, when and how launched the Arab revolutions when the documents are opened. They have not been published yet. All the arguments of analysts and experts to a large extent are hypotheses, theories and speculation”, said George Engelhardt, a political expert on Islam. It is difficult to disagree with him.