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   Wczoraj /4.08.2014/w "The Guardian" ukazał się artykuł Iana Blacka "A guide to Middle East politics in 2014"  /TUTAJ/.  Jego najistotniejszą częścią jest krótki opis sytuacji w poszczególnych krajach z informacjami, jakie siły je popierają, jakie są ich wrogami i na co należy uważać.  Przedrukuję to poniżej:



  "Iraq



Population: 33 million



The country’s prospects depend on the ability of its dysfunctional post-2003 political system to become more inclusive – after its Shia prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, provoked an angry backlash from minority Sunnis who have never got used to losing the status they enjoyed under Saddam Hussein. Isis is cruel and sectarian, its extremism fuelled by anti-Sunni discrimination. It is provoking a counter-reaction by Shia militias linked to Iran. But Sunni tribes and Kurds have also been fighting back. The fall of Mosul and the capture of disputed Kirkuk have given the already autonomous Kurds, now exporting oil independently, a far stronger position. The division of Iraq into Kurdish, Sunni and Shia areas is a likely outcome. But formal partition will likely mean death on an epic scale.



Backs: Assad.



Against: Isis, Saudi Arabia.



Watch: Maliki, Kurds.



  Iran



Population: 81 million



Iran is more powerful in Iraq than the US these days. General Qassem Suleimaniof the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards rushed to Baghdad to organise its defences against Isis. Iranians talk a lot about defending the historic Iraqi Shia shrines of Karbala and Najaf – and loathe the Sunni extremists they blame the Saudis for backing. Hopes for internal change in the Islamic Republic have risen under President Hassan Rouhani but domestic politics are complex, with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling the shots on national security issues, including the contentious nuclear programme. Tehran attaches huge strategic value to its relationship with its well-armed Lebanese ally Hezbollah, deployed in support of Assad as well as in the front line against Israel.



Backs: Assad, Maliki, Hamas.



Against: Isis, Israel, Saudi Arabia.



Watch: Nuclear talks.



Syria



Population: 22 million



Assad, who hails from the country’s Alawite minority, was elected for a third presidential term in June. He has good reason to see things going his way in the fourth year of the war. Government forces, backed by Hezbollah and Iraqi Shia militiamen, have the upper hand, controlling Damascus and a corridor to the coast and the country’s largest city, Aleppo. But with an estimated 150,000 dead and millions of Syrian refugees abroad or displaced at home, the economy is in ruins. Isis’s embryonic Islamic caliphate, straddling the border with Iraq, is likely to continue to be a magnet for Sunni extremists. Fear of Isis has weakened western support for Assad’s enemies and boosted his image as a bulwark against extremism. The last UN envoy warned that Syria was becoming “another Somalia”.



Backs: Iran, Hezbollah, Maliki.



Against: Saudi Arabia, Gulf states, Israel.



Watch: Reduced western backing for rebels. Signs of Assad’s rehabilitation.



Lebanon



Population: 5.9 million



A deeply fractured polity at the best of times, Lebanon has suffered in the wake of the war in Syria and is hosting more than one million refugees. Hezbollah’s defence of Assad has exacerbated tension with the country’s Sunni community, with several bomb blasts blamed on hardline groups.



Backs: No one too clearly because of the country’s ever-delicate internal political balance.



Against: Israel.



Watch: Hezbollah.



Jordan



Population: 7.9 million



Jordan has taken in 600,000 Syrian refugees – following on from waves of displaced Palestinians and Iraqis in the past. The small, resource-poor but staunchly pro-western monarchy has weathered the strains of the Arab spring more successfully than others. Jordan discreetly allowed CIA training and Saudi arms to cross the border into Syria. Its leaders fear the appeal of Isis to disaffected Sunnis – al-Qaida in Iraq was founded by the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – but it has the best intelligence service in the Arab world. Maintains peace treaty with Israel.



Backs: Saudi Arabia, Sisi.



Against: Assad, Isis.



Watch: Security responses to unrest.



Turkey



Population: 81 million



Turkey does not want a divided Iraq. Wary of attacks by Isis and worries about Kurdish independence – not least because of the effect on its own Kurdish minority. The government kept quiet about the takeover of the nothern Iraqi city of Kirkuk by the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government. Turkey has important energy interests in northern Iraq and has provided extensive backing for anti-Assad rebels. Like Qatar it favours the Muslim Brotherhood elements of the Syrian opposition. Has banned Jabhat al-Nusra, a Syrian jihadi group linked to al-Qaida – reflecting worries about “blowback”.



Backs: Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas.



Against: Assad, Sisi.



Watch: Reactions to Kurdish assertiveness.



Israel



Population: 7.8m



Operation Protective Edge targeted the rockets and “terror tunnels” of the Islamic Resistance Movement, AKA Hamas, and killed more Palestinians than any previous offensive in the Gaza Strip. Binyamin Netanyahu’s government backs settlement in occupied territories and does not support an independent Palestinian state. Emphasised turmoil of Arab spring to downgrade interest in peace settlement. Fears a deal over Iran’s nuclear programme may threaten its own nuclear hegemony. Opposes further arming of Hezbollah. Has peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt but is losing support internationally, especially in Europe.



Backs: Sisi, Jordan, Assad, Saudis, Iraqi Kurds.



Against: Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, Isis.



Watch: Attempts to further weaken Hamas. New settlement activity.



Palestine





Population: 1.8 million (Gaza); 2.7 million (West Bank)



The latest Gaza war has been a terrible reminder of untenable status quo. Prospects for peace with Israel weakened by the Arab spring and divisions between PLO in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza, isolated by Israel and anti-Islamist military in Cairo, and by chaos in Syria. Rapprochement with the PLO was a rare move towards unity. Israel blamed Hamas for murder of three teenagers in the West Bank and launched crackdown. Western-backed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas looks weak, with nothing to show for security cooperation with Israel. No peace process for the first time in 20 years.



Backs: (PLO) all Arab states; (Hamas) Turkey, Qatar.



Against: (PLO) Israel; (Hamas) Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt.



Watch: Hamas-PLO unity moves; PLO quest for international recognition. Boycott and sanctions campaign.



Saudi Arabia



Population: 27.3 million



Saudi Arabia (with Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates) funded Sunni rebels in Syria and Iraq. Businessmen and clerics promoted Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, but the government is now coordinating with the US in backing only “vetted” non-jihadi Islamist units. The dismissal of Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan reflected a sharper counter-terrorist focus, sparked by fears of Afghan-style “blowback” from returning fighters. Saudi citizens travelling to Iraq now face fines. King Abdullah, 92, was horrified by the overthrow of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and furious with Barack Obama. Saudis fear a deal over Iran’s nuclear programme – and being abandoned by a US “pivoting” to Asia. Accused of quietly backing Israel’s war on Hamas.



Backs: Syrian rebels (not Isis), Sisi, Bahrain.



Against: Assad, Maliki, Iran, Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood.



Watch: Strains over royal succession. Counter-terrorist moves.



Bahrain



Population: 1.3 million



Western-backed Sunni monarchy, hosting US naval base, repressing island state’s restive Shia majority despite professed committment to political reform. At the heart of the region’s sectarian fault line.



Backs: Saudi Arabia.



Against: Iran.



Watch: Unrest.



Qatar



Population: 2.1 million



Fabulously wealthy Gulf state uses Al Jazeera TV and support for Islamists to punch above its weight with an independent foreign policy at odds with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf neighbours.



Backs: Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas.



Against: Sisi.



Watch: Fence-mending with Gulf neighbours.



Yemen



Population: 26 million



Poorest country in the Arab world. Running out of water as well as oil. US drone strikes, launched from Saudi Arabia, target al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula but often kill innocents. Attempts to reach a ceasefire between Yemeni army and Houthi rebels (said to be backed by Iran) failed. Tribal sabotage of the electrical grid left the capital city Sana’a without fuel or electricity earlier this year, prompting mass protests calling for the overthrow of the government.



Backs: Saudis.



Against: al-Qaida. Iran.



Watch: Fuel and food shortages. Drone strikes.



Egypt



Population: 86.9 million



President (formerly Field Marshal) Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, elected in June, has vowed to crush the Muslim Brotherhood and banned it as a terrorist organisation. His military government overthrew democratically elected but unpopular Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, killing and imprisoning thousands. Egypt emphasises commitment to crushing jihadis in Sinai, the strategically vital peninsula bordering Israel. Maintains a peace treaty with Israel and keen for continued US military aid. Receiving massive financial support from Saudis and Emiratis. Accused of effectively backing Israel against Hamas.



Backs: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, Assad.



Against: Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Isis, Iran, Qatar.



Watch: Sisi’s grip on the economy. Relations with US.



Libya



Population: 6.2 million



Risks becoming a failed state three years after Nato-backed rebels overthrew Muammar Gaddafi. Central government in Tripoli is unable to control hundreds of militias, especially Benghazi-based jihadists of Ansar al-Sharia. Former general Khalifa Haftar is waging a war of “dignity” against Islamists. Low turnout in parliamentary elections; militia violence, as well as power, fuel and water shortages disrupt daily life. Evacuation of US, UK and other foreign embassies underline growing international alarm.



Backs: Sisi.



Against: Qatar.



Watch: Political dialogue between rival groups. Slide to civil war



Tunisia



Population: 10.9 million



Lone poster child for the success of Arab spring uprisings. Its deposed dictator,Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, lives in gilded exile in Saudi Arabia. The Islamist al-Nahda party, close to the Muslim Brotherhood, stands out for accepting the need for power-sharing with rivals and playing down interest in Sharia law. The political system is still fragile, while polarisation and violence in Egypt and Libya make Tunisia’s transition all the more difficult.



Backs: Algeria, Morocco, Libya.



Against: Jihadis.



Watch: Elections in October.



  Mam nadzieję, że ten przeglad pomoże w zrozumieniu sytuacji na Bliskim Wschodzie.  Warto zauwazyć,  iż obejmuje on tylko jawną część polityki.  Jeśli dołożyć do tego działania tajnych służb rosyjskich, amerykańskich, zachodnioeuropejskich, izraelskich, a zapewne także chińskich, to obraz Bliskiego Wschodu stanie sie jeszcze bardziej skomplikowany.  Przypomnę, że Isis oznacza tu radykalną grupę islamistów, która pod koniec czerwca ustanowiła "kalifat" w północnym Iraku i północnej Syrii.

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