Senin, 24 Juli 2017

.......For the U.S., it’s driven by a need to protect people on our side of the civil war and to keep Iranian forces out of southwest Syria. It is also a potential model for peace in the rest of the country. Now, in the middle of this, we defund the program to train rebel forces in Jordan and Turkey. Will we not allow rebels to defend themselves? It seems to be about limiting offensive actions by our proxies against the regime, because now those fighters will not be effective....??>>>... It’s a formula for dealing with the fact that neither the regime nor the opposition has forces to take all Syrian territory. It’s a test. I’m skeptical because the Russians are heavily invested in the regime. It’s a Gordian knot...??>> .... The Russians have multiple opinions on Syria. If you talk to their foreign affairs ministry, you hear talk of reasonable negotiations to push for diplomatic solution through the United Nations Security Council. If you talk with the defense ministry, you get a much different and more bellicose answer. And these two centers meet at the Kremlin. I think the Russians know they ultimately cannot shoot their way out of Syria completely. They want a deal, but the deal they want isn’t just about Syria. For them, it’s related to U.S. sanctions and their annexation of Crimea specifically. They like to horse trade, and we do not...>> ....Maybe, but the question is whether the U.S. would pay the price of allowing Putin his land grabs in Ukraine in exchange for what we want in Syria.....>> ....So, the Islamic State is on its last legs in its self-declared capital of Raqqa in Syria. But even with its “caliphate” destroyed it will live on. And we have a plethora of rebel groups as well as Iran-backed Hezbollah in the mix. What happens next? AT: If things continue to go as they are, with the Iran-backed Assad regime filling up the vacuum in Syria and the same forces doing that in Iraq, can you imagine what that will look like in a year? It will be a dramatically transformed space....>> ....In fact, it appears that the military was not consulted this time around. On Monday, BuzzFeed News reported that top Pentagon officials were not involved in the planning or briefed on their role in the arrangement. A military officer confirmed to FP that the Pentagon and Centcom have very little information about the proposed cease-fire and said, “We’re getting to that level of understanding this week.” American aircraft rarely operate in southwestern Syria, but “we’ll certainly respect the cease-fire,” the officer said, adding that the U.S. military hasn’t decided if it would fly combat air patrols to enforce any agreement...>> ...sekali lagi mari kita lupakan aliran apa dan mazhab apa yang sedang bertarung karena sebagaimana yang telah saya jabarkan di atas, Arab Spring adalah akumulasi dari konflik ekonomi dan politik yang meledak disebabkan oleh sosial media.....>> ...Jadi dari gambaran diatas jelas bahwa fenomena Arab Spring bukanlah sesuatu yang dipicu oleh urusan agama apalagi merupakan perang antar mazhab, sekali lagi bukan. pemicu utamanya adalah rasa frustasi atas himpitan ekonomi yang di perparah oleh himpitan politis dari para diktator timur tengah yang mengekang kebebasan berekspresi. Bisa disaksikan sendiri mayoritas negara yang mengalami Arab Spring adalah negara-negara timur tengah yang ekonominya kurang maju kecuali Libya....>> ...Mesir, kekuasaan Husni Mubarak yang merupakan diktator ex-militer digantikan oleh pemerintahan Muhammad Mursi yang merupakan calon usungan Ikhwanul Muslimin yang terpilih secara demokratis, Mursi digulingkan saat pemerintahannya baru seumur satu tahun lebih sedikit dan digantikan oleh seorang diktator ex militer lagi, Abdel fatah Al-sisi. Penggulingan Mursi menimbulkan korban ribuan orang, sungguh sangat sangat mengerikan...>> ....Arab spring tidak berlangsung mulus, Tunisia sejauh ini berhasil mempertahankan demokrasi hasil dari proses transisi tersebut. Libya yang tadinya merupakan negeri yang aman dan kaya menjadi jatuh kedalam jurang perang saudara. Yaman juga jatuh kedalam perang saudara yang diperparah dengan intervensi negara negara teluk seperti Saudi Arabia, Uni Emirates dan lain lain. ...>> ...Apa yang terjadi di tahun 2011? Twitter, Facebook dan berbagai media sosial menjadikan gerakan penggulingan terhadap beberapa penguasa absolut timur tengah menjadi massif dan telah berhasi merontokkan kekuasaan beberapa pemimpin di timur tengah yaitu Ben Ali dari Tunisia, Khadafi dari Libya, Husni Mubarak dari Mesir dan Ali Abdullah Saleh dari Yaman. Di beberapa negara lain protes tidak berlangsung penuh kekerasan dan beberapa “hanya” menghasilkan reformasi di pemerintahan....>> ....Hai orang-orang yang beriman hendaklah kamu jadi orang-orang yang selalu menegakkan (kebenaran) karena Allah, menjadi saksi dengan adil. dan janganlah sekali-kali kebencianmu terhadap sesuatu kaum, mendorong kamu untuk berlaku tidak adil. Berlaku adillah, karena adil itu lebih dekat kepada takwa. dan bertakwalah kepada Allah, sesungguhnya Allah Maha mengetahui apa yang kamu kerjakan. (QS Al-Maaidah: 8) ...>> ....Solusi yang terbaik adalah semua pihak segera meletakkan senjata dan saling bahu membahu membangun kembali negara yang sudah hancur porak poranda. tetapi kita tahu otak manusia tidak bekerja seperti itu. sulit, sangat sulit karena milyaran, mungkin trilyunan dollar telah dikucurkan untuk “percaturan” ini sehingga menyerah kalah bukanlah pilihan. berbagai pihak sudah habis habisan dalam berusaha merebut kemenangan di Suriah. di dalam benak para pihak yang terlibat dalam konflik ini pastilah tertanam fikiran : “aku tidak sampai sejauh ini hanya untuk sampai sejauh ini”, KAMI HARUS MENANG...>>

Middle East

As Syria Crumbles, Only Iran Is a Sure Winner

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-07-23/as-syria-crumbles-only-iran-is-a-sure-winner

A Q&A with Andrew Tabler, who spent years living under the Assad regime.
14
It's complicated.
Photographer: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images
Six years. Half a million dead. Many millions displaced. Untold thousands tortured and killed.
The Syrian civil war is the worst humanitarian disaster of our young century, and would have been high on the list of the last one. But unlike the great world wars of the past, this relatively local conflict seems to have no imaginable solution, diplomatic or military. Even with the primary Western concern -- the destruction of the Islamic State -- within sight, we have to acknowledge that the aftermath may be even worse for Syria, the Middle East and the rest of the globe. The only certainty: much more destruction, suffering and death.

Sorry for glooming up your weekend.

In great conflagrations, however, the future can often be perceived in the past. Syria – like Iraq, Jordan and the Arab Gulf states -- was always a fake construct, the result of a passel of British and French mapmakers anticipating the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, aka the Sick Man of Europe. Much of the problem, actually, comes from that pejorative -- the Middle East is not Europe, although it has some echoes of the Europe of the 30 Years' War. Faith, ambition, the struggle for nationhood -- it is a combustible mix, and it’s the common man and woman who inevitably pay the price.

Still, even insuperable problems need figuring out, so this week I talked to somebody who is particularly suited to the subject. Andrew Tabler is the Martin J. Gross fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Peace, and has a sterling resume and publishing history as a top authority on the region. More to the point here, he spent the better part of seven years living in Syria under the regime of Bashar al-Assad and his even more ruthless father, Hafez. Andrew and I served on a panel this week at the Aspen Institute’s Security Forum (shameless plug: video available here) and then had a chat after. Here is a lightly edited account of the conversation.

Tobin Harshaw: OK, let’s start at the beginning. I don’t mean President Barack Obama’s abandonment of his “red line” on chemical weapons, or the Arab Spring, or when Bashar al-Assad took over from his father. I’m talking about the Sykes-Picot agreement, the rather arbitrary division of the Middle East by Britain and France a century ago. What can inglorious history tell us about today?

Andrew Tabler: Empires have a lot of problems -- they tax you, haul your young people of to wars you don’t want to fight, etc. But the Ottomans at least gave the locals a lot of autonomy. It worked until the empire was headed to collapse. For example, you had areas where a village of Shiite Muslims could be a mile away from a Christian village, but they had distinct identities and little in common. It’s very hard to take that literal mosaic of sects and cultures and turn it into a nation-state.

TH: How do these fake borders bedevil us today?

AT: Syria never made sense even before World War I, never added up. On reason was this mosaic -- there was no Syrian identity. That made one of the most unstable mandates of the colonial age, and after World War II it was arguably the most unstable country in the world. There were seven or eight coups, it ceased to exist for three years when it joined with Gamel Abdel Nasser’s Egypt to form the United Arab Republic. Syria was always unstable, and so what happened was when Hafez al-Assad took power in 1970 he used the national emergency of domestic tumult and declared emergency law that allowed his dictatorship. To justify it, he made the opposition to Israel the centerpiece. This idea that they were fighting Israel was used to prop up one of the most tyrannical systems in the world. That caused them to be rigid and unable to react to reforms that could have enabled them to avoid the tumult of 2011.

TH: They aren’t the only ones to use Israel as an excuse for repressive rule.
AT: Yes, the Palestinian question, as it is called, has not been solved. Nasser liked to say of it, “No voice louder than the cry of battle.”
TH: What does that mean?
AT: It means more in Arabic, because the word for “voice” and “vote” are derived from the same root. So it means we are in a state of war and we will come back to these other decisions of governance later, but for now we are fighting and that justifies a state of emergency.

TH: So, how does Bashar al-Assad differ from his father?

AT: Hafez was a brutal man, and hard to deal with. But he built his regime and controlled it and had a plan. Bashar has been all over the place. He promises a lot but doesn’t deliver. The de-escalation agreement reached between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the southwestern corner of the country is a test case.

TH: In what way?

AT: For the U.S., it’s driven by a need to protect people on our side of the civil war and to keep Iranian forces out of southwest Syria. It is also a potential model for peace in the rest of the country. Now, in the middle of this, we defund the program to train rebel forces in Jordan and Turkey. Will we not allow rebels to defend themselves? It seems to be about limiting offensive actions by our proxies against the regime, because now those fighters will not be effective.
TH: Is the de-escalation zone a model for how we pacify the whole or do we want some sort of a grand bargain?

AT: It’s a formula for dealing with the fact that neither the regime nor the opposition has forces to take all Syrian territory. It’s a test. I’m skeptical because the Russians are heavily invested in the regime. It’s a Gordian knot.

TH: One assumes that cutting support for the rebels is of a piece with negotiating with Russia, which wants Assad to keep control of at least a large part of post-war Syria. What is Putin’s endgame?

AT: The Russians have multiple opinions on Syria. If you talk to their foreign affairs ministry, you hear talk of reasonable negotiations to push for diplomatic solution through the United Nations Security Council. If you talk with the defense ministry, you get a much different and more bellicose answer. And these two centers meet at the Kremlin. I think the Russians know they ultimately cannot shoot their way out of Syria completely. They want a deal, but the deal they want isn’t just about Syria. For them, it’s related to U.S. sanctions and their annexation of Crimea specifically. They like to horse trade, and we do not.

TH: Do you think Putin would cut Assad loose in this horse trading?
AT: Maybe, but the question is whether the U.S. would pay the price of allowing Putin his land grabs in Ukraine in exchange for what we want in Syria.
TH: So, the Islamic State is on its last legs in its self-declared capital of Raqqa in Syria. But even with its “caliphate” destroyed it will live on. And we have a plethora of rebel groups as well as Iran-backed Hezbollah in the mix. What happens next?
AT: If things continue to go as they are, with the Iran-backed Assad regime filling up the vacuum in Syria and the same forces doing that in Iraq, can you imagine what that will look like in a year? It will be a dramatically transformed space.
TH: With Iran the big winner?
AT: The Shiite Crescent from Tehran to the Mediterranean we have been talking about and fearing for decades is going to be formed in front of us. I cannot see Syria’s neighbors and our allies taking that lying down. The question is, what will they do?
TH: Is there anything they can do?
AT: The easy thing is to open their borders and allow arms to go to the insurgency, because there is always an insurgency in the Euphrates Valley. We need to get them to be better at the proxy game -- meaning they need to look at what the Iranians are doing and learn from it. They need to create sub-state actors, not non-state actors, which is how the Iranians have been able to move the needle substantially.
TH: Do we have those proxy forces available?
AT: No, it one the great challenges for the Sunni nations. In these broken states, the only way to assure your interests is through forces you can control and turn on and off. They don’t have any. It’s a major constraint on our policy so far.
Sunniism today reminds me of a bit of the Catholic Church before the Jesuits -- you need to have a response to a movement that is challenging your followers. One way to view it is through European history, the 30 Years War. But that was a long time ago for us; in the Middle East it’s still happening.
TH: So you think that although the Russians have kept Assad in business, the Iranians are the one who are going to reap the benefit?
AT: Correct. Unless somehow this can be reversed. I’m skeptical.
TH: Are the Russians and Iranians natural allies at this point?
AT: Yes, in Syria and the entire Middle East. What this allows the Iranians to do is cut off Turkey and the Arabs to take on Israel. For the Russians it’s about containing Turkey as well, but also about projecting their power in the region. They don’t have good relations with the Arabs.
But in the end, a lot of this is about messing up U.S. policies in the Middle East.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
To contact the author of this story:
Tobin Harshaw at tharshaw@bloomberg.net
Exclusive

Secret Details of Trump-Putin 

Syria Cease-fire 

Focus on Iranian Proxies

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/11/exclusive-trump-putin-ceasefire-agreement-focuses-on-iranian-backed-fighters-middle-east/

Secret Details of Trump-Putin Syria Cease-fire Focus on Iranian Proxies
A confidential U.S.-Russian cease-fire agreement for southwestern Syria that went into effect Sunday calls for barring Iranian-backed foreign fighters from a strategic stretch of Syrian territory near the borders of Israel and Jordan, according to three diplomatic sources.
President Donald Trump hailed it as an important agreement that would serve to save lives. But few details of the accord have been made public.
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U.S. Defense Department officials — who would have responsibility for monitoring the agreement — appeared to be in the dark about the pact’s fine print.
The pact is aimed at addressing demands by Israel and Jordan — the latter is a party to the agreement — that Iranian forces and their proxies, including Hezbollah, not be permitted near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which separates Syria from Israel, or along the Jordanian border.
But former U.S. diplomats and observers question whether the agreement is truly enforceable, expressing doubts that Russia could act as a reliable guarantor for a cease-fire involving the Syrian regime, Iran, and its proxies.
“The question is, ‘Who is going to enforce that?’ Is Russia going to take on the responsibility for telling Iran what to do?” said Gerald Feierstein, a veteran U.S. diplomat who retired last year, noting that a peace deal without Iranian buy-in is untenable. “Iranians are much closer to Assad’s position on the way forward in Syria than the Russians are.”
And they have far more leverage. “It’s the Iranians and their proxies who are doing a bulk of the fighting inside Syria,” he told Foreign Policy.
With Iran in the driver’s seat, seasoned U.S. diplomats expressed doubts that the Kremlin could deliver on its promises. “The key to the survival of the Assad regime is Iran, not Russia,” said Fred Hof, a former State Department special advisor for transition in Syria. “Are the Russians trying to rush this [agreement] through without a firm understanding with the regime and without clear understanding of what the ‘or else’ is?”
Since May, the Russians have failed to persuade Iranian-backed militia groups or the Syrian regime to respect a “deconfliction zone” that American commanders had declared near a U.S. outpost in southeastern Syria. Although U.S. officers informed their Russian counterparts about the zone around Tanf, Iranian-backed militias and Syrian fighter jets ignored the warning and moved toward U.S. special operations forces and their Syrian Kurdish and Arab allies. As a result, U.S. aircraft shot down a Syrian fighter jet and an Iranian-made drone and struck Iranian-backed militias in the area.
Given the track record so far, “Why should we believe that it will be different under this cease-fire?” one congressional staffer asked.
An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qasemi, reacted coolly to the pact, saying it contained some “ambiguities” and that “no agreement would be successful without taking the realities on the ground into account.”
“Iran is seeking Syria’s sovereignty and security so a cease-fire cannot be limited to a certain location,” Qasemi was quoted saying by Tasnim News Agency.
Not everyone was so pessimistic. Andrew Tabler, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said southwestern Syria’s relative calm — and Washington’s continued influence among U.S.-trained opposition factions fighting President Bashar al-Assad — make it a natural proving ground for U.S. and Russian cooperation.
If successful, such cooperation could be employed in other parts of the country. “I think it’s worth a try,” Tabler said. “If we’re going to test something, this is a good place to test it.”
The pact — detailed in a Memorandum of Principle for De-escalation in Southern Syria — established a cease-fire between Syrian government forces and armed opposition groups that came into force on Sunday. It calls for transforming southern Syria below Quneitra and Suwayda into an exclusion zone for fighters of “non-Syrian origin,” including Iranian troops, their proxies, and fighters linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State, which have a limited presence in the area.
“This could be designed mainly to reassure the Israelis that these elements would not be operating in proximity to the Golan Heights,” said Hof, who is now at the Atlantic Council.
The accord calls for maintaining existing governance and security arrangements in opposition-held areas in southwestern Syria, a provision aimed at dissuading Syrian government forces from retaking territory in the area. But some observers said the arrangement could also help turn a de facto partition of southern Syria into a permanent one. “This entrenches Syria’s partition further,” one diplomatic observer said.
The accord also calls for the unimpeded access for humanitarian aid workers and for the creation of conditions for the return of refugees from southwestern Syria. Jordan has received more than 650,000 registered Syrian refugees since the conflict began more than six years ago.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced Monday the establishment of a monitoring center in Jordan, but State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert declined to confirm any specifics. “Mr. Lavrov likes to talk a lot,” she said.
A State Department official told FP that the United States and Russia are still trying to work out the details of the pact, “including how to monitor the cease-fire, the rules that would govern the southwest de-escalation area, and the presence of monitors.”
“We are looking at various options for the monitoring arrangement in which information can be exchanged and violations resolved,” the official said.
When asked if she was optimistic about the cease-fire holding, Nauert demurred. “Perhaps optimism is too strong a word. But I think it is promising, in a certain sense, we have been able to get the cease-fire underway,” she said.
The White House did not respond to queries about the cease-fire deal.
The agreement — finalized following Trump’s recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin — calls for more coordination among the former Cold War superpowers in the fight against terrorists in Syria. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested that the pact may serve as a model for further cooperation in northern Syria and provides the “first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria.”
It also marked a recognition by Moscow that a separate effort to negotiate a cease-fire in Astana, Kazakhstan, with Iran and Turkey was foundering. On May 4, the three powers signed an agreement to establish four so-called “de-escalation zones” throughout Syria. But they have been unable to agree on whose forces would monitor those cease-fires.
“Not necessarily a brilliant deal for the Russians,” one diplomatic source said. “I suspect that after the humiliating failure of Astana, Putin needed a ‘success’ to announce and divert attention from Astana failure.”
The cease-fire would be overseen by officials from the United States, Russia, and Jordan at a monitoring cell in Amman, Jordan. Israel is not a formal party to the pact but has been actively involved behind the scenes in the discussions leading up to the agreement.
Hof said the provision for a joint monitoring center resembles a plan put forward by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to coordinate efforts to confront extremists in northwestern Syria. “[U.S. Central Command] was very, very, very skeptical about that when it was first proposed,” Hof said. “They feared being hoodwinked by the Russians into some kind of attack on an urban area that would produce massive civilian casualties.”
In fact, it appears that the military was not consulted this time around. On Monday, BuzzFeed News reported that top Pentagon officials were not involved in the planning or briefed on their role in the arrangement.
A military officer confirmed to FP that the Pentagon and Centcom have very little information about the proposed cease-fire and said, “We’re getting to that level of understanding this week.”
American aircraft rarely operate in southwestern Syria, but “we’ll certainly respect the cease-fire,” the officer said, adding that the U.S. military hasn’t decided if it would fly combat air patrols to enforce any agreement.
The more likely situation would see a “remote” monitoring agreement, where U.S. military personnel would sit together with Russian officers at the proposed facility in Amman, the officer said, though “we have to figure out exactly what it means, and we have to figure out what the terms of reference are between the Russians and us and if the Syrians are even a party to it.”
U.S. troops won’t be working directly with Iranians or Syrians, however. “Our operating assumption is if the Iranians and Syrians will want to be informed, the Russians are going to be the intermediary on all things,” the officer said.
“The United States remains committed to defeating ISIS, helping to end the conflict in Syria, reducing suffering, and enabling people to return to their homes,” Trump’s national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, said last Friday, referring to the Islamic State. “This agreement is an important step toward these common goals.”
But questions lingered about its workability.
The region is occupied by several armed opposition groups backed by the United States, Turkey, Jordan, and Persian Gulf states and also includes small pockets of forces loyal to al Qaeda and the Islamic State. The United States exercises little influence over such extremist groups, making them potential spoilers.
On July 9, Trump tweeted that the Syrian cease-fire seems to be holding. For Moscow, the pact placed Putin in the role of peacemaker, even as Russia continued to provide air support for Syrian offensive operations.
“This is a sop for Russia,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria scholar at the University of Oklahoma. “The Americans can’t police this situation.”
Photo credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images
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Syrian Cease-Fire Is 

a Baby Step Toward Peace

A fragile truce in the southwest is a good omen for U.S. interests.
7
War's still just a shot away.
Photographer: Mohamad Abazeed/AFP/Getty Images
After years of horrific fighting in Syria -- including several failed cease-fires -- it's hard to get too excited about a limited agreement to stop hostilities in a tiny corner of the country. Yet the modest "de-escalation" deal in Syria's southwest is a promising sign.

Islamic State is not yet defeated. But the cease-fire, reached by Jordan, Russia and the U.S., is an indication that the end of that fight is near, as all sides are beginning to jockey for position in the next stage of the Syrian civil war.

The halt in the fighting in parts of three provinces, reached earlier this month, seems to be mostly holding. The next steps of the deal, which reportedly include the departure of non-Syrian fighters, providing humanitarian aid to civilians, and setting up a monitoring center in Jordan, are pending.

Still, what has already been achieved is notable. Russia -- Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's most powerful backer -- has cut an independent deal with the U.S. that will not just give rebel troops a respite but also help protect Israel and Jordan, two of America's most important Middle East allies. Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have hammered out the truce without giving the Syrian regime or its Iranian patrons a say. And this despite the fact that Iranian-backed militias had been making military inroads in southern Syria.
The area covered in the de-escalation agreement includes the rebel stronghold of Deraa Province, which is within 50 miles of the Jordanian capital of Amman and is adjacent to the Golan Heights, which Israel has considered a crucial buffer zone since conquering it in the 1967 war. The deal will be help keep Iran and its proxies from gaining too close a foothold to Israel and Jordan.
A piecemeal approach to cease-fires has its downsides. It may undermine the fitful negotiations to end the civil war that are now taking place in Kazakhstan, and the Assad regime may use this opportunity to strategically reposition forces at other battlefronts (the Syrians seem to have an eye on the oil-rich Euphrates River Valley near the Iraq border). And the deal relies on the questionable assumption that the Russians will be able to rein in aggression by the Syrian army its allies.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson noted that the pact is the "first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria." As distasteful as it sounds, cooperation with the Kremlin may be the best hope for an enduring political solution to the civil war -- and for ensuring that Islamic State won't rise again.

To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg View’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net .

Andrew J. Tabler

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/experts/view/tabler-andrew-j

Martin J. Gross Fellow
Tel: 202-230-9550 (media inquiries only) 202-452-0650 (all other inquiries)
press@washingtoninstitute.org
Andrew J. Tabler is the Martin J. Gross fellow in the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute, where he focuses on Syria and U.S. policy in the Levant.

Areas of Expertise


Biography

Andrew J. Tabler is the Martin J. Gross Fellow in the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute, where he focuses on Syria and U.S. policy in the Levant.
Mr. Tabler achieved unparalleled long-term access to Bashar al-Assad's Syria. During fourteen years of residence in the Middle East, Mr. Tabler served as co-founder and editor-in-chief of Syria Today, Syria's first private-sector English-language magazine; as a consultant on U.S.-Syria relations for the International Crisis Group (2008); and as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs (2005-2007), writing on Syrian, Lebanese, and Middle Eastern affairs. Following his graduate work in Cairo, Egypt, Mr. Tabler held editorships with the Middle East Times and Cairo Times, where he focused on Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, before becoming senior editor and director of editorial for the Oxford Business Group (OBG). In 2001, Mr. Tabler personally oversaw with OBG the first comprehensive English-language report on Syria in more than thirty years. Mr. Tabler has lived, worked and studied extensively in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.
Mr. Tabler has interviewed Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad, the late Israeli president Shimon Peres, the late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, slain Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, and former Lebanese prime ministers Fouad Siniora and Saad Hariri. His articles and opinion pieces on Middle East affairs and U.S. foreign policy have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, and Foreign Affairs. He has also appeared in interviews with CNN, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, and the BBC.
Mr. Tabler is author of "Syria's Collapse and How Washington Can Stop It" (Foreign Affairs, July-August 2013) and the 2011 book In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria (Lawrence Hill Books).

Education

M.A., comparative politics, American University in Cairo (AUC); Certificate, Arabic Language Institute, AUC; B.A., Washington & Jefferson College

Languages Spoken / Read

  • Arabic


Apa Yang Sebenarnya Terjadi Di Suriah? (1)


Hai orang-orang yang beriman hendaklah kamu jadi orang-orang yang selalu menegakkan (kebenaran) karena Allah, menjadi saksi dengan adil. dan janganlah sekali-kali kebencianmu terhadap sesuatu kaum, mendorong kamu untuk berlaku tidak adil. Berlaku adillah, karena adil itu lebih dekat kepada takwa. dan bertakwalah kepada Allah, sesungguhnya Allah Maha mengetahui apa yang kamu kerjakan. (QS Al-Maaidah: 8)

Sesuai dengan amanat Tuhan yang disampaikan melalui kitab suci-Nya saya mencoba menjabarkan mengenai permasalahan yang terjadi di negri nun jauh disana dengan se-objektif mungkin, Suriah.

Sebagian besar dari kita mungkin hanya “pernah dengar” tentang negara ini dan tidak pernah ada yang benar benar memperhatikan keberadaan negara ini pra 2011.

Apa yang terjadi di tahun 2011? Twitter, Facebook dan berbagai media sosial menjadikan gerakan penggulingan terhadap beberapa penguasa absolut timur tengah menjadi massif dan telah berhasi merontokkan kekuasaan beberapa pemimpin di timur tengah yaitu Ben Ali dari Tunisia, Khadafi dari Libya, Husni Mubarak dari Mesir dan Ali Abdullah Saleh dari Yaman. Di beberapa negara lain protes tidak berlangsung penuh kekerasan dan beberapa “hanya” menghasilkan reformasi di pemerintahan.


sumber gambar : Wikipedia

Arab spring tidak berlangsung mulus, Tunisia sejauh ini berhasil mempertahankan demokrasi hasil dari proses transisi tersebut. Libya yang tadinya merupakan negeri yang aman dan kaya menjadi jatuh kedalam jurang perang saudara. Yaman juga jatuh kedalam perang saudara yang diperparah dengan intervensi negara negara teluk seperti Saudi Arabia, Uni Emirates dan lain lain. 

Mesir, kekuasaan Husni Mubarak yang merupakan diktator ex-militer digantikan oleh pemerintahan Muhammad Mursi yang merupakan calon usungan Ikhwanul Muslimin yang terpilih secara demokratis, Mursi digulingkan saat pemerintahannya baru seumur satu tahun lebih sedikit dan digantikan oleh seorang diktator ex militer lagi, Abdel fatah Al-sisi. Penggulingan Mursi menimbulkan korban ribuan orang, sungguh sangat sangat mengerikan.

Sumber gambar : washingtonpost.com

Jadi dari gambaran diatas jelas bahwa fenomena Arab Spring bukanlah sesuatu yang dipicu oleh urusan agama apalagi merupakan perang antar mazhab, sekali lagi bukan. pemicu utamanya adalah rasa frustasi atas himpitan ekonomi yang di perparah oleh himpitan politis dari para diktator timur tengah yang mengekang kebebasan berekspresi. Bisa disaksikan sendiri mayoritas negara yang mengalami Arab Spring adalah negara-negara timur tengah yang ekonominya kurang maju kecuali Libya.

Masuk ke Suriah…

Saya tidak mengambil posisi seperti para penulis lain di seword maupun diluaran yang memihak salah satu pihak secara 100% karena menurut saya dalam konflik politik apalagi perang, semua memegang beban tanggung jawab terhadap apa yang terjadi.

sekali lagi mari kita lupakan aliran apa dan mazhab apa yang sedang bertarung karena sebagaimana yang telah saya jabarkan di atas, Arab Spring adalah akumulasi dari konflik ekonomi dan politik yang meledak disebabkan oleh sosial media.

Banyak pendukung Assad di Indonesia yang mengatakan “harus menghormati pilihan rakyat karena Assad dipilih oleh sebagian besar rakyat!” tapi mereka lupa bahwa pemilihan di negara-negara absolut sangat penuh dengan rekayasa. oposisi tidak diberikan panggung dan kecurangan terjadi secara terstruktur sistematis dan massif untuk memenangkan penguasa yang sedang berkuasa. Indonesia pun pernah mengalami masa seperti itu dan perkataan “harus menghormati pilihan rakyat karena Assad dipilih oleh sebagian besar rakyat!” sama saja mengatakan reformasi 1998 di Indonesia merupakan gerakan ilegal karena waktu itu Soeharto juga dipilih oleh sebagian besar rakyat Indonesia yang diwakili oleh MPR.

Saya sepakat bahwa demonstrasi seharusnya tidak boleh sedikitpun dihadapi dengan peluru tajam apalagi sampai menimbulkan korban meninggal, satu saja korban tewas rasanya sudah terlalu besar harganya dibandingkan sebuah kekuasaan.

Bung Karno telah memberikan contoh sangat mulia ketika kekuasaannya digulingkan dan beliau dijadikan tahanan rumah. Banyak angkatan-angkatan perang dan rakyat yang siap mati berperang untuk mempertahankan posisi Bung Karno tetapi beliau lebih memilih turun dari jabatannya karena rasa cinta beliau yang sangat besar kepada rakyat Indonesia dan tidak mau ada darah rakyat Indonesia yang tertumpah hanya  untuk mempertahankan kekuasaannya.

Seluruh pemimpin di dunia termasuk Assad seharusnya wajib melakukan seperti apa yang dilakukan oleh Bung Karno karena nyawa seorang manusia jauh lebih berharga daripada kekuasaan seperti apapun.

sumber gambar : cnn.com

Apa Yang Sebenarnya Terjadi 

Di Suriah (2)

https://seword.com/luar-negeri/apa-yang-sebenarnya-terjadi-di-suriah-2/ 

Sambungan dari bagian 1…
sumber gambar : bbc.co.uk

Disinilah komplikasi tersebut terjadi, sebuah rezim kuat dengan salah satu militer terkuat di timur tengah berhadapan dengan kekuatan oposisi yang di back up oleh beberapa negara asing baik secara pendanaan maupun persenjataan.

Keadaan ini juga diperparah dengan retorika para orang-orang yang “menyalahgunakan agama dalam politik” yang memainkan isu SARA. inilah kengerian penggunaan isyu SARA yang sering di wanti wanti oleh para tokoh bangsa dan penulis penulis di dalam maupun di luar seword. Agama itu merupakan sebuah senjata maha kuat yang bisa menggerakkan ratusan ribu bahkan jutaan orang untuk rela mati tanpa bayaran sedikitpun.

Dalam versi resmi, Assad merupakan penganut Syiah Alawiyah (saya tahu ada beberapa orang yang mengatakan Assad itu Sunni tetapi saya mengambil versi resmi yang beredar di berbagai website kredibel). penganut Syiah alawiyah bukan merupakan mayoritas di Suriah sehingga penggunaan isyu SARA sangatlah efektif, kita bisa lihat contoh kecilnya di Pilkada DKI Jakarta. Oleh para oposisi politik Assad, isyu politik ini diusahakan berubah menjadi isyu agama sehingga seolah olah yang terjadi adalah perang Sunni vs Syiah dengan harapan para oposisi POLITIK tersebut mendapatkan dukungan dari masyarakat luas baik dari dalam negri maupun dari khalayak Internasional. Contohnya di Indonesia, para “santri” dadakan yang belajar ngaji dari Google dan Ustadz seleb akan selalu membawa-bawa isyu perang mazhab jika berbicara tentang konflik suriah. padahal Arab Spring terjadi sama sekali tidak mengenal agama dan aliran apapun.

untuk kaum sumbu pendek dan bumi datar yang kebetulan membaca artikel ini saya tidak mau membahas persoalan mazhab di artikel ini, silahkan googling sendiri “risalah Amman” atau “Amman Message”.

Kenapa banyak kekuatan internasional yang terlibat?

sumber gambar : The New York Times

Mungkin para pembaca seword telah membaca dari berbagai sumber lain yang mencoba menjelaskan ini, dari mulai pipa minyak dan posisi strategis dan semacamnya. tetapi yang paling jelas disini adalah perebutan pengaruh. Iran memback up Assad karena Assad merupakan satu satunya sekutu Iran di timur tengah, alasan yang sama juga yang menyebabkan Turki, Saudi dan negara negara teluk lainnnya begitu ngotot untuk menumbangkan Assad, untuk melumpuhkan kekuatan Iran.

Rezim Assad dan ayahnya juga merupakan satu satunya sekutu historis yang sangat dekat dengan Rusia di Timur Tengah sehingga Rusia membacking Assad “at all cost”. support dari Rusia merupakan alasan paling utama kenapa Assad masih bisa bertahan menghadapi perang brutal selama 6 tahun terakhir ini.

Amerika berkepentingan untuk melemahkan posisi Rusia di timur tengah yang mana Suriah merupakan satu satunya negara yang memiliki pangkalan militer Rusia di Timur Tengah.
yang jadi korban utama dari percaturan besar kekuatan-kekuatan internasional ini adalah warga sipil Suriah yang terjebak diantara kehancuran yang maha mengerikan dan kematian.

Ada solusi?

Solusi yang terbaik adalah semua pihak segera meletakkan senjata dan saling bahu membahu membangun kembali negara yang sudah hancur porak poranda. tetapi kita tahu otak manusia tidak bekerja seperti itu. sulit, sangat sulit karena milyaran, mungkin trilyunan dollar telah dikucurkan untuk “percaturan” ini sehingga menyerah kalah bukanlah pilihan. berbagai pihak sudah habis habisan dalam berusaha merebut kemenangan di Suriah. di dalam benak para pihak yang terlibat dalam konflik ini pastilah tertanam fikiran : “aku tidak sampai sejauh ini hanya untuk sampai sejauh ini”, KAMI HARUS MENANG.

padahal konflik ini sudah sangat mengerikan dan jauh dari manusiawi lagi, ratusan ribu orang yang tewas bukan hanya angka, tiap tiap orang yang tewas adalah nyawa nyawa yang mencintai dan dicintai oleh keluarga dan teman temannya. inilah mengapa saya selalu menekankan damai itu WAJIB, perang itu HARUS dihindari apapun alasannya.
Masa depan Suriah…


A general view of damaged buildings in Jouret al-Shayah, Homs February 2, 2013. Picture taken on February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Yazen Homsy (SYRIA – Tags: CONFLICT POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)
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Sekali lagi tanpa memandang agama dan aliran apapun, satu satunya kemungkinan Suriah akan damai dalam waktu dekat adalah kemenangan Assad. karena beberapa negara hasil Arab Spring dan Irak pasca Saddam telah membuktikan bahwa runtuhnya suatu rezim justru akan membawa kekacauan yang lebih besar karena menghilangkan sebuah kekuatan besar yang mengontrol semua dan menyisakan kekuatan kekuatan yang saling bersaing untuk merebut kekuasaan tertinggi dengan cara apapun. Bisa saja jatuhnya Assad adalah keinginan sebagian orang tetapi sejarah membuktikan jika itu yang terjadi, perang masih akan berlangsung berkepanjangan dan rakyat sipil yang akan terus menjadi korban utamamanya.

benarlah peringatan Allah dan Rasulnya bahwa taat kepada pemerintah merupakan sesuatu yang sangat penting selama pemerintah tersebut tidak memerintahkan kepada kemaksiatan.
“Hai orang-orang yang beriman, ta’atilah Allah dan ta’atilah Rasul (Nya), dan ulil amri di antara kamu.” (QS. An Nisa’ [4] : 59)

hadits Nabi shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam dari Hudzaifah bin Al Yaman :
“Nanti setelah aku akan ada seorang pemimpin yang tidak mendapat petunjukku (dalam ilmu, pen) dan tidak pula melaksanakan sunnahku (dalam amal, pen). Nanti akan ada di tengah-tengah mereka orang-orang yang hatinya adalah hati setan, namun jasadnya adalah jasad manusia. “

Aku berkata, “Wahai Rasulullah, apa yang harus aku lakukan jika aku menemui zaman seperti itu?”

Beliau bersabda, ”Dengarlah dan ta’at kepada pemimpinmu, walaupun mereka menyiksa punggungmu dan mengambil hartamu. Tetaplah mendengar dan ta’at kepada mereka.” (HR. Muslim no. 1847)

“Saya memberi wasiat kepada kalian agar tetap bertaqwa kepada Allah ‘azza wa jalla, tetap mendengar dan ta’at walaupun yang memerintah kalian seorang hamba sahaya (budak)”. (HR. Abu Daud dan At Tirmidzi, Hadits Hasan Shahih)

Dari perbatasan provinsi Jakarta dan Banten ini saya bercurah pendapat…


3 komentar:

  1. Puji syukur saya panjatkan kepada Allah yang telah mempertemukan saya dengan Mbah Rawa Gumpala dan melalui bantun pesugihan putih beliau yang sebar 5M inilah yang saya gunakan untuk membuka usaha selama ini,makanya saya sengaja memposting pesang sinkat ini biar semua orang tau kalau Mbah Rawa Gumpala bisa membantuh kita mengenai masalah ekonomi dengan bantuan pesugihan putihnya yang tampa tumbal karna saya juga tampa sengaja menemukan postingan orang diinternet jadi saya lansun menhubungi beliau dan dengan senang hati beliau mau membantuh saya,,jadi bagi teman teman yang mempunyai keluhan jangan anda ragu untuk menghubungi beliau di no 085-316-106-111 rasa senang ini tidak bisa diunkapkan dengan kata kata makanya saya menulis pesan ini biar semua orang tau,ini sebuah kisa nyata dari saya dan tidak ada rekayasa sedikit pun yang saya tulis ini,sekali lagi terimah kasih banyak ya Mbah dan insya allah suatu hari nanti saya akan berkunjun ke kediaman Mbah untuk silaturahmi.Wassalam dari saya ibu Sartika dan untuk lebih lenkapnya silahkan buka blok Mbah disini 😃Pesugihan Putih Tanpa Tumbal😃

    BalasHapus
  2. Puji syukur saya panjatkan kepada Allah yang telah mempertemukan saya dengan Mbah Rawa Gumpala dan melalui bantun pesugihan putih beliau yang sebar 5M inilah yang saya gunakan untuk membuka usaha selama ini,makanya saya sengaja memposting pesang sinkat ini biar semua orang tau kalau Mbah Rawa Gumpala bisa membantuh kita mengenai masalah ekonomi dengan bantuan pesugihan putihnya yang tampa tumbal karna saya juga tampa sengaja menemukan postingan orang diinternet jadi saya lansun menhubungi beliau dan dengan senang hati beliau mau membantuh saya,,jadi bagi teman teman yang mempunyai keluhan jangan anda ragu untuk menghubungi beliau di no 085-316-106-111 rasa senang ini tidak bisa diunkapkan dengan kata kata makanya saya menulis pesan ini biar semua orang tau,ini sebuah kisa nyata dari saya dan tidak ada rekayasa sedikit pun yang saya tulis ini,sekali lagi terimah kasih banyak ya Mbah dan insya allah suatu hari nanti saya akan berkunjun ke kediaman Mbah untuk silaturahmi.Wassalam dari saya ibu Sartika dan untuk lebih lenkapnya silahkan buka blok Mbah disini 😃Pesugihan Putih Tanpa Tumbal😃

    BalasHapus

  3. Mohon maaf jika postingan ini menyinggung perasaan anda semua tapi saya hanya mau menceritakan pengalaman pribadi saya yang mengubah kehidupan saya menjadi sukses. Perkenalkan terlebih dahulu saya Artanti Tanti biasa di panggil Anti, TKI tinggal di kota Pontian johor Malaysia,Saya berprofesi sebagai pembantu rumah tangga, tapi saya tidak menyerah dengan keadaan saya, tetap ikhtiar.
    pengen pulang ke indonesia tapi gak ada ongkos pulang. sempat saya putus asa,gaji pun selalu di kirim ke indonesia untuk biaya anak sekolah,sedangkan hutang banyak, kebetulan teman saya buka-buka internet mendapatkan nomor hp Mbah Suro 082354640471 katanya bisa bantu orang melunasi hutang melalui jalan togel dengan keadaan susah jadi saya coba beranikan diri hubungi dan berkenalan dengan beliau Mbah Suro, Dan saya menceritakan keadaan saya.Beliau menyarankan untuk mengatasi masalah perekonomian saya,baiknya melalui jalan togel saja.Dan angka yang di berikan beneran tembus ,4607 dan saya dapat 275 juta alhamdulillah terima kasih banyak ya allah atas semua rerjekimu ini. walaupun ini melalui togel






































































































































    Mbah Suro....

    BalasHapus