What will be the future of the region ….a competition or a conflict?

Written by Nasser Kandil,

This question is not proposed in the beginnings of the Arab Spring which seemed that it was foreshadowing of a call for a change (revolution) before it becomes clear that it is foreshadowing of a chaos and mystery, that affect the fate of the national entities which emerged after the two World Wars taking them away from the dream of unity towards fragmenting the fragmented and dividing the divided, and driving them into civil wars after destroying the national armies which often were symbols of the repression of the central state, but soon they became symbol of the national identity which is threatened of demise in favor of ethnic, sectarian, and tribal identities, and combating identities that are involved in fateful wars till the death, till the protection of the survival of the entities which were generated by Sykes-Picot as a project of fragmentation became a national demand that worth the enormous sacrifices, as the preservation of the armies has become an issue of the preservation of the backbone of a  regressed country that is threatened of passing away. This question is not proposed too especially after the wars of the US Empire which aim to create a new World system that is based on the collapse of the system which was expressed by the engagement rules after the Second World War, and was known as the Cold War, in addition to what was proposed on the people in our region especially options that their sweetest were bitter, such as the standing against the wars after the fall of Berlin Wall defending on regimes from which their people were suffering, or the standing in the bank of the war of independence where there was no place for life, freedom, independence, and identity. The imperial project carries its philosophy to the new world and it foreshadows one of its bilateral at the spokesman of Francis Fukuyama; the end of the history and the fall of the identities, and what does it mean the unilateral savage globalization or the clash of the civilizations according to Samuel Huntington, a clash in which the people and the nations which stick to privacy and identity are crushed, and their fate is not better than the fate of the Indians as the original indigenous of the country, those who stick to a life style, culture, and a behavior that it is inconsistent with the unified collective identity and which is proposed to be applied on all humans at the end of the history.

The question is proposed after there was a justification to propose it, the US imperial project is cracking and the question became legitimate, To where America is moving. The Arab Spring has got a distorted outcome which is ISIS, an accumulative outcome of the overwhelming chaos which the region has entered or which inserted to it. Thus the normal question becomes: To where the region is moving after the failure of the US imperial project, the failure of the Arab Spring and the anticipated victory on ISIS. The questions starts from determining our awareness which has changed in us, is it enough to answer the question without the ill awareness that the wars under the name of the victory on others are our wars instead of our peace, construction, development, knowing that originally they are our countries, and communities?

When Thomas Friedman tried in his book “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” to formulate the concept of the globalization which was adopted by the US wars in developing what he has started in the openings of New York Times promoting for these wars in the era of the US President Bill Clinton which Europe was its arena, before it was the turn of Asia in the era of George Bush, he considered that the Olive tree is a symbol of identity and privacy, while the Lexus car is a symbol of luxury, concluding that there is no place in the new world for the private identities but to follow the luxury, generalizing the slogan uproot your olive tress by yourselves and follow the Lexus before this car uproots your trees, because your olive trees have no place in the world of tomorrow in both cases. Thus the US wars, then its Arab Spring or its smart war and later the birth of ISIS reveal three dangerous facts. First, the Lexus car was employed by the olive tree to uproot the trees of others for its account. In our region the only tree which is allowed to be left is the Israeli tree, so it is not a coincidence the rise of the US globalized imperial project with the declaration of Israel of its intention to develop the identity of its project for more vulgarity in persisting in the private provocative identity which is different to Friedman’s recipes and launches its project as a Jewish state. The second fact is that the seek to destroy our national olive trees was in favor of our other olive trees which do not produce fruits, they are our fighting and killing identity, where the clans, tribes, sects, and doctrines have got all necessary sponsorship to grow at the expense of the national state, and thus having parties, armies, flags, and states. The third fact is that ISIS as an accumulative legitimate outcome of the failure of the two projects; the imperial military and the  revolutionary intelligence; Summer and Spring, has got its strength from a distorted example of an obscure identity in history to the extent of suffocation in the form and the content, but the surprising fact is that the end started in the state of origin of the savage globalization by returning to the racist crude private identity,  which depends on its olive tree, as an example produced successively by the formations of the rising political speech in the West from America Donald Trump to Britain which got out of the European Union towards France which is more French, less European, and less global as described by Francois Fillon the luckiest presidential candidate.

In the equation of the conflict of the identities the danger of the fall of the seek for luxury, civilization, and modernity becomes present, and the balance between formulating the identity that is able to meet the challenges and the accord of the facts of history and geography at the same time in a spontaneous way becomes the politics. While the small wars inside the borders of the countries in order to fragmentize and dispel them or between the countries in order to waste their resources and to arouse their tribalism become the clearest expression of the non-politics, and because it is impossible after all of what has happened to talk about a friendly game of chess which according to its result the stones are re-arranged as in the first half, while in the war, the second half is waged from where the first half ends no repetition from the beginning, so it must be said that there is a project that was defeated and there are forces that win, but there is no later project that wins. It is clear from the approach of the international regional scene that those who stood in the bank of the US wars have put themselves in the bank of losers, in return today they are weaker than producing a project, since their project has fallen, because the American is regressing to inside the borders to reform himself, while the countries which antagonize and resist the US project can boast that they are in the bank of winners, but they cannot claim possessing a project but just having a golden vocabulary that forms one of the pillars of the desired project, it is the resistance, it is a vocabulary for the territory, its conflicts and identities, but it is not a sufficient vocabulary to describe the project of the national identity and the project of the national state or the forms of the alliances and the reconciliations which form politics while formulating the project items.

The fate of the region between the competition and the conflict depends on two things, first will those who were defeated commit suicide and run an adventure and a risk generalizing the example of ISIS and pushing more geography and capacities in its account, thus it will have new reasons of power, as having control over the cultural and intellectual background that is consistent with its project and the most important oil wealth in the region from Libya to the Gulf?, or will they have the courage to get out of war with determining the losses and engage in the regional settlements in which the competition is revolving, but  through a political mind as in the scientific politics. Second, and the most important is do those who won and accumulated the surplus of power have the humility of victory, thus they succeed in tuning the surplus of power into additive value. The most important additive value is the national settlements, thus the victory turns from the victory of forces into a victory of a project that has visions of forming the national state.

What is going till now in Lebanon nationally and what will be the consequences of the war in Syria regionally and internationally encourage talking about the preference of the competition to the conflict especially in the light of the scarcity of resources which affect everyone. The wars have their bad consequences on us, so the final word will be what will Iraq do nationally and regionally? Do the main players in it have the ability to raise their regional limits towards the integration with Syria which alone forms an attractive pole for the renaissance project, and the ability to reduce their national limits towards formulating courageous settlements that re-attract those who suffer from the concern of marginalization of politics, as well as innovating solutions for the projects of separation, secession, and division by promoting the characterization of the unified Iraq in which it stays away from the rules of the conflict of the divisional identities, and thus the revenue of the concession for the national consensus will be bigger than the revenue of the virtual division, or a dream, or an illusion of separation?

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,


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