web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Mordechai Kedar: The Arab World on the Precipice

Demonstration in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad

Photo Credit: Matanya Tausig/Flash90

Share Button

Although I do not generally do so, I will open with an Arabic joke, because in the Arab world (and perhaps in other places as well) people often use humor to speak the truth about reality. I will begin by explaining: In Arabic, the term is “weapon of total destruction” instead of “weapon of mass destruction”.

According to the joke, in 2003, President George W. Bush, sent a delegation to search out weapons of mass destruction all over the Arab world, and gave its members authorization to search everywhere. The delegation roamed throughout the entire area for a whole year, and did not find any weapons of mass destruction. The delegation returned to Washington, came to the Oval Office in the White House, and said to Bush: “We checked every place in the whole Middle East, searched everything and we didn’t find any weapons of mass destruction”. The president asked them: “What did you find?” The members of the delegation answered him: “total destruction.”

The point of this ironic story is that the Arab world does not need “weapons of total destruction”, since even without them the area is in total ruins. The situation in Syria these days illustrates this situation, and in live broadcast. With presidents slaughtering their own citizens in the thousands, and their capitals serving as a front in the battle against them, and the state’s military branches fighting against its people, when human dignity – especially that of women and girls – is openly trampled upon and these countries’ economies are collapsing, the Arab world is in an advanced state of systemic collapse, “total destruction.”

Syria of Asad, Hafez as well as Bashar, created for itself an image of Arab nationalism, a fortress of faithfulness to the Arab interest and the spearhead of the Arab battle against the West in general and against Israel in particular. But now, with all the military strength of the Syrian regime turned against its citizens, it becomes clear that this image was like foam floating on the surface of deep water; a pathetic illusion hiding a dark dictatorship that used – or rather abused – Israel as a cover for the bitter truth: the actual, great, threatening enemy was the majority of the Syrian people, who never saw the regime as legitimate.

The situation in Syria is deteriorating quickly, and the state is literally disintegrating. The cracks in the government are widening; ambassadors, generals and soldiers are deserting, some branches of the Ba’ath party are announcing their secession from the regime, the Russian advisers are fleeing for their lives and the feeling that the end is near is taking hold more and more. Not the end of Asad, but of Syria. Not the regime, but the system. The state is approaching systemic collapse and is sinking in a treacherous swamp of blood, fire and tears, and only the Master of the Universe knows how Syria will emerge from this.

The principal force fighting against the regime is the Free Syrian Army, which is said to be acting under the command of Lieutenant General Riad al-Asad, a deserter from Asad’s army. However, the Free Syrian Army, despite the many efforts that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and perhaps even Western countries invest to consolidate and organize it, is really nothing but an incohesive group of weakly coordinated local militias. Its weapons – mainly automatic AK-47 rifles and RPG anti-tank rockets – are light; its strength is combat in urban areas, where it uses the population as human shields. Since the regime’s military can’t tell the difference between a fighter and a non-combatant citizen, it commits mass murder in an effort to eliminate as many fighters as it can, who may be hiding among the citizens. Both sides are up to their ears in human rights abuses, and both sides act with determination and without sensitivity, guided by the logic that “war is hell.”

However the Free Syrian Army is not the only factor among the enemies of the regime, because three additional types of forces are also present.

One type is the local Islamic militia, acting according to the Salafi jihadi formula, which is maximum religious adherence integrated with unconstrained holy war against “the devil” Asad, his regime and his infidel ‘Alawi brothers. It seems that it was this sort of group that carried out the attack in Damascus in which the heads of the security establishment were eliminated on Wednesday, July 18, an attack that revealed very great technical, operational, organizational and intelligence-gathering capabilities. The members of these groups are local Syrians who know well how to integrate into the population and act from within it. In every Sunni city at least one such group is active, and overall there are scores of such groups active throughout Syria. The long-range goal of these groups is the establishment of an Islamic Emirate in which Islamic Shari’a will be fully implemented. One of them even claims that its capital will be Jerusalem… Names of such militias are “kitaab al sahabah” (Battalion of Companions of the Prophet Mohammed), “Katibat Ahrar Prat” (Battalion of the Free of the Euphrates), which is part of “Lua’ Sakur al-Shahaba” (Division of the Eagles of Aleppo), “Lua’ al-Haq” (Division of Rights/Truth/G-d), “Katibat Sawt al-Haq” (Battalion of the Voice of Rights/Truth/G-d), “Katibat al-Ahrar al-Sham” (Battalion of the Free of Greater Syria), These names carry a significant traditional-religious meaning with Sunni overtones.

The second type of group is composed of Sunni Muslim foreigners who have infiltrated into Syria by way of Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon; people who generally call themselves part of Global Jihad or al-Qaeda. These are terrorists who have no particular home, roam the Muslim world in places where there is no law and order, and take part in the jihad against the local infidel. Many of them come originally from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the Emirates, Algeria, Libya and Egypt, but there are also Chechens, Tatars, Bosnians and a few Africans. They are conspicuous in the field, and therefore they congregate in small, separate groups and operate out of groves or abandoned, built-up areas that the local population has fled because of the war. The operational experience that they have accumulated in previous arenas, their jihadist motivation and the fact that they have nothing to lose makes them especially dangerous.

The third type of group comprises local militias based on tribal association, whose task is to defend the village or the town in which the tribe still lives. These militias have no specific ideology, and their raison d’etre is to defend the population of the village from any attempt to harm it, whether from the side of the regime or from the Free Syrian Army. In Syria, hundreds of such militias are active, usually defensively. They have a large presence in Hasaka, the Kurdish area in Northeast Syria and in the area of Dir a-Zur in the East, which is populated by Bedouins.

In total, including all four types of armed forces, hundreds of fighting groups are active in Syria, all of them fight against the regime, but also among themselves. The divisiveness and the controversies weaken them, but worse than this is the fact that even after the collapse of the Asad regime, these militias will continue to fight each other, due to their different agendas and conflicting goals: the militia of a Christian village will fight to the death against a Salafi jihadist militia, in order to defend the members of the village from the sword of Islam. The Christians in Syria know well what happened to their brothers in Iraq, and what is now happening to them in Egypt, in Gaza and all over the Islamic world, but for now, the Christians in Syria – who represent 3 to 5 percent of the population – remain there.

In parallel, there is a phenomenon that we have focused on since the riots in Syria began in March of 2011: the rise of the sectarian component, which has been hidden all the years under a heavy dampening carpet. At this point it is clear that when the regime collapses, the Alawites who live in the Sunni cities – Damascus, Homs, Hama, Alleppo and others – will have to flee for their lives in order to keep the connection between their heads and their shoulders. Whoever remains may be slaughtered with the cry of “Allahu Akbar” in the throats of the killer and his friends. For some months now the Alawites have been streaming weapons and ammunition to the mountains of Ansaria in the Western area of the state, in order to defend the area which was allocated to them for their own protection because of their heresy. Then the French Mandate made the Alawites into rulers over the others, so that the Alawites could rule “without having to answer to a High Court or human rights organizations”. The Alawites have already begun to deport the Muslims from the coastal cities – Latakia, Tartoum, and Banias – who came to the area in order to work there over the past decades, as a sort of “religious cleansing” in order to create for themselves a homogeneous Alawite state, which will be “Muslim-rein”.

The Kurds already control broad areas in their district in Northeast Syria, while being helped by their brothers who live in Iraqi Kurdistan, and it seems that also their brothers in Turkey support them. Most of them do not have Syrian citizenship because of the regime’s claim that they are infiltrators from Turkey; Syria does not even recognize them as a distinct group with a non-Arabic language, deserving the right to establish their own schools in the areas in which they live.

The Druze in Southern Syria live in Jabal al-Druz, the Mountain of the Druze, a volcanic zone covered with boulders of immense dimensions, a district which is named for its capital al-Suida. The French Mandate forced the Druze to join with Syria in the blood-soaked war that began in August 1925. In order to blur their distinct religious identity, the Syrian regime changed the name of the mountain to Jabal al-Arab “Mount of the Arabs”, but they remained faithful to their Druze identity and their tribal tradition, and it could very well be that they will also try to establish for themselves a separate state.

The Bedouins, who live in the Eastern district of Dir a-Zur have never liked the city dwellers, because they are different culturally. It is reasonable to assume that they also will aspire to establish for themselves a separate political entity. Great love has never existed between the two main cities, Damascus and Aleppo, and therefore it may be that these two centers will prefer to disengage from each other in the wake of Syria’s collapse.

The future of Syria will call to mind the past of Yugoslavia, as well as the present situation in Iraq and Lebanon, because the fundamental problems of these states exist also in Syria. The stabilization of the separate parts as legitimate political and governmental entities will take years, in the process of which much blood will be shed in never-ending conflicts between various groups based on ethnicity, tribe, religion and sect. The illusion of Syrian patriotism and the dream of Arab nationalism, which has become the bloody nightmare of the “Arab Spring”, shatter on the hard ground of the separatist, group-based reality, which is alive and kicking in the Middle East.

The president is dead, long live the new emir!!!

Originally published at http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/mordechai-kedar-total-destruction.html

Share Button

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

One Response to “Mordechai Kedar: The Arab World on the Precipice”

  1. Analyse très pointue sur la vrai situation en Syrie, l'auteur est quand même un poil pessimisme avec une désintégration violente en plusieurs états :

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Dr. Mordechai Kedar
The 5,829 Bedouin women listed as eligible for single mother benefits in the Negev, raising 23,855 children, are actually silent polygamous wives.

To date, all the Bedouins’ legal land ownership claims that reached the courts have failed.

The masses were threatening to topple the regime in Tehran during the 2009–10 Iranian election protests. The new Geneva agreement tore the mask from the face of hypocrisy that characterizes the politicians in the West today, who don't care at all about Iranians' right to freedom.

Western countries ignore the rights of Iranians to live in freedom like the citizens of the West.

What is the cause of the Shi’ite-Sunni conflict?

Lately, the pro-Western coalition has begun to crumble, and two key countries – Saudi Arabia and Egypt – are searching for a new political crutch.

This past month several dozens of jihad organizations operating in Syria came to the conclusion that the disagreements among them harm their fighting cause and strengthen Asad.

Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan Speech was not an attempt to emulate Obama by spreading false hope of an agreement with the Iranians.

Israel has not really convinced the world that Iran is a danger.

Al-Jazeera again appears to be promoting Islamic violence these days, in Egypt and in Israel.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/mordechai-kedar-the-arab-world-on-the-precipice/2012/07/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: