none.gif (43 bytes)mag_header02.gif (1948 bytes) mag_full_header.gif (2681 bytes)

 

September 1998 
Return to this month's Index 
Go To Complete Index 

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

"The strengthening of strategic ties with Turkey is Israel's most important diplomatic achievement in the five years that have passed since the Oslo agreement."

MA'ARIV Newspaper Editorial
Israel - 9/8

 

ARAB & MUSLIM WORLDS REMAIN TERRIBLY
WEAK, DIVIDED, CONFUSED

MER - Washington - 9/9:

The Arab and Muslim worlds are so weak, so divided, so confused, so co-opted that right under their noses the U.S., NATO, Israel, and Turkey have put together the unnamed "Ankara Pact" -- and yet it's strategic and military largely against them!

A few days ago the Turkish Prime Minister, Mesut Yilmaz, made an official State visit to Israel, cementing the military alliance that has developed with Israel since the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the more direction American occupation of the Gulf region in the 1990s.

It was just a few months ago MER editorialized about the great strategic importance of this latest American-Israeli move to control the Middle East as follows:

 

NEW U.S./TURKEY/ISRAEL ALLIANCE
CIRCUMVENTS AND BOTTLES UP THE ARABS

MER - WASHINGTON - 7/26/98:

Probably the greatest strategic move in the Clinton post-Cold War years is what could be called "The Ankara Pact" -- an alliance between the U.S., Turkey, and Israel that essentially circumvents and bottles up the Arab countries. Once again, the Arabs are caught unprepared, weak, and unable to assert themselves.

And this time by an alliance between their former occupier, today's modern-day Ottomans, their new enemy, the little but powerful state of Israel, and the modern-day empire which keeps the weak and corrupt Arab client regimes in power preventing the rise of Arab nationalism.

"Turkey is slowly reasserting its historic role in the region by stepping up calls for the creation of regional multinational peacekeeping forces... Over the past two years Turkey has forged a security partnership with Israel.

Analysts say the two countries, both pro-Western and non-Arab, and generally mistrusted in the Middle East, share a deep concern about terrorism and Islamic extremism.

Under the partnership, Israel has won lucrative contracts to upgrade Turkish F-4 Phantom and F-5 fighters and is eyeing more Turkish contracts as the Turkish military embarks on a modernization program.

Another agreement allows Israeli pilots to train in Turkey... Turkey long has hesitated to exert itself as a regional power, mindful of stirring up enmity among its former Ottoman subjects in the Balkans or Middle East, or with historic rivals Greece and Russia."

This way of presenting things, as done recently in the Washington Post (7/16/98), hardly gives the full scope of what is taking place. A major strategic transformation of the region is actually taking place, the Arabs once again undermined and surrounded, outgunned and outmanuevered.

In a sense the U.S. is replacing its former strong-man Iran in the region with a potentially stronger and strategically even more important Turkey. And Israel is using the opportunity to create a new military alliance that essentially threatens the Arab heartland countries, as well as the new Iran, at a time when they are more politically divided than ever and growing militarily weaker because of the backwardness of their political and economic institutions coupled with needs of the "client regimes" not to opppose their American protectors.

It's the return of the Ottomans and the further decline of the Arabs, with the major addition of Israel in the strategic equation. Kicked out at the beginning of the Century -- when the Western colonial powers carved up the region for themselves at the "Peace to end all Peace" post-war conference in Paris in 1918 -- now at the end of the century, Arab oil no longer what it was then, the Ottomans are being brought into the equation as the oil fields north of the Arab lands are now prized.

In another sense the Arabs may now have missed their moment in history. Rarely has a major civilization so rich in crucial resources played its strategic and economic cards more badly then have the Arabs collectively.

Indeed, that was the main reason the West put in place the "client regimes" -- the Husseins, al-Sauds, al-Sabahs, the Shah of old, as well as the panoply of narrowly based military regimes -- in the first place. And that grand strategy which goes back to the days of Lawrence of Arabia and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire has worked brilliantly -- for the West and Israel that is. The big loosers of course have been the people of the Middle East now divided from each other more than ever and who languish under systems of still growing oppression, both political and economic. The biggest losers of all...the Palestinians.


 

 

For latest MER Update Click Here to Listen or call 202 333-5000, 7097500#.

Copyright Mid-East Realities & The Committee On The Middle East.
All rights reserved.  POBox 18367 - Washington, DC 20036 .  MER@MiddleEast.Org

Phone (202) 362-5266    Fax (202) 362-6965    Web http://www.MiddleEast.Org