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On the shifting of positions in the region

January 24, 2014 at 3:30 am

When you find a report titled “The story of the secret meeting in Beirut: Lines of communication restored between Damascus and Washington” in the pro-resistance newspaper Al-Akhbar, it means that the resistance party no longer views a relationship with Washington forbidden or wrong. When the “resistance and opposition” circles celebrate the chemical weapons deal made by Bashar, in which he surrenders the deterrence weapons he bought with the money of the Syrians, and consider this an achievement, it means that the matter of resistance and opposition is now something of the past. When the same circles celebrate the new “intimate” relationship with the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, who is now negotiating with the Zionists, and everyone knows the limited expectations for the negotiations, while Bashar Al-Assad and his Shabiha brutally attack Hamas, even though their status is the same in terms of preparation for the battle with the enemy, then this is another indication of the changing attitudes in said camp.

Perhaps the most important matter of all is that Iran, the “master of resistance and opposition”, is now flirting with the Americans as well, not only by removing their posters with the opposition slogan “the Great Satan” from Tehran’s streets, but also by engaging in negotiations that practically suggest a deal to end sanctions in exchange for ending the military aspect of their nuclear programme and keeping Bashar Al-Assad in power.

When Bashar himself forgets the Zionist entity and his conflict with it during his recent interviews with foreign, Turkish, and Arab media, and instead focuses on what he calls “Al-Qaeda terrorism”, offering himself as the spearhead in confronting that “terrorism”, it means that the resistance and opposition have taken another path. They are now even celebrating the coup in Egypt just as the Zionists are, as well as defending the coup in every international forum, while fiercely attacking Prime Minister Erdogan, who is facing a very fierce campaign by the Zionist political, security, and media circles.

On his part, Hizbullah’s General Secretary Hassan Nasrallah is ignoring the chemical weapons deal and acting as if it never happened, and is equally ignoring the Iranian-American rapprochement, and instead focusing on the so-called terrorism in Syria, which is attracting, according to him, “tens of thousands of fighters from Chechnya, the Caucasus, and the Arab and Islamic worlds”. This means that his priorities have also changed, especially since the conflict with the Zionist enemy is no longer foremost on the list after the agreement was made to end the July 2006 War. His focus is now on the weapons in Lebanon, including the pursuit of the “terrorist” forces targeting the Shiites in Lebanon. He even ignored the recent Zionist attack on the anti-aircraft missile storage in Latakia!

Nasrallah has celebrated the failure of the military option in Syria. Al-Akhbar headlined the story about one of his recent speeches as “Nasrallah: This is our time”, in which he called on his opponents in Lebanon to recognise the status quo in Syria, but this is not right. A regime that does not control 60 per cent of its own land cannot be victorious. Everyone knows that Iran’s exhaustion as a result of its campaign to keep the regime alive has become intolerable, and accordingly, a settlement must be made. However this settlement is almost impossible if it does not include a reasonable victory for the revolutionary forces, as the regime is suffering, along with those funding it, and not the rebels, who have prepared themselves for a long battle.

In the context of changing attitudes, the Turkish position has shown clear shifts, beginning with its acceptance of the deal exchanging nine kidnapped Lebanese individuals for two Turkish pilots. Another indication is Erdogan’s upcoming visit to Moscow, his new relationship with the Al-Maliki regime, and the continued relationship with Tehran. This is all in context to his response to what could be seen as a strong plot by the Arab anti-revolutionary forces against him. This has produced internal concerns, some of which have a sectarian dimension, particularly with the Alawites, and others have an ethnic dimension, in regards to the fate of the agreement with the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

While it will look like the Zionist entity has gained the most out of what is going on, since it has gotten rid of Syria’s chemical weapons, and is on its way to getting rid of a nuclear Iran, this is all at the mercy of the fears of any possibility to disable the expected settlement with Abbas, but this is not acceptable in any case and must be reconsidered, especially because the countries of the counter-revolution have not lost their momentum after their initial success in Egypt, and are setting their sights on Tunisia, Libya and the Gaza Strip in a fierce campaign targeting (Sunni) political Islam, without showing any toleration for Hezbollah due to the situation in Lebanon, with their fears of an American-Iranian deal.

The current scene is extremely complex in light of Egypt’s absence, and its forced shift to the counterrevolution, which drove Turkey to reconsider its accounts, and perhaps has pushed other Arab countries to do the same, while Syria remains the crisis of the decade when no one can accept the survival of the regime that has caused a river of blood.

No one could say for sure what the result of this strange shift will be, or how long it will take until things are clear, but a Turkish-Iranian understanding over Syria may be one of its outcomes, although there is still the question of what the nature of such an understanding would be, as well as the possibility of putting it in practice in light of many other elements (international, Arab, and sometimes even internal in terms of the regime and the rebels).

The bottom line is that we are facing changes and shifts in positions and alignments, all of which are still in the Zionists favour. No one knows what the scene will result in, or if an intifada in the West Bank could break out and change the scene, or if there will be further developments that will change the course of events. We will have to wait and see.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.