`Arab spring' plunges Middle East into chaos

Nobody is going to protect Syrian opposition; moreover, the U.S. makes
everyone believe she is not concerned about Syrian disturbances. The
same awaits Azerbaijani opposition.

`Arab spring' threatens to drown not only the Middle East, but also
the neighboring regions, particularly the Caucasus. A bad example is
infectious, and opposition in the South Caucasus, like crazy, is
trying to follow in the footsteps of `Arab brothers' and establish
something like Tunisia or Libya. Egyptian events are less attractive,
as they resulted in mere change of dictatorship, the new one possibly
being even tougher.

April 29, 2011

Especially active are the oppositions in Azerbaijan and Armenia,
despite the presence of the Karabakh conflict, which in case of
unhappy turn of events can become the horse on which the opposition of
the two countries will ride up to power. And if the Karabakh factor
plays a moderating role in Armenian, in Azerbaijan no one takes it
into account. And it's understandable - in order to overthrow the
Aliyev clan there are necessary much more powerful means than just the
boring phrase `we'll go and liberate'. The opposition in Baku says
almost nothing about Karabakh, fairly believing that it's impossible
to get very far on mere slogans if the majority of the population
lives below the poverty line and is so hopeless that the president
forgave them the debts for water. And all this is happenings against
the background of triumphant reports on GDP growth, powerful army and
inexhaustible reserves of oil and gas. Iraq and Libya have oil, too.
But nobody is going to protect Syrian opposition; moreover, the U.S.
makes everyone believe she is not concerned about Syrian disturbances.
Even the UN, despite its inability to do anything constructive, failed
to adopt a resolution on Syria. UN Security Council members proved
unable to issue a joint statement condemning the violence against the
antigovernment forces in Syria. The UN Security Council meeting, that
lasted nearly two and a half hours, limited itself to statements about
the position of each of the countries.

The Russian representative spoke out against adoption of a tough
resolution. `The current situation in Syria, despite the heightened
tension and confrontation, does not pose a threat to international
peace and security,' said Russia's deputy permanent representative to
the United Nations, Alexander Pankin in his speech.

Earlier, the UK, Germany, Portugal and France had proposed a draft
statement, strongly condemning the Syrian authorities. However, the
other countries, and especially Lebanon - the only Arab country in the
UN Security Council - opposed, and therefore the meeting was decided
to be held open.

Most likely, the resolution was not adopted because of Iran, which,
according to Western observers, is the country standing behind the
`Arab revolutions'. However, it's nothing but one of the hypotheses
among others, for Egypt, Tunisia, Libya are yet secular countries,
despite Islam, the proclaimed official religion. Most likely, they are
attracted at the Islamism of Saudi clerics. But if we draw an analogy
with the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan takes the place of Syria. Even if
the weak protest actions of the opposition escalate into more serious
anti-government demonstrations, no one will speak against the Aliyev
regime. Aliyev is even in a better position - he's got oil and threat
from Iran.

As for Armenia, nobody seems to take her seriously, for purely
geopolitical reasons. Under the current circumstances, it is good. And
but for the possibility of Turkish expansion - not military, but only
economic - one could talk about Armenia as the most peaceful country
in the region. The Turkish threat truly exists, and it cannot be fully
shrugged off. It is especially Turkey that can become a source of
tension in the region because of its close (in words) relations with
Azerbaijan and Georgia. Turkish investments in Azerbaijan make up $ 6
billion and it's a very serious amount for Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, about 700 Syrians crossed the border into neighboring
Lebanon, for an emergency situation in the country. Most of the
refugees are women and children. And they are all running into
Lebanon, a country with unstable home policy, because nobody knows
where the confrontation between the opposition and the Baath Party
will lead Syria to.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan / PanARMENIAN News

From: A. Papazian