Thursday, December 22, 2016

So you think your life is complicated

RtO has always advocated a free and independent Great Kurdistan as the beginning of any policy in southwest Asia that could ever have a chance of success. Here, via Ari Murad, is as good a summary as you will ever find of why it will be so difficult, even if tried, which it won't be.

As we indicated in the beginning; the second fall of eastern Aleppo has lots in common with the first fall. But why did Aleppo fall despite all the support to the tens or maybe hundreds of factions with tons of weapons from Turkey and finance from Saudis and Qataris with media propaganda about establishing a common operation room from all factions accompanied by threats and promises, but again why did Aleppo falls?
Possibly "hundreds of factions"had something to do with it. But this analysis, by Polat Can, digs deeper. It concludes:

 At last, the only viable project is the secular and real patriotic project of the Kurdish people, the project of the democratic Syrian forces and the people’s protection units. It is the federal and democratic project that can stand against ISIS and the regime and all the dictators and will also guarantee a free Kurdistan and free Syria.
Correct even if unreasonably optimistic.

However, the United States should support a Great Kurdistan because it is the right thing to do, which ought to be reason enough.

It is also practical. It is useful to compare southwest Asia today with central Europe between the world wars. A caution: the Versailles settlement lasted barely 15 years or only as long as the time since the U.S. destroyed Iraq.

Like the Middle East today, central Europe contained about half a dozen more or less evenly balanced states: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and (on the margin) Yugoslavia. On the periphery were much weaker states: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.

Compare Turkey, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt (with 2 inherently more powerful than the rest, Turkey and Iran, as were Hungary and Poland) with the Gulf statelets and Lebanon on the periphery.

(Iraq was once in the mix but it seems unlikely it will count for much any time soon.)

In each example, each state comprised resentful minorities, antagonistic religions and each had historical claims to somebody else's territory.

(In each case there is an anomalous state that does not play much of a role in the fundamental upsets that preoccupy the rest -- Austria and Israel.)

Each group faces interference from big powers: Germany and the USSR and America and Russia which each group's members are always ready to ignore if they see a chance to score off their local rivals. In 1938, when Germany broke up Czechoslovakia, the central European powers did not say, "Uh oh, us next." No, they saw a chance to grab a province themselves, notably Poland at Teschen.

Truly, all politics is local.

The comparative calm in central Europe in 2016 is the result of massive murders and population transfers -- voluntary and forced -- which reduced the minorities conflicts; plus over 40 years of an enforced Pax Muscovia that required nearly 2 generations to devote themselves to some other project than figuring out how to steal a few hundred square kilometers from a neighbor.  

Which is not to say these ancient resentments cannot be rekindled but that for now they are not the chief irritants of international affairs.

In other words, the national solution seems the only way out; the idea of the multiethnic, multireligious polity isn't desired by any considerable segment of any popuation in the region.

That requires, as a start, the breakup of the artificial states, which has begun but has a long way to go.
I once calculated that there should be 19 nations in the area instead of 10 (counting the Gulf states as one). Today I think 19 migh be too few. 

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