The Middle East and North Africa have been turned into an arc of instability all the way from Iraq and the Persian Gulf to Libya and Tunisia. Chaos and violence seem to be in almost every corner of the Arab World and the Middle East. The bloodletting does not seem to stop. One country in the region, however, is gleaming with satisfaction. Tel Aviv has been given a free hand by the instability that it has helped author with Washington in the region.
The chaos around it has allowed Israel to move ahead with its annexation of more and more Palestinian land in the West Bank while it pretends to be talking peace with the Palestinian Authority of the irrelevant Mahmoud Abbas. All it needs now is for the US to lead a war against Iran and its allies.
The current upheavals actually have a resounding resemblance to the objectives of the Yinon Plan of 1982, named after its author Oded Yinon from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which calls for the fracturing of North Africa and the Middle East. The Israeli document may have been written in 1982, but it represents the strategic goals and ideas of Israel. «Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of Israel», according to it. It is a continuation of the colonial project of the British in the region and has been transmitted to American foreign policy, which explains the views of the neocons and Ralph Peters about the «New Middle East» that they seek. The «Clean Break» documented authored by Richard Perle for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also based on the Yinon Plan and informs the current position of the Obama Administration and Netanyahu’s government on Syria.
The Arabian Peninsula is a powder keg that is waiting to explode. All the regimes are fragile and cannot survive without US and foreign patronage. Their main concerns are survival, but the lack of freedom and oppression is like a toxic buildup waiting to ignite an epic fire that will burn all Arabia. «The entire Arabian Peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable especially in Saudi Arabia», according to Israel’s Yinon Plan.
Generally, the littoral states of the Persian Gulf, aside from the Sultanate of Oman, have actively been instigating Shia-Sunni divisions internally and regionally as part of their attempt to gain some legitimacy for the dictatorships of their ruling families and feudal hierarchies. This is part of their survival strategies, but is detrimental to them. The Saudi military has intervened in both Bahrain and Yemen and claimed to be fighting an Iranian regional conspiracy and Shiite Muslim treachery. Aside from discrimination, the Shiite Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula have been accused of being tied to Iran, and this has been used to justify their oppression. In the words of the Saudi Ayatollah Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, however, they have no ties with Iran or any other state nor do they have any loyalties any of them.
The world has watched as the unarmed people of Bahrain have faced the brutality of the Khalifa regime and their army of predominately foreign security enlistees from places like Jordan, Yemen, and Pakistan. Bahranis, specifically the indigenous Baharna, are being further marginalized by the Khalifa’s population transfer and settlement programs that are naturalizing foreigners or importing them to displace the Baharna and other Bahraini communities. The majority of Bahrainis are being systematically discriminated against and ghettoized, because they are barred from the prominent jobs or government positions that are instead being given to foreigners. In addition to the Khalifa reign of terror and the secret police, the Khalifa’s are deliberately stoking Shia-Sunni tensions as a means of keeping Bahrainis divided, keeping themselves in power, and trying legitimizing themselves. Bahrain is basically under foreign occupation.
In Saudi Arabia, the throwback kingdom of misogyny and horrors, there has been agitation by the people against the Saud regime. Despite the brutal crackdowns, there have been consistent protests since 2011 across Saudi Arabia demanding equality, basic freedoms, and habeas corpus. Speculation and rumours about palace coups in Saudi Arabia have also been rife too. The latest of which is that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah had Prince Khalid bin Sultan put under house arrest shortly after he was dismissed from his post as Saudi deputy defence minister.
In reality, the Arab petro-sheikhdoms are fragile constructs that have wobbly foundations. Their princes are united by their insecurities, but have a list of animosities against one another that could breakout under the proper circumstances. The sedition and terrorism that petro-sheikhdoms are spreading across the region will eventually blow back in their faces. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia already fear the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Persian Gulf.
In Yemen, the republican exception to the royalties of Arabia, there is a risk that the country could revert back to the two parts that united in 1990, respectively North Yemen or the Yemen Arab Republic and South Yemen or the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and North. A Houthi rebellion in the north against the embattled Yemeni government, which has been accused of discriminating against the Zaidi Shiite Muslims by the Houthi, and a strong secessionist movement in the southern areas have brought the state near the point of collapse and allowed Yemen to become a playground for the US and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), specifically Saudi Arabia. Yemen has turned into the Obama Administration’s drone firing range.
Instability and terrorism has gripped Iraq. The groups that can be referred to as Al-Qaeda in Iraq are set on turning Iraq into a failed state by working to implement a wave of terror and violence in Baghdad and across Iraq as a means of making the Iraqi government collapse. These terrorist attacks are actually tied to the regime change agendas of the US, UK, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey in Syria. The terrorist groups in Iraq have also crossed the border into Syria to join the insurgency there and form what they call the «Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant». They run a twin strategy in Iraq and Syria.
Iraq has devolved into three sections. The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq is virtually independent while countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey are taking advantage of the feeling of disenfranchisement among the Sunni Arabs. Outside powers are doing nothing short of stoking division among Shias and Sunnis and between Arabs and Kurds in Iraq, just as they are pushing for communal division in Syria.
This is what Oden Yinon had to declare about Iraq: «Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shiite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north».
Syria is bloodletting even more than Iraq. Israeli and American analysts, experts, and policymakers keep insisting that the country will fall apart. The foreign-sponsored anti-government forces are killing civilians on the basis of their community affiliations as a means of spreading sedition and hate.
Harking back to Israel’s Yinon Plan, it states: «The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shiite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan».
In tiny Lebanon tensions have been building as a result of the events in Syria and with the help of foreign powers trying to ignite another Lebanese civil war, specifically between Muslims. There has been agitation by a loud set of small deviant groups that support the anti-government militias in Syria and Al-Qaeda, which have been supported by Saudi Arabia and the GCC and given a political cover by Saad Hariri’s Future Party and March 14 Alliance. «Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab World including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula», according to the Yinon Plan.
A new wave of terrorism in Lebanon has started off by deliberately targeting two Shiite Muslim areas in Beirut and then the Sunni Muslims in the Lebanese port of Tripoli. The aim is to make it look like the Shiite and Sunnis are committing terrorism against one another and that the bombing in Tripoli was a Shia response to the bombings in Beirut.
Tunisia has been facing a growing crisis. There have been clashes between Tunisian security forces and militant groups near the Algerian border. Two opposition politicians, Chokri Belaid and Mohammed Brahmi of the People’s Movement Party, have been murdered. There have been increasing protests that include demands by Tunisian opposition parties and unionists that the Ennahda Movement government of Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh be dissolved.
Next door Libya is in even worse and used to smuggle weapons into Tunisia and the other surrounding countries. There have been clashes and strikes at its oil terminals and the country is effectively divided. The Libyan government has little control of the country. The real control is in the arms of the militias in the streets. Tensions are also escalating with the fears that the militias from Misrata may make a power play for control of even larger chunks of the country and confront Zintan.
Observers have warned that Sudan, which was divided into two parts in 2011, could face even more violence as tribal conflicts intensify and the government in Khartoum loses control over them. Although South Sudan has become a neoliberal paradise for investors to exploit its wealth and people, it has been plagued by lawlessness, ethnic tensions, and violence. A lesson is to be learned here. South Sudan was a far better and more peaceful place when it was a part of Sudan.
Now reports are emerging that there has been a merger of two armed groups in North Africa. Mokhtar Belmoktar, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, has announced a new collation with the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). These groups have been active in places like Algeria and Mali and provided the perfect excuse for external powers to intervene in North Africa. Now they declaring that they plan on getting involved in Egypt in a new war that will rage on from North Africa’s Atlantic coastline to the Nile Delta.
The Arab Republic of Egypt, the largest of the Arab countries, is going down the path of Algeria. The military is determined to keep its power. Egypt has also been central in keeping the Arabs paralyzed in Israel’s designs. Yinon’s averred thus about Egypt: «Egypt is divided and torn apart into many foci of authority. If Egypt falls apart, countries like Libya, Sudan or even the more distant states will not continue to exist in their present form and will join the downfall and dissolution of Egypt».
The Yinon Plan says two important things about Egypt. The first is thus: «Millions are on the verge of hunger, half the labour force is unemployed, and housing is scarce in this most densely populated area of the world. Except for the military, there is not a single department operating efficiently and the state is in a permanent state of bankruptcy and depends entirely on American foreign assistance granted since the peace.»
The second is this: «Without foreign assistance the crisis will come tomorrow.»
Oded Yinon must be smiling from wherever he is. Things seem to be going his way, at least in parts of the Arab World.
Note: All quotes are from the Yinon Plan.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Strategic Culture Foundation, August 25, 2013.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is an interdisciplinary sociologist, award-winning author, and noted geopolitical analyst. He is the author of "The Globalization of NATO".