Archive for Middle East

JORDANLEAKS or what is happening in the Middle East

Posted in English, Middle East, Stories and Tales with tags , , , , on 2011-04-02 by candycactus

Systems theory, that originally has been based on observations in physics and cybernetics by N. Luhmann and further has extended its application to almost anything that can be seen as a system, suggests the following attitude while examining the symptoms of whatever system – be it body, family or politics. According to the systems approach it is important not to treat the symptom as it is done in classical medicine by making it disappear without regarding its context, but to understand why it came to existence in the first place. One of the tools of this approach is to consider to who and for what the symptoms might be useful. For example, the fact the a boy pees in his bed is considered as negative by the parents, but it has neglected positive aspects – it brings busy parents together to talk, the boy gets plenty of attention, even if it is a negative one, etc.

The news from the Middle East are very complex and murky these days, it is hard to distinguish who is who and who is behind what. You hear on the streets people blaming the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, the Sunnis, the Christians, how they acted in the last demonstration and what bastards they were. However, if you look from a birds view at a mere fact, that the region is becoming unstable and ask yourself, who might be profiting from it in a larger contex, it becomes easier. And if you dig deeper – you see that it is not only just coincidental symptom, but it has been on agenda since a while.

Here are just few quotations from a remarkable book, that might give an idea what is going on in the Middle East these days.

Israel and The Clash of Civilizations. Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East. Jonathan Cook 2008

About the author: Jonathan Cook a former staff journalist for the GUeardian and Observer newspapers, has also written for The Times, Le Monde diplomatique

“Michael Ledeen, a former Pentagon official and an ideologue of the American Enterprise Institute had given voice to this longer-term neocon ambition in 2002, before the invasion of Iraq:

“First and foremost, we must bring down the terror regimes, beginning with the Big Three: Iran, Iraq, and Syria. And then we have to come to grips with Saudi Arabia… Stability is an unworthy American mission, and misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize”. p.119

“Establishing states in which hostile ethnic and sectarian groups were included under one legal authority, often against their will, was a recipe for feuding that required the colonial maters’s continuing involvement and intervention to help maintain order. In other words, Britain and France extended the “civilizing benefits” of the nation state to the Middle East as a cover for their own economic interests, just as decades later the US would try to spread ‘democracy’ to the region as a cover for its own economic and imperial interests”. p. 126

“In his diagnosis of the crisis and his prescription of a remedy, Yinon pointed out, and overstated, facts well knot to the colonial European powers when they established nation states in the Middle East, largely for their own benefit. One strategy for ensuring that the government of each country would remain dependent on its colonial master, even after nominal independence, was to install a leader of a minority population to run the regime. This was achieved in Lebanon, where the electoral system ensured the Christian Maronites effectively ruled over the Islamic – Sunni and Shia – majority; the small Shia sect of the Alawis had long been in charge of Syria, despite being little more than a tenth of the population; until the US invasion, Iraq had had a series of Sunni rulers, even thought its majority population was Shia; and Jordan was ruled by Hashemite monarchs, claiming ancestry from Saudi Arabia and the Prophet Mohammed, even thought a majority of Jordanians had been Palestinian since Israel’s demographic transformations of the area through its 1948 and 1968 wars. As a result –

“The Arab-Islamic world is bullet like a ‘temporary tower of cards’, which was constructed by foreigners (French and British in the 1920s) without taking into consideration the will and desires of the inhabitants. It is divided into 19 countries which are composed of combinations of minorities and which are hostile to each other, such that the ethnic-socila framework of every Arab-Muslim country can potentially crumple up to the point of the civil war that exists in some of them.” (Yinons quotation Journal of Palestine Studies). p. 109

Oded Yinon, analyst in Israel – “Israel’s policy in war or in peace should be to bring about the elimination of Jordan and its present regime and transfer it to the Palestinian majority. Replacing the regime to the east of the Jordan River [Jordan] will also eliminate the problem of the Jordan River territories [the West Bank], which are densely populated by Arabs [Palestinians]; emigration from the territories and a demographic and economic freeze in these areas are the guarantees of the cahnfe already taking place on both sides of the river. We must be active to stimulate this change rapidly”. Remaking the Middle East by dissolving its main Arab and Muslim states would ensure not only Israel’s domination of the region but Israel’s unchallenged right to continue the creeping process of ethnic cleansing of the occupied Palestinian territories”. p 115

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From the point of view of systems theory in order to induce a change, you need to destabilize the system so that it can order itself in a new way. In the family therapy one method to achieve this could be a paradoxical intervention – some strange prescription of behavior so that actors of the system are forced to take distance from their actions.

In the destabilizing Middle East there could be several outcomes while rearranging to new orders depending on how actors would play their cards – Israel, US, China, Iran. However, masses have been always and are up to the day easily manipulated. There is nothing easier than to provoke conflicts among all the already highly fractured Muslim Arab communities, a fact that is nothing else as remains of colonialism and sins of Western subsidies and alliances with Taliban in Pakistan, with Saudis and Wahabists, supporting Sadam Hussein and in many cases deliberately preventing democracy for the benefit of the West, like in Egypt and Iran in the past. It is neither difficult to make young people with Christian background in Lebanon or Jordan hate Islam and shout in the streets “We want Starbucks”. It is neither difficult to persuade the population in US and Europe that it is all for the sake of democracy (poor term is literally fucked by the West these days in the world, sorry for my expression, but the actions of the West regarding democracy deserve harshest words available) and scare them with the puppets of the Islam. Yes, it would be too hard for the population with Christian protestant ethics or internalized ethics of human rights to admit that – yes, we do need wars in order to save our economies for the sake of our comfortable life style. Who would want to give up a washing machine in order to save Palestine, ugh? We better buy another fence and few cameras for security, you know, all these Muslim terrorists around. Who has the best? Israel. They have tested it in the occupied territories.

Therefore, it is likely that mass protests taking part these days would be easily manipulated by grand strategists of the West to induce conflicts where they are needed to create instability in order to propel favorable forces into power and keep control of the oil before China does it. It is likely that Western populations would not object their governments when they “intervene” here in order to bring “democracy”. I mean, you still want to fly with Rian Air, right? Everybody needs to make a living, they say. And war – is the best business ever.

Next to development aid. About it maybe in another post.

p.s. There are many ways to see and interpret events in the Middle East, depending on the perspective. I do not claim that this the only truth, just the way I tend to see things now with, of course, my limited access to various aspects of reality here.

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Maaaakhoul Village

Posted in English, Middle East, Stories and Tales, Travel diary, World Bike Trip with tags , , on 2007-04-24 by candycactus

Internet is a scary place. I want to write about my friends, but realize it is not a good idea to use their real names. The name of the village is usually written with less a.

Everything around was take over by the Jewish. Several hundred of the Palestinian villages were destroyed and the pine trees planted on top. There was this young guy, smart and tough for his 22, he left his village and 1952 started building a house several km away from it. But the authorities would not give him a license. Who would give a license to a Palestinian, when all the country around was busy destroying their houses and covering them with pine trees?

It was a matter of stubbornness, bravery and luck, that when the men came over to destroy the house, he could point at the paper on his door, that he attained that day. The supreme court decided that local authorities were not right not giving him a license to build a house.

An unimaginable victory for the uncle and frightening precedent for Israeli authorities. After him his relatives came and started building houses. This was the beginning of the Maaakhoul village.

Saying

Posted in Damascus, Middle East, Poetry, Travel diary, World Bike Trip with tags , on 2007-04-04 by candycactus

There is a saying, that if you catch yourself thinking more than once a day that you are not in a right place, it means it is time to change – the work, the person you are with, the place, otherwise you can start counting your days until you have a diagnosis with cancer.

I was wondering what one’s body develops, if one thinks from the morning to the evening, that everything is better than you could expect from your life? Sometimes I think that I eventually have so much energy, that if everything would work in esoteric or alchemic ways, it would be enough to solve any Middle East conflict.

Or as Milena sings – it is not the Middle East, it is my Middle Ear.

Update in Damascus

Posted in Damascus, English, Middle East, Stories and Tales, Travel diary, World Bike Trip with tags , , on 2007-03-16 by candycactus

There are so many things I want to share with people, and get totally confused in languages. If I write in English, my friends in LT say that my Lithuanian style is much better. But I do want to keep in contact with all of you, guys, Stelios, everyone I met in Turkey, the francofones in Georgia, etc.

So, I went by bike to Georgia in November, stayed there with the funny company in Tbilisi, invading zoo”s and eating incredible amounts of khinkali, which made me finally look round enough to roll down the hills without a bike to Syria. Indeed, there was snow lying in January when I set off for south.  The bike is waiting for me at Anna”s place in Tbilisi, and inshallah, it will be still there not stolen when I come back. 

Now I am in Damascus. Looking at the map and thinking of all the people that are here around, but soo far away at the same time – Manar and many other friends in Israel,  Stelios and Myria in Cyprus, the palestinians that I met in Thessaloniki exchange…

Tried to go to Lebanon, but they did not let me in. So, I am happy to stay in Damascus. The juice makers, the shoe cleaners and all kind the traders are my friends. Every day I go somewhere here and talk. Talk talk.

Found a house to stay for a couple of weeks and enjoy to be settled for a while and not be in the status of the guest all the time. Syrian people are EXtremely hospitable, what can become a challenge in a way sometimes 🙂

There are such things that I experienced emotionaly, that  I feel like standing on a tall tower alone, not being able to share it with no one. I learded also so much and wander, how can I make all these insights work… If you look around in the Middle East, it is easy to feel completely helpless. Ech, I believe in a day and a moment. There are sometimes tiny tiny moments, that give me the sense, that I am exactly where I have to be, and things come exactly as they have to come. watch the people that come here with big goals – writing a theses, or learning arabic, and I think to myself, how happy I am not to have a single goal. Goals make ones glasses darker, I suppose. So, I just take everything as it comes. And it comes great.  

After Syria – Kurdistan in Turkey, then Svaneti and Adjara in Georgia by foot. Then – let us see. Maybe stay longer between Caucasus and the Middle East.