Audycja o konflikcie na Ukrainie

Nowy obraz (1)W dniu 05 marca 2015 wraz z Danielem Szeligowskim (jako eksperci z Wyższej Szkoły Informatyki i Zarządzania) uczestniczyliśmy w audycji redaktora Adama Głaczyńskiego, „Między nami”, w Radiu Rzeszów. Audycja dotyczyła konfliktu na Ukrainie. Zapraszam do wysłuchania rozmowy:

Część pierwsza:

Część druga:

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Decision making process and it’s consequences: (de)stabilization of Iraq


There is a tendency among the politicians and decision makers (key to the world order) for the simplifying of the most important issues. It helps to “understand” the matter of the problem, and take some decisive actions. The problem is that without careful analysis and taking all – or at least as much as possible – of the details into consideration, such actions can lead to disastrous effects for all concerned. So we had the issue of „good vs. bad” in the case of Saddam Hussein: After his removal it was meant to be easy to build democracy. Another simplification was in 2009, when the number of causalities decreased in Iraq, which for many simply mean that the country was stabilized. Moreover President Barack Obama, who wanted to withdraw troops from Iraq, was also convinced (or pretended so)  that Iraq was stable. And now we try once again to simplify the problems of Iraq in the case of Islamic State (IS, called also ISIS, ISIL or Da’esh). The way it operates, the way it makes people think is at last a clear picture: bad people against good people. Many say that IS is so radical and brutal, that it exceeds everything in the human history and that is the enemy of all people in the so- called civilized world. There are voices from the nations of the West, the Middle East and others to join their efforts to defeat this nightmare. For many people, it’s clear, that defeating IS will bring stability to Iraq again. Unfortunately this easy and straight picture is based on an incorrect assessment, because the situation in the region, and especially in Iraq, is not simple at all. Such simplification was the cause of many mistakes and misjudgements in that region, and following such a line will cause future problems for not only the Iraqis , but also for the region and the West. The so- called Islamic State is not the most brutal organization in history, nor in the recent times, not in the region and not even in violent and brutal in Iraq itself. The invasion of the Coalition Forces (CF) in Iraq of 2003 changed the balance of power in the region radically. The programme for the rebuilding of Iraq seems to have been haphazard and poorly thought-through. The original plan of the Iraq rebuilding seemed to be reasonable: The Director of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, Jay Gardner, knew very well the situation in Iraq and realized the necessity of the difficult but fundamentally important status quo between the Sunni, Shia and the special role of the Kurds. But the replacement of Gardner by the pair of governors – Paul Bremer and Alamay Khalilzad, could not have been a worse solution. The first of them was meant to be in charge of US and CF and the second was to lead the rebuilding of the Iraq and establish new authorities with the necessary balance of power. Unfortunately those well prepared, discussed and widely consulted plans were drastically changed. First (and it seems, it was Bremer’s initiative) Khalilzad was removed from his position before he even showed up in Iraq. Then Bremer, after only a few consultations, and despite much criticism, decided to change the plan for Iraq completely. In just a few months, a man who had completely no experience in Iraq and seemed to be unaware of the pre-war plan for Iraq, made a chain of decisions which produced a completely new situation in that country. Bremer decided that keeping the balance between the groups inside Iraq after the war made no sense.

      First of all, he dissolved the Iraqi army. The composition of Saddam Hussein’s army was based on Sunnis holding the key positions but many Shia served in the army as well. Bremer switched it into Shia who were made the key personnel and he expected that Sunnis would fill the lower ranks. He wanted to reconstitute the Iraqi army with new recruits. So one of the first decisions was the banning of soldiers who were not in the barracks or in the battlefield from serving in the Iraqi Army. The same decision applied for the Police and Secret Service. In fact, at this moment it meant the disbanding of the Iraqi Armed Forces . He ignored the fact, that US Phyops, just before the invasion dropped tons of leaflets with warning directed to the Iraqi soldiers, that they have to stay in their homes in order to be brought back to the army after the war. The dissolution of the Iraqi Army, according to CPA Order number 2, made 385,000 armed, trained and quite well paid people unemployed. It meant those middle-class people couldn’t feed their families. Moreover, 285,000 policemen and 50,000 of Hussein’s Republican Guard were also dissolved, making the number of unemployed as high as 720,000 people who used to constitute the entire security system. Together, along with an ill-conceived “De-Baathifaction” policy, To create a new security system, at least few months was needed. In this period the Coalition Forces were responsible for keeping the law and order in the whole country. Another CPA order (released a little-bit earlier), dissolved also all civilian authorities of all main branches. Along with mashing of all Saddam’s system remnants, Paul Bremer removed all professional and experienced personnel of country infrastructure. Three highest layers of administration, responsible for every sphere of public life, from electricity or transportation, up to hospitals management were removed. In this case another 100,000 of people became unemployed. The chaos in the country was imminent.
Three years later, a new political cabinet composed of Iraqis was established. Together with the parliamentary elections which took place half year earlier, it was a plan for the democratizing of Iraq. In the parliament, as well as in the government, all main religious and cultural groups were included: Sunnis, Shia, Kurds. It was meant to be a national unity government, headed by PM Nouri Al-Maliki. Maliki was Shia, but he convinced US authorities that he would include all the important parties of Iraq . Unfortunately, in fact he did everything he could to bring the Shia to absolute power in Iraq, totally marginalizing all other groups. Even Iranians from Teheran University, asked by author of this text admitted that Maliki was not a good leader for building the national unity authorities (the author asked Dr Mohammada Hassan Khani, from Islamic Azad University in Teheran, during a conference at Łódź University, 7th of November 2014). At the same time, from the Iraqi prisons were released people who were supposed to be charged for political reasons. The problem was that most of the documents were destroyed during the military operation or burned by the security forces just before coalition forces entrance into the Baghdad in 2003. The new authorities didn’t always try enough to research the background of the candidates for the key positions in the country. Because of that, such people like Khalil Jalil Hanza, were put into positions of power (governor of the Al-Qadisiyah province). This man was travelling often to Iran for instructions and he led anti-Sunni politics. He was also fighting other Shia groups. All of that was very well known to Coalition Forces intelligence but they usually couldn’t do anything about it without complete control of the border. Under such conditions, the transfer of money for projects aimed in the rebuilding of Iraqi infrastructure, in fact ended up in hands of governor. He used it to enforce his position in fighting against other “war-lords” or increased his private fortune. When Coalition Force commanders decided to bypass the Divaniyah governor and to transfer the money for the heads of the main families, Hanza accused Polish or Bulgarian officers of direct support for terrorism. I experienced that myself, during one of the meetings with him in Camp Delta, south of Diwaniyah, when he accused Bulgarian Brigade Deputy Commander for support of terrorism. During the negotiations I was responsible for interpreting into polish language, and in some point he directed his accusation against me too, blaming me for lying and cheating in the translations.
Fights were evolving between all other breakdowns: Shia-Sunni, Shia-Kurds, and as most powerful, Shiites fought against other Shiite groups too. Shia Iraqis who lived in Iran and fought against Iraq in Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988), constituted the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq on exile. This body was created with use of the example of Iranian highest authority. The aim was to be prepared to rule the future Iraq. The moment for that came in 2003 just after invasion. This council was a basis for the Badr organization. Badr squads supported Nouri Al-Maliki’s government of in 2006. They also formed the religious militia, which was accused by the Kurds and Sunnis of being persecution of all other groups in Iraq. On the Iraqi side, the group of Iranian Shiites had it’s base, under Saddam Hussain’s supervision. They were also refugees, and fought on the Iraqi side in the Iraq-Iran war (1980-88). Those people – Mujahedin Al-Khalq, living in Camp Asharaf in eastern Iraq, were especially hated by the Iranian authorities. After 2003 another strong group of Shia fought against other Shia groups. It was Sadri organization (commanded by Muqtada Al-Sadr) and it was very well known to polish troops because of the Karbala battle.
Kurds, who had homogeneous community in the northern and north-eastern Iraq, strived for autonomy. But at the same time, Kurds were divided into many political parties, sub-cultural groups and have also different political aims. Seeing the growing chaos and violence in the other parts of the country, they distanced themselves as much as they could from the central government. Kurdish actions aimed in the separation from the Iraq provoked Iraqi Shia authorities. Also Turkey did not perceived Kurdish actions as a positive step. Their situation changed only after the Islamic State came to life in Iraq, when many international actors supported Kurds openly. Kurdish struggle against so called Islamic State, brought them US diplomatic support and shortly military equipment assistance. US started bombardment of IS positions which was coordinated with Kurdish fighters. Kurdish state in Iraq and north-east Syria is now as strong as never before and it seems that it is permanent situation.
After withdrawing of the US troops from Iraq in 2011, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and his Shia Militia, wanted to prevent Sunnis from creation another separate state. The aim was to keep the control of what left from the country, but also to keep total power of Shia over other groups. Shia militia was very brutal, made raids on the villages inhabited by Sunnis, killing or abducting the people.The Shia were now in all the positions of power and the Sunni found themselves deprived of any political representation in Baghdad, or banned from taking any key positions in the Iraqi army, police or any other key service. This marginalization ultimately led to disaster.

Situation in Syria and Libya
In 2011 in Syria, rebellion exploded; an effect of the Arab Spring , it was brutally pacified by the forces of Bashar Al-Assad . Such pacification was not unique in the region. On the same wave of the “Arab Spring”, people in Bahrain or Yemen were in a state of revolt and were killed in the same way as in Syria. Syria was – and still is – the ally of Iran, supporting both Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which are threatening Israel. The support of Hamas by Iran and Syria was (and still is) a cynical game, because Hamas is closely connected to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology which is at another pole of the divisions in the Middle East. The only reason for Iran’s support for Hamas is just having the basis and people who can help them to threaten Israel: Palestinians are the ultimate victims of those games which are played by the strongest in the region, which is another tragedy . All those circumstances drew the attention of the western world against Bashar Al-Assad; The West accused the president of Syria of being a cruel and brutal dictator and supported the rebellion. The FSA was prepared, trained and armed in southern Turkey or later in northern Syria by the French and US (inter alia) military advisers. The problem, which at the very beginning was hushed up in the western media, was that in the ranks the rebel forces, more and more Al-Qaeda fighters were appearing. Those well prepared, experienced and armed people, of the same faith and most often aims, were warmly welcomed by the rebellion’s leaders. In June 10, 2013, Abdel Basset Al-Tawil, commander of the northern front of the FSA, admitted in an interview in Al-Jazeera that he cooperated with Al-Nusra and his aim is to build together with them a state based on Islamic rules (Syria: searching for the “lesser evil” in: He mentioned that Sharia law is not a problem for them and that they agree with Al-Nusra in matters of ideology. If we add that support of the Sunni rebellion in Syria was also very much in the interest of the Gulf Countries (especially Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), itt shows why the FSA and Al-Nusra were so strong.
In the Spring of 2011, Muamar Qadafi in Libya was murdered after another rebellion – also caused by the Arab Spring, and evolving similarly as in Syria. The “rebellion” in was in fact the least typical of the any other “revolution” in the region. It was not the result of a mass movement as in Egypt or Tunesia, but rather clans – unhappy that their rival Qadafi ruling for so long. They persuaded French president Nicolas Sarkozy, with the large role of journalist Bernard-Henri Levy, that they had prepared a national unity government and that they would form a “model country” in post-Qadafi Libya (The shocking report of the circumstances of the revolt in Lybia, is well written by the Steven Erlanger: By His Own Reckoning, One Man Made Libya a French Cause, The New York Times, April 1, 2011). For France and for the new US President Barack Obama, it seemed to be a great opportunity to show a much better model of political transformation in the Middle East than the model George W. Bush presented. They had the support of the Arab League, African Union, and most importantly – of the UN. For both countries, such a victory over a “bad dictator” seemed very beneficial in terms of their internal and international policy: Of course, oil was also important cause of action.
The of the Western decisions was the removal of the Qaddafi clan from power and another cauldron of chaos in the region. What could, and should have been foreseen, is that rival clans and extremists from the southwest – such as Al-Qaeda of the Maghreb – were most happy to remove the Libyan leader. For them, it was the dreamed-of situation to strengthen their position. Disaster in that country also caused more problems for Iraq, because huge arsenals of weapons were emptied very soon after regime collapse. Those arms were spread to all extremists in the region but a large part was transported through the Sahara Desert, underneath tunnels to Gaza and further to northern Syria. It was mean to supply Syrian rebels fighting Assad, but in fact, it fell into the hands of Al-Nusra. This gave this Al-Qaeda branch another impulse to take the lead not only in the fight against Assad, but also for something much more. Finally, a large group of Al-Nusra members, some parts of the FSA and the most radical people coming there from all over the world ultimately formed the new group calling themselves Islamic State. The idea was to join all the territories in the north of Syria inhabited by the Sunni people, topple the Assad regime and create a nation- state throughout Syria and cross the border to connect with the Iraqi Sunnis, who were in a desperate position defending themselves against the Shia militia (which hasn’t changed, even in face of the IS threat : Iran’s Shiite Militias Are Running Amok in Iraq 21 February 2015, That IS growth and giving up the illusions of being “good rebels” fighting against Assad, caused the USA to commence air operations against Syria and stop supplying the FSA with arms. Abandoning the FSA made IS the only force in that area. When IS grew into real importance, their actions became much better prepared and they began a wave of of unprecedented brutality in order to threaten people in the region and to make it attractive to mercenaries or extremists who would like to join. The US government seemed confused and sent ambivalent signals; sometimes cooperation with Iran or Assad against IS, sometimes urging for the removal of the Syrian regime. Unfortunately it wasn’t the effect of the flexibility of US actions, but rather a lack of the strategy. During the same time, France, so active in 2011 in toppling Qadafi and supporting o the FSA, under new president Francois Hollande stayed quiet and otherwise preoccupied. Levy was giving interviews of how greatly democracy is burgeoning in Lybia (Mehdi Hasan interview: Meddling in other people’s business? Head to Head, Al-Jazeera, 08 Jun 2013 – in exactly the same way as a few years earlier, Thomas Friedman wrote in Newsweek that Iraq was becoming a model democracy (Thomas L. Friedman. 2005. “A Day to Remember.” New York Times. 154(53114): A27; Thomas L. Friedman. 2004. “Iraq, Ballots and Pistachios.” New York Times. 154(53061): 13). Propaganda is not so easy to spread in democracies. In both cases, the facts showed how cynical those most famous of journalists were.

IS in Iraq
The so-called Islamic State, using the chaos and very difficult position of the Iraqi Sunni, entered the Iraq. Many Iraqi Sunnis, having the choice of an unpredictable and totally hostile Shia militia or the brutal but at least Sunni Islamic State, chose the latter. According to Ahmed, with whom I’ve met in Turkey earlier this year, (Ahmed wanted to stay anonymous, which is understandable as he lives in Turkey with its complicated geopolitical situation between the Kurds and IS right now) after entering a village, IS kills all the soldiers and policemen and establishes establishes very hard conditions for living. But the villagers know that they will survive. Moreover, if they do not serve in the military or police and simply obey the new rules, they will have some safety, food and water, the basic levels of Maslov’s Pyramid. For many of those people, it is deliverance after oppressive Shia oppressions; they also have now a chance for their own country. Even if it’s brutal right now, they have the hope that after the country entrenches oneself, it will become easier with the rules and conditions of living.
In the same time, US policy in the region, was so ambiguous that all sides accuse them of supporting of the others. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Sunnis from Iraq claimed that USA and EU supports Iranian authorities to get a nuclear deal. From the other side, Ayatollah’s regime, Bashar Al-Assad and many Egyptians accuse US of supporting IS and Al-Qaeda. They claim that wars and chaos in the region are useful for US leadership. Paradox of this situation is, that both sides are partially right. Both Presidents of the USA of this period (2003-2013) improved the situation of Iran, causing it’s advantage over Iraq. George W. Bush, broke the balance of power between those countries. Barack Obama on his turn, striving for the nuclear deal with Iran, to prove his leadership and soft power abilities. By such actions President Obama allow Iran to spread it’s influences in the region and dominate the Iraq, support Shia in Yemen, Bahrain, enforce Syria regime. On the other hand, it can’t be denied, that US and France supplied FSA in Syria which helped a lot Al-Nusrah and IS. Even if it was not their intention, it does not take out the blame off them.
As a result, we have seen the development of the so- called Islamic Statewhich has strong social support and political justification, even if the West does not want to realize that. Of course, there is no justification for the terrorist methods used by IS. They are disgusting and are not a result of any religion, but rather a radical ideology, being the convergence of misinterpreted and cherry-picked fragments of the Qur’an and tendentious assorted Hadiths of dubious veracity, or sometimes simply propaganda slogans. The IS concept is far closer to fascism, which is also called Islamism or Islamo-fascism; it is, in any event, a totalitarian ideology. The tragedy of the situation is that such a radical ideology is now considered deliverance from 12 years of humiliation, threats, persecution and chaos for the Sunnis of Iraq. Sunnis have been deprived of their country, pushed into the margins of social life, banned from any political life, and later , armed with weapons from Libya or using the funds of Al-Qaeda, Qatar, KSA and others. The rest was made by the extremists from Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and IS.

In the present situation, there is no other way but to divide Iraq. The Kurds have defined borders and if nothing new happens, they will stay with it. And it is the most optimistic version of their policy. Many Kurds (especially those from abroad) claims that those small pieces of Kurdistan in northern Iraq and small scraps in Syria are far from enough: Their aim is to unite all Kurdish territories. And again, all those who support the Kurds fail to comprehend that it may well lead to another great war with Iran and Turkey or to continuous acts of terror in their territories. In the case of Iraq, even more imminent is the struggle between Shia and Sunnis. Any peaceful process of deciding where the line of division between Sunni North and Shia South could run is very difficult to imagine. Such a division without international arbitrage (which again is very difficult to imagine) means yet another war or series of wars. My friend Ahmed from Iraq (during our discussion in Turkey), said that even the south from Al-Hillah the territories fully belong to Sunni. On the other hand, the Shia will never let go from the line of north of Baghdad. It meand that discrepancy between the two is a belt of the most higly- developed and historical part of Iraq some 100 km wide: Between them is the ancient Babylon and many sacred places of both religious groups, which will serve as a cause for fresh wars for many years to come. Any attempt at international involvement – especially from the West – will be received as the a Sykes-Picot agreement, which even in the West, is now seen as the root of all of the troubles. The war between Shia and Sunni will be a casus belli for Turkey to intervene to protect the Sunni people and to limit the Kurds powers.
We always have to find some (even most academic) solution for the situation; in 2003 there were many possibilities on the table. from 2003 to 2008, the situation got much worse but still there were some possibilities of building a National Unity Government. Even in 2011, there were still some chances for a lesser evil which could stabilize the rest of the country south from Kurdistan. After that moment, when IS became the only alternative for the Sunni, the situation became even much more difficult. In summer of 2014, President Obama admitted that he has no strategy for IS. It means that the US administration is not able to start any coordinated and well prepared actions in case of IS seizing the area: All this happened despite the numerous think-tanks, advisers with the best knowledge and representation of all the Iraqi groups who could be summoned in Washington DC to find best solution. One thing is perfectly sure and the US administration should face it; there is no universal solution (like democracy in 2003, withdrawal and hope that it will be better in 2011, or bombing IS in 2014 and 2015). It is impossible to point out any single approach or action, and even a complex strategy is very difficult to succeed in Iraq. But even in such conditions, a comprehensive strategy is needed for Iraq very soon: A strategy which is not concentrated just on US interests or interests of the actors in the region, but on a quick cease fire and establishing a peace process with a two (Kurdistan – Iraq) or three (Kurdistan – Sunni part – Shia part) state solution. Such a solution would have to be worked out by talks which need to be led by the US and include Turkey, Iran, the Gulf States and Israel. But it has to be concentrated on Iraqis and their situation not on carving-up the oil-pie. I know how controversial it is for many to place these actors in these hypothetical talks, but a proxy war leads to a situation where without the withdrawal of outside actors funds or forces, improvement is impossible. As an answer to the question in the title, IS is the result of the Iraqi drama and dealing with just the results is pointless. The cause of the grim drama playing out day after day is a proxy war in Iraq where Iran, with use of its deadly militias, fights the Sunni and their deadly proxies, IS or Al-Qaeda. Both sides use extreme methods and the Iraqis are the just a tools and victims in these political wars for influence, oil, money and power. Only way of stabilizing the situation with respecting the rights of the each group inside Iraq is the real power in Iraqi government which is eager to build consensus or division of Iraq into three parts.

Map from the page:

Charlie Hebdo: Islam vs islamism

0003S06V8MF92JIX-C116-F4The day after tragedy in the office of the French satiric magazine Charlie Hebdo, politicians and most of the journalists, keeping the political correctness, express their outrage on the extremists, fanatics or just criminals. But most of the social networks and some right-wing politicians and media put it straight: Islam, as the whole, is guilty.  Muslims at all, according to them, are not capable of peaceful living in the western and also in any other culture. Most peoples say Muslims are guilty, because they do not want to integrate with other societies. They are violent because their religion is aggressive.

There are two groups of people like me, who call for the understanding. Not for tolerance of any kind of behaviour and any extremism, but fair treatment of any people despite the religion. One group, after such barbaric act – joined the chorus of those who desire the revenge on all Muslims. Others, try to stay reasonable, search for the sources of problem, and methods of treatment – not further radicalisation.

Radicalism is the thing we need to deny and condemn. Fighting Muslim minorities, is counter productive for peace and stability and same cruel as tragedy in Paris. Sending „them” back… but where? „They” were born in the Western countries. „Their” ancestors were often persuaded to come to Europe to work for the rich societies. For Europe to be tolerant meant allowing for everything according to „multi-culti” approach, which was a tragic mistake. West sponsored even people who were known from radicalism, because they were meant to „normalise” and praise their „benefactors”. When in Trafalgar Square British flag was torn or burned none got arrested because those who did it were „Muslims” – so we can’t provoke them. When in British city Rotherham young girls were raped systematicly (Dennis Prager 1,400 English Girls Raped by Multiculturalism ( it was also called „political correctness” and „tolerance”. Not to provoke „Muslims”. Rotherham became a tragic and sad symbolic result of so called „tolerance” and inter-cultural politics of the West.

By the time in the Middle East, societies produced new name for people who just use the Islam, but are in fact very far from Quran. The word is „Islamism”. Islamism is not any religion and it is not connected to Islam, just uses Islam insulting it in fact. My friend from Iran @SaloumehZ in summer 2014 called it islamo-fascism  ( She is an opposition to the so called „moderate” Iranian regime which executes from political reasons, second highest number of people in the world, just after China. West negotiate with Iran and just few days ago prezident Obama called Iran a ‚Very Successful Regional Power’ ( My friend from Egypt wrote that radicals high-jacked the Egyptian Revolution ( And yet West just condemned it’s new (military) president – Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, even if he was supported by the vast majority of Egyptians. President el-Sisi just day before the massacre in Paris called for a ‚religious revolution’ (, asking Muslim leaders to help in the fight against extremism. These are just a few examples of calls from the Middle East. Those calls are for those who cares and who could make a change. Yet the policy of the Western powers, was, and it is still, composed of the two most destructive points: 1. total „tolerance” in the West, and 2. conflicting for the oil and gas in the Middle East. In short, we start conflicts, which produce destabilization, to reach-out for the energy sources and because of this destabilization and lack of perspectives many immigrants come to the Europe. Between them many are extremists. For those people we create the best possible ground for further radicalisation and dragging there others. We not only tolerated their schools, universities, which are completely separate from the country education system (like it is with MeK – Mujahadeen-e-Khalq), but also finance their radical ideas and actions.

In the same time we call the Middle Eastern leaders to be more „moderate” in fighting the extremism. Imprisoning of journalists in Egypt is of course unacceptable, but from other side, Egypt have to curb radicals who try to connect to the ISIS. If Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and/or Bedouin tribes from Sinai establish permanent links to ISIS, but also to AQAP from Yemen, AQ and other extremists from Libya and Hamas, and get sponsorship from Qatar, it will be to late to regret, that another country fell into the chaos! There is a need of support for the regimes which have support of the people in their country, and are not hostile to the region or neighbours, even if they cross the line of the so called „Western democracy”. We should answer ourselves the questions like that: why president of Egypt do not start any persecutions of the Christians or even Shiites, and have a good relations with the Jews? Why he has still strong support of vast majority of Egyptians, despite deep economical crisis? Is El-Sisi aggressive toward his neighbours? In fact thanks to the GCC and Egyptian diplomacy right now he reconcile even with Qatar, what is very well visible, diminishing the tensions, and cutting off the financial support for the extremists. During Morsi’s presidency Egypt was radicalising inside, religious militias started to introduce sharia law. Outside, there was a growing tension with neighbours – strong political conflict and even sounds of possible military actions when president Morsi was struggling with Ethiopia over the Nile Dam project. Under Sisi there are no such conflicts. His primary opponents are the Muslim Brotherhood, who are the same Sunni branch.

As a conclusion, we need to see the difference between Muslims and islamists. Muslims know the difference very well, they underline it, and they also try to realise it to us. We have to understand it and we have to be on the same side with them against islamists. Western generalisations and radicalism, because of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, will not repair anything. Outrageous crying to send all Muslims back to the Middle East is nonsense. Searching for revenge on Muslims is even more than nonsense – its wrong, because when Islamists shout – that all Western people have to die, there are no innocent people in Europe or USA, we would do the same pointing at all Muslims as criminals. It is the path with death end. As I wrote almost two years ago, repeated it in December, (, I will write it again: We have to fight extremists – islamists – islamo-fascists in the Europe and support such fight in the Middle East. Fighting have to be made by the proper law – in the European countries, denying islamism, in the same way as fascism, international law, diplomacy, or, if it is necessary, by military. Fighting them should be proceeded together with Middle-eastern partners not just when IS is threatening. But also we should see our interest in the Middle East more long-sighted. Stabilization in the Middle East can be brought, and it would be beneficial first for the middle-eastern societies but then also for the Europe and for the USA, but the right perspective and very good policy is needed.

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Syria: searching for the „lesser evil”

Introduction written in December 17, 2014.

I have originally posted this article on April 28, 2013 in World Outline: I just added the introduction and the new conclusions to the old text.

The reason why I post it here also is that US president Barack Obama stated that he wants to intensify efforts to overthrow Syrian President – Bashar al-Assad. The same attitude was presented almost two years ago and the situation in Syria from that time has worsened very much. I like to present the article I issued then, when the situation was not such disastrous as it is today and I like to be like a warning to not make the same mistake as then.

Text of the article from April 28, 2013

There are always extreme situations which require military engagement, but it should only be the ultimate solution. This article argues that extremist influences in Syria are the real threat the world should be considering in the Syrian conflict.

The author, as a former soldier, is not a man who believes in a world without wars, but understands how wrong wars are. “Making peace and not war” sounds idealistic, or even unrealistic, but it should be the real mantra for any powers who have influence on the internal situation in Syria. It is not true that there are no diplomatic solutions in this conflict. Just the powerful countries cannot get consensus of what should be the solution for Syria.

Others – key players in the region – want to benefit from the situation without thinking about the victims of that war, which has been well described in Why the West should arm Syria rebels and Why the West Shouldn’t arm Syrian rebels. The West is in favour of ousting President Bashar al-Assad and subsequently establishing a new government of national unity. But at the same time, other opinions expressed by Russia and China call for dialogue and cooperation between the president and the opposition.

In Syria it seems that the only solution is to bring together government and rebels to fight against extremist tendencies within the opposition movement. In other words, the West should be more afraid of Al-Qaeda-like organisations than of Iran and its influence, as it is impossible to fight against too many enemies. Arming and supporting one of the conflicting sides, even if it is political or with non-lethal equipement, only pushes Syrians and outside fighters to engage deeper in heavy clashes. It has turned the conflict into a proxy war and it seems that it is spiralling out of the control of any party involved in the conflict.

In this situation, shipping arms to any side will just make the situation worse. Moreover, most of the world already agrees that the real threat for the people in Syria comes from extremists, who are not fighting either for the Syrian government or the opposition. Those fighters aim to destroy the previous order and to build some kind of unity spreading over boundaries, with an extremist idea and in opposition to most of the known world orders.

Those movements, like Al-Qaeda or Al-Nusra, have large support bases in some countries, and gain influence all over the world; especially in weak states, where war and chaos resulted in weak state structures. To defend itself against this kind of enemy, all – the West and Middle East, Far East – should find a way to build consensus. Key world players involved in the Syrian conflict (USA-EU and Russia-China) need to take a common stance to face this situation. Regional powers, such as Turkey, Iran, Egypt or Israel, would welcome a consensus. The main obstacle in doing so however, is Bashar al-Assad and his regime, because the West sets the removal of the regime as a condition to support any negotiations.

Russia and China argue for forcing the rebels and Al-Assad to negotiate, however, any situation of divided powers will enhance disagreement within Syria and strengthen the influence of extremists. Moreover, rebels are in mainly cooperating closely with the extremists, who are dominated by anti-Iran and anti-Assad propaganda. From another point of view, the opposition, which is divided cannot establish a credible leadership.

The most important question for the rebels in Syria is, what they can offer when winning the struggle for power? The case of Syria seems to be more like the situation in Libya than in Tunisia or Egypt. In Libya we had foreign intervention backing the side of the opposition, which was not united but formed of opposing tribes. In Tunisia or Egypt, the opposition was united with the military against the regime. However, even if the society composition in Syria is completely different from that in Libya, both are deeply divided.

As long as this turmoil is sustained, radicals are gaining advantage. Their power is the result of the support of the Syrian people, who are terrified by the calamities and depravity of war. Therefore, they are willing to support anyone who will give them stability. Arming rebels will bring the country to its knees sooner rather than later, and the moment will come when all sides will understand that this process only leads to the ruin of the country – not only in the sphere of infrastructure but it also changes the minds of the people involved.

Some comparison could be made to the conflict in Mali, which showed that, with the emergence of a common new enemy, common ground can be found to rebuild unity inside the country. In the Malian conflict, Tuaregs were returning to the position of the government because the worst enemy for both sides were the extremists. Such a strong, brutally determined and radical enemy should wake foreign powers to seek lesser evil. Most importantly, trying to unite the Syrian people to avoid the breaking apart of the society – as it is happening in Iraq – is the most important thing.

The best option would be to implement the arms embargo for every side fighting in this conflict. However, it will be impossible to stop the flow of weapons from Iran or Libya to the Syrian government and to the extremists from Iraq or Saudi Arabia to Syria. This makes the need even to bring rebels and government members to negotiations even more urgent.

The situation in Syria seems to get more complicated with every week. There is no easy way out of the civil war, but there is a burning need to decide on the lesser evil as the solution to the crisis. This lesser evil would be to support peace negotiations and hold up extremist influences as a common enemy of Syrian government forces and opposition members.

Conclusions for the December 17, 2014:

Following my conclusions from nineteenth months ago, I have to say, that the situation got much more complicated because there are still so called „rebels” fighting but the Al-Qaede and it’s affiliates has evolved into the so called Islamic State. In June 10, 2013, Abdel Basset Al-Tawil CO of the northern front of FSA admitted in the interview in Al-Jazeera that he cooperate with Al-Nusra and his aim is to build together with them a state based on Islamic rules. The interview shows that this commander’s ideology is closer to IS than to the western values imposed on „Rebels”. I strongly believe, that the policy of closing eyes for the complexity of the Middle East and dividing people on good – those who support West and wrong – those who doesn’t is extremely dangerous.

Russian „imperial” politics and economy on graph

Slajd1The last news about Russia falling economy and also disorder in the closest allies are the signs of growing problems of Vladimir Putin. One of the most interesting comments was made by his closest ally, Alexander Lukaszenka, who have said: „If Crimea is Russian, than Russia need to give back it’s territories to Mongolia” In Ukraine, Poland or Baltic states many people repeated such words very often, but between the highest ranked politicians it haven’t been said until now. In the interview, Lukaszenka says that not only Mongolia could have the historical claims on the Russian lands but also Kazakhstan. Such words have to be hurtful for president Putin as they underline exactly the hypocrisy of the Kremlin policy in the Ukraine, but also send message to Kremlin that both it’s closest allies deeply oppose it’s policy in Ukraine. So the problems of lowering of the Rouble and oil prizes – two largest concerns of Kremlin are getting now even more complicated, because of the growing discontent of the Belarus. Also Kazakhstan tries to distance itself from Kremlin policy. Few weeks ago president Putin, during his visit in this Large Asiatic country have questioned the nationality and by this, the rights to be self-dependent of the Kazakhs people. It was a strong signal that he will use all means to shape this coalition in the direction which only Moscow decide. Some understood it, as the strengthening of the Russian control of it’s area of influences. But after Lukaszenka words, it could be seen also as a desperate move, to frightened Kremlin allies who are very unstable in this so called Euro-asia Union. Graph shows the two most destructive trends for the Russian politics. It shows situation at the end of November but month later situation get dramatic. Russia worsen it’s situation in all spheres as a international player. Annexations, military operations in the neighbouring countries, weak try of rebuilding the imperial policy  led to the vast sanctions and econo-political operations, most probably prepared by USA and Gulf countries in the frames of OPEC – („Why the oil price is falling”, The Economist, Dec 8th 2014,, which caused Russian real loses and great weakening it’s next year total military budget. Even EU is much more united because of Russian continuous aggression and repeated obvious lies of it’s president. Now it’s time for Kremlin to get back to it’s more reasonable politics. Although the consequences will be long lasting for sure.

Regionalna polityka „imperialna” Rosji i ekonomia

Slajd1Rosja z różnych przyczyn, od kilku lat realizuje coraz bardziej agresywną politykę względem swoich sąsiadów. Wielu analityków, jako przyczynę, wskazuje brak reform i oparcie się na tzw. „rencie surowcowej”, co powoduje poważne trudności gospodarcze, „maskowane” wysokimi zyskami uzyskiwanymi ze sprzedaży surowców energetycznych. Taka polityka, powoduje ogromną wrażliwość gospodarki rosyjskiej, a przez to i systemu sprawowania władzy, na wszelkie zmiany w środowisku geopolitycznym i geo-ekonomicznym. Przykładowo zmiana ceny ropy naftowej w Arabii Saudyjskiej bezpośrednio wpływa na budżet Rosji, czy przeciek informacji na temat planów Rosji może mieć znaczący wpływ na wartość rubla. Niniejszy schemat pokazuje uwarunkowania tylko dwóch czynników: ceny ropy naftowej i wahania ceny rubla w stosunku do Euro. Oba te czynniki fundamentalnie ważne dla gospodarki rosyjskiej, ulegają silnym wahaniom w wyniku działań lub nawet tylko deklaracji najważniejszych polityków światowych. Niemniej jednak zasadnicze znaczenie mają tu działania władz rosyjskich. Jeśli istotnie, Prezydent Putin podejmuje działania przeciw Ukrainie w celu utrzymania się przy władzy, to ujęte na wykresie wskaźniki jasno pokazują granice możliwości prowadzenia takiej działalności. Dalsza eskalacja może zwiększać w ogromnym tempie szkody dla gospodarki rosyjskiej, które są nieodwracalne, podczas gdy negatywne efekty dla gospodarek europejskich są odczuwalne, ale w znacznie mniejszym stopniu wpływają na sytuację w Unii Europejskiej. Czerwona pozioma linia na dolnym wykresie ilustruje cenę 70 dol. za baryłkę ropy, która to cena jest uznawana za graniczną umożliwiającą stabilność rynku rosyjskiego, ale też sytuacji zarówno społecznej jak i politycznej w tym kraju (Wiktor Ross, KRYZYS W ROSJI 2008 – 2010 /w:/ ePolitikon nr 2 2012. Rosja XX wiek, s. 50). W dyskusji o stanowisku i działaniach Rosji, dominują dwa poglądy: 1. Rosja odbudowuje swoją mocarstwową pozycję, ponieważ wzbogaciła się na surowcach naturalnych i pragnie odgrywać większą rolę w stosunkach międzynarodowych, podporządkowyująć sobie kraje, niezrzeszone z UE i NATO. 2. Rosja jest prowokowana przez NATO, USA, a nawet UE i musi się bronić przed próbami zupełnej marginalizacji. Obie tezy mają swoich zwolenników co uzależnione jest od wielu czynników. Nie bez znaczenia są tradycyjne relacje międzypaństwowe, ale też relacje i zależności gospodarcze, czy też położenie geopolityczne. Oczywiście należy od razu podkreślić, że prawdy nie należy szukać jedynie po stronie którejś z tych dwóch opcji, ale stanowi ona pewną wypadkową, jest bowiem efektem wielu działań i zależności. Zamieszczony wykres i niniejszy tekst, są więc jedynie głosem w dyskusji. Niemniej jednak, dwa zilustrowane schematem czynniki wydają się zasadniczo ważne i pokazują pewne bardzo ważne tendencje. Tekst odnosi się do jedynie dwóch konfliktów: między Rosją i Gruzją z 2008 roku oraz rosyjsko-ukraińskiego z 2013-14 roku. Jeszcze wiosną 2008 roku cena rubla była na bardzo zadowalającym dla Rosji poziomie. Natomiast cena ropy pięła się mocno w górę, osiągając w czerwcu zawrotną cenę 140 dol. za baryłkę. Rosja dysponowała więc doskonałymi narzędziami, aby rozpocząć reformę własnego systemu gospodarczego. Sytuacja geopolityczna była też korzystna. USA i państwa europejskie uwikłane w konflikty w Iraku i Afganistanie, pogrążone w kryzysie nie stanowiły dla Rosji przeszkody, a wręcz przeciwnie szukały dróg do trwałej normalizacji stosunków. Wygląda jednak na to, że właśnie taka sytuacja została potraktowana przez Rosję jako szansa na wykorzystanie ogromnego potencjału. Jeszcze gdy rosło napięcię między Rosją i Gruzją, gdzie USA i UE dawały do zrozumienia, że Gruzja ma prawo do własnych, suwerennych decyzji, sytuacja geo-ekonomiczna nie ulegała zmianie. Wciąż cena ropy rosła a rubel utrzymywał się na korzystnym dla Rosji, stabilnym poziomie. Konflikt w Gruzji stał się jednak jednym z czynników stojących za gwałtownym spadkiem kursu Rubla, ale też ceny ropy zaczęły szybko pikować w dół diametralnie zmieniając sytuację Rosji. Oba te czynniki – zależne od siebie wzajemnie – jednocześnie potęgują efekt dla gospodarki rosyjskiej. W tym wypadku zmiana sytuacji dla rosyjskiej gospodarki była dramatyczna: Rubel od nieco ponad 34 Euro wzrósł aż do prawie 46 euro, a ropa ze 140 dol. spadła do niezwykle niskiego pułapu 40 dol. za baryłkę. Wojna między Rosją a Gruzją była krótkotrwała, a potem nastąpiła stosunkowo szybka normalizacja relacji rosyjsko – europejskich, mimo tego, że Rosja pozostawiła na zajętych terytoriach Osetii i Abchazji swoje wojska pod pozorem sił pokojowych. Zarówno cena rubla jak i ropy nie powróciły już do tak korzystnych wartości. Oczywiście nie tylko wojna w Gruzji miała tu znaczenie. W 2009 roku w Iranie przeprowadzono bardzo dramatyczne wybory w trakcie których doszło do masowych demonstracji. Na początku 2009 w USA wybrano nowego prezydenta, pragnącego zmienić relacje międzynarodowe USA szczególnie z Rosją i Iranem, za co nawet dostał pokojową nagrodę Nobla. W Iraku sytuacja nieustannie się pogarszała. Niemniej jednak, oba ukazane na wykresie czynniki stały się dźwignią umożliwiającą wpływ na działania Rosji. Już w 2009 roku, sytuacja Rosji zaczęła się znowu poprawiać. Korzystne ceny i zamęt na świecie (2011 arabska wiosna, od 2013 rokowania nuklearne z Iranem, wojna domowa w Syrii i wiele innych) spowodowały, że Rosja znów zyskała możliwości prowadzenia aktywnych działań na arenie międzynarodowej. Skupiając się głównie na zaznaczaniu swojej roli w sposób pokojowy, Rosja organizowała imprezy sportowe, szczyty państw itd. Pozytywnie z perspektywy Rosji wyglądała też sytuacja w otoczeniu: zupełnie uległa Białoruś, prezydent Janukowicz stopniowo wprowadzający Ukrainę w orbitę bezpośredniej zależności od Rosji, rosnąca zależność od Rosji Kazachstanu, Azerbejdżanu i Armenii oraz rozdarta wewnętrznie i upadająca Mołdawia. Wszytko to sprawiało, że w starciu na polu dyplomatycznym i gospodarczym, gdzie stawką były państwa należące do Partnerstwa Wschodniego UE, Rosja wygrywała 6:0. Rosja miała znów możliwość prowadzenia partnerskiej współpracy zarówno z państwami, w których utrzymywała wpływy, ale też zarówno bezpośrednio, jak i za ich pośrednictwem nawiązywać mogła lepsze relacje z innymi graczami. W dość szybkim czasie taka sytuacja mogła znów pozwolić na zreformowanie sytuacji gospodarki i unormowanie sytuacji wewnętrznej. Jednakże dobra koniunktura w niewielkim tylko stopniu przełożyła się na wzrost poziomu życia zdecydowanej większości społeczeństwa Rosji i państw zrzeszonych w ramach WNP. W istocie, mimo znaczących zysków oraz działań pokazowych w formie organizacji „igrzysk dla ludu”, relatywna sytuacja państw pozostających w największej zależności od Rosji, jak i w samej Rosji (z wyłączeniem Moskwy i kilku największych miast) stale się pogarszała. Permanentny kryzys społeczno-gospodarczy przejawiający się w rosnącej do niebotycznych rozmiarów korupcji i braku reform, spowodowały, że rosło niezadowolenie wśród społeczeństw tych państw. W końcówce 2013 roku społeczeństwo Ukrainy zbuntowało się, w wyniku czego, prezydent Białorusi podjął próbę prowadzenia bardziej niezależnej polityki, a Kazachstan testował Rosję i jej determinację do utrzymania tego państwa w swojej zależności. To wszystko groziło to utratą Azerbejdżanu nazywanego Katarem północy, a w konsekwencji utratą wszystkich najważniejszych wpływów. Kluczem do utrzymania wpływów była Ukraina i tam prezydent Putin zdecydował się na wariant siłowy. Znowu z obu wykresów, nie widać dużego zagrożenia gospodarczego dla Rosji. To raczej efekt aneksji Krymu i wojny w Donbasie spowodował spadek kursu rubla, szybko się pogłębiający. Potem nastąpiła gwałtowana obniżka cen ropy, co było o tyle zaskakujące, że w sytuacji bardzo dużej niestabilności na Bliskim Wschodzie, cena ta raczej powinna rosnąć. Działanie to ma być wymierzone w Rosję i Iran, a efekty są dla obu wymienionych krajów są bardzo bolesne. Rosja w momentach prosperity konsumuje, ale tylko w wąskim gronie elit urzędniczych – a raczej mafijnych państwa. Społeczeństwo nie zyskuje wiele, ciesząc się ze stabilności kraju. Jednak, widoczne wskaźniki ekonomiczne w połączeniu z brakiem poprawy życia poza Moskwą, prędzej czy później musiały doprowadzić do niezadowolenia społecznego przejawiającego się coraz ostrzejszymi demonstracjami. W państwie o tak charakterystycznej strukturze władzy jak Rosja taka sytuacja grozi przewrotem politycznym lub wojskowym, wobec czego prezydent podejmował radykalne działania, najpierw wymierzone we własne społeczeństwo, a następnie w sąsiadów. System propagandy zrzucał jednocześnie odpowiedzialność za wszelkie niepowodzenia na rzekomą agresję Zachodu, w tym NATO i USA. Taka retoryka zmuszała prezydenta Putina do demonstracyjnego „utarcia nosa” Zachodowi, a polem do tego stała się Ukraina, rzekomo pełna faszystów na usługach zachodu. Jednocześnie media prokremlowskie głosiły konieczność pomocy Ukraińcom będącym przecież według propagandy także Rosjanami. Wewnętrzna ambiwalencja jeszcze dodatkowo utrudnia prowadzenie działań zbrojnych, które muszą i z tego powodu jak również z chęci uniknięcia silniejszych sankcji być kamuflowane ćwiczeniami, słynnymi „zielonymi ludkami” prowadząc do tzw. działań trudnokonsensusowych.