Greetings and Good day,
“A fatal blow is the hit that causes death, a coup de grace “
In a continuous effort to walk through world events, I will mention only, four major news that filled our screens in the last couple of days. Nuclear talks, Gaza, Lebanese state dissolution, and MH 17 downing.
The extension of nuclear talks between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic until November 24 coupled to assets unfreeze of 2.6 Billion dollars, in its context indicates the willingness of world powers to continue talking, while simultaneously dragging into the process, without reaching any significant result. Freeze for unfreeze seems to be the formula of talks for talks where the financial masters of the universe are willing to extend a financial life aid to an overstretched Iran equivalent to 600 Million dollars per month to get a nuclear freeze in exchange. There are two opposed views, the first adopted by the Islamic republic establishment willing to expand enrichment in a 3 to 5 years time frame, possibly ending with a breakout of nuclear capability, and adding by this complexity to an already difficult Eurasian Theater. While the second view is to create a nuclear free zone in the Levant and the gulf in 30 to 40 years time frame, which is the best option for all the families living in the area. It goes without saying that one view excludes the other, and the US in its desire to support Israeli security fails to discern between normal relations with Iran and nuclear talks. In truth focusing only on nuclear talks will impede normalization to become a reality, hence subordinating the advancement in relations to a security topic. Exploring other development sectors becomes a necessity in realism. The magic formula can become Freeze (enrichment and centrifuges), Unfreeze (financial assets on monthly quota) and Develop (common projects), where develop will be key to accelerate toward convergence rather than divergence. We all know that Iranian geopolitics in the Levant are spreading a lot of instability and projecting a poor vision, lacking of respect for particular specifics of each reality. Yet this can only change, because radicals led by the supreme leader are incapable to express a model of successful governance and excel in an intellectual integrity, therefore the Iranian opposition is meant eventually to prevail.
However and while time passes by, all eyes are today on Gaza, where the 2012 cease fire is not holding anymore. In its miscalculation, Hamas is overestimating its own power and committing a major error in its calculus. In fact Hamas needs to come to table for an immediate cease fire, or else it will lose the political significance in the eyes of the Israeli establishment. Hamas at its beginning was facilitated by Israel to create a schism within the Palestinian factions, and that played well for Israel’s security for some years, the deeds are that the West bank is politically divided from Gaza and that no agreement is reached with a divided Palestine. The actual meaning of the flare up of hostilities is a major change in the status-quo, simply because Hamas lost its importance for Israel. What is expected is that as early as tomorrow Sunday the defensive edge will expand significantly and will evolve its objectives to become elimination of the political representation of Hamas in Gaza. While taking out tunnels, a naval commando will be lifted on the Gaza shore to assess where the command center is and erase it by intelligent and deep going bombs. Furthermore it is most likely that Gaza will be divided in two entities where Erez crossing will represent the interests of its north and Rafah crossing of its south. Israel knows very well that divide and conquer can yield temporary partial security, and that long term full security can be ensured only by agreements between strong states. The modeling of the new Middle East map will be based on Egypt, Turkey, the Islamic Republic, the Islamic State ( Syraq, Jordan, Palestine), the Gulf Federation, and the Lebanese Republic that will anchor the Syrian western coast. How this new map will rotate versus energy exploitation and infrastructure projects is yet to be seen.
A major sign of approaching of the moment of reckoning is that the Lebanese state is at its dissolution zenith. In his latest speech yesterday Mr. Hariri puts a rubber stamp on the Lebanese state incapability to evolve. Similarly the leader of Hezbollah is incapable to defend the state as he promises in his talkative shows, and all other politicians talking about fire or tempo for presidential election are accusing much fatigue and infertility to say the less.
The talks about the emission of a new EuroBond and the requirement of the ministry of finance to have a legislative session to authorize stipends spending, or other national security issues going from wages, tenants law, army capability and doctrine, electricity, state budget, unemployment, electoral law, state reforms to devolution, etc ; are only a confirmation of the confusion and full panic and hysteria in Lebanese governance.
Lebanon needs a lady president that implements radical reforms of the system, and limits the role of the political pirates and thieves including the Hariris, Aoun, Franjieh, Sanioura, Goubran Basil, Gemayels, Jounblat, Geagea and Hezbollah, His Corruption the speaker and all the rest of the cartels and the mafias, from oil, electricity to bankers and monopolies of trade and other filibusters of water and medicines.
Hence the president of vacuum and/or the president that will prolong this failed system are much about the same, two sides of the same coin, similar to Mr. Berri and to Mr. Hanna Gharib.
Lebanon most needs intellectual purity to declare a state of emergency in norms, ethics and values. The state is rotten and the nation is broken. The essence of the civil society is vilified, by sectarian divisions instated by feudal pirates having foreign allegiance, instead of being united behind secular terms leading to a Swiss model of presidential council with rotation, a strong army securing the land and the borders and a tiger economy spurring growth. Demographic/refugees problems and infrastructure detriment will add to the climate of insecurity if not solved with rationality. The lady president, who has a strong record in activism and reforms, and beyond all doesn’t belong to Lebanese historic insignificance since the independence, will need to grasp the geopolitical momentum , give a fatal blow to the old system, and be ready to step in for a new system and accountability.
The pirates need to have some rehabilitation and go to pension. These cartels of robbery and denigration must be put in jail, as they failed to create a peaceful society where truth flies supreme.
The downing of MH 17 is a blatant example of lateral consequences, where tragedy adds to the ignorance of politicians and failed chess masters a’ la Putin. Pressure will mount increasingly on the Kremlin for the lack to respect international norms abiding by Ukrainian aspirations for independence. This guy and his close circle of yes men are acting like thugs and ultimately they are not tutoring the principled interests of the Russian world. The Russian culture is liberal and advanced in its modernity of thought, and the oligarchs in power are leading the Russian flag into the mud. Unless dear monsieur Putin will not wake up from his long and dormant winter in sense making, I am afraid we will be witnessing an upscale in the confrontation, where every penny will be taken out the markets, impeding them to finance the Russian state in its effective needs to proceed with the shortsighted policy of an only oil oriented economy.
To end I will say that Chinese efforts to become a maritime power are most welcome, the great Chinese nation used to build enormous naval ships and roam the oceans, traveling the seas will widen the horizons and increase the interaction with the world. The Silent Service of US submarines will be escorting these efforts and ensure the peaceful character of the full cooperation between both nations.
Observers might be induced to hesitate about the course of world events, and undoubtedly there is a coming back in baking consequential policies, in the furnace of western geopolitical gusto.
“Strategic thinking is a mental process, at once abstract and rational, which must be capable of synthesizing both psychological and material data. The strategist must have a great capacity for both analysis and synthesis” General Andre Beaufre