World View: Gaza War Splits Arab States into Competing Alliances

This morning's key headlines from

  • Ukraine's pro-Russian separatists grudgingly give up 'black boxes'
  • Gaza war splits Arab states into competing alliances

Ukraine's pro-Russian separatists grudgingly give up 'black boxes'

Late Monday, the pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine, under enormous international pressure, grudgingly handed over to Malaysian officials the "black boxes" from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot out of the sky on July 17. The separatists, currently being led by self-declared prime minister Alexander Borodai, have been preventing international access to the crash site in order to hide the complicity of the separatists and Russia in shooting down the airliner. Borodai himself is a Russian, a former deputy directory of Russia's FSB (known as the KGB in Soviet days). 

The so-called "black boxes" (which are actually orange) are likely to contain the last few minutes of the voices of the pilots flying MH17, as well as numerical data generated by the plane's computers. Most experts consider it unlikely that the MH17 pilots even suspected what was going to happen until the missile actually struck, so the black boxes are not likely to contain data that would indicate culpability in the shoot down. 

US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on a number of Sunday news talk shows, and on each one he enumerated what he called "an enormous array of facts" providing evidence that Russia was implicated in shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 on Thursday. Here are some of the items in his evidence list: 

  • "There are reports of drunken separatist soldiers unceremoniously piling bodies into trucks, removing both bodies, as well as evidence, from the site."
  • "The separatists are in control. Some of the separatist leaders are Russian. Russia has armed the separatists. Russia has supported the separatists. Russia has trained the separatists."
  • "Russia continues to refuse to call publicly for the separatists to engage in behavior that would lend itself to a resolution of this issue. The lack of access [to the crash site] makes its own statement about culpability and responsibility."
  • "In the last month, we have observed major supplies moving in. Several weeks ago, about a 150-vehicle convoy, including armored personnel carriers, tanks, rocket launchers, artillery, all going in and being transferred to the separatists."
  • "We know that they had an SA-11 [ground to air missile] system in the vicinity, literally hours before the shoot-down took place. There are social media records of that."
  • "They were talking, and we have the intercepts of their conversations, talking about the transfer and movement and repositioning of the SA-11 system."
  • "The social media showed them with this system moving through the very area where we believe the shoot-down took place, hours before it took place."
  • "Social media, which is an extraordinary tool, obviously, in all of this, has posted recordings of separatists bragging about the shoot-down of a plane at the time right after it took place. The defense minister, so-called, self-appointed, of the People's Republic of Donetsk, Mr. Igor Strelkov, actually posted a bragging statement on the social media about having shot down a transport. And then, when it became apparent it was civilian, they quickly removed that particular posting."
  • "But even more importantly, we picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing. And it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar. We also know, from voice identification, that the separatists were bragging about shooting it down afterwards."

Russian commentators, including Russia's president Vladimir Putin, have been advancing one fantastical theory after another to deflect blame from themselves. The most common theme is that the Ukrainian government purposely shot down the airliner to give themselves an excuse to attack the separatists. It's hard to think of any better word than "desperate" to describe these theories. CNN and ABC News and NBC News

Gaza war splits Arab states into competing alliances

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo on Monday evening, apparently to add one more effort to the long list of fruitless peace mediations he's attempted. In this case, he's teaming up with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a joint effort to negotiate a peace process between Israel and Gaza. Both Kerry and Ban have made statements in the last few days suggesting that they're critical of the number of Palestinian casualties that have resulted from Israel's ground invasion of Gaza, and so both Kerry and Ban are widely seen at least slightly favoring Hamas over Israel. 

In a sense, Kerry and Ban are playing out of their league because, really, no one in the Mideast really cares at all what they think. The Gaza war is inflaming a powerful geopolitical fault line in the Mideast, and events are not under the control any politician or group of politicians. 

The Gaza war is exposing two major factions: 

  • A Qatar-led coalition that includes Turkey, Sudan, and Iran. All of these countries are strong supporters of Hamas and have supplied money and weapons. Qatar and Turkey have also been very vocal supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the parent organization of Hamas.
  • Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Under the current government of president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi, which considers the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist organization, Egypt offered last week a cease-fire proposal and negotiation framework that Hamas immediately rejected and Israel immediately accepted. Israel and Saudi Arabia both consider Iran to be a mortal enemy, and they've discussed an anti-Iran alliance in the past. Egypt is struggling with the same kinds of terrorist attacks as Israel which it blames on Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, so Egypt and Israel are also allied.

Long-time readers of Generational Dynamics are aware of the predictions, over a decade ago, of an approaching war between Jews and Arabs, re-fighting the genocidal war between Jews and Arabs that following the 1948 partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. However, there's been a need to fill in additional details, and one of the most important and most puzzling "details" was how the different Arab states would align themselves in that coming war between Jews and Arabs. These alignments are now beginning to clearly emerge. 

I now have to add a word about Iran. As I've been saying for years, Iran will be an ally of the United States in the approaching Clash of Civilizations world war. This prediction is firm, but is only slightly related to what's happening in the Mideast. In the coming world war, China will be allied with Pakistan, and America will be allied with India -- which will be allied with Iran. The close ties between Hindus and Shia Muslims date all the way back to the epochal Battle of Karbala in 680, and the relationship continues to this day. 

This suggests that the above alignment (Egypt + Saudi Arabia + Israel versus Qatar + Turkey + Iran) may not be final. In fact, given that some 30% of Egypt's population is still loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood, and given the explosive rise of ISIS, many of the alignment "details" are still to be determined. Reuters and CNN Wire and AFP and Debka and Israel Hayom

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Ukraine, Alexander Borodai, John Kerry, Igor Strelkov, Vladimir Putin, Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood, Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi, Ban Ki-moon, Qatar, Hamas, Israel, Gaza, Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia,, China, Pakistan, India, Battle of Karbala 

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