Since March 2003 and the invasion of Iraq by the American armada, the Middle East lives under the hold of war and violence. Twelve years after this attack, ancient Mesopotamia is now ruined and torn apart while ethnic and denominational wars rage. Not far away, a new battleground, which has now lasted for four years, has opened up in Syria. This is a devastated Syria, which has seen the fate of its neighbor, Iraq. In this way, two birthplaces of human civilization are in jeopardy. And then there’s Yemen which, with an underlying conflict since 2011, is now in turn engaged in a bloody war whose end no one can see.
At the Western end of the Arab region, the Maghreb, the situation is hardly any better. Libya, now entering its fourth year of internecine war, demonstrates this perfectly. In Egypt, the new military powers – which are murderously tracking their opponents – are beginning mass trials never before seen in the world, creating a scary remake of witch hunts in primitive times. Lebanon, without a president or parliament since May 25, 2014, has fallen back into its old ways, and the slightest thing can reignite the spark of dissension. And then there’s Palestine, with wars lasting for 68 years, and it continues to experience hot and cold phases. This case has been made unsolvable; they want it that way, and a patent responsibility lies with Arab leaders incapable of raising their voices and giving the Palestinians some concrete help. But those who are putting the brakes on the emergence of a Palestinian state are the ones who are playing subcontractor to American and Western imperialism. Now, one common element links these different events in the Mashriq and the Maghreb: the full scale interventionism of the al Saouds. In fact, the Saudis, whose throne is only held under the protection of the United States, are not a little involved in the damaging situations in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, where Riyadh has been leading a destructive war, since March 25 in the latter. The Saudis have been well- trained, with their Operation “Decisive Storm” in Yemen imitating disastrous U.S. “storms” against Iraq, the Gulf wars, and Israel’s interventions against the Palestinians. The events that mark these Arab countries – especially since the so-called “Arab Spring” – cannot be understood unless the facts are put into their geostrategic context, and unless we revisit the failures of Arab leaders, more concerned with making their power last than with constructing strong states supported by the rule of law, democracy and freedom, and who, in doing so, have facilitated foreign interference. The United States and Israel especially have simply benefited from this situation to aggravate the divide between Arabs even more, if this were even possible. While they kill each other in new religious and/or leadership wars, their world is going backwards on all fronts.
This region, thanks to its historical and linguistic cohesion and its strength due to its nearly 400 million inhabitants, had the potential to become a great power. By contrast, it has slipped dangerously backwards and sunk into tribal and clan wars, spurred on by a rampant Wahhabism. While the so-called “Arab” world empties itself of its intelligentsia to the advantage of countries — the United States at their head — which are doing everything to keep it in obscurity and despotism, some Arab regimes, particularly Saudi Arabia, are giving a little decisive help to this Arab downgrading. In fact, Riyadh has full responsibility for the advent of radical Islam, having been at the origin of the foundation of the al- Qaida network in the 1980s together with the United States. Again it is Saudi Arabia that finances cross-border terrorism, particularly in Syria where one of its armed branches, the jihadist group Nusra Front operates, and its armed intervention in Yemen is moving toward destroying the poorest Arab country. In fact, all the ingredients have now come together to plunge the so-called “Arab” world into a 1000-year war. Al-Qaida and the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (IS/Daesh) – shouldn’t we be surprised that Daesh, which has destroyed the foundations of ancient civilizations in Iraq and Syria, isn’t lashing out at Israel or the United States? – seem to be aiming to send Arabs back to the Jahiliyyah period. How could it be otherwise when these terrorist groups are attacking the only Arab countries that have made modernity their belief? History will not fail to notice and emphasize Riyadh’s role in the ruin of the Arab world.