We are at the end of the current year and there are only a few days left before we are handed over to the new year, with all of the wounds and upsets of the previous year. Unfortunately, there were no victories to hand over to the new year. We are now on the verge of 2018, and 2017 has thrown all of its baggage into it, and we are left to fight its unknown waves, which we do not know how to confront. The Arab world is facing a dangerous junction, unprecedented in modern history. The entire nation is threatened by division and fragmentation. It is facing part two of the Sykes-Picot agreement that was signed 100 years ago and which divided the Muslim and Arab nations into countries and mini-states. This second part of the agreement is dividing these countries to new countries and mini-states based on sectarian, ethnic and racial foundations. Unfortunately, this is occurring with the help of its leaders, who are proxies for the colonial forces in the region, as they are only concerned with keeping their positions and sitting on their thrones, even if it’s at the expense of the destruction of their countries.
We are witnessing this clearly in Syria, under the rule of the murderer, Bashar Al-Assad, who attracted Russian and Iranian occupiers to his country and threw it into the grips of a merciless civil war. This war completely demolished the country, killed over a million Syrians and expelled millions of Syrians from their country in order for Bashar to remain leader. Now, Syria is under a Russian and Iranian occupation and is threatened with division into three countries: an Alawite state, a Sunni state and a Kurdish state.
Meanwhile, the international community continues to practice its hypocrisy after having abandoned the Syrian Revolution and clinging to Bashar Al-Assad as the Syrian leader. This is after it deceived us by claiming over the past six years of the revolution, that Bashar should be tried in the ICC as a war criminal for all of the crimes he committed against his people. However, it has become obvious that the international community will not be abandoning him, as he is the protector of the Israeli borders. The Syrian Revolution has become an orphan after being abandoned by everyone. We do not know how we will fight these waves in 2018.
Wreaking havoc and corruption
As for Yemen, a fierce war was imposed on it, known as “Operation Decisive Storm”, led by Saudi Arabia on behalf of the coalition after the Houthis seized control of the capital. This operation was put into effect in order to restore legitimacy to the country, but it is approaching its third year and still, legitimacy has not been restored. Instead, all that has been achieved is the demolition and destruction of the country, the death of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis, and the spread of diseases and epidemics, especially cholera, which has spread across the country and affected many children, killing thousands according to the WHO report. Furthermore, Yemen is facing the threat of starvation as a result of the unjust blockade imposed on it by Saudi Arabia and the state of Zionist conspiracies, known as the UAE, which is wreaking havoc and corruption in the country, working hard to divide the south and north. It took control of the Aden port in the south and established secret underground prisons in which it exercises the ugliest forms of torture against Yemenis. It also carried out several assassinations with its death squad, formed to killed the sheikhs, tribal leaders and figures affiliated with the Islah Party which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, its archenemy. The UAE wants to eliminate this group from all Arab countries in the world.
Now, after the death of Ali Abdullah Saleh at the hands of the Houthis, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are seeking out the leaders of the Islah Party to ally with them against the Houthis. We do not know if the Islah Party leaders will trust them after the Saudi and Emirati Crown Princes met with them, or if they will be more cautious and discerning with these two snakes, especially after being bit by them in the past. The Islah Party leaders must not trust Saudi or the UAE, as they want to eliminate both the Islah Party and the Houthis through a war which would eradicate them both at the same time. This will pave the way to Yemen being ruled by Ali Abdullah Saleh’s son, Ahmed, who lives in the UAE. This will allow all of Yemen to be under the control of the UAE and Saudi Arabia. 2018 will determine the fate of Yemen and how it will look.
Injustice in Africa
Libya is also in danger of being divided into three countries, as the western part of the state is under the control of the criminal Khalifa Haftar. He is backed by the Egyptian government which supplies him with weapons, equipment and training in order to fight the Tripoli and Benghazi rebels. All of this is occurring amid American, French, Italian and Russian aspirations for a foothold in the Libyan territories. All of this will be determined in 2018. Will Libya’s fate be determined this year, or will it continue to suffer internal conflicts?
In Egypt, the injustice continues and the innocent blood continues to be shed. Yesterday, 15 young innocent men were executed after false cases were filed against them and they were referred to the military courts, rather than the civilian courts that afford them all means of legitimate legal defence. However, there is no longer much difference between the normal and military judiciary, as they both judge and issue sentences based on what was dictated to them. This has even caused the people to mock the famous phrase said by judges before sentencing, “sentencing after deliberation”. The people now say “sentencing after the phone call”, i.e. after received a phone call from senior parties.
In addition to this, we are witnessing the physical liquidation of Islamists in Egypt without any investigation or trials. Why would they need a trial and formalities when they are going to do what they want to do any way; it just delays them. The most recent liquidation occurred two days ago, when nine innocent individuals were killed, without a hearing. All that mattered is the fact that they are Islamists, which means they are terrorists. However, the timing chosen for the executions, taking place during the Christmas season, raises a number of questions that must be answered in the upcoming days. Is this paving the way to bombing a church in order to blame it on the Islamists and claim that Egypt is combatting terrorism on behalf of the world, as it always claims? Will this gain sympathy and support and exempt it from being blamed for these executions, generally rejected by Western societies?
The most dangerous legacy left by 2017 is US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel and the decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, paving the way to announcing the “deal of the century” in early 2018. This deal will declare the Gaza Strip as the Palestinian state, along with an unspecified amount of land from the Sinai Peninsula, in order to liquidate the Palestinian cause and abandon the right of return permanently. This will be followed by the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Arab sates and Israel, and complete normalisation. The entire region will revolve around Israel’s orbit. This is Israel’s dream and what its Arab proxies and agents are planning for, but the people have the last word and this is not something the leaders took into consideration. Netanyahu recently admitted that normalisation with Arab states is being hindered by the people, not the governments. The people have spoken and they have said no to normalisation with the Israeli enemy.
I hope 2018 will be the year of awakening for all Arab nations, which has already begun at the end of 2017, with Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as capital of Israel and the uprising of the Arab nations in the Aran countries, in support of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
2018 will be full of events. We will either witness the birth of these events or their final collapse and decline.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.