The Calculated risk

August 22, 2014

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good day,

It is a fact that we are living in an era of fast velocity characterizing the events worldwide.

One has only the embarrassment if to start from East, where dwindling in once rampant economies is a new pattern, expected to endure for a while; even if Japanese and Chinese monetary easing will keep the pace. But military tensions and maritime blur lines will add intensity to the Asian drama unfolding.

Or to start west where the Oil production in the US is expected to exceed 10 million barrels per day by 2016, a glaring record, which is already strengthening the US economy and adding tools to the imperious wild cards.

Questions abound on when the Federal Reserve will increase the interest rates, even if it is too soon to tell without clear cut joint data on housing, employment and inflation.

Questions also entail the ramifications of the US aerial defense of the Kurdish enclave, on how these will exert control on the revolving boundaries in the SYR/AQ Theater, and/ or how these will support the policy of multiple joint plans of action (JPOA) with Iran entailing differing sectors , education, energy, sport, etc,,.

Sharp Observers nurture concrete signals in the upcoming meeting of NATO in September that an opening will be made to widen the cooperation with China and consequently the G7 will evolve by adopting India and China to become a G9.

Undoubtedly there is much strain in international relations due to a lot of internal instability in many countries, running from Thailand, Pakistan, Sudan, Ukraine, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Nigeria, Bahrain, etc…

We know that next week a meeting will take place in Minsk where both Russian and Ukrainian presidents will meet to assess possible solutions to the conflict in Donbas regions, and we know also that the Iranian parliament impeached yesterday the minister of Science in a continuous struggle for power opposing two segments of the Islamic Republic both oppressing the mainstream opposition.

Can a commander in chief become a viewer in chief of a sit in comedy, where the bold was successfully designed prime minister in Iraq, the bad is still controlling a coastal territory in Syria and the beautiful is yet to be elected president in Lebanon ?

So far the US strategy yielded too little in terms of nation building in mentioned theaters, and we expect that the Gaza wildfire will prolong the agony much farther than the nuclear talks in Vienna, where the US is hoping to entice Iran to a moderate stance and a cooperative role in the new Middle East where rampage is dominant through a demagogy of fear preceding the Islamic state advance or retreat as per field requirements.

It is evident that the initiative on regional level is hold by opposed armed gangs derailing the modern state concept be this due to the assertive stance of the armed groups or the dispersion of polities in gathering significant effort in governance.

A strong case is made in Lebanon where the state lacks behind extraction of water from the Mediterranean, finding a balance for the institutions and empowering opportunities for exports to strengthen the economy. This lagging paves the way for commendable initiatives to elect the president by the people to emerge tactically, while the entire national edifice is gloomy and cloudy. How the perspective will proceed is yet to be deciphered, however the latest positions expressed by HIS Corruption the speaker and other components of the hijackers of the republic indicate a platform and a readiness to find the light out of the presidential tunnel and extricate the cedar land from its impasse.

In truth some optimism can be on the horizon, where the Iranian calculation and pragmatism will necessarily come to terms by designating a solution. How will the Iranians ponder their steps and how they will endorse a new president is being presently considered.

In support to the geopolitical mosaic, rational thinking induce us to widen the perspective into 3 personalities, ( which Lebanese Hezbollah involved in a military campaign beyond its own borders , financed by Iran ), will caress as a projection to its own interests.

These 3 personalities will fit into the following priority, the perfect candidate who is facing insurmountable resistance is Michel Aoun ( Lebanese Maliki ), the second choice who was jeopardized by the latest Arsal incursion is the army commander (http://www.lebanonfiles.com/news/760858), and ultimately the third choice represents the calculated risk.

The calculated risk for the Iranians in Lebanon is to select a profile that will secure their interests to an acceptable minimum and this is a figure advancing the program of social, defense, constitutional and economic reforms.

Within the Iranian prism of modern strategy, the posture is to aliment the regime, increase its own defenses and keep its tentacles glowing from Tehran to Maroon El Ras, (where Gaza is out of this formula for the Israeli continuous crackdown on HAMAS).

Setting the priorities, the Iranians know very well that they need to establish an inclusive government in Iraq to tutor their own interests, to facilitate a solution in Lebanon based on secular coexistence and ultimately hold their bastion in Syria for the longest time possible, with the dim hope, that the International environment changes.

While Mr. Abbadi is working in Baghdad on his new unity cabinet, it is widely realistic to forecast the next political move of Qassem Suleimani to be in Beirut, where the window of opportunity is open until Mid November to elect the president and call on the general elections.

Between all the Lebanese candidates, the candid choice inevitably directs the pendulum towards Mrs. Nadine Moussa who is the brightest candidate so far, and the most unifying figure in the Lebanese conundrum and the failed republic of thieves, pirates and Mafiosi.

Lebanese politicians should follow the example of the pioneering Mr. Walid Jumblat who is dedicating more time to literature (LUCKY OSCAR was a nice article ) and find alternative occupation or else simply retire.

Being Qassem Suleimani an accurate commander and a political astute figure much about an Iranian version of a modern Machiavelli, he will understand that the safest bet is to cool down the nuclear file for some years ( the equation of freezing nuclear activity , unfreezing assets and relaxing sanctions, coupled to developing different JPOA ), to tacit the Iraqi flare through inclusiveness and play with grandeur in Lebanon, being the major threat now the IS advance to Aleppo and/or to Baghdad.

Ultimately to alter the position of being stretched too thin, Suleimani will find his way to compromise, where the best result he will pursue will be to keep the Syrian status-quo in exchange for slow achievements in Iraq and an illuminate mandate for growth in Lebanon, from where his proxy Hezbollah can revert to a local actor.

Failure to grasp this window will have brutal consequences on the entire area and we can’t exclude security threats to rise in Lebanon exponentially.

Where Suleimani will play safe, the solution has a Lebanese name, Mrs Nadine Moussa.

Thank You,

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Murmurs

August 6, 2014

Dear Reader,
Greetings and Good Day,

“It is important how we view the youth of our nation. To simply consider them as new age voters will be a big mistake. They are the new age power.” Narendra Modi ( Indian prime Minister)

Following the successful attempt to gain minds and hearts by recently elected Indian prime Minister, one can ask where the world’s biggest democracy is heading.
Is it only to recover the economy and set a zone of influence in the Indian Ocean or also to play a decisive role in world politics?
The latest position expressed by the defense minister (http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/india-defends-decision-on/1297804.htmln ) to defend the Indian decision not to ratify the WTO global trade deal, was perhaps a direct answer to the questions posed by Ambassador Blackwill, during a speech in June to his Indian audience.
The Ambassador defined the vital US interests as follows: 1. Prevent a WMD, major terrorist or cyber attack on the American homeland; 2. Maintain the global balance of power and prevent the emergence of a hegemonic rival on the Eurasian landmass; 3. Ensure U.S. allies’ survival and their active cooperation with the U.S. in shaping an international liberal order based on democratic values and the rule of law in which the U.S. can thrive; 4. Prevent the emergence of hostile major powers or failed states on U.S. borders; 5. Ensure the viability and stability of major global systems (trade, financial markets, supplies of resources, etc.).
He then asked what can be the Indian vital interests.

In a continuous effort to help on assessing the global events, perhaps we need to define Iranian vital interests. These can be 1. Defend the Homeland and the Islamic revolution as a global movement, 2. Project the Iranian influence on the Middle Eastern and Hormuz land and sea mass, 3. Ensure Iranian allies survival and active cooperation in shaping a regional order based on the supreme leader rule, 4. Manipulate and exert political and or military maneuver to keep control on states located on Iranian borders and beyond, 5. Ensure the downsizing of Israel if not its own dissolution as regional foe.

Based on above we can imagine the immense challenge ahead, opposing divergent interests and generating the actual disorder in the Levant. It is a fact that the IS created revolving doors in Syr/aq and it assumed control on Mosul Dam and on new Oil fields to aliment its own expenses. While the Iraqi state and the Syrian dictator Assad are both failing miserably to express any compromise for governance with their own opposition.

The transition in course, with high instability led to a revolving door in Arsal in Lebanon, where the Lebanese army has two costly choices. In truth Arsal is not Nahr Bared , considering the size of the area, the ethnicity involved, the number of operatives on ground, and the weapons deployed. Hence the first choice is to embark on a lethal campaign that will drain the army resources and capabilities coupled to high political risks, simply because you go to war with the army you have not the army you want, the second option is to regroup and declare the area surrounding Arsal a no go zone, from where you can exit but you do not enter.

My perception is that geography will lead by itself to a struggle between Arsal and Hermel where the long range missiles of Hezbollah are placed, and this will weaken the Iranian regional formula further. Hezbollah in Lebanon can’t have it both ways, what is his is his and what is ours is his also.
Therefore we can expect Lebanese military planners of the army to negotiate and set a buffer zone, while Hezbollah will feel the heat and proceed with the interference in regional issues as per Iranian orders. The regional open conflict indirectly exposes the presidential plan B of Hezbollah, simply because the army commander is playing on high stakes.
Our duty is to honor fallen cadres, ranks and files of the army, Lieutenant Dany Harb’s burial is today (May he and his fallen fellows rest in peace), and to express solidarity, but in no case to go for a military suicide.

Close to Lebanon, in Gaza a mighty army the IDF withdrew after 28 days of hostilities, regrouped and shifted tactics. In front of asymmetric enemy, an army must be very cautious not to derail its supplies, its own preparedness and or weaken the morale of the troops, even if popular support is consistent.

So even if the cease fire is holding in Gaza, the negotiations will not yield, as contenders require two opposed conditions. Hamas is asking for full access from borders while Israel is stressing for demilitarization. So much charcoal is on fire from Gaza to Mosul, passing by Arsal and Lattakia, where Assad is sitting like a lame duck waiting for salvation to be delivered from his tutor Qassem Suleimani , sleeping often in Samarra to defend Baghdad from its likely fall.

Somewhere something is wrong, and most likely it is the strategy of Dr Obama versus Iran, where he invested muchly on a sole track; the nuclear negotiation, while he can pursue the approach of several Joint plans of action in different sectors, energy, technology, security, trade, construction, environment, agriculture, etc…

What is the solution? Shall we wait until September until the meetings in Vienna with the P5 + 1 resume and keep going until November 24 or we can trace a political map from now?

The easiest way to start is in Lebanon, where rational thinking lead us to set the priorities in electing a president, forming a transition cabinet delegated to approve an electoral law and to supervise general elections, afterwards go on comprehensive reforms of the system, transforming it from a feudal middle ages banana republic into a modern federal rotational republic, strong of institutions, different administrative assets and of a capable national army.

The political elite in Lebanon having their allegiance to external powers will submit to the orders, being simple pirates and corrupt yes men. Whenever actual dynamics will continue blocking two general candidates in Lebanon ( Aoun and Kahwaji), then I can see advancing only a secular option that will bring about resilience in defining the regional agreement.

This secular wake up is undoubtedly best expressed in Mrs. Nadine Moussa as a fervent politician looking for Lebanese vital interests.

My sincere advice for all parties involved is to shorten the suffering of the people and to embark on a track of common sense, in nation building and in state affairs.

Murmurs already abound about a new Geo-economics and geopolitical Middle East, concomitant with the centennial of WWI that defined the first line in the sand, set by a French and a British.

“A nation is not defined by its borders or the boundaries of its land mass. Rather, a nation is defined by adverse people who have been unified by a cause and a value system and who are committed to a vision for the type of society they wish to live in and give to the future generations to come.” Fela Durotoye

Thank You,