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Monday, August 18, 2014

Middle-East Crisis: The Symbiotic Relationship Between Assad And ISIS

As the self-declared "Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham" continues to slaughter hundreds, occupy and govern a vast swathe of land and come close to capturing Baghdad and Irbil, the Kurdish capital, one cannot but wonder how its emergence could not be foreseen. Another interesting development is that the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al Assad seems to have lost steam. Is there a symbiotic relationship between them ? Are they hostile in one level and  interdependent on one the other ?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Hidden War In The Middle-East: Rise of Geopolitical Networks

Underneath the seemingly chaotic, ethno-sectarian conflicts raging on in MENA (Middle East and North Africa), lie powerful subterranean forces of regional powers contesting with the aim of establishing hegemony over the entire region. Of course, world powers are neither unaware nor uninvolved in this conflict but are not as proactive as they are when fighting with their own agenda. Arabian Peninsula ,Levant and North Africa now seem like a  huge board game littered with corpses and gunmen issuing whimsical orders. Since I cannot come up with a better term, I would call these forces geopolitical networks, comprising of nation-states as well as non-state-entities (including organised resistance such as Hezbollah and numerous small groups of militants) . In MENA, three such networks are active, each with eye on capturing the entire region. The first and most visible geopolitical network is Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hezbollah and other Shia militant outfits. Its main rival is the Sunni/Salafi network of Arab countries-Saudi Arabia-UAE-Bahrain- various Sunni militant groups and believe-it-or-not Israel .  The third network in this bizarre game of power comprises of Turkey-Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Palestinian Question: Gaza Is The New Auschwitz

In my last post I mentioned that Hamas was trying to inflict a strategic defeat on Israel in the ongoing attrition warfare by depriving Israel from taking  moral high ground. The global public opinion has changed drastically after the massacre of more than 1800 Palestinians, many of them children and women. The attack on UN schools and vehicles reveals a reckless Israeli war-machine trying to avert a disaster but it could well be a result of insecurity of its political leadership. Over the last two decades, two simultaneous strategies have been playing out- increase in number of new Israeli settlements in occupied territories and Palestinian bid to statehood recognition by the UN and international community. Whether Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu genuinely believes Israel faces unprecedented threat or is worried about his political career remains to be seen. The ongoing Gaza war is certainly his decision since both the charges against Hamas - kidnapping and murdering three Israeli teenagers and starting fresh violence- have been proven wrong.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Is Israel Poised For Strategic Defeat in Gaza

From amongst the numerous Israel-Palestine skirmishes,clashes and wars, the ongoing conflict seems the worst one yet. Body count and infrastructure damage may have been much higher in previous escalations,but this time both actors have long term agenda in mind and domestic political pressure . Further, it is not a case of provocation by one actor leading to a escalation that neither side can avoid, as is usually in the case of India and Pakistan or China and one of its neighbour. In this case, both Israel and Hamas have all along had the option of de-escalating it but neither actor is willing, as they see opportunity to gain advantage by the time a ceasefire becomes imminent. This is after all a very unconventional conflict, fourth generation warfare is fought on a very different level, in this instance, the objective is not to capture the flag first but create conditions that can help develop better strategy until the next conflict. As opposed to other conflicts, war does not erupt between Israeli and Palestinian militants, it's been in a state of war since two decades, it is peace that occasionally breaks out.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gaza Crisis: Jews Shouldn't Pay Price For Zionist Chutzpah

The atrocities being committed on the Palestinian people during the Operation Protective Edge, makes one wonder how a civilized nation could go about killing hundreds of civilians, especially children and claim it is an act of self-defence. The graphic images, videos and individual testimonials paint a grotesque portrait of a genocide with racist overtones. Unlike other ethnic cleansing pogroms of recent times, such as Serbian genocide of Bosniaks, information of which wasn't available immediately, the IDF assault  is taking place in full public view. It requires remarkable chutzpah to continue pounding of Gaza despite international outrage and UN resolutions, especially since Israel came into existence through a similar resolution and  support of  global community. Ironically, the last racial global ethnic cleansing movement was carried out by the Nazi Germany under Hitler against  the Jews and as such the Jews would best understand the pain Palestine is growing through. Besides, the Arabs and the Jews have had relative cordial relationship for a millenia.  Even we were to disregard all these things,  it would still remain unanswered how God fearing Jewish people could indulge in such perversion  of their laws. ? But then Israel is a Jewish-majority secular state, not Halachic Jewish State. In fact, Israel is a Zionist state.