Four issues and three months
by Nasser Kandil on 22 Dec 2012 2 Comments

The first issue is that Washington informed Tehran that it was quickly heading towards the ending of the dispute over the nuclear file, considering it can no longer maneuver and hide the reality that Israel is suffering an internal crisis and unable to affect Washington's decision. Indeed, Washington believes that the transformations in Egypt and within Hamas were a good enough gift for Israel's security, while the financial crisis sweeping America and Europe will explode in February, when the temperature drops below zero and the heating bill becomes the main point of the governmental and familial expenditures.


Moreover, anarchy will come to prevail over the markets, and demonstrations will be organized on the street, amid expectations surrounding the fall of governments and parties. This is why Obama wishes to seal arrangements with China, Iran and Russia prior to that date, in order to tend to the imminent problems. On the other hand, Iran, Russia and China asked for a new American attitude towards the Syrian file, and Washington committed to the fact that the deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey and the political recognition of the opposition will be the last negative steps on its part. In addition, it pledged to render the new headline of the crisis in Syria “the fight against terrorism” and to establish alliances based on it. And based on the agreement, December 25 will mark the date of the first American step towards Iran in the negotiations, and January 10 as the date of a qualitative transformation at the level of the Syrian file.


The second issue is that the Syrian state is preparing for the winter campaign against the armed groups, using qualitative weapons and forces which never before participated in the fight. This will be done based on the fact that the depletion battles led by the Syrian troops in the face of these groups cost them more than 15,000 dead in the last six months, at a time when the number of units which were introduced from abroad during these same months did not exceed 3,000. Consequently, these groups are no longer able to wage qualitative attacks, especially following the battles in Daria and around the Damascus airport, where more than 4,000 dead fell in the ranks of the armed men. This winter campaign will end in February, after the armed presence was eliminated in Rif Edlib and Rif Aleppo.   


The third issue is that the Istanbul Council and the Doha Coalition were informed that their militias will not be granted qualitative weapons, that there will be no military intervention, and that they were required to militarily stand in the face of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups. Their morale thus collapsed and they have started talking about a deal made at their expense. In the meantime, the media support offered through talk about victories did not conceal the defeats, considering that the military breakthroughs that were secured were carried out by the Al-Qaeda militias and not the armed opposition.


At this level, Riad al-Assaad tells a story mocking the new command of the military opposition and its councils and being circulated by his Turkish friends and the Turkish Facebook pages. Indeed, he is saying that the Syrian state and its intelligence apparatuses benefitted from the media campaign about the chemical weapons, thus making helicopters throw bags of limestone in the streets and orchards of Daria, which caused many armed men to have rashes and pushed them to exit their hideouts by the hundreds, fearing that this was a chemical weapon. The helicopters thus had them in their scope and annihilated them all. Whether or not that tale is true, it is being spread in Turkey and among the armed men to shed light on the incompetence of the opposition's military command on one hand, and the faltering morale on the other.   


The fourth issue is that the Arab Spring and the European financial crisis cost the Gulf states in 2012 around $600 billion according to the estimates of the International Monetary Fund. This is due to the fact that they had to support the Tunisian and Egyptian economies which are standing on the brink of the abyss, and pay dues to both Jordan and Turkey which alone exceed $100 billion, after tourism stopped in the entire Middle East. As for the cost of the war on Syria alone to cover the expenses of 200,000 militants, administrative employees and journalists, it exceeded half a billion dollars per month, not to mention the cost of weapons, equipment and the media war. And in the face of the threats facing Europe, the Gulf states were asked to introduce $300 billion to help European economy, in the shape of weapons deals, the purchase of civilian planes and heavy equipment, the purchase of real estate property and the construction of hotels.  


February will mark the beginning of low temperatures and whoever stays warm will be safe, especially in Afghanistan, and this is what the Americans are thinking before engaging in negotiations with Iran.   




The Israeli fears over the deterioration of the situation in the West Bank were the most prominent topic tackled by the Israeli papers issued this week. They thus agreed that the circumstances had ripened for a new Intifada in the West Bank, and that all that was left was to wait for the spark which will trigger it. The papers also spoke about an American-Israeli armament deal to compensate for the loss of bombs during the war on Gaza.  


On the other hand, the papers indicated that both Israel and Iran had military bases in Eritrea and that Israel also had an intelligence tapping base there to monitor the movement of the ships in the Red Sea.


Regarding the internal situation, the papers spoke about the enhancement of the “movement under the presidency of Tzipi Livni,” at the expense of the Labor Party in the next elections. They also talked about the decision of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman from his post following the decision of the government's judicial advisor to accuse him of fraud.  


The author is a journalist

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