When Sharif Hussein's son Emir Feisel arrived in Damascus to claim Syria, the French chased him out. So the British installed him on the Iraqi throne. ( Hashemite King and his PM Nuri al Said were killed in1958 when the nationalist- socialist military took over ) When the other son, Emir Abdullah, turned up in Amman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, dining in a Jerusalem hotel, reportedly drew on a napkin the borders of a new Emirate of Trans-Jordan, encompassing wasteland vaguely claimed by Syrians, Saudis and Iraqis.
Later, when Sharif Hussein (who wanted the Caliphate after Ataturk had abolished it) proved obdurate to British objectives, Britain let Ibn Saud and his Wahhabis hound him out of Mecca.
Following Britain's 1917 Balfour Declaration which had promised a homeland for Jews in Palestine, European Jews began emigrating to Palestine. The trickle became a flood with the rise of anti-Semitic policies in Nazi Germany and elsewhere in Europe. After World War II, the state of
Following the rise of Arab nationalism in the early 1950s led by Colonel Gamal Nasser of
As for Jordan, now anti-Assad ,from its very inception, almost all its neighbors coveted it. But astute King Hussein not only survived a dozen assassination attempts, he also fended off conspiracies against his kingdom. When he died in 1999 of cancer, the kingdom had become a keystone of equilibrium in the region and a modern flourishing state, despite no oil and little other resources..
Palestinians make up 60 percent of Jordan's population. PLO militants and Palestinian army officers conspired against late King Hussein (King Abdullah, his grandfather, was assassinated in 1951 by a Palestinian), so the King expelled the Arafat-led PLO to Beirut in the early 1970s.
Before the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein had promised full support to the Palestinian cause. King Hussein maintained neutrality despite Western pressure, anger and bad-mouthing. Palestinians and their leadership had fully supported Saddam in 1990-91, and
The US stumbled into the 1991 war against Iraq without prior strategic planning. In fact, the West had supported
Post-1991 Gulf War scene
Bush had attacked Iraq in 1991 without informing the UN secretary general, undermining the world body and further diminishing it (Bush Jr invaded Iraq in 2003 against the will of the UN and its Charter). For the countries of the region, the war resolved nothing. Instead, the
US promises turned sour in the aftermath of the Gulf War. George Bush Sr, encouraged Iraqis, Kurds in the north and Shias in the south, to revolt. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, most of which have large Shia populations, were horrified, as a Shia state in south Iraq would strengthen Iran's influence . The prospect of independence for Iraqi Kurds worried Turkey, whose own Kurds were fighting for freedom. The hapless Iraqi Kurds, and the Shias paid a terrible price. The Iraqi Kurds and Shias remember false US promises. Both Kurdish factions in north Iraq had expressed opposition to US plans to attack Iraq.
Turkish president late Turgut Ozal, seduced by US hints of winning "lost" Kurdish areas of north Iraq, became an energetic supporter of the Bush coalition in 1990-91. He almost opened another front in the war against
, but was prevented by stiff opposition from his powerful military.( currently there are simmering tensions between Turkish PM Erdogan and the Turkish Armed Forces which bodes ill for any military intervention in Syria .In its invasion of Cyprus which Ankara occupied in 1974 , it did not cover itself with any glory .Yes , a Turkish brigade with instructions to fight to death in the Korean war , with aim of being allowed entry fought bravely .In its war against PKK , while 40,000 people , mostly Kurds, have been killed , 5000 soldiers have also been killed . Iraq
In his recent article 'great game' in Syria for" the Guardian" Alastair Crooke wrote that the US-instigated "color" revolutions in the former Soviet republics gave way to a bloodier, and more multi-layered process but the underlying psychology remains unchanged. " Europeans and Americans and certain Gulf states may see the Syria game as the logical successor to the supposedly successful Libya "game" in remaking the Middle East, but the very tools that are being used on their behalf are highly combustible and may yet return to haunt them - as was experienced in the wake of the 1980s "victory" in Afghanistan."
"Salafists may be generally viewed as non-political and pliable, but history is far from comforting. If you tell people often enough that they shall be the king-makers in the region and pour buckets-full of money at them, do not be surprised if they then metamorphose - yet again - into something very political and radical" warns Cooke.
There seems to be little thought about the strategic landscape –"- may yet see the prevailing calculus turned inside out: nobody knows. But does the West really believe that being tied into a model of Gulf monarchical legitimacy and conservatism in an era of popular disaffection to be a viable posture " asks Cooke.
A report by a Qatar-based researcher for the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) almost admits that the self-described "Free Syria Army" is basically a bunch of hardcore Islamists, plus a few genuine army defectors, but mostly radicalized Muslim Brotherhood bought, paid for and weaponized by the US, Israel, the Gulf monarchies and Turkey. There's nothing "pro-democracy" about this lot - as incessantly sold by Western corporate and Saudi-owned media.
"Real men go to Tehran via Damascus only if they have the balls to stare down Moscow".
Slow but certain descent into chaos