The Syrian command placed the government of Ottoman illusion before the hour of truth, after the Syrian air force deterred the Turkish combat jet which violated Syria’s airspace. Hence, the downing of the Turkish aircraft constituted a strong message to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has always been known for his threats to justify direct intervention in Syria. Firstly, the confusion was clear at the level of the Turkish reaction vis-à-vis the Syrian strong deterrence which drew a line of fire on the border, in parallel to the progress of the Syrian Arab army’s operations which aim at cleansing the border regions from the pits of armed and terrorist groups and at ending the smuggling of weapons and armed elements from Turkey.
Numerous journalistic reports revealed that the Turkish government was sponsoring networks smuggling arms and camps in which the armed men are being trained, especially following the New York Times report which pointed to the presence of officers from the CIA in the Turkish border regions, managing the operations in Syria and informing the armed terrorist gangs about the positions and movements of the Syrian Arab army via American satellite images. Moreover, according to Arab experts, the information is also being collected via reconnaissance operations carried out by Turkish fighter jets or American unmanned planes which the American newspapers have already revealed they were conducting flyovers on the Syrian border. That same report also assured that a CIA team was supervising the smuggling of weapons purchased by Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the Syrian armed gangs.
Secondly, a Turkish governmental source denied this report and Turkey’s involvement in the smuggling of weapons and armed men, thus using political hypocrisy when talking about the wish to end the violence witnessed in Syria. It was clear, based on the Turkish reaction to the downing of the plane that the hour of truth and the brink of the abyss engineered by the Syrian administration placed Erdogan in a critical position. Therefore, he had no other option but to accept the opening of the hot lines between the commands of the Syrian and Turkish armies under the headline of the search for the missing pilots, instead of using the incident as a pretext to trigger a war which Erdogan repeatedly said he was willing to launch, as opposed to the reports he received from the Turkish generals and the economic officials in his country, opposing involvement in any war with Syria.
Thirdly, the message of the Syrian Arab army regarding its readiness to defend the country and deter any aggressor is addressed to the NATO member states led by the United States and all the governments affiliated with American influence in the region and involved in the war on Syria. This stringent position was expected since the launching of the new wave of leaks over the possible waging of war on Syria, knowing that the latter leaks were used in the context of the psychological war against the Syrian state and people alike. Indeed, the actual balances indicate that whoever risks such an attack on Syria will receive a harsh response and pay a high cost, at a time when the Syrian people are confirming their rallying around their state, leader and national army. Syria which previously warned against any attack on its soil, is tightening its grip around the border regions, while the Turkish provocation which collapsed with a Syrian missile placed all the illusions in the carcass of the burning plane and pushed the delusional to conduct serious calculations in regard to the confrontation with a cohesive army that is mobilized to defend the country with great combat efficiency, and is backed by a population that is ready to stand fast, resist and sacrifice.
Fourthly, the American and Turkish planners, along with the Gulf affiliates, know that Turkey’s deterrence by the Syrian air force and the severance of all the lines allowing the smuggling of weapons and funds to the terrorist gangs from Lebanon and Turkey alike, will hasten the settlement on the field which the Syrian troops are trying to secure in the troubled regions upon urgent popular demands calling for the reinstatement of stability and the liquidation of the pits of terrorism and the strongholds of chaos that have depleted the Syrian people and shed their blood on the altars of colonial interest.
Soon, the gangs will start suffering from the lack of money and ammunition and the number of those relinquishing their weapons and surrendering themselves to the Syrian authorities will increase, in parallel to the elements of regional and international embarrassment seen in the face of the Russian political aggressiveness at the level of the attempts to form a contact group based on utter commitment to the discontinuation of the smuggling of weapons, funds and terrorists to Syria.
Petraeus’ principle collapses in Syria
Ever since he transferred from the Central Command, General David Petraeus was described as one of the greatest planners of strategies to contain the American failure resulting from the loss of the wars and military invasions launched by the neoconservatives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza.
Firstly, Petraeus became the director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the context of a comprehensive strategic plan aiming at reorganizing the American power around the world and at containing the major losses which cost it its control and influence and subjected it to major earthquakes, the most dangerous of which is the ongoing economic and financial crisis which experts believe will witness new waves of collapse during the upcoming stage. Obama’s administration set out to implement the recommendations of the ruling American institution with Petraeus’ assignment as CIA Chief following the completion of his mission in Afghanistan, via a series of decisions issued by the White House and considered to be unprecedented. Indeed, the American intelligence services were assigned to carry out combat missions and authorized to form secret special units, while placing massive capabilities at their disposal to recruit spies and engage in electronic warfare around the globe. This was being done in preparation for the implementation of what could be dubbed Petraeus’ principle at the level of the American strategic doctrines to lead indirect interventions and wars.
Secondly, the ruling American institution adopted a strategic decision to avoid becoming involved in major wars such as the ones it lost during the rise of its imperial illusions. It thus adopted soft power strategies, at the heart of which was Petraeus’ plan for indirect wars, in which the CIA used mercenaries and agents to carry out its special operations with the help of officers and experts in telecommunication affairs, explosions and assassinations. Moreover, a fleet of sophisticated unmanned aircrafts were placed at the CIA’s disposal to be used in operations selected by the agency following technical and field tests conducted by Petraeus in person in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Indirect warfare, based on Petraeus’ principle, requires the intelligence services to play a decisive role by directing media organizations controlled by propaganda, advertising and marketing experts recruited by the American intelligence services around the world.
Thirdly, throughout the past year, Petraeus tested his strategic principle and was able to achieve great progress in Africa. However, the biggest obstacle that stood in his way was the Syrian test, as it turned out that the plan to destroy the Syrian strength was extremely difficult and dangerous, prompting voices in Congress to start warning against the consequences of any direct intervention following the reports carried by American newspapers regarding the presence of CIA officers in Turkey managing the operations on Syria soil. This reached the point were a number of congressional members even proposed a bill prohibiting the financing of special operations in Syria, as it was done following the Contras scandal in Nicaragua. Petraeus, who dazzled the American ruling institution with what was dubbed the Arab spring and its role in improving the American image in the region and exporting the protests to Syria following the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings, is currently facing failure in Syria with the emergence of the signs of a new cold war around the globe. This war will demarcate the borders of the United States’ ability to regain control over the situation. In the meantime, President Barack Obama is delaying the discussion of the settlements that would allow the overcoming of the crises, by offering concession to the BRICS group that is led by Russia and China, and recognizing the Iranian strength which was set off from the Syrian window via Ban Ki-Moon’s call on Tehran to the Geneva meeting.
Later on, the American administration will have to stop attacking and targeting Syria following the miserable failure of Petraeus’ retaliatory war. The real predicament facing the United States is that the size of the losses and the challenges might impose settlements and understandings accompanying the return of the cold war prior to the presidential elections, while Obama fears that this end might turn into a factor allowing the victory of his Republican opponent.
Egypt: The turmoil continues
The crisis prevailing over the Egyptian scene following the postponement of the announcement of the results of the Egyptian presidential elections and the military council’s announcement of the new Constitutional Declaration and the decision to disband parliament, reveals many facets of the predicament facing the political transition process and the reality of the conflict over power between the two main blocs that thwarted the American attempts to establish coexistence between them in the new political system, i.e. the army and state bureaucracy on the one hand and the Muslim Brotherhood organization on the other.
Firstly, the postponement of the announcement of the results for a few days fell in the context of the military council’s efforts to reach an understating through the ongoing negotiations with the MB command. In case Muhammad Morssi is announced as the winner in the elections – as it is expected – the generals, along with the wide political and bureaucratic class, will seek the establishment of new balances. Indeed, they will do so based on the reduction of the president’s prerogatives via the recent Constitutional Declaration and the organization of the political weight conveyed by the votes granted to Ahmad Shafik in preparation for the People’s Assembly elections, as well as the next presidential elections which will necessary follow the drafting of the new constitution. But in case Shafik is elected president or in case a decision is issued to reorganize the elections in some major provinces as it was reiterated, this would mark the failure of the negotiations between the generals and the MB leaders.
Secondly, it turned out that the MB command was never serious about its intention to establish a wide alliance including other political forces, gatherings and blocs which participated in the popular revolution, but differ with the MB over some inclinations and enjoy an important popular weight revealed by the first round of the presidential elections. Under the pressures of the negotiations with the generals who demanded clear MB commitments regarding the distribution of power, Morsi sought a joint declaration of intentions with other political sides, pledging to appoint an independent prime minister, take into account the political balances in the country and reassure the concerned parties about the political inclination revealed by the behavior of the MB when it broke its pledges to the military council and the American administration regarding the non-nomination of a candidate from the organization to the presidential elections.
Thirdly, the third bloc on the Egyptian political map so far seems unorganized and requires a transitional phase to rally around a political project and structure earning wide popular support, as expressed in the votes granted to the presidential candidates from outside the MB during the first round, namely Hamdin Sabahi and Abdul Monem Abu al-Foutouh. This labor will cause the real political competition to be limited between the MB and the generals while waiting until after the drafting of the new constitution and the call for legislative elections. As to the reality that should be taken into account, it is the fact that the term “remnants” is not a realistic one to describe a key political bloc in Egyptian society, representing the base of the state bureaucracy and the state institutions and constituting – according to Egyptian experts – around 40% of the political wheel in the country.
Fourthly, the ongoing conflict between the MB and the generals is not related to the major options since these two blocs are in agreement over basic principles, whether at the level of sustaining the economic approach linked to the Western policies, donations and loans or at the level of the ongoing commitment to the Camp David accord. Hence, the conflict is related to the American fear of seeing the MB eluding these commitments under the pressures of the street, and the fears of the American experts of seeing the rise of the third bloc and its urging of the MB leaders to review some of their commitments. This is why the generals and the state bureaucracy were pushed to run in the presidential elections via Ahmad Shafik, following the failure of the attempts to promote the most prominent candidate for the Americans and the generals alike, i.e. General Omar Suleiman.
The Egyptian street is motivated by the economic and social crises and the national and nationalistic headlines, amid a political turmoil that does not reveal the ability of the American sponsor and the two main sides in the equation to produce a stable political authority.
The Turkish plane
The discussion was settled and the Turkish aircraft was downed with a sophisticated missile launched by the Syrian air defense. The discussion was settled over the fact that the role of the Turkish intelligence services in managing the war on Syria is similar to its role in the fleeing of the pilot which did not go unpunished. The discussion was settled over the fact that the Syrian Arab army enjoys a legendary ability to issue decisions and fight, since it is acting on a thousand and one fronts and issuing a defiance: we are on the square, so is there a challenger? The message was delivered to the Americans, the Saudis, the Qataris, the Israelis and the Turks that are acting as a mere mailbox, saying:
Syria has decision-making and confrontation ability.
Syria has weapons, men and determination which have not yet been experienced.
Syria has patience and the ability to choose the right timing.
When Syria says “we choose the time and the location of the response,” believe it.
If we are preparing for war, Syria has decided the timing, just as it happened with the operation carried out by the resistance in July 2006, thus costing you the element of surprise.
If you drink the poison of defeat and flee the duel, shut up once and for all.
The Syrians are on the squares shouting in favor of their president and their army since the national issue rises above all domestic disputes.
These are the times of surprises and victories, while the times of defeat are long gone.
On the field, the relevant bodies are still pursuing the remnants of the terrorist groups and storming the pits of the armed gangs in certain regions still witnessing security tensions.
An official source at the Foreign Ministry said that based on the Syrian government’s concern for its citizens and its wish to uphold their security, safety and possessions, the relevant bodies are doing their best to lead the innocent citizens out of the regions in which the armed groups are present in Homs to safe locations. The source added: “Contacts were made for that purpose with the command of the international observers’ mission, in cooperation with the local Syrian authorities in Homs, to facilitate the exit of these citizens. However, the efforts of the observers’ mission have failed to achieve that goal, as they were obstructed by the armed terrorist groups.”
On Saturday President Bashar al-Assad named Riad Farid Hijab as prime minster of the new government that included for the first time a number of opposition figures. Indeed, Kadri Jamil was named deputy prime minister, while Ali Haidar was named minister of national reconciliation. It is worth mentioning that the ministers of defense and foreign affairs kept their portfolios.
The MB group rejected the decision of the constitutional court to disband parliament, saying it will not be subjected to what it referred to as being a military coup. The Egyptian voters participated in the second round of the presidential elections and were divided between two candidates, i.e. the candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party – the political wing of the MB group – Mohammad Morsi and independent candidate Ahmad Shafik.
Both men claimed they won the second round, while the electoral committee which was supposed to announce the results on Thursday decided to postpone its announcement, thus raising speculations over the possible announcement of Shafik’s victory. This drove the MB to call on its supporters to stage daily protests on Tahrir Square in an attempt to pressure the ruling military council.
On Sunday, the victory of Mohammad Morsi was officially announced.
As expected, Israel is unable to overcome the fact that Egypt’s next president will likely be Mohammad Morsi, the candidate of the MB-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party. The papers thus agreed that a difficult obstacle will emerge at the level of the relations with the only Arab state with which Israel enjoys an official peace treaty. The papers also tackled the report of the state observer in regard to the Carmel fires and the seriousness of the security situation in Sinai, pointing to the mounting activities of Palestinian elements in Sinai during the Egyptian presidential elections and assuring that certain sides in Egypt wanted to escalate the situation on the border with Israel.
The papers also tackled various issues, such as the Israeli army’s training of its elements on how to hide in civilian positions during the next war and the collapse of the Israeli military and governmental websites.
Some Lebanese areas have been drowning in quasi-total darkness due to the electricity cuts that has reached the capital Beirut, which led to popular protests, the blocking of the roads and burning of tires in most regions. The electricity company promised to gradually increase the power supply in the next few days, following the completion of the maintenance operations in many power plants.
Deputy General Michel Aoun stated: “The blocking of the roads is useless. We want electricity. Those instigating the workers and the people to block the roads due to the electricity cuts are the same ones that cut the funding to the electricity company to ensure the implementation of the necessary projects. If they want to demonstrate, let them allow all of Lebanon to demonstrate so that I show them who obstructed the electricity budget.” Deputy Walid Jumblatt said to As-Safir on the other hand that there was a political party in the government blocking the security file, i.e. the Free Patriotic Movement “that does not wish to benefit from the Arab funds or give a role to the private sector. Therefore, it is directly responsible for the tragic situation reached by the electricity sector.”
The confrontations between the army and the Palestinian camps started in the Nahr al-Bared Camp and then moved to Ayn al-Helweh, leading to the fall of one dead and to the injuring of a number of people, the burning of a Lebanese army vehicle and the stoning of an army checkpoint. For its part, the army said in a statement that infiltrators attacked a post affiliated with it and caused the injuring of three soldiers, warning “the Palestinian brothers against becoming the victims of political exploitation by this or that side.”
Speaker Nabih Berri said to As-Safir that the incidents witnessed in the Lebanese camps and the targeting of the Lebanese army were not innocent and provoked concerns, expressing fear over the existence of plans to drag the camps toward strife. He added that what was seen during the last few days converged with information that was delivered to him weeks ago about preparations to provoke clashes between the camps and their surrounding areas.
Author: Wassim Raad
Source : “Syria’s rocket message to the delusional”, by Wassim Raad, New Orient News (Lebanon), Voltaire Network, 26 June 2012, www.voltairenet.org/a174761