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."
Israel - 9/8
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
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
CIRCUMVENTS AND BOTTLES UP THE ARABS
MER - WASHINGTON -
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
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
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.