Wednesday,26 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1363, (5 - 11 October 2017)
Wednesday,26 September, 2018
Issue 1363, (5 - 11 October 2017)

Ahram Weekly

In-Focus: Egypt and regional partition

Strong and cohesive modern national states are the only defence Arab countries have against schemes to destroy them, writes Galal Nassar

اقرأ باللغة العربية

For years I have been annoyed by those who reject conspiracy theories outright, especially when you counter that the region is on the brink of premeditated or proxy wars and on the verge of partition and fragmentation. We call them the “marines” because they are very angered by any criticism of US policies in the region, including attempts to advance radical Political Islam currents to the forefront of the political scene. These “marines” claim they were “liberals” before the majority of them shifted from centre-left and extreme left in a wave of transformation from East to West. Some did so out of conviction while others were trying to jump on the bandwagon of power that turned its political compass towards the West.

Our political reality and absence of real development, good governance and this fake elite led the region to today’s collapse and failure, priming it for division according to the interests of regional and international powers who are waiting for an opportunity to pounce on the region’s wealth and people who for many years have tried to recover from decades of colonisation, wars of independence and liberation.

It is clear to any objective observer who is neutral from right and leftist ideology that the region will endure a phase of attrition that began with attempts to foil efforts at national independence from the remnants of colonisation, national initiatives to build sovereign entities, independent national decision-making, sovereignty over territories, borders and wealth — all the foundations of a modern national state — by depleting them through wars and siege. These were followed by attempts to instigate civil, ethnic and sectarian wars, as well as border conflicts left behind by colonialists as a thorn in the side of all Arab countries. Meanwhile, support for authoritarian regimes continued despite grooming alternatives from the Political Islam current in the corridors of Western intelligence agencies, in order to create a bargaining chip against those rulers and authoritarian regimes at the time. Simultaneously, working to undermine all other political currents, ideologies and solutions proposed by those outside loyal Political Islam currents, so that “Islam is the solution” is championed as the alternative and solution for all regimes and ideologies which would then rise on the ruins of states and people.

Then came the phase of advancing Political Islam currents in what is known in the media as the Arab Spring, when they became empowered in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco and Syria, followed by other countries. This formed a Sunni crescent led by Turkey versus the Shia crescent led by Iran, while continuing to support and assist the Zionist “Jewish” state. The domination of sectarianism fuelled religious and ethnic strife because these fanatic religious currents inherently discriminate against the Other, causing problems for religious and ethnic minorities to surface. Oriental Christians of all stripes are subjected to discrimination, death, and displacement, while ethnic minorities such as Yazidis are sacrificed in armed conflict. The battle of existence, destiny and wealth escalates in the absence of a strong central state that is respected, and this wealth is once again divided along tribal lines which gives rise to a return to the protection of the tribe, ethnic group and sect. Meanwhile, pressure, psychological and professional propaganda activities continue, resulting in what we are living today.

The strategy of partition and fragmentation proceeded in two directions. First, to destroy countries confronting Israel, or what is known as the core countries, by forcefully overthrowing the regimes there through popular revolutions by taking advantage of the feelings of anger and absence of justice and development. By nature, revolutions destroy everything around them because of the absence of the state and its institutions for a long time until stability is restored or reconstruction begins. In the absence of the state, the focus is on orchestrating the scene and advancing those who serve their interests, while introducing key concepts to serve an overall plan to carve up regions and areas into entities that are the seedlings for a state or under the control and protection of an allied force. Second, making countries surrounding core states tense to prevent them from providing any assistance or support. In fact, some of these countries — depending on their importance and wealth — will comply with the plot to geopolitically redraw the map of the region, as we see in Gulf states. Meanwhile, some features are being introduced to pave the way for outcomes that will soon be apparent.

This explains what is occurring in the Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq; distribution of regions of influence in Syria; allocating control zones in northwest Iraq; silence over the tragedy in Yemen; the practices of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Sudan; flagrant and obvious interference in Libya; and support for terrorism and its leaders by sheltering, funding, securing their movement around the world and their key capital, London. It also explains what is being plotted against Egypt in North Sinai and on the western borders. Accordingly, Egypt’s position on the Kurdistan referendum for independence and its outcome is based on its view of developments in the region after the Arab Spring. From the UN podium, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi called for championing the value and importance of a strong cohesive modern national state in the face of radical groups and armed violence that are supported from abroad. Also, clearly warning about intervening in Libya’s affairs; asserting there can be no solution in Syria except a political one; and that the security of Gulf countries is a key component of Egypt’s national security.

This has been the position since day one of restoring the Egyptian state. It is connected to striking a balance in international relations, advanced armament and training of the Armed Forces, and once and for all removing pressure and constraints that hinder its modernisation and advancement. It did it by finding funds for this, diversifying its arms pool and acquiring the most modern weapons in the world’s arsenal. 

The most important lesson of what we are living today is that the beginning of breakdown starts by targeting national armies, followed by the collapse of all state institutions and loss of control, leaving it vulnerable to slicing and dicing by anyone who is so inclined.

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