By Abir Bassam

We need to scratch our back on our own

February 20, 2021 - 18:43

In an article I published on the Tehran Times a few months ago under the title “Waiting for the American Godot”, I wrote that electing Joe Biden will not bring any changes to the American policy in the region. 

The name of the American president is insignificant. If we need to see changes, we have to make them! And the return of peace, prosperity, and security in the region are pointless, if not demarked with the free will. Simply, it is better to apply the Arabic proverb: nothing scratches your body like your nail, instead of the English proverb: scratch my back and I will scratch yours since the Americans will not scratch anybody’s back.  

2021 is not going to be an easy year for West Asia and the Arab World. Major changes have occurred through the last years. However, if we want to see the Americans departing the region, major steps need to be taken.

Biden’s presidential term is not going to be rosy and peaceful. He came to finish what he has been started during Barak Obama’s presidential period. Although he is facing domestic challenges, the final goals for this phase of history are set.  The Americans since the end of the First World War have not approved Sykes-Picot division of the region.

The Americans since the end of the First World War did not approve Sykes-Picot division of the region. Therefore, when Bernard Lewis presented his vision in the fifties, it seemed to be more logical to control the Middle East, which was approved by Obama's administration.  the implementations of Bernard Lewis’s recommendations are still stirring the course of actions in the area. In addition, Biden stressed in his first speech, as a president, the need to retrieve the American role in leading international diplomacy. He called for America’s friends and allies, mainly Turkey and Europe, to stick together in doing so. Add to that, it is a critical period of history and we need to be aware that Biden still has no plans to leave Syria and Iraq. Therefore, it is up to the resistance forces to raise the Americans’ awareness about the necessity for their departure.

In assuring the continuous existence of the American troops in Syria and Iraq, we witnessed in the last months of 2020 the return of ISIS, i.e., the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Its militias were released from SDF’s dungeons, i.e., Syrian Democratic Forces. ISIS leaders were moved to the American bases in Iraq and Syria for further futuristic assignments. Accordingly, ISIS started attacking the civilians in Der al-Zor in Syria and in Mousel in Iraq. In a second stage they started attacking the Arab Syrian Army troops and Hashed al-Shaabi. ISIS was released and the old cracked disc is back to playing once more: America in the region, solely, to fight ISIS! 

There is an obvious relation among ISIS, SDF, and the Americans. The three sides have been living in harmony for at least two years. This has proved to be true once ISIS started its terrorist attacks on civilians and armed forces in Mesopotamia. In addition, when the leaders of the tribes in the Syrian Desert called for their sons to quit SDF because it is no longer acting within its intended aim, SDF went to AS-Suwayda in south Syria to recruit more young men. 

In doing so SDF was playing on sectarianism because the majority of the inhabitants in the As-Suwayda government are Druze. Druze is an Islamic minority cult; they are Arabs and have been living in the Levant and northern Palestine for more than 12 centuries. Playing on sectarian differences to form a new unity is a Western-originated move that aims to divide and re-dividing the region. It is an original step that does not fall far from Bernard Lewis’s recommendations, which Obama’s administration has implemented in the region since 2011. Biden is back to keep the Americans troops in Mesopotamia under the pretense of fighting ISIS. 

In his first couple of appearances, Biden urged “parties involved” in the war in Yemen to put an end to it. He ceased weapons shipment to Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, he requests Ansarullah to stop military operations in Bab al-Mandab. This was a big surprise. It was a clear message that the U.S. is not serious about ending the war in Yemen, despite the removal of the name Ansarullah from the list of terrorism anyways; Ansarullah has made their choice and took firmness. 

The concept of the free will was applied when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution, met with senior Iranian Air Force officers on February 7. A banner was hanged behind Ayatollah Khamenei; the slogan printed was one of the commandments of Imam Ali (PBUH), in which he recommended taking precautions against enemies. The printed proverb said much about the Iranian future policy in facing the coming challenges, in particular with the United States. The proverb said: it seems that the enemy is flattering to fool you, hence be firm. The decision for firmness in the Islamic Republic was manifested in the continuous nuclear researches and in building its missile force, in spite of the American objections.

“Be firm” means be prepared! Whether it was building your military force, or getting your national priorities in order. It is the fool, who would march ill-equipped to any confrontation whether it was political or military. The coming confrontation phase with the Americans in the region will require full readiness. 

 In Iran, it is clear that preparations are in full swing. In Palestine, there is no other solution but to resist, for it is a finger-biting game, the loser is the first screamer. The Palestinians have no other choice but to fight, and fight to the end. The question, for Palestinians now, is to be or not to be.

The resistance in Lebanon is fully ready to go. It is now up to Syria, not the Syrian political decision or the Syrian army. Syria took its political decision as long as we remember. Damascus was the first to support the Islamic Revolution in Iran; it also backed the resistance movement in Palestine and Lebanon. And after 2003, Damascus was with Iraq in its fight against the Americans. However, no matter how much the situation is complicated in northern Syria or in the East of Euphrates, now it is up to the people to say their word. The decision must be taken to initiate a national resistance against the Turkish and the American occupations.

It should be a Syrian resistance, by the Syrians, and for the Syrians. There is no other way; otherwise, it will not work out. The only mean to get the Americans out of Mesopotamia is to initiate a secret resistance. If the Americans have not suffered in Syria and Iraq - what they suffered in Iraq 2003-2008 and in Lebanon in 1982, they would have never left. Now the Syrians need to take firmness once again, just as they did since 1920 till 2011, then all the way till 2018. Taking the consideration, the tougher task is yet to come.
Accordingly, we have to take notice of two vital issues. First, the French are waiting patiently. They believe that it is about time to take over matters in northern and east northern Syria. They have interests that they want to protect and they have investments that they need to make. In addition, they have an unfinished business with Turkey, which requires finalization. 

The second issue, Biden is trying to sort the American affairs around the world, among them the American presence in Mesopotamia. He needs to get his priorities in order so that he can accomplish two important files, the first is the nuclear agreement with Iran; and the second is to solve the disputes with China and Russia. The war drums are beating, yet no one wants to go there, except for Israel. 

Although it might be strange to say, the American plans can only be blockade in Syria. The missing piece to end the American game in Mesopotamia is in the declaration of “Effective Announcement No. One” the Syrian Resistance against the occupied forces was born. Naturally, the forces present against the will of the Syrian leadership. Once a Syrian resistance is set to go, the American plans will be turned upside down. Then, history will, for sure, write that the end of America as we know was eradicated by the Syrian blood, and the blood of those who formed the Resistance Front against the American imperialism and Israel.

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