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The threat of Balkanisation.

Guest Stephen Turner

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Guest Stephen Turner

"America's strategy in the Middle East, devised by Washington hawks-the ultra nationalist neo cons and Christian Zionists-smells of oil and domination. It has been based on two objectives, first, US global dominance must shape further globalisation; while the present rules of the World economy left open opportunities for rising stars like Russia, China and India, it was clear to some Washington extremists that, in addition to technology, the US would need to control the Worlds oil. The second is to give paramount importance to Israel while sidelining the interests of the Arabs.

Such objectives can only be achived if the coherence of middle eastern Societies is undermined. So the aim is not confined to toppling regimes but extends to questioning the foundations of Nation States. A policy has been designed to encourage sectarianismethnic divides, regional xenophobia, and the evential Balkanisation of the Arab middle east. Sadly the outcome may be the partition of several states, producing smaller entities, regarded as easier to manage and dominate.

It was necessary for the US administration to sugar coat its policy with promises of freedom and Democracy, long awaited in the region. The hawkes needed an excuse to implement their plan, and the tragic attacks of 9/11 provided it. ironically, US retaliation seems to have faded as a priority, with those responsible enjoying impunity while the Iraqi people continue to pay the price. but the US has slipped into a ruthless Iraqi swamp, President Bush has now come up with a new initiative, apparantly disregarding the recent Baker-Hamilton report, it divides the middle east into two catagories: the so called moderate states abiding by American rules, and the extremist "renegade" states. It also seeks to escalate tension with Iran in preperation for a possible all-out confrontation. And it is about increasing US military presence in Iraq in the short to medium term.

The initiative appears to be a last attempt to maintain exclusive control over Iraq. It is not unreasonable to think that this could lead to the tearing appart of the Country. To move foward two questions need to be addressed: is America's final goal domination, partition or an honourable exit? And why are Al-Qaida terrorists and other death squads attacking inocent civilians exclusively, whereas legitimate resistance forces are restricting their operations to military targets?

The weekend conference in Baghdad over the future of Iraq, attended by the US, Syria and Iran, could be a prelude to more fruitful negotiations. Syria was able to impress on the US that it cant afford to be as biased in dealing with sensitive conflicts. The US must help create a climate of understanding between the West and the Arabs. A stable, secular and prosperous Middle East is the best way to undermine terrorism.

Any collapse of Iraq would threaten the coherence of societies in neighbouring Syria, Lebanon and the whole Gulf region. The Nations ruling the World need to be wiser, fairer and more determined than in the past to find both a solution to the Iraq conflict, and also the Arab-Israeli conflict."

Sami Khiyami is the Syrian ambassador to London. syrianembassyuk@hotmail.com

An interesting article, but at the end it sounds like he is asking the poachers to act as gamekeepers. Any comments?

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