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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


(CONTINUED FROM 12/06/10 [the title redirects you to the previous})

3.4 Stepwise introduction of shared e-government back-end

Mr Hans Arents (Co-ordination Cell Flemish e-Government, (CORVE))
discussed the stepwise introduction of shared eGovernment back end
The introduction of service orientation into the back-end shared IT services
that support eGovernment service delivery faces its own particular challenges,
as a result of the stove-piped nature of government. The Flemish government
has adopted a stepwise approach, starting with the development of data
sharing services and only gradually moving towards application integration
services. By focusing on opening up authentic data sources within
government, major efficiency gains in key government process were realised.
To achieve this, a service oriented platform had to be built that not only
delivers web services, but a range of other types of services as well. Not
following a pure web services-based approach, but offering additional types of
“backwards-compatible” services (such as FTP, and e-mail) has been a key
success factor in the uptake of this platform.
The presentation discussed how the necessary political and organisational
buy-in was achieved, and what governance structures were set up to manage
this platform. In addition, Mr Arents discussed the technical and organisational
challenges that the Flemish government is still facing to open up these data
sources for cross-border use (e.g. the exchange of certified diploma
information about prospective employees, or the exchange of harmonised
company dossiers for public eProcurement).
Mr Arents concluded with a discussion of how this data sharing platform will
be used to “open up” Flemish government data sources in order to improve
government transparency and data re-use. In addition, the introduction of data
sharing in government has to be done in a stepwise manner. A capability gap
needs to be crossed before moving to the next step. A major capability gap
still needs to be crossed to move to the pan-European level.
In Belgium, a key role is played by sectoral services integrators. There are not
many, but unavoidably more than one for political or organisational reasons.
When they are there; they are used as the core of the data governance
structure in their sector and the providers of essential shared data services.
This could apply also at the European level as well.
Replying to a question from the audience on the SEMIC.eu initiative, Mr
Arents commented that SEMIC.eu is only a collection of objects, but it lacks
governance. What is needed is first to agree on what to do, and then
someone to take the lead and actually do it.

3.5 SOA for Pan-European Public Services

Mr Michiel Malotaux (VP Gartner Consulting) presented on SOA for pan-
European public services.
The Public Services Framework, as published in the European Interoperability
Framework (EIF) version 2.0, is in fact a pan-European SOA. Conditions to
enable this framework include: legislation, governance, (open) standards,
certified base registries accessible via web services, networks supporting
(federated) security services and certified intermediaries to provide composite
pan-European public services to administrations, businesses and citizens.
Mr Malotaux began his presentation with providing examples of pan-European
services that have been used in many engagements of Gartner with the EC.
According to the legal framework set with the Lisbon Treaty, Member States
should work together in order to provide services across national borders. In
addition, the Service Directive of 2006 requires that Member States should be
able to provide information services within and across borders. Very few
success stories can be accounted in 2010.
Mr Malotaux continued that the Malmö declaration urges Member States to
work on the freedom of services and their electronic dissemination of data
across borders. This framework is SOA. Technical interoperability has been
achieved on a global scale. Semantic interoperability has been achieved in
many cases, but still remains a challenge on other domains. Organisational
and legal interoperability remain to be achieved.
In terms of a public services framework, and the way to realise it, public
administrations should be able to serve other administrations, businesses,
and citizens. Pan-European composite services are services that draw upon
other different basic services delivered to individual companies through
portals, and gateway systems of public administrations.
Basic public services together make composite services and basic public
services can be delivered by base registries. Authentic data sources,
interoperability services (i.e. index, translation services, coding), external
services (payment module; Google maps) are being used in the industry and
public sector.
Between these basic and composite public services it is necessary to
establish secure communication and confidential login. Several examples
validate this statement: EULIS, INSPIRE, Data.gov etc. connect to Member
State base registries; which part of land is owned by whom. Inspire is about
geographic data; Eucaris, ensures that police can find a person’s stolen car
anywhere in Europe; TMView enables a person to find out whether a
trademark is occupied and where to find a specific trademark through the pan-
European Index of trademarks and the owner of that trademark; CCN/CSI and
NCTS of the Taxation and Customs Directorate-General provide an
operational communication network that enables free movement of goods
within Member States. In general, experience has shown that once a specific
architecture has been proposed, it needs to be tested since different systems
may use architecture in different ways.
Mr Malotaux concluded that there is a necessity of intermediaries, i.e., of
portal and gateways (not necessarily public) certified that know how to protect
a person’s data. Different constituencies need to know of specific expectations
to act upon. Private parties can exploit portal industries; local governments
cannot create pan-European systems, due to budget constraints.
Mr Malotaux noted that security must be federated, i.e., the details related to a
Member State’s security is the responsibility of each Member State. In
addition, EC could address the issue of a pan-European web service interface
standardisation and promote the use of certified base registries for national
authentic sources of information in Member States. EC could act as the
certification authority certifying the Member State’s sources. This framework
can work in the regional, national, and European public services’ levels.

3.6 Experiences of the development of the Hungarian
Interoperability Framework
Mr Balazs Goldscmidt (Budapest University of Technology and Economics)
presented the experiences of the development of the Hungarian
Interoperability Framework.
As part of a research group at the Budapest University of Technology and
Economics cooperating with the Hungarian public administration, authors took
part in the design of the next generation Hungarian eGovernment Framework
(HeGF), which is similar to the EIF (EU), SAGA (Germany) etc. national and
international initiatives and it is based on SOA principles.
The New Hungary Development Plan (NHDP, 2007-2013), co-funded by the
EU, is implemented through the State Reform Operational Programme
(SROP) and the Electronic Administration Operational Programme (EAOP).
The framework is built around interoperability requirements, an application
development, and architectural framework, IT security requirements, project
management methodology, process description methodology and toolkit,
eAdministration pilot projects and a standards repository.
In the current presentation the focus was on the system architecture defined
in the Interoperability Framework. At first, the technological and organisational
requirements of the architecture were introduced. Then, the components of
the architecture were discussed including the eGovernment Service Bus.
During the design process of the architecture, non-eGovernment scenarios of
SOA were examined to gain experience of the problems and issues of
enterprise SOA systems. The environments of the enterprises were compared
to that of the Hungarian public administration. The similarities and differences
of the two were shown, and it was demonstrated that, despite their
differences, understanding the problems of one area can help to address the
problems of the other.
A series of tests was performed at the end of 2008. The tests concerned the
compliance and interoperability for products and standards. The tests were
limited in coverage, and they examined the key features of major vendors’
products. The test identified products that are mature enough to be
considered for eGovernment. The testing methodology appears to be
applicable to other fields as well.
The main issues of the eGovernment that were solved using this technique
include the heterogeneous software systems; the different interpretation of
data; the distributed responsibilities and the legal burdens, including privacy
issues. According to the presenter’s view even the technical problems
disclosed can help making general eAdministration better.
In conclusion, a summary of the lessons learned from the design process
were provided. Although SOA is still maturing, it is reliable and standardised
enough to be introduced in the Hungarian, or any other, eGovernment
framework. The experiences of the enterprises and earlier integration
technologies might help to solve problems arising in eGovernment
environments; however, the differences between eGovernment and eBusiness
domains should not be forgotten.
The presenter emphasised that although modular, flexible, and standardsbased
design is sine-qua-non in projects of such scale, another aspect is
equally important: Achieving an interoperable electronic public administration,
necessitates that the role of semantic and structural interoperability is not
underestimated. Wilful cooperation, the unification of high-level concepts,
workflows and law, and a formal ontology are absolutely necessary.

4 Summary
The European Commission organised a workshop on "Service Oriented
Architecture pushed to the limit in eGovernment" in the context of its
“ePractice.eu” initiative. Following the Ministerial declaration on eGovernment
adopted in Malmö in November 2009, the European Commission is in the
process of drafting its eGovernment action plan for the period 2011-2015.
The workshop focused on two main subjects, one technological and one
business-oriented. The technological subject related to using SOA for
structured composition of services, through the adoption of object orientation.
The business subject relates to the discussion of past experience of the use of
SOA in eGovernment and future plans.
The morning session was devoted on technological trends in SOA. Mr
Sobolewski presented the service object-oriented architecture stressing that it
is necessary to create domain specific programming languages (as opposed
to software languages) that will best address the needs of the specific domain
and which will be able to be implemented in a software, hardware and network
neutral manner. Ms Ţicău brought up the importance of inherent security in
eGovernment processes, which sets a different landscape from any other
application domain. Ms Donovang-Kuhlisch proposed the utilisation of a
“business process management language” that would allow governments turn
“smart” by becoming network enabled, effect oriented and context and history
aware. Mr Mrugalla presented an architectural framework that uses SOA as a
natural consequence of the federated steering environment of Germany, and
Mr. Love presented the bottom-up approach where the eGovernment
principles find their way in the implementation of working eGovernment
A round table discussion with the participation of the workshop audience and
speakers overviewed the technological trends and implementation problems
when applying SOA in eGovernment. Main discussion points related to the
need for user friendliness of eGovernment solutions, the need to focus on the
different levels of abstraction necessary when designing complex and unified
eGovernment solutions and how S(O)OA can be used to facilitate this design.
The afternoon session discussed lessons learnt in eGovernment
interoperability and speakers were provided the opportunity to present their
vision on the way forward. Mr Ziehm presented the case of an eJustice
solution used in the German state of Hessen, which resulted in a significant
reduction in resource usage and cost savings. This case exemplified how
strong political support was necessary to overcome inter-departmental and
inter-organisational barriers in order to arrive to a successful solution. Mr.
Rodrigues Frade presented the e-PRIOR platform that applies SOA in the
eProcurement context in order to bring together legacy systems and services
of public administrations and their suppliers. Mr Declercq proposed a SOA
reference framework to be used in a pan-European context. He stressed the
need for a reference list of services, and a clear split between business and
infrastructure services.


Special thanks to the team of Eurodynamics



Monday, August 16, 2010




The Israeli-Palestinian war, which has started since September 2000, does nothing but strengthens this reality based on heavy tendencies; the Middle East, which is considered here to be spread from Egypt till Iran and from Turkey till the Arabian peninsula, is under an authentic geo-strategic shock during already several years. In fact, there are two directions, which organize, amplify, oppose year after year (despite of punctual variances in the respective camps); unions able to appear a priori against nature or, according to a wording dear to the tacticians, at reversed front.
We must consider at first that: the Muslim Turkey has military allied itself with a Zionist state, the baas Syria restored with the Iraqi "enemy-brother", itself searching the support of Iran, which was disgraced and struggled for eight years during a conflict of high intensity! Around them there are the States of too fragile regimes - such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia - which are requested to take a position in function and in the ubiquitous shadow of the super-power America ...
In fact, a thorough analysis of the stakes, the identity representations and the strategies - or, in other words, a typical authentic geopolitical study - allows to understand this new Middle - Eastern reality and to take a measure in this respect.

1. Direction Israel / Turkey

Since the 1990s, Israel and Turkey have begun ostentatious approaches; diplomatic relations reduced to a more simple statement, they have passed to an original strategic agreement and a military cooperation of any first rank. If Jerusalem and Ankara are still not connected officially, ten years after the first agreement on partnership in 1991, neither by any agreement nor formal treaty - a state of being, which will last probably - there is a fact that if two States realize regular meetings among superior officers and even chiefs of headquarters, of mutual visits of highly strategic places, marine maneuver and air joint training, this diplomatic defect becomes completely relative and finally serves for hiding place to an authentic union. Not common, the two States do not have either territorial conflict or mutual expansionist representation, while each of the two east is in acceptance with the requests of a third country and, therefore, totally opponent: Syria. The denominator of the Arabs' representation in their collective and the positive one of the American unions extremely valuable for the two parties are added to this negative common denominator.

- For Turkey: to loosen the Kurd reason

The advantage of Turkey to cooperate with Israel, risking to sacrifice certain interests in the Arabian world, seems to be, at first sight, little evident. On the technical plane, the American materials and equipment are fully sufficient to make an offensive redoubtable force of the Turkish army, which is doubtlessly superior to its Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi potential competitors, the latter being considerably weakened by the defeat of 1991. It is true that the anti-guerilla and anti-terrorism methods and experience of Israel offer a qualitative addition to the Turkish army in these fields. But there is something much more.
They will not ever insist enough to an obsessive anxiety that represents, for the power in Ankara, the Kurd problem. To be more precise, this is the Kurd separatism and the possible creation of an independent state in the Eastern Anatolia, in the middle of strong density of the Kurd population, which is an existential threat for the Kemalist Turkey? At this sign, the Turkish power determines if not the essence, at least a large part of its diplomatic and strategic purposes in function of the problem.
It has thus difficult relations with Syria. Before the categorical refusal of Ankara to begin negotiations on a certain number of disputed questions (Alexandrette, obstacle Ataturk...), Damascus has chosen at the beginning of the 1980s - and in a very clear way since 1984 - to support in a open way the Party of Kurdistan Laborers (PKK), which is the most militant Kurd nationalist movement, whose headquarter of guerilla, the logistics, the military infrastructures and the propaganda service find a shelter in Syrian territory. Consequently, the boundary incidents have increased, the Turkish army - which is strong by a constant contingent reaching 650.000 military people - sending repeatedly armies in southern region of Urfa.
However, for Turkey as well as for Israel, the fact to take in pincers the irritant neighbor strengthens considerably the power of persuasion. In autumn 1998, Ankara has started a large campaign of intimidation sending armies to the boundary and menacing in a open way the Syrian neighbor with strong-armed reprisals if Damascus continued its pro-Kurd policy in a frenzy way. Being busy by "swallowing" Lebanon (40.000 Syrian soldiers present in the country of the cedar) and forced to maintain important effective towards Israel, the Syrian army could not avoid a snub . In November, Damascus gave up informing the expulsion of the Kurd chief Abdullah Öcalan, appointed as a public enemy number one by the Turkish authorities.
In this highly geo-political conflict, the true interest of Ankara to get allied with Jerusalem is placed in other places, outside of the territories of training and fields of battle. On that side there is a continent and an ocean, which is really in Washington, or let it be at more than 10.000 kms of battles, where the game is played; in its fight against the Kurd separatism - and in particular against the PKK - Ankara needs friends in the House of Representatives as much as it needs armored machines in a South-East of Anatolia. Or in the Department of State and mainly in the Congress, which becomes an active partner of the Hebrew State it gains the support not less active of a powerful pro-Israeli lobby, which is widely embodied by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In the USA, the war of Vietnam (among other examples) will show fully that all the joint efforts of a determined power and of a powerful army are not sufficient inevitably to triumph over an enemy, mainly if it embodies a movement of national liberation. In this case, the public opinion, the biggest mass media and, naturally, the elected persons to the Senate and to the House are certain obliged passes for a reason, even farther and untouchable consequences in Idaho or Kentucky. Playing the Israeli card in a context of double acute rivalry the United States/Iraq and the United States/Iran - the Turkish regime ensures that the Kurd reason of acting for independence, will have only a limited echo in American leadership spheres.
The example was however given by the burning problem of the responsibility in the Armenian genocide. In 1990 for the first time, then in 1995 on the eightieth anniversary of the tragedy, a series of political and cultural demonstrations should have happened in New York and Washington. As usual, the Turkish office did its best to lessen the event, and at least to give the responsibility to the former Ottoman regime. Being pressed to determine their attitude towards the new Israeli-Turkish agreement, the Jewish organizations have passed through large difficulties to establish a common and coherent position. In Israel, this affair with relent force of state interest has caused significant excitement.
It must be added that for the Turkish power in search of the American supports, the Jewish lobby is doubtlessly unique, which is able to counterbalance the Greek lobby (where the Armenian lobby could be added too), which is as stronger, and which brings a disastrous image of Turkey to the public opinion . In this respect, the leg-appeals to the American Jews happen with a very well created strategy. In fact, the Turkish-Ottoman past pleads for an "exchange of good methods"; the Jewish representation of Turkey - and the Kemalist State of an Ottoman power - is extremely positive. The Jews from the Iberian peninsula, who were banished in 1492, have found, in many respects, shelter and relief on the Ottoman land (the Balkan Europe, Constantinople, and the Western Anatolia). They have certainly brought experience in the administration, trade or also medicine. But the imperial authorities accepted them and would evaluate them even better, during the centuries, since as a cult community they would not ever require anything in political and mainly territorial matters, in comparison with other minorities, which almost all of them would establish in nationalist enters. That is where the reputation of accuracy and loyalty towards the sultan comes, which would spread however under the Young Turkish power and the Kemalist regime. At present, about twenty thousand of the Jews living in Istanbul and Izmir (Smyrne) are not subjected obviously to any type of official and popular anti-Semitism.
To the opponent of this idyllic vision, the constancy of a sharp anti-Semitism in Greece is well known, which was distinguished under the Nazi Occupation, since 1941till 1943. For the best, the Greek orthodox population attended passively the mass deportation of the Jews from Salonic , for the worse, it cooperated. Afterwards, the ice relations maintained by Athens with Jerusalem, and its pro- Arabic labeled as forced did not contribute in anyway to change the image of a nation definitely hostile to the Jews and Israel.

- For Israel : to fly above the hostile boundaries

The military active partner with Turkey offers to the Hebrew State the geo-strategic ledge, which is the most important from the point of view of the quality since at least the peace with Egypt, in 1978-79. May be even more, since Israel has been loosing, with the peace of Camp David, integrity of the Sinai peninsula, or in other words not only a very significant strategic depth in case of a sudden exposure of the peace agreement by Cairo (Islamic coup d'état?), but also the lock of Sharm el - sheikh of the Red Sea, at last petroleum and tourist non-negligible resources. Besides Israel sacrificed several settlements located along the international boundary. As for it, the partnership with Turkey does not represent only advantages. They are mainly of two types.
- The first geo-strategic interest, completely important, is the interest in the sky. Because in spite of what a number of images broadcast by the TV allow to think about, these are not the Israeli-Turkish-American marine maneuvers - although they are ostentatious and without precedent - which are important for the Hebrew strategists, no more than the common training on land or the exchanges of the anti-terrorist information. The real revolution, for Israel, is in the air, and, more precisely, in the Turkish air space. The military bilateral agreements of cooperation (especially those of February 1996) open really to the fight machines, which have been hit by the star of David, for the unique official reason of joint training, almost the integrity of the Anatolian air space. The short sight in any atlas allows to judge about the consequences of such a discovery.
At first it means that Tsahal, threatens the adversary (and in case of necessity the Syrian enemy) not on two fronts any more, but on three by its iron throw, which has always embodied the aircraft; before then only the high plateau Golan and Lebanon (already under the air control of the Israel, by virtue of the tacit agreements of Israel / Syria about the "red lines"), have been over-flied by the hunters -bombers of Tsahal. Henceforth, its F-15 and F-16 could overcome the long Turkish-Syrian boundary and reach, in several minutes, the cities of Alep, Homs, Hama and the unique Syrian port of large size, that one of Lattice. And in consideration of a disgusting character the Turkish-Syrian relations, it seems to be clear that in case of a conflict between Israel and Syria, Turkey would close its eyes on the use by the Hebrew state of its space as bases of departure for operations on the Syrian territory. In the end, without the possession of Golan or the potential support of Jordanian and Egyptian armies, and weakened by the purpose of deliveries of modern arms and Soviet spare parts, the Syrian army has already accused a relation of force totally ill-disposed towards Tsahal; with the air establishment of the latter in the Anatolian sky, this relation becomes impossible. In other words, the direct military choice, which regularly threatened by Damascus as a reply to the Israeli refusal to reach an agreement with Golan, does not seem today even more inspiring confidence because of new development.
The scheme is noticeably identical as to Iraq, which oil northern regions are depending on an immediate, mass and/or "surgical" attack of Tsahal. Such operation could be followed by an attack of the Iraqi Scud carried out on the model and in the context both similar to the war of Gulf. The onusian and the Arabian-Western coalition of 1990-91 not existing any more, the Israeli authority however has notified Washington, during the recent crisis of February and December 1998 and March 2001, that it would not observe the second time its policy of deduction...
Then, except Syria and Iraq, the Iranian nuclear threat which is if not to disappear, at least to fade away. It happens not because the Mullah regime was requested to leave its course for nuclear technology - on the contrary -, but with the Israeli machines located at less than 1.000 kms. from Teheran and endowed, since the Turkish boundary, by an area of action in independence covering the whole area of the Persian territory, the threat of a brown Osirak" is to be taken into consideration, and becomes as an unavoidable variable of acceptance of the Iranian solution in the documents concerning Israel. It is necessary to clarify that outside of this scheme of active coordination with the Turkish army, Israel could never hope to receive so much advantage - or more precisely a qualitative and at the same time also significant advantage - towards the whole vision of the Front of the Eastern refusal.

- A common interest : the American union

Among the strategic errors which has been done by Stalin, one of the most consequent was without any doubt to have pushed Turkey in hands of America. In 1945-46, Moscow has really selected the intimidation to make Ankara to cede a certain number of boundary zones disputed in the Caucasus, especially around Kars. Being afraid of a military Soviet interference, Turkey leaves then the official neutrality, which was observed since the 1930s towards the biggest powers, and turns to the unique power able to make an obstacle to the possible forced attacks of the Soviet giant. In Pentagon, nobody could hope such an obligation and, within several years, Turkey has become an absolutely master of the American geo-strategic system in a spacious zone correspondent to the Balkan Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean zone and the Middle East. Included in the NATO, a corner stone of the Agreement of Baghdad, it offers to the American army great advantages: the monitoring of the straits (Bosphorus and the Dardanelles), allowing to restrain the advance of the USSR to the warm seas), maintain under control of the Soviet Caucasus, which is a base of support against Syria and Iraq the allies of Moscow since 1958-59, rallying-point for the VI-th fleet of the USA in the Mediterranean sea...
After the ruin of the Soviet Empire, the role of Turkey in the USA did not lessen. In 1991, during the war of Gulf, the American and English machines leave to strike the targets located in the Northern Iraq, in the region of Mossoul and Kirkouk from the Turkish base of Iskenderun, which was under the NATO. Since then, Turkey has played not a minor role in the double American impediment against Iraq and Iran; a good pupil of the NATO gets thus, despite of the Cypriot unsolved problem, political and financial gains from a high-power partner. Therefore, it is up to the European scene where the USA does not play a role for the benefit of Turkey, it being indirect. Because declaring the privileged relations with Washington, Ankara makes significantly relative - at least in words - the weight of conditions requested by the European Union for its adhesion. When Brussels, invoking the Turkish Republic of Cyprus, the observance of the Human Rights or the economic level of Turkey to motivate a new refusal of adhesion, Ankara turns to Washington to receive little essential compensation.

As to Israel, even if the partnership and the fortiori union with the USA were later (within 1970s), the Hebrew State was always objective on the part of the Turkish- American direction. In 1955, the historical and the Premier David Ben Gourion asks officially to include the agreement of Baghdad. For obvious reasons connected to the relentless animosities, against Israel, Washington opposes a purpose non-meeting. The strategic interest showed by the USA for Israel is dated since the war of Six days in 1967, but it will not stop any more to increase together with the strong advancement of the USSR within the further decade. With the falling of the USSR and the relative deleting of Russia inheriting the Middle East, the observers have predicted a strategic depreciation of the Israel's place in the eyes of Pentagon and the White House. So the large stability of its regime, the inevitably obliged attitude of Jerusalem instead of a big advocate / donor, its exclusive power of attack nearby Suez; these elements are allowed in Pentagon as many constants in an uncertain environment. However, in the relations which the American leaders have and, in more general way, the political class and a great part of the opinion with Israel, the emotion counts in the end as much - sometimes more - as the strictly strategic considerations.
There is certainly a bad consciousness connected to Shoah that remains below, occurring again in favor of a book or a film relating to this topic. The closing for the immigration of the German Jews (excepting the important persons) sliding the nazism, and mainly the inexplicable absence of bombardments of the iron roads leading to Auschwitz, while the doom of the structures has been known and while the industrial purposes located nearby were destroyed, these are realities which, fifty years after the facts, always feed the Israeli - American relations.
There is also the Jewish lobby, known as counting among the five most powerful from the USA, and on which hopes or unjustified fears are frequently based. Certainly if the influence of this lobby has been since the 1970s and is till very significant at present, on one hand the demographic weight of the American Jews is constantly decreasing relating to the whole population (weak rate of fruitfulness, strong exogamy ...), which will arouse the slacking of this lobby, on the other hand of other groups of pressure - especially oil or Arabian - begin to develop or continue to strengthen .
But more than other elements, there is one emotional and at least a non-rational phenomenon by too unknown or neglected : the extremely positive representation of the Zionist and Israel maintained by factions close to the evangelism inside the White Anglo - Saxon Protestant (WASP) peoples. Over-represented to the political, industrial and financial elite, the Baptists (such as Bill Clinton) and other evangelists make an eventful reading of the return (of a part) of the Jewish people to the promised Land as the triumph and the realization of the bible forecasts, especially the forecasts of Essay, Jeremy and Ezenchiel, which can be found in the Ancient First Testament; this return of the Jews to the Eretz Israel and the arrival of powerful Hebrew State will be announcing the End of History .
It is necessary to insist on the fact that this mystical representation includes a field of political vision of Washington in the Middle East, not officially certainly but probably at a superior level of other higher-considered elements, and in a sense of a strong Israel. In this respect, there is not better case than the speech of the Israeli newly elected Premier, the nationalist Benjamin Netanyahou, who had a speech in July 1996 at a Congress, assembled for this occasion. Being made up of forecasting references, praise for the Jewish-Christian brotherhood and kept in a way as David (Israel) against Goliath ( the Arabian-Muslim States), the speech has excited the audience; the most powerful elected persons of the world acclaiming, standing, this young leader of the Hebrew modern...
Since then, the less that could be pretended is that neither the Department of State nor the Congress did not compete pressure - also including the application of the Agreements of the river Wye against an Israeli government however seen as irreconcilable during the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Or nothing allows today to predict, for a short or long term, a change of the phenomenon direction, there is also nothing, which can be forecast that the Israeli leaders will stop to play - a good war and for their interest certainly - on this sensible filament of the Protestant American collective.

- General representation : the Arabs

If there is a general perception in Israel and in the Kemalist Turkey, this is a relation to the West and the Arabian world if not similar, at least close enough to make subject for coordination. The Young-Turkish revolution, then the cultural shock and the organization of the modern Turkey by Kemal Ataturk, have come widely from the utilization of a supposed or real connection with the Western culture and values, especially with those European. While the Ottoman Empire has always united, till its ruin, a significant part of Arabian people and land, the modern Turkey would contract on Anatolia almost delivered of its people. Moreover, the mistrust, the ill-will and even the animosities against the Arabs, especially for the reason of a large Arabian rebellion of 1916 labeled as a special treason, have not stopped to shelter the Turkish political and military elite. In general, the Arabs as a whole are not they however still considered at present (more, than ever ?) in Turkey as " retrograde and unable to progress" ?

In Israel, the idea of approaching with Ankara lasts since the creation of the state itself. Despite of the ill-disposed vote of Turkey during the division of Palestine, in November 1947, Ben Gourion was convinced that this non-Arabian and officially secular power (although Muslim) could contribute to the liberation of Israel. A position stimulated by the discovery of the diplomatic relations - certainly modest but at the level of ambassador - since 1949. As the good connoisseur of the modern Turkey, Ben Gourion tried to play - as it would be done, several years later, Menahem Begin with the Maronits of Lebanon - on a Western common filament. Generally, a recent respective movement did not it present amazing similarities? The Zionists have changed the language ghetto (Yiddish) for Hebrew; the young Turkish have accepted the Latin alphabet. The Zionists have widely rejected the practice of a Judaic cult; the young Turkish have secularized in a frenzy way a Muslim country. A deep revolution of thinking, the way to progress, and to the Lights were chosen. In this way, Ben Gourion has done the vehicle of a representation, which was very much based on the Israeli population still made up of the initial Zionist reviewers connected to the land husbandry, to the economic and social progress, to the rational and secular organization of the society ... Nevertheless it is difficult to say that this discursive logic of the leader of the Hebrew state had a resolute impact on the Turkish elite. The creating state of Israel was anyway a minor amount that Ankara was really attracted.

Besides inside the Turkish and Israeli societies, usually spreading representations estimating the military courage and value, a complex of the military superiority against the Arabs is frequently met. During a recent conversation with a former Turkish ambassador, we were given the possibility to hear once again that after the Anatolian conquest in the 7-th and 8-th centuries, the Arabs have never won any more any victory against the Turkish army. Idem in Israel where the legendary victories of Tsahal have no equal in the national mentality as the overwhelming defeats imposed consequently to the Arabian armies united since 1948 until 1982. In both cases, it is not the case of the hazard if a significant number of popular jokes - and not only military ones - take for the purpose the so-called military value of the Arabs.

- Reliability of the direction

In December 1995, the Islamic part so-called Prosperity, the Refah, has arrived at the top of the Turkish legislative elections. Number of observers have buried then, prematurely, the partnership with Israel. As it was done without, taking into account the two essential elements of the Turkish political life.
At first, if the local Islamic have really progressed, they would obtain only a relative majority in a divided parliament, hardly with more than 21 % of the votes. Approximately, two other fifths of votes were directed on two main secular and nationalist parties of the country, and only the unique force of their respective leaders has allowed to the leaders of Refah, Necmettin Erbakan, to reach the post of the Premier. However, it was more about a vote of appeal at issue of an Islamic plebiscite; a large number - is doubtlessly the majority - of the Kurds were those, who pleaded for the Islamic, who were also hopeless about the prolongation of the Eastern-Anatolian conflict and attracted by promise of political settlements tormented by Refah during the electoral campaign.
In the second place, being neutralized by an objective majority in the House, the Refah was under the strict control of the army. So the Turkish military institution is the central, high-powerful support, of the secular and pro-western building put up by Mustafa Kemal since 1923, even if the generals could lean, as a consequence of a coup d'état in 1980, on the Islamic reviewers to resist to the influence of high-powerful left-wing movements. Therefore, excepting several trips of sympathy, especially to Teheran, paid by the Islamic Premier while he was holding his position (since July 1996), any initiative other than a symbolical one could not, on geopolitical and strategic field, successfully completed. In June 1997, Erbakan was even dismissed and lacking the right to be elected for five years. As to the Refah, he was simply prohibited.

The Israeli party could think that the approaching, in favor of certain agreements of Oslo, with some Arabian States, would make relative the importance of the Turkish map as an advantage of detour. Still there, it was doubtlessly necessary to sharpen the observation. As the unique peace agreement "obtained" by Israel in Oslo was the agreement signed with Jordan on the 26-th of October 1994. The soft stomach of the Middle East, which is also moderate and resolutely harmless, the Hashemit Kingdom has been, since already 1920s, bought because of the coexistence with the Zionist. In addition, the peace agreement Rabin / Hussein was in the end only the making official of a preceding position of the silent peace. The present peace official and warm relations should however survive at King Hussein (who died in February 1999), even having strengthened by his son the heir and successor to the throne of Abdullah II.
Diplomatic progress was registered with other Arabian States, but or their economic and diplomatic weight was insignificant (Oman), or they were very far from the Middle East (Morocco, Tunis, Mauritania ). Anyway, no power of the front of refusals, such as Syria, Sudan or Iraq, did begin officially the political dialogue with the Hebrew State. On the other hand, the memorable voting of May 1996 has given an occasion, once more , to the error interpretations concerning the Israeli-Turkish direction. As in 1978 the national Israel's Premier, Menahem Begin, has refused officially, to the general surprise and against his ideology, to the integrity of Sinai in exchange to the peace with Egypt, that the new Premier - also coming from Likoud - would not do the same with Syria as a victim for Golan?... Tired. Totally on the contrary, Benyamin Netanyahou and his "hawk" Cabinet did not stop to continue and to point out to the strategy of the Turkish detour to the detriment of Damascus, more, than ever an common opponent of Israel and Turkey. It seems even at present, in a full open conflict between Israel and Palestinian Authority and while the voltage reaches Jerusalem against Damascus, that the two allies try to play their card of the falling of the regime already weakened by the arrival the young and inexperienced Bashar Assad, and even the internal dislocation of the Syrian state.

2. Direction Syria/Iraq/Iran

The quick and real constitution of a direction Ankara / Jerusalem could not keep indifferent the powers of the Middle East; three of them at least really felt menaced by a direct way of the agreement of the new friends: Syria, Iran and Iraq. Since 1997, each of the three powers strengthens, weaves or renews the diplomatic relations with other two in a more or less hasty way, and we can observe henceforth and already the establishment of a tripartite direction. New and in against the current by certain aspects (Syria / of Iraq), this triple agreement meets very precisely the direction of Israel / Turkey, and throws at the same time its American sponsor.

- Syria : allies to resist the Israeli-Turkish front

It is mainly Syria that - objectively, it was seen - is given the right to found some anxiety and deceit. At first both all the diplomatic attempts (Alexandrette in the UNO, contacts of Wye Plantation for Golan in 1995 then in 1999) and military (Golan, attack in 1973 ; support in Hezbollah) to receive back sovereignty on the lost lands have until then failed. As to Lebanon, the low-down annexation could happen only in favor of a civil war, both especially for a favorable and thin game Hafez el-Assad, about - the Christian intervention in 1976 to the anti-Iraqi coalition in 1990-91. Then, except the dispute of Alexandrette, the Syrian anti-Turkish animosities are still connected to objective disputes. Therefore there is a problem of the water. The construction by Ankara, since 1980, of a large hydraulic complex on the superior course of the Euphrates river called Guneydogu Anadolu Projesi (GAP), made up of twenty two obstacles (supplying to seventeen power stations) from which this one called Ataturk - the fifth most impressive for the world - is an authentic threat for the Syrian supply. Deprived of sovereignty in the rich water regions of Lebanon, Golan, and highlands of Antioch (waters of Taurus, in the sandjak of Alexandrette), Syria possesses basically the river Euphrates for its needs. However, dependent from the Turkish power as for the beginning of the large river, Damascus would be finally reduced to a state of secondary power. So despite of the Syrian protests to the UNO and the OCI (Organization of the Islamic Conference) and intense the boundary pressure (helps the PKK), Ankara continues in a calm way the building of dams of a perfect complex Ataturk.

In the south, which deals with the "Israeli front", the political alternation proper to the internal democratic system of the Jewish state seemed to be neglected definitely by the understanding of the authoritarian and patrimonial power of Assad. It remains that the wind of Oslo has disappointed, and that the succeeded masters of Damascus are obliged to return to the traditional policy of refusals which characterized all the Syrian powers since the establishment of the independence. However, the present baas regime can not wish to fight alone. It is necessary to strengthen its alliance with Iran, and mainly to renew the Iraqi brother-enemy regime.

- Iraq : to liberate the country at any cost

After the defeat in 1991 and the English - American attacks of 1998-99 and 2000-2001 winters, the destroyed and neutralized Iraq, was closely watched by the VII - th fleet of the USA and the Security Council of the UNO, is certainly neither a great danger for the Israeli-Turkish direction, nor a powerful support for its Syrian neighbor. Nevertheless, neither Damascus nor Baghdad have a large number of labor force; towards the great American power and its allies, the baas regimes of Assad and Saddam Hussein have no alternative of accord, even of reconciliation. Ideological rivals of the Pan-Arabian nationalism, enemies during the first war of Gulf (Iran / of Iraq, 1980-1988), enemies during the second war (1990-91), the two powers are at present around a series of convergent interests.
The first interest is very simple: Baghdad has an existential animosity against Israel. Since the creation of the Hebrew State in 1948, the Jews of the country have been banished, being hung in public places for espionage. Iraq is the unique state, which has never signed armistice with Israel (even in 1949, because of being non- boundary), and has taken active part in all military anti-Israeli coalitions. As for the fact that Iran of Khomeiny, however very little supposed of sympathy for the Zionist, has received from Israel significant equipment during its fight with Iraq; the Hebrew state tried to loosen in the most possible way this military Arabian irreconcilably enemy power. The above mentioned episodes of Osirak and Scud against Tel Aviv must be remembered, without insisting, in the end.
The second state on which the animosities of Baghdad are directed, and which is Turkey, presents besides a fatal danger. Within winter 1997-98, the Turkish army began a ground attack of large size against the North of Iraq, in the zone prohibited for the over-flying (to the north of parallel 36, controlled by the American aviation) by virtue of the agreements to stop the Iraqi- Onusian military operations of February 1991. Officially, it was a mater of reducing bases and the Kurd independent centers, which were located in Iraq. In fact, Ankara caresses the old project to divide this state, so that it would be possible to make a Kurd autonomous zone in the north and to decide in this way the conflict in Anatolia, on the other hand in order to try to overtake the control of Mossoul, which is an oil region requested openly since 1923, more secretly since 1945. Besides it is necessary to point out that the judicial matter dealing with the resources of the Euphrates and the Tiger rivers is noticeably identical to the matter expressed by another Syrian low coastal inhabitant; Baghdad replied to Ankara to make conditional the consumption of the Tiger and the Euphrates rivers to the political relations maintained by the two offices.
In any state of reason, Saddam Hussein has no other choice that to accept the friendship of two unique powers - Syria and Iran - supposed to brake little of much the expansion ardor of Turkey in the Iraqi Kurdistan, and mainly to contribute to put an end to the civil embargo and American military air pressings.

- Iran :the Islamic solidarity against America

When Iran of the Mullahs is mentioned, despite of a very relative modification which was the election of "modernist" Khatami for the position of the state's Presidency (1998), the violent anti-imperialism speech against the regime is remembered; which scoops a significant part of its ideological resources in the radical opposition in the West. Big and small Satan crowd in the black pantheon of the Teheran masters, in the first rank of which there are the USA and Israel. The Khomeiny Iran has thus neither other choice nor desire, in a scheme of a triple American-Israeli-Turkish alliance, than to oppose irreconcilably, moreover when on one hand, the policy of embargo and repulsion of Washington, which is in principle implacable, and the series of diplomatic success of Israel after Oslo, have made important failures, obvious marks of the Iranian powerlessness in the region, and that on the other hand the Israeli-Turkish union leads the planes of the "Zionist enemy" to the boundary..
Therefore, Teheran pursues henceforth a great geo-political objective, which coincides completely with the direction Syria/Iraq/Iran, offered by Damascus : to infringe its separatism and become the reason of opposition to the military presence of the USA the Middle East.
Being already joint to Syria since 1979, Teheran seems to have accepted benevolently a reconciliation with Iraq as Saddam is considerably weakened. At present, the rebellion ardor of the Iraqi dictator has no more chance to go to the Arabian and oil South, the Chatt el - Arab or the Iranian territory. In exchange, as weakened, Iraq is not more than an item of crystallization for Washington, which sees how the Arabian support reduces in a exact measure of its military initiatives against Iraq.
The ancient fatal enemy, who is strong today because of this advantage, and which is Iran, played the card of Islamic brotherhood against the American omnipresence in the Middle East. Doing it, Teheran has learned about the pragmatism; instead of joining the violent crowds, which are burning the American flags in front of CNN cameras, and to threaten with worse impacts the Muslim regimes, which will be "the supporters of the militarism", the Iranian leaders use henceforth the diplomatic discovery all azimuth. To testify, after a large campaign of attractiveness, the large success which was for Iran to integrate the VIII Th summit of the OCI. In December 1997, the representatives of fifty-four Muslim States from all over the world (from which the most have been recently victims of the pro-Iranian revolts), assembled for an unprecedented summit in the sanctuary of the state fundamentalism. For a big harm for the USA, not a representative was missing, and even the worse enemies of time of a conflict of Iran / Iraq, the petroleum monarchies of the Arabian peninsula, were also present. Not being pleased of the fact that it had to infringe twenty years of a total inter-Muslim separatism, Teheran was forced mainly to shout " haro on baudet"; severely subjected to the partnership of its country with Israel, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel has decided to keep the summit...

Parallel to the diplomatic offensive intended for the Muslim neighbors - whether they were Arabian and Sunnis - Iran began since 1991-92 one course to obtain the nuclear technology. The ruin of the USSR, and together with it the discipline and the military and strategic secrete, has involved a large number of "scientists" and nuclear engineers to offer, suitcase with plutonium in hands, their service being the most offering, especially the Iranian power.
Not latent and even hardly protected by the way of justice and towards the nuclear power, the Iranian desire to be endowed with the superior weapon strengthens simultaneously the importance of Teheran in the Middle-Western businesses, and the anxiety of the pro-Western opponents. In fact, contrary to other powers that have the nuclear technology but not the vectors, Iran has ballistic missiles potentially endowed with a nuclear head. In July 1998, Teheran announced about the success of launching a new engine of average distance (1.300km), Shehab 3, more powerful than the North Korean Nodong and Scud B and C.
Teheran has to earn everything from this course for the nuclear weapon, which is leading jointly by the experts and the secret Iranian services against the secret Israeli and American services. Because, or the regime of the Mullahs succeeds to blow up one bomb in one of its deserts (as India and Pakistan in June 1998), and gains thus a huge prestige towards the Arabian-Muslim masses of the Middle East menacing directly Israel, or an Israeli or American attack destroys preventively its nuclear installations, and then it is on a wave of anger and solidarity in the same fields that Teheran will be able finally break its isolation, appearing as a new victim of the "American-Zionist imperialism".
At last outside the Middle-Eastern theatre and the participation of Israel and America, Iran declares other ambitions since the ruin of the USSR, in the North this time. In fact, a real rivalry between Turkey and Iran, which is growing, was established in the Caucasus and in the Central Asia, with the fundamental purpose the establishment of spheres of influence. The friendship of the former Soviet Muslim republics, very rich in mineral resources for someone, are especially wanted; Turkey calls to the ancestral linguistic connections and Turkish-Mongolian roots (together of Turkestan), Iran calls for the solidarity of the chiit Islam (Azerbaijan) and the Persian (Tajikistan).
This garnished comparison, which is rendered on the range of all the ethnic-cultural variants is not new; it takes nevertheless another dimension towards the direction Ankara / of Jerusalem.

3. Resolute choice for three keys States

Placed around, nearby two hostile poles in full construction, the other States of the Middle East are incessantly more persistently requested to join one or another camp; the Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian direction in full establishment being the most plaintiff. The game of the alliances, which were mentioned above in this part embarrassing even the fatal potential for the most vulnerable "pawns", is really begun and no one seems to be able to shirk completely.
We shall not insist on the small States of the Arabian peninsula - whether it is their external policy, which is widely traced on its large Saudi neighbor (which is a petroleum micro-monarchy), or they have not no weights demographic, economic, territorial or military weight, which would be sufficient to weigh definitely neither on the game of alliances and rivalries (Yemen, Oman, the United Arabian Emirates...) - nor on the States such as Libya or Sudan which, for the reason that they are "noisy", are any more at present significant actors in this region.
On the contrary, three States occur in the first boxes, including by good or bad will the "card castle" and the logic of the two directions : Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia. These States represent three general essential items ; on one hand they are officially allied - in a way or another or on the other hand they are at various levels - in Washington, on the other hand their respective regime is destroyed by the work in the undermines, which is of growing opposition coming from the Islamic violent anti-American and anti-Israeli circles, at last their geo-strategic position (the Suez channel, long boundaries with Israel, huge reserves of hydrocarbon) gives it a completely special significance on the American "chessboard". Actually, any sudden change of the regime and thus of the geo-political general global line would involve certainly great consequences on the equilibrium of the region as a whole, and probably a short-term revolution.

- Jordan: to survive as a Bedouin State

The Hashemit Kingdom of Jordan is the unique Arabian State to be transferred - at present and although in a rather shy way , and observing the diplomatic forms of the use among "brothers" Arabian States- in a camp of the direction Washington/Ankara/Jerusalem. The sincere friendship of Hussein for the West, then the friendship of his successor Abdallah II, does prove this choice only for him. However, no such strong belief, even if it is so strong and sincere, it is not enough analyze the geo-strategic choice of the Bedouin regime, which is in charge of a state suffering of internal too deep instability to afford to itself to choose in a real way. Jordan, which is deserted, created in details by London in 1922 in thanks to (and for the benefit of) the Hashemit family for its important role in a large Arabian rebellion in 1916, is always empirically from the part of the most powerful for the moment "T". In 1967, taken between the Israeli "anvil" and Arabian integrated "hammer" held by authoritative Nasser, Hussein has lost the West bank of Jordan but he has saved the essential: the Bedouin life and origin of his kingdom. After the war of Six days, the Hashemit regime is constantly threatened by three dangers.
The first danger is Palestine. The defeat of 1967 has carried several hundred thousands of refugees from the West Bank of Jordan, being added to those ones of 1948. On that piscine of ill-will and bitterness a nationalist irredentism feeds, which in 1970, is expressed by an attempt of regime's overthrow for the benefit of a power of Palestinian origin.
The second danger is Syrian. It was seen that the Great Syria or the "natural Syria" was extending to the Jordanian territory. Besides the pan-Arabian regimes, which followed Damascus have never forgiven the Hashemits for their condescension - then their real cooperation - with the Zionist movement then Israel. Since 1970-80s, the attempts of destabilization and even of murders against King Hussein increased.
The third danger comes from Iraq. Not because there exist special disputes with Jordan; simply, in case of great crisis, the powerful neighbor requests Amman at least benevolent neutrality (knowing that it can count on the support of the Palestinian strata of the Jordanian population), as it was in 1990 during the crisis of Gulf. The Akaba Gulf will be then a opening and a window of important supply for Iraq under the Onusian embargo. Once again, Hussein has paid heavy tribute for the support in Saddam, since the financial aids from the petroleum monarchies were stopped immediately and for a long period. But once more, the essence was saved and the regime has survived.
In the end, it could be added, that even if this factor takes risks to decrease, that the Saudi dynasty has always passionately wished the Jordanian territory as a natural outgrowth of the Arabian Peninsula.

In this context, the fact that the Jordanian regime turns resolutely to the military prevailing power of the moment, although not Arabian, for its protection, is not paradoxical. Generally, the nationalist current in Israel which was forecasting the ruin of the Hashemits for the benefit of the Palestinian State except Jordan, which has never imposed in, the Hebrew State is the unique fully interested neighbor in the eternity of the Jordanian regime. First of all the preservation of the independence of the Jordanian space prohibits the large Syrian extension to the south and, at present the Palestinian irredentism. Then Jordan is a buffer between Israel and the Iraqi enemy. At last, poor and very poorly populated, Jordan does not represent in anyway military threat for Israel.
In other words, it is rather natural that the successor powers in Jerusalem have spread their protection (secret services , threat against Iraq or Syria) on Amman. But in 1994, the movement becomes mutual and official. Being covered by mutual Israeli-Palestinian thank, king Hussein deepens in the breach and hardly one year after the signing of the Agreements in Oslo, he concludes peace in a good and proper way with the Hebrew State, in detriment of the Damascus, which accuses a snub as well as a further complete isolation; living alone Syria (with its Lebanese protector), which is officially in war against Israel and on its boundaries.
For Jordan, the effective peace with the Jewish State brings immediately several advantages: the returning of several hundreds sq. km on the field of Arava (to the South of the Dead Sea) and the best sharing of Yarmouk waters (50 M m3 of water / per year in addition), not minor investments (tourism, air-port zone of Akaba, textile industry) for the national economy, which is in a local crisis, and a place of choice on the "chessboard" of the American Administration (invitation for Hussein to Washington to arbitrate the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in 1999, presence of Bill Clinton at his obsequies, etc. ...).
However, fundamentally, these are secret conditions of the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement that, actually, has been placing the Bedouin kingdom in the American-Israeli-Turkish orbit. According to all probability, the peace agreement stipulated a bilateral defense agreement, created on the following example: formal obligation of Israel to protect the Hashemit dynasty as well as the Jordanian territorial integrity against any military attack, and, in exchange, of a free passing of the Jordanian territory by the Tsahal in case of armed Israeli-Syrian conflict. It goes without saying that this mutual obligation will have the blessing of Washington.

A certain number of recent initiatives could confirm this hypothesis. First of all, the chief of the Jordanian headquarter has taken part personally, in January 1998, in the American-Israeli-Turkish marine maneuvers in Eastern part of the Mediterranean sea; an initiative (at the invitation of the Turkish headquarter) dealing with a wished approaching between the Turkish and Jordanian armies - which will be made official by an agreement of military the cooperation in a good and proper way - and followed by the Jordanian participation without precedent in the strategic reunion. It was significant, because hardly several weeks before, the Israeli Mossad acted in full center of Amman against a leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, in full obvious violation of the Israeli-Jordanian peace. In the Palace of Hussein, it has been protested, proving that the Jordanian general was only an observer, the Hashemit king has received a shock of green wood from its threatened Syrian and Iraqi neighbors. It wasn't cured, and the initiative started again.
In the second place, there are political signs which prove growing connections between Amman and Jerusalem on one hand, Amman and Ankara on the other hand, beginning by the new tone taken by the Jordanian diplomacy in the relation with its Arabian opponents, especially with Syria.
On June 2, 1996, King Hussein accuses in public on the grounds of the Jordanian waves the Syrian President Assad to have tried to organize attempts in Jordan. Several weeks later, at the Arabian summit in Cairo, sharp exchanges oppose the two persons concerning the agreements Israel / Turkey and, again, concerning the terrorism. As in echo, Benyamin Netanyahou newly elected will declare soon after that, the fact that Syria is the "bases of the terrorism against Israel, Jordan and Turkey" before granting satisfaction to ... Jordan !
It has not been frightened until the regime of Baghdad, which does not make the costs of a Hashemit diplomacy , which seems to be more ensured than before. In an interview given to an important Arabian daily newspaper (As Sharq al-Awsat), Hussein specified daringly that he did not exclude the returning of one of the members of the Hashemit family to the throne of Iraq if the Iraqi people requested it. More recently, during the Arabian summit held in June, 1998, it was the prince-heir of the Saudi Arabia to whom Hussein refused relentlessly to stop the cooperation with Israel.
After the death of Hussein and the coming to the throne of Jordan of Abdallah II, the course is directed - even more secretly - to the American-Israeli-Turkish direction. There is only one matter to found out: to what point the Jordanian population, inside which not only the Islamic but also a significant part of the Palestinian strata of population are strongly opposed to the peace with Israel, would stay more or less passive. In 1991, it was distinguished among the Arabian societies as being the most furiously pro-Iraqi ...

- Egypt : to sacrifice the internal or external peace ?

The Egyptian regime, is the prototype of an unstable and a potentially destabilized power by the Israeli-Turkish direction. As Cairo has made its choice, since 1972-73, of the active partnership with Washington. This time, Anouar el-Sadate decides to infringe the joint traditional ally of Nasser, the USSR, which help was in the military area. Choosing the USA as an intermediary of negotiations about the renunciation to the engagement of the armies in the front (1973-74), Egypt gets the good offices of Washington, too happy to see this pro-Soviet bulwark to be again in its middle. By the help of the Israeli-Egyptian peace of the Camp David (1978-79), Egypt acquires an official and very rare status of "privileged ally" of the USA. More concrete, some states, which benefit from this status (Australia, Southern Korea, and Israel ...) get annually and in regularly stable civil and military significant credits. Egypt, for example, gains thus each year equipment worth about USD 2.1 billion (3 billion for Israel) in the civil stocks and the USA arsenals, on the basis of the lists of the equipment established by the Department of State, and Pentagon. Here may be added the moratorium and a number of interventions for the benefit of the rescheduling and also of the annulment of the foreign debts. For a developing economy meeting problems, which are hardly solved (quick demographic growth, local corruption, planning of the useful grounds ...), the American help embodies a real manna, which eternity deals only with the preservation of the peace with Israel and, certainly, with a strategic partnership with Washington. It means, for example, that the ships of the VI-th fleet wet regularly in Alexandria, that the Egyptian army is supplied mainly of American equipment, or also that Cairo does not detain any strategic regional American choices and does not conclude any hostile union.
But also as it was for Jordan, the Egyptian population feels more and more worse as to the peace with its Hebrew neighbor, if Sinai was completely restored, Israel would be labeled as an always prevailing power towards the Arabs in general, and the Palestinians particularly. The Islamic groups and the progressive ones have already felt what it is the Israeli-Egyptian peace as a capitulation towards Israel, and an abandon at its own of the Palestinian "brothers" by Sadate, which was however destroyed in 1981, by the active fundamentalists. Since, the peace is maintained by successor Hosni Moubarak, even "cold", denounced that it suffered sequentially (since the Americans oblige) the Israeli attack on Lebanon (1982), Intifada (1987-91), and the relative failure of the Conference held in Madrid (1991-92). At present, an open conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians and the coming to power of Jerusalem of Ariel Sharon exasperates an opposition not only made up of the Islamic and the Communists; in the corporations, the mass media, the army and the diplomacy, the policy of Israel and the support of Washington, which is rather conditional spread alarm and anger. So in a society, which has produced Muslim Brothers and inside which the fundamentalists seem to be encouraged, the American money, smells increasingly treason ...
Among the powerful but bulky protector from the over-ocean, and the pressing appeals of the Syrian friend at an overthrow of the policy in favor of the Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian direction, President Moubarak - himself being victim of several attempts these last years - declares a determination, which less and less legible, a political line waving incessantly more between two poles of pressure. Only the fact that it keeps peace with Israel still offers it some margin of maneuver; Washington can not in fact impose a fully respected reason of the Camp David, and the stability of Rais against Israel allows it to appear in front its opposition, the Palestinians and the Syrians as an careful leader of the Arabian honor. However, by virtue to drain if of the contents (since October 2000, there is not any ambassador of Egypt to Israel), the Israeli-Egyptian peace does not resemble already than to a simple agreement of a non- - aggression.
Therefore the economic Conference of Cairo in 1997 has opened a series of cultural and \ or economic manifestations marked by the boycott of the Israeli patrons and projects, each being himself persona not grata. Even more : in front of the instrumentalisation by the Islamic of the anti-Israeli themes and their success in front of a large audience, especially after the affair of the Jerusalem tunnel in September 1996, Moubarak gave his the green light to the military maneuver of a large size on one and another bank of the Suez channel. The name given to this operation of training, al Badr, was the same as it was accepted since the victorious attack of October 6, 1973! Two years later and in a similar regime, the Egyptian authorities "will forget" to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the peace agreements of Camp David, but it does not forget to celebrate the twenty fifth anniversary of the war of October ...
At present, being pressed by Damascus to join the "Arabian camp" towards the Israeli-Turkish alliance, the Egyptian regime has no more any margin of maneuver, which was given to it, at the beginning of 1990s, its position of an intermediary, and also of arbiter during the process of Madrid and then of Oslo. The new scheme of tough confrontation, which is appearing will force Cairo to choose between two positions.
The first is to keep untouched the American alliance and not implying any more in future against Israel. But the risk, for the power, will be then to always expose to the Islamic vengeance inside the country, to be isolated from Syria and from the Palestinian direction to outside, to lose again The prestigious leadership of the Arabian world, hardly re-found after a decade of ostracism, and doubtlessly for the benefit of Damascus.
The alternative of a significant approach to Syria, would meet the wishes of a large coalition of interests and beliefs coming from the Islamic left-wing passing through the Nasserians and other pan-Arabian nationalists, who are nostalgic of the Arabian United Republic (1958-61). For Cairo to shout at Ankara does not present a significant bet and great risks. Yet in April 1996 , Cairo has condemned very hardly, from Damascus until Teheran, the Israeli-Turkish agreement of military cooperation opening the Turkish air space for the planes of the Israeli fights. In exchange, to infringe the American alliance would have had major consequences.
Being aware of the fact that sailing between Charybde and Sylla, Moubarak concludes peace. Nevertheless, the total refusal to include a new anti-Iraqi coalition from the part of Washington, since the crisis of February 1998, the campaign for the end of the embargo against Baghdad, as well as the multiplication of meetings with Hafez el-Assad or still the aggression of the Egyptian diplomacy against Israel, are enough signs which do not deceive. For the Egyptian power has henceforth to show less its strategic talents on the field of battle than to survive. As being removed to a secondary place by the approach between two the most powerful armies of the region, the Egyptian army, supported by the popular traditionalist masses, could not suffice in short time in Rais and install a two-headed direction "in a Sudanese way (within the 90s)"; military and nationalist for the foreign policy, Islamic for the internal one. The contrary account for a revolution (boundary with Israel, the Suez channel, Strait of Tiran...) would then immediately start.
Expecting such perspectives, Hosni Moubarak always maneuvers. The best case is the double intervention of July 1998. Since the III rd Arabian summit held in Cairo, Rais reconfirmed the Egyptian position of a privileged ally of Washington in a tone, which could not be liked:

" The USA is the basis of peace process (...) and the action of Europe can consolidate the American role, but it can not be an alternative anyway".

The following day, its Foreign Minister, Amr Moussa, caviled seriously at Israel:

" The Policy of Israel is simply unacceptable. Israel makes a strategic and tactical error thinking that it is possible to impose the peace to the Arabs on the Israeli conditions ".

- Saudi Arabia : fragile basis of "card castle"

For the Islamic Kingdom of Arabia, the context of strategic double-polarization among the regional powers is still more anxious, and participates more that others in the new geopolitical evolution in the Middle East. Owner of more than a third of the global reserves of petroleum located between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, the Saudi State is endowed by a wahhabit nepotism, tribal and polygamous regime weakened by the continuous internal struggle. Besides this economic giant (and spiritual for Islam) is at the same time a demographic and military secondary power.
It is true that the descendant family of Ibn Seoud is allied to the USA since the 1930s, at first by the exploitation of the black gold by the great English - American consortia (among which ARAMCO is the first), then against the Soviet influence in the 1970s (Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt till 1972), at last towards the Khomeiny sequential dangers (since 1979) and Iraqi ones (1990-91). But the American military American mass presence in and around this country, legally considered as a "horm" (which means a sacred territory basically prohibited to the non - Muslims) since 1975, as well as the attitude frequently labeled as decadent of princes to power (1,200 princes of royal blood ...), is more and more also is more badly supported by an opposition strictly severe and orthodox made up of the respective Bedouin chiefs. There more than wherever, in case of an overthrow of the pro-American regime of king Fahd in favor of a violently anti-Western leadership, or simply in favor of an anti-American policy of his son and supposed successor Abdallah, the consequences about the region will be completely significant; let's dare and make a hypothetical scenario.

Washington would put on voting by the Security Council of the UNO a resolution placing the zone of big petroleum deposits (in the Eastern and southeastern Arabia) under international protection. The criterion of definition would be certainly the absolute necessity to protect the regular supply of petroleum to the large consumers, especially America, Europe and Japan.
Immediately, a kind of a yellow line would be established on soil and in the air by the American armies outside which the new Arabian regime, which is determined not to cooperate, would not benefit from any political or military prerogative. In other words, the control of this spacious petroleum zone at least 450.000 sq. km (including the fields of Ghawar, Khurays, Fazran, Abqaiq, Oatif, Berri, etc. ...) would pass under an exclusive control of the UNO, or in other words the USA can be assisted by Great Britain. It is difficult to keep soar that the Saudi (or post Saudi) armies faithful to the new regime would oppose only a slightly persistent resistance, at least not sufficient to reject the American determination. On the diplomatic plan, the Europeans would undertake doubtlessly - as during the petroleum shock 1973-74 - to spare everything, to find a compromise with the new Arabian power, completely not opposing in front to the initiative of Washington, nevertheless helpful for their raw supply. Russia, will maybe benefit from the American intervention to come in power in the Middle East, taking the contrast of Washington and supporting resolutely the Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian direction. On the other hand, more cynically, Moscow will benefit from (like Peking in 1990) its passivity by juicy commercial or bank contracts, giving delay.
In exchange, quid of the Arabian-Muslim world? Yet in 1990-91, the Arabian popular strata almost in unanimity have condemned the American mass intervention against Iraq, and the installation of the USA bases at a certain short distance from the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina. However, originally, an Arabian State has conquered another one and benefited thus in spite of all the responsibility from the military increase. But in this case of trick ... It was the question of an attack labeled as being against the Islam and the Arabian world, of an unjustified appropriation of treasure of a "brother" country ( the petroleum "gift of the God") and, worse, of violation of its territorial integrity, of overgrowth by a Western power allied to Israel and Turkey, and seen as being directed by a Jewish lobby, which is plotter and omnipotent? Certainly, there is not any Muslim power, (excepting the secular Turkey and may be of several Muslim Ex-Soviet States) which could not then refuse completely Washington, and not an Arabian power in the Middle East (and till Maghreb ?) which could make other choice than to infringe the its connections with the American giant, and also to declare (even symbolically) the war against it. We suppose that in such States, it is not sufficient to calm fury of the crowds, which will take to power leaders calling to Jihad (in a well-known direction of "sacred war"); enough Saladin charged to fight with the new Crusades.

Since in the end, for the three States, which we have mentioned, the strategic couple Israel / Turkey even supervised by the USA, does not represent revolution by itself. However this is the obligation to take a position to this new direction, and mainly the level of additional exasperation that was created by this agreement seen by the Arabian masses as more or less hostile, which are realities necessary to be taken into consideration in respect (consideration). In fact, for all the Arabian people and regimes of the Middle East, the problem of existence of the Israeli-Turkish direction is the following: the question is about an alliance between the two main military powers of the region. So these two powers are not Arabian. As a whole, it is necessary to mention that the American military presence on the territory - Iskenderun in the Persian Gulf passing through Haifa, Alexandria and Dhahran - equals by itself to an additional, threatening power and still, not Arabian.
In this case the humiliating feeling and the representation of a constant powerlessness appears, or even amplifies. This representation is not minor. It produces a painful complex of inferiority which feeds the Arabian world towards the West, during the whole XX th century objectively and may be also, in the collective imagination, since the last eviction of Spain in the XV th century. Egypt, Syria and Jordan have been defeated many times by Israel; the Palestinians are powerless towards Tsahal ; Iraq was maintained to fail against Iran, then was crushed by the West and worked by Turkey dominating Tiger and Euphrates ; the Arabian Persian Gulf and the Arabian peninsula is under a narrow American control; the nuclear Israeli light has happened.. ... Really, without the USA, without hope is valid, without the possible appeal to another super-power that the USA, without hoping to defeat Israel (at least for a short time), without any great leader capable to embody the new Saladin, the eternal scheme of the Arabian re-appears and the Arabian crowds, in full identity and social-economic crisis, could soon draw upon this "triple union", labeled as hostile, the energy of despair and rebellion. A disturbance which would spread not only in Maghreb and in Mashrek, but, potentially, in the suburbs of the Western Europe ...

By Frederic ENCEL*
Diploma of Political Science, doctor in Geo-policy of the University of Paris VIII, Frederic ENCEL teaches international Relations Prep-ENA at the Institute of Political Studies in Rennes, and at the International Institute of Public Administration. He collaborated for a long time with the geo-political journals "Herodote" and "Limes", and has published, at Flammarion, three works: "Geo-policy of Jerusalem" [foreword of Yves Lacoste] (1998, re-pr. in 2001) ; A geo-policy of Golan" (1999, re-pr. in 2001) ; "Art of war for example" (2000, re-pr. 2001). He also works in the field of risk-country.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Waters: Kosovo decision means continued uncertainty, instability in Balkans