Somalilandsun- It is no secret that there is a wide difference of opinion between the Russian Military and diplomats over strategy and tactics in Syria. This has manifested itself repeatedly over the last five years. Some think it is part of the division of roles.
But the truth is different, and it was so clearly demonstrated today by the Russian General telling us that the Israeli role in the downing of the Russian aircraft over Latikkia was criminal negligence. This is nothing less than a rebuke to Putin who told us a few days earlier, clearly on the advice of Lavrov’s gang of Zionist sympathizers, that it was a tragic incident!
The General went on to highlight the difficulty which the diplomats put them through when carrying out their duties to fight terrorists, protect their bases and personnel in Syria while at the same time had their hands tied in not using their air defences against unknown air attacks. He also reminded Israel that Russia had forced Hezbollah and their allies to move away from the occupied Golan Height to East Syria! Nothing remotely similar has come from Lavrov’s gang.
I understand that Putin, who had spent most of his intelligence life in Europe, knows little about the Middle East and even less about the Arabs. But I hope he is not so deluded as to believe that because some of his diplomats had worked in the Arab world and learnt Arabic, then they must understand ‘Arabism’. Learning Arabic or living among the Arabs are not sufficient tools to understand the Arabs. There is nothing specific about the Arabs, and this statement applies everywhere in the world in that context. However, there is one element which is uniquely specific to the Arabs in this matter. Almost all of the academics in Europe, who had learnt Arabic over the last three centuries, did so after learning Hebrew either for political reasons or in order to study the Bible. This adds an element of built-in bias towards Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
It is obvious that Putin, who inherited a devastated Russia after Brezhnev’s hibernation and Yeltsin’s alcoholic lunacy, is keen to build a strong and developing Russia. I have no doubt about his sincerity to that end. He has so far achieved a dream, which has eluded Russia from the Czar’s time throughout Communism, to have a base on the warm waters outside the Black Sea. This I believe to be his biggest international achievement so far. I believe he needs to maintain it and in order to do so I believe he MUST understand ‘Arabism’. Syria is weak and Assad may not have the power to say no, but the Arabs understand fully what is happening and will build on it in the future.
Here are the facts that Putin has to take into consideration.
1. The Arabs in general are not known to be racist in the sense of showing sensitivity to foreigners or non-Muslims who have lived or settled among them for centuries. Thus, while every European capital has had a Jewish ghetto, the Jews lived in every district in Baghdad, for example, for a thousand years.
2. The European Jewish settlers who came to Palestine following WWI were not rejected until it was clearly declared that they intended to settle the land and expel its owners and inhabitants. It was Zionist ideology to which the Arabs objected and not Jewishness.
3. It is not an Arab created problem that you have 1.5 million Russian Jews living in occupied Palestine. They should not have joined the occupying settlers knowing fully that they are usurpers. I do not see how you feel obliged to protect usurpers even if they were Russians at the expense of the Arabs who have committed no evil against you.
4. The Arabs who have lived under occupation for centuries have developed a rejection of any new occupation in whatever shape or form it comes. Everything that Israel represents today is a symbol of European occupation. Even the style of their settlements and houses is a reminder of European hegemony. Deep in the Arab psyche, there is a total rejection of it. It is the same among the intelligentsia and the common masses. It is the same even among the little men who rule the GCC and who, when they are able to confide, would tell you of their rejection of Zionism which they could not declare because they rely on the US for their survival!
5. No Zionist brutality over the last 70 years has managed to shift the Arab rejection of the Zionist ideology or the apartheid Jewish state. Not the mass expulsion of the Palestinians; not the invasion, occupation and destruction of Iraq; not the obliteration of Libya; not the genocide in Yemen; not the carefully planned destruction of Syria, has forced the Arab nation into submission to Zionist hegemony. There is only one route left for the Arabs and that is to rise again as there is no lower into which they can descend.
6. There is no denying that Russian help has rescued the last Arab bastion against the arrogance of International Zionism (loosely Israel, US, UK, France, Turkey, SA). But the Arabs, while acknowledging with gratitude that contribution and sacrifice of the peace-loving Russian nation, understand equally that Russia has its own interests in pursuing its policy in the Arab world. It is here that the divergence may begin.
7. If you do not appreciate fully the interest of your host state you will antagonize it and end up being an occupier rather than an ally. The Syrian Arab Republic as an ally, needs the means to defend its borders, air space and sovereignty. You are capable of delivering that and your refusal to do so amounts, in the eyes of the watchful Arabs, to a tool of intimidation of Syria to act fully in accordance with your desires and plans.
8. It is inconceivable that you think it proper to supply Turkey, a key member of NATO, with S-400 air defence system and denying Syria the most basic air defences it needs to defend itself against daily Israeli and US attacks on its sovereignty. While Turkey has NATO fully on its side in any likely conflict, Syria has none. Who is likely to attack Turkey? Is it not Turkey which is the heart of the calamity that has befallen Syria? How could you reward it by providing it with your advanced air defence system which will be in the hands of NATO instantly?
9. You are totally mistaken if you think that by getting closer to Erdogan you may lure Turkey away from NATO. Turkey is made up of two wings. One is the sectarian Turkish people who follow the Zionist Ataturk and are always with Europe which itself has been historically inimical to Russia. The second is the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which was either set up or has been backed by the West depending on how you understand the evolution of the movement. Whichever wing prevails, Turkey will be antagonistic to Russia.
10. Arab Nationalism is the only force in the Middle East that can be an ally of Russia. Not the Saudi oil money, not the corrupt Gulf regimes which will eventually collapse by the sheer weight of history, but the true nature of the Arab Nation aspiring to live freely in social justice, peace, and harmony with the rest of the world.
11. Jews, Christians and Muslims can and will live together, as they did before Zionism was born. Zionist ideology will not survive in the Arab world more than a Muslim enclave will survive in the UK. Anyone who does not understand this needs to read history carefully. The US hegemony which is maintaining Zionism today has 50 to hundred years more. But what will happen after that?
12. I hope that you understand these realities of history and provide Syria with its needs to defend itself against Zionist daily arrogance. I am not calling on you to provide Syria with nuclear weapons or missiles that reach Tel Aviv. But I am calling on you to provide it with a defensive means that nullifies Israeli aggression. The Arabs in general and the Syrians in particular who sacrificed so much, expect no less from you.
13. If you do not heed this, you will end up in the Arab world like the Anglo-Saxon: maybe feared but hated. The only difference is that the Anglo-Saxon have managed over the last century to invade rebellious Arabs as they please, but your peace-loving Russian nation will not allow you to do so even if you wanted. You will lose the dream of bases on the warm waters of the Mediterranean but more importantly the friendship of the Arab Nation.
14. It is time to listen to your Generals who need the freedom to protect their bases and personnel and ignore the advice of the Zionist sympathizers around Lavrov.
Abdul-Haq Al-Ani London
23 September 2018 www.haqalani.com