Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad
There are two common terms that are very important in American thinking: “planning is everything” and “timing is everything.” These two phrases are the essence of politics, economy, and achievement in any area of life.
In comparison, in a serious attempt by the writer of these lines to take a very neutral position, and try to measure what is happening and what has happened in our Arab countries from the perspective of these two terms, we find that the near absence of these two terms from our history and present is almost one of the reasons why we find ourselves very weak today.
Since there is no room here to dive into history seriously and thoughtfully, we can recall only some of the basic landmarks, shedding an important light on what is happening today in Jerusalem, Iraq, Syria, and the Arab Nation in general.
One of the fundamental determinants of these historical landmarks is that the West in general, and our nation’s enemies in particular, are planning forward 100 years, studying timing well, setting conditions and then selecting the most important goal, focusing on it and circulating around it for decades or centuries if necessary.
The Basel Conference was held in 1897, and the Jewish state was declared only in 1948, after fifty years of continuous Jewish work throughout the world to establish a national homeland for them.
On the other side, we find that the actions of the Arabs, their wars and battles are often or always in terms of reactions. They do not depend on accumulation or continuity, but occur outside the scope of thinking, planning and timing.
In each chapter of history, the Arabs convince themselves that the battle is over and the general atmosphere is satisfied. The enemy with a visible or tacit action, turns the last battle in its favour, or prepares for a new battle.
From this difference in thinking, planning and timing, emerges much of our pain and the reasons of our weaknesses and our failures to achieve the desired results for our countries and peoples.
Let us focus on two current examples. The establishment of a Kurdish state in Iraq, and the crimes committed today against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine, are the subject of much talk in the media and political circles.
The division of Iraq was the most important outcome of which Odid Yinon spoke in his 1982 strategy, and of which Ben-Gurion spoke about earlier. The reader of this strategy does not need to be surprised by anything happening across the Arab World.
The division of Iraq is a strategic goal for the enemy, the establishment of a Sunni state, a Shiite state and a Kurdish state on the ruins of a unified Arab Iraq, which was a cherished bastion of Arabism.
The establishment of these states was the strategic objective of the first and second Gulf wars, besieging Iraq and the Iraqi people, and the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, and all the subsequent spread of sectarianism, the destruction of the Iraqi army and Iraqi police, the killing of scientists, the systematic destruction of infrastructure, and the destruction of Iraq’s cultural and historical heritage.
Therefore, Israel emerged not only as the first to welcome the debate today about a referendum in northern Iraq and the establishment of a Kurdish entity, but also as a sponsor who encouraged and motivated the creating of such an ally of Israel, which would become a partner in its hostility to Arabs, and a supporter of its ambitions to usurp the land, water and wealth of the Arabs.
This controversy is a continuation and a result of long and thoughtful planning and the choice of the appropriate timing now that Iraq and the Arab Nation is in a state of weakness and division, and thus can not resist the momentum or take action that can change the direction of this scheme.
The current crimes committed against Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the prevention of conducting prayers in it for the first time in its history since the Crusades, and the stealing the 800 year-old records of Jerusalem, is another episode in a long process that started with the creation of the Zionist entity, and gathered momentum after 1967, to the point when the Aqsa was set ablaze in 1969.
This was an important landmark, where Golda Meir was afraid of the Islamic reaction, but was actually surprised by a very mild reaction. This was an important historical lesson to the Zionist, who again today dared to desecrate this holy site. And what are the reactions by those who claim to be the protectors of Muslim holy sites?
Their reaction is to proceed with the normalisation of relations with the Zionist entity, and to work against any endeavour that might empower Islamic resistance.
The timing of these crimes is closely linked to the actions taken against the Sudan and to the war in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, and the responsibility for repelling these crimes is not purely a Palestinian responsibility.
Rather, it is the responsibility of an Arab nation and the Islamic nation. What is happening in Palestine and what the Palestinians are exposed to is the result of the planning and timing of events in the territory of this nation.
Jerusalem has revealed the essence of these schemes and their goals, so will we wake up and learn, and will we realise that our tragedies are the result of our lack of thinking and our bad planning, timing, work and performance ?!