Collisions for global security, 2011
Momentum is building for two collisions of international interests in 2011. One involves the nature of the coalition operation in Libya, which carries with it implications about the role of the West in global security in general. The other is the status of a Palestinian state, and the jockeying of various regional actors to assume the lead role in brokering the fate of Israel.
Yet this is military force we’re talking about here, wielded by one group of sovereign nations against another. Treating the action as if it doesn’t merit the conventional signs of deliberation and bona fides is inherently destabilizing.
The collision that is coming is thus due to two factors: the West’s inability to achieve a resolution in Libya through the methods it has confined itself to, and its irresponsible, even unethical attitude toward the underpinnings of international security.
Aspiring leadership rivals are plentiful. They are scrambling now, but what we can expect to see from them are more alternative initiatives for handling Libya (some are already in the works) – along with, soon enough, a host of other regional security issues.
There may be a dramatic moment when Russia exercises a veto at the UN over a proposal from the NATO-led coalition. But even if there’s not, the West will have lost standing if the threat of a veto limits what it can do in Libya. It will lose standing if the exertions of a non-US, non-European actor, undertaken in an unrelated initiative, are what obtain a settlement in Libya. And it will lose standing with every day that the situation in Libya remains unresolved.
Nothing is certain at the moment, including how the various actors will line up. The “BRICS” group, for example – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – condemned the Libya intervention at its 14 April meeting. Can the BRICS retain their cohesion if Russia or South Africa (or both) presses for a particular resolution in Libya?
The bottom line?
Russia, Greece, and the African Union are all willing to back a settlement that leaves Qaddafi in a power position of some kind, with final conditions to be negotiated and multinational peacekeepers in Libya. (The latter factor would be a boon to Russia and/or some members of the African Union.)
The US and Western Europe have backed themselves into the opposite corner.
The longer we dither, however, the more coherent the alternative proposition will become.
Russia holds veto power over any UN endorsement of a ramp-up in NATO-led operations. Turkey will almost certainly try to play both sides. Coalition partners like Italy and Qatar – neither of which is a fan of major military action – may begin to waver.
Only one thing would have the hope of restoring the global power relationships that are being thrown up for grabs, and that is the US taking leadership to secure a resolution in Libya. Even now it’s not too late in terms of the conditions at hand. It is highly improbable, however.
Also in the news today, we see a long-awaited alliance between Hamas and Fatah, an alliance which will most likely have ramifications in the Middle East:
Hamas and Fatah?
Egyptian officials claim delegations from Fatah and Hamas have hammered out an agreement to form an interim Palestinian Authority unity government and fix a date for elections, Reuters reports.
The announcement comes as Abbas lobbies for the unilateral declaration of a PA state by the United Nations in September.
Many security officials have warned that allowing Hamas to return to prominence in the PA would lead to a Hamas takeover in Judea and Samaria, similar to that carried out in Gaza in 2007
The Fatah-Hamas Agreement
It has just been announced that Fatah and Hamas, the two bitter rivals in the Palestinian nationalist movement, have signed a unity accord to end their decade’s long divide. Their preliminary agreement, according to The New York Times, provides for their creation of a transnational unity government for both the West Bank and Gaza, to be followed by new elections after one year.
So, its all about forming a "unified" government so the world will more easily support a unity government in the West bank and Gaza. Interesting.
Prime Minister Netanyahu isn't so positive:
Immediately, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a firm statement about the meaning of this agreement:
“The Palestinian Authority has to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas,” Mr. Netanyahu said in a televised address on Wednesday. “Peace with both of them is impossible because Hamas aspires to destroy the state of Israel and says so openly.”
the PA decided that rather than go along any more with the current U.S. administration’s lofty plans, it had better cut a deal with Hamas than find that Hamas would take over the West Bank on its own, assuring the arrest, imprisonment or elimination of Fatah leaders, or the total collapse of any Fatah role in a forthcoming Palestinian state or territory.
Egypt is also involved in this scenario:
It also appears that helping broker the agreement between Fatah and Hamas was none other than representatives of the new post-Mubarak Egyptian government, a government that already has made some noises about wanting to abrogate the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.
Moussa Abu Marzzouq, a Hamas negotiator, told the press that previously deadlocked talks had taken place because of help from the Egyptian mediators, who showed “exemplary performance.”
If there had to be further evidence of how dangerous the ousting of Mubarak was for the maintenance of Middle Eastern peace, this is it. As the NYT story put it, “the Egyptian revolution has reshuffled regional diplomacy.” Mubarak, despite his many faults, was considered hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood. Now that this is no longer the case, and that Hamas is a brother organization and offshoot of the MB, this problem no longer existed.
Exactly as predicted. Now we see what is being discussed for "security":
They also agreed on the issue of control of the security services. This is particularly dangerous, since the United States had been working with Fatah to help build these services in the West Bank, in the hope that Fatah could broaden its base and control and be able to stand up against Hamas. Now, this very service, which has received U.S. aid, is likely to fall under Hamas control.
This new development makes it even more than likely that with Assad in power in Syria, and Hamas in both Gaza and now the West Bank, that a new Middle East war is likely to break out.
One hopes that finally, even the witless Obama administration will see that appeasing the Palestinians and the Arab street is a hopeless task, and that putting a “peace process” in first place as Administration policy for the region is the worst possible policy to pursue.
Analysis: Syria unrest could destabilize Lebanon
The unrest sweeping Syria may whip up sectarian divisions that could spill across the border and threaten to destabilise Lebanon, a small neighbour where Damascus has both strong allies and enemies.
The upheaval in Syria, where a rights group said on Tuesday 400 people have been killed by security forces, has sectarian undercurrents because of Syrian President Bashar Assad's minority Alawite rule in a mainly Sunni Muslim country.
Alawite loyalists occupy pivotal positions in the Syrian military and Assad family insiders run the crucial security bodies, tying senior officers closely to Assad's own fate.
"If there is sectarian tension between Alawites and Sunnis in Syria this will definitely spill over to Lebanon," said a Lebanese analyst, alluding to past fighting between Alawites and Sunnis in northern Lebanon.
"Collisions" is one way to see these situations. I call them tipping points. But whatever you call them, they are being noticed by reporters around the world, and it confirms one common thought among prophecy watchers: Time is about up. The lid cannot be kept on this powder keg for much longer, its bound to erupt. Sooner or later, one of these "collisions", or "tipping points" will be reached and when that happens, the powder keg blows. And when that happens....Well, you know the rest of that story.