A few days after writing about Washington’s plans for a new Middle East the pieces are already falling into place. Firstly, the academic hedging implied in my finding it difficult to imagine “Turkey accepting the creation of a Kurdish state at all”, would appear misplaced if Daniel Dombey’s main thesis in his article in the ‘Financial Times‘ is to be substantiated. The author argues that Ankara would be willing to accept what was once a reason for war (for Turkey) because it sees the break up of Iraq as inevitable and an independent Kurdistan, within Ankara’s sphere of influence, would be a buffer between Turkey and an Islamic state to its south.
Furthermore, if the fact that much of the financial backing for ISIS Jihadists is coming from the Washington’s three closest allies in the Sunni world – Saudi, Kuwait and Qatar – is not sufficient to convince Ankara that a new Realpolitik is required, then Obama seeking $500 million from Congress to “train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the moderate Syrian armed opposition,” should certainly dispel an doubts in the Turkish capital that the break up of Iraq and Syria, and the creation of a Kurdish state, are at least very real possibilities. Moreover, that this will also mean the creation of a new Sunni, and very conservative, if not radical, state, should be obvious to even the most myopic observer. After all, despite Obama’s reassurance that the funding will be going to “moderate” elements in Syria, William Engdahl hits the nail on the head when he says: “How do you test if a recruit is not a jihadist? Is there a special jihad DNA that the CIA doctors have discovered?”
Of course, as Mr Engdahl himself knows, neither Washington nor its Sunni allies have, nor have they ever had, any intention of vetting so-called “elements of the moderate Syrian opposition”, and he goes on to write:
“Key members of ISIS it now emerges were trained by US CIA and Special Forces command at a secret camp in Jordan in 2012, according to informed Jordanian officials. The US, Turkish and Jordanian intelligence were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region, conveniently near the borders to both Syria and Iraq.”
The real news is that almost one hundred years after the Sykes-Picot Agreement the borders of the Middle East are being redrawn. However, while ISIS might envisage a new Arab Caliphate along sectarian lines and Turkey and the Arab Gulf states might seek to cement what they see as their particular spheres of influence, what we really have here is the implementation of Washington’s plan for a new Middle East.