2011-09-09

Turkish foreign policy - first fails - Analytical paper

The consequences of the Arab spring can bring more shifts in the region with the worsening of the Turkish-Israeli relations. The current developments on the Middle East are perfect indicators of the defective nature of the today’s Turkish foreign policy. While cheering the innovative approaches and fresh looks of the AKP governments towards the regional issues with the rise of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party, many observers paid no or little attention to ideological and thus less pragmatic components in party’s agenda. Failures of the Turkish foreign policy in the region are therefore worth examining for better understanding of the possible tendencies in its politics in the large.

Being long time an ally of the western powers meant for Turkey stable relations with Israel, despite the hostile feelings that has been common in the region of the Middle East towards the latter. The fact that views of the Turkish governments till recent time, being under the influence of the army establishment, on the regional problems were to great extend similar to those in Israel.  The cooperation between the two continued even after the political forces with Islamist background came to power in the beginning of the 2000’s. Though, the rather close relations with Israel provided much room for maneuver in many regional problems such as counter-terrorism or in dealing with Syria on PKK terrorist activity, the Turkish government chose to sacrifice close relation to Israel for positive image among the Arabs, resulting in the degradation of the relations with once strategic partner, especially when it came to criticizing of the Israel’s military operation “Cast Lead” against Hamas in the Gaza by the Turkish leader on the Davos summit.

The current period of worsening of the relations between Turkey and Israel is somewhat a continuation of the evolution in the domestic politics: AKP’s government has got all controls over the decision-making process after it became clear that army is not capable any more of following its own line. Desecuritization process has been accepted as necessary even from outsiders, because these measures were seen as a part of country’s democratization on the whole. However good implications of this trend were and will have, it should be taken into account, that changes in Turkey were made by the political forces with Islamist background with a specific Weltanschauung  both on domestic and foreign politics.

Enjoying new state of affairs at home, AKP preferred to try implementing its agenda in the region not by a rational means, nut rather by employment ideological narratives, thus exploiting public sentiments in attempts to strengthen Turkey’s positions in the region. On the other hand, it is not a secret that Israel has yet succeeded in establishing positive image in the neighborhood societies, thus making for its allies like Turkey hard to maintain cooperative relations with the former. The end of positive trend of the Turkish-Israeli relations, especially after the Mavi Marmara case and the recent Palmer report, is not good for Turkey, mainly due to the important strategic role of Israel in the regional issues. Such gestures can be eventually interpreted by Tureky’s western partners as a change of direction from west to east and what is more important as the enhancement of the ideological elements in its foreign policy.

The stalemate in the negations over Cyprus and demonstration of the Turkish Cypriots may be seen as further indicator of the defectiveness of the Turkish foreign policy. AKP has not yet succeeded in overcoming of the problems created by the referendum and the island’s accession to the EU in 2004. The absence of real influence on the EU’s support and thus on the course of events resulted in the rise of general feeling of despair not only in Turkey but also among Turkish Cypriots, who expressed their opinion in demonstrations against Turkey, blaming it for the failure on the talks over the island’s status. That all made the change of Turkey’s position on the conflict from support of the status quo to the advocating the Annan plan useless, since army’s positions, obviously the only once rationally acting broker, were undermined severely as a result of the long-lasing trend in the country.

What is more, in regard to neighborhood Syria, that has long been one of the AKP’s achievements internationally, Turkey demonstrated the lack of genuinely strategic thinking: while criticizing Syria without undertaking any actions against its regime particularly by supporting sanctions proposed by the USA, Turkey faced internal problems in the form of terrorist activity thus indicating country’s vulnerability. Being unable to fight terrorist more active as it was in the past, due to its image of a democratic country heading to the EU, Turkey has become dependant on stability on its borders. Duality in the Turkish foreign policy, particularly its support of the regime challengers in Libya and passive stance towards Assad’s Syria or in contrast limited critique on the eve of the elections, makes it clear that Turkey’s vision of the regional developments needs to be revised to be more pragmatic and thus more effective.

To sum up, the current state of Turkey’s foreign policy and the way, who this country is dealing with the challenges, unfortunately demonstrates that defective elements or to be more precise the ineffective ideological narratives are beginning to play the leading role in country’s regional approaches. Ideological components make it impossible to cooperate with all important players in the region thus making any progress not complete. Being perceived by many as an example of the progressive Muslim political force, Turkey’s government must also demonstrate to its neighbors how to act externally basing on the rational foundation in its foreign policy.

2011-09-06

Analytical paper: Israel and the recognition of Palestine

The coming attempt of the Palestine Authority to push the Palestine recognition during the UN General Assembly in mid September may lead to the unprecedented shift in the region amid the current instability in Syria and transformation period in Egypt.Though both main players Israel and its ally USA expressed their opinion on the Palestinians' plans as being premature, the Fatah's political establishment has been at pains last half of the year to gain international support therewith scoring by the demonstrative reconciliation with its political rival Hamas. Despite the fact that there are modest chances for the positive outcome for Palestine, it is nevertheless worth examining the Israeli factor in the coming recognition declaration due to importance of its stance towards the Palestinian side and its reaction on the possible developments on its borders.

First of all, it is necessary to take into account the changed environment when we talk about the possible Palestinian recognition and Israel's reaction on it. The continuing suppression in Syria may turn into the cause for the clashes in neighborhood Lebanon, where the Hizbullah feels more and more insecure and where the pressure of the moderate political forces in the government increases significantly, thus contributing to the instability in domestic politics.

In Egypt, after the fall of the Mubarak's regime the voices for the revision of the agreements with Israel are becoming louder with the main advocate of this revisionist policy Muslim Brotherhood gaining more and more chances to be the leading political force in the coming government. Though the army-backed transitional governments have already pledged the peaceful transformation, military is today the only power that is actually making decisions and much is up to their stance. Moreover, the long lasting cooperation with Turkey was doomed to deterioration after the hard-liners in Israel had indicated their principal refusal to concede though symbolically in the Mavi Marmara case.

The current misfortunes and challenges in the Israeli foreign policy may been regarded as the result of the passive stance towards the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict in the post-Ehud Barak governments. The lack of will to be active is in turn to be seen as the core stone in the today's ideological right camp in the Israel's political landscape. Depending on the participation of the ultra-orthodox elements and seeking the approval of the considerably influential conservative electorate the Netanyahu's government is forced to be tough and uncompromising in the dealing with the Palestinian side on the settlements and borders.

Needless to say, that the Israel's policy of disengagement contributed considerably to the loss of the Fatah's support in the West Bank, whereas its counterpart, the Islamist Hamas has successfully proved its popularity in the Gaza despite the blockade and what is more important its capability to control the territory. So, Israel finds itself in rather delicate situation when it faces the united Palestinian side, which Israelis wanted for so long to negotiate with, but with the Islamist, who deny the Israel's right to existence, playing the leading role.
Domestically, the right-of-centre coalition showed it reluctance to the social-economic challenges thus forcing the broad masses to go on the demonstrations and demand more attention to the internal problems rather than external.

Whatever the result of the mid-September UN General Assembly, the reaction of the Israeli government on the possible development of the events can define the further evolution of the conflict. The third Intifada definitely can not bring the benefits none of the sides, rather it can repeat the destructive aftereffects in Israel and more significantly in the Palestine territories. The rationalistic stance of Israel can in contrast contribute positively to the stalemated talks, but seeing the harsh signals, made by the Netanyahu's government, and its hawkish stance make it almost impossible to hope for the better future.  

2011-08-07

Analytical paper: Turkish military's mass resignation

On 28 July top 4 generals of the Turkish armed forces resigned at the meeting of the High Military Council (turk. Yüksek Askeri Şura - YAŞ). The mass resignation happened as the court charged 22 top officers suspected in the organizing campaign to undermine the current government. On 12 July the Interior Minister said that the Gendarmerie Intelligence and Counterterrorism Group Command (JİTEM) [1], created by the Gendarmerie General Command to fight against terrorism and that is accused of numerous murders in the eastern and southeastern Turkey in the late 1990-s, has been still operating under the different name. Two days later 13 Turkish soldiers were killed in the Diyarbakır Province by the terrorists from the PKK. As it was circulated in the press, this resignation was the protest of the military establishment against the actions of the government in persecution officers that allegedly took part in the 2003 plan "Sledgehammer" to topple the AK party. Though the resignation was unexpected it may be seen as a result of the 14 July attack when 13 soldiers were killed by the PKK terrorists. The later investigations, conducted separately by the General Staff and the government, suggested that the lack of competence of the military and the ill system of response were in fact the reasons of the high toll of casualties.

The resignation of 4 generals, the investigations of Ergenekon case and the failures in the war against the PKK are only the visible part of the ongoing process. There is no doubt that modern Turkey represents one of the rare cases of the countries where relations between the military and the civil government have been developing in more or less peaceful way. Though the army, that perceives itself as the main keeper of the Atatürk's legacy, has demonstrated its ability to intervene into the politics by organizing several successful coups and to topple the political establishment that somehow threatens the Turkish republican order, at the same time the army has however revealed its capacity to the self-restriction by transition of the power to the civilian governments after each military coup d'etat. The Islamist parties (Refah Partisi and later Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) beginning in the 1980-s and being armed with the policy of the EU harmonization have long been in pains to get the army under the civil control. The result of this policy was the beginning of the Ergenekon case, when there were demonstrated the connection between the military and the criminal (terrorist) organizations. The success of the parties with the Islamic agenda in the struggle against the military establishment may be explained by the successful economic policy of the former and rise of the popularity of the religious rhetoric after the end of the bipolar Cold war.

The successful changes in the top army administration at the YAŞ meeting were only the latest step towards the full subjection of the military. Already in the past there were signs that the military isn't able to do something against this tendency, Among these symbolic gestures were the silent approval of the Annan plan on Cyprus introduced in 2004, that called for the unification of the two divided communities into the federation, and the nonparticipation in the Iraqi campaign in 2003.[2] Much more important was the attempts of the AK governments in the last 10 years to desecuritisize the Kurdish issue by implementing of the new approach to the regional problems. The threat of separatism and terrorism is perceived in the society as the main danger to the public order and therefore the war against the PKK is particularly important in the domestic politics. From this perspective, as AK party was trying to solve all the existing problems with the Kurds primarily by the political means, the settlement and the peace initiatives deprived the army of the foundation for their legitimacy as the keeper of the order in the country.

[3]
All the changes in the relations between the military and the civilian government, including the constitutional amendments 2003-2007, are regarded as the movement in the right direction. The more the civil government under the AK party's rule approaches to the EU's standards, the more evident becomes the process of the army's subordination. To date the parties to the process have been demonstrating the prudence and thus refraining from the open conflict. Though being the part of the broader democratization trend in Turkey the development of the military-civil relations, where the military gradually gets under the control of the civil government (as in the majority of the democracies), also should be seen as the rivalry between the army and the moderate Islamists that be exploited by the latter in their aspiration to fulfill the hidden agenda of establishing the Islamic norms and thus abolition of the Ataturk's principles that have been guiding Turkey through the past 80 years of the republic.

And the hidden and contradictory process is going on. The military still enjoys the much autonomy in their actions. The decisive driver for the army to take the lead (coup) might be the defamation of the Atatürk's legacy and the principles of the Turkish republic, where the secular nature of state is one of pillars, though it is doubtful whether AK party will ever dare change it, at least in the near future. In the long rung, the army is going to exert influence in the politics unless the new constitution is made and the system of the military educations is changed.


[2] Bulent Araş, Rabia Polat. Turkey and the Middle East: frontiers of the new geographic imagination, p.474
[3] Foreign Policy Perceptions in Turkey TESEV-publications, may 2011, p.10



2011-07-28

The controversies between Syrian domestic and foreign policies

Current events in Syria can undoubtedly be seen as the result of the inability of the Assad's regime to overcome its imbalances that have been deepening for last 10 years. Although the durability of the regime based on the permanent suppression of internal opposition has enabled the Assad's clan and Alawites minority to rule the country, the methods used by Assad can not provide legitimacy forever.  Nevertheless, despite the inherent instability of the regime, the Syrian ruling elite has demonstrated the skillful use of the tool in its foreign policy. Although Syria has been placed in the unfriendly surrounding where all the possible foes of the regime have much more military power to demolish its troops, the Syrian regime has demonstrated that it can and is able to overcome these strategic shortcomings and disadvantages by deployment other means of influence on the regional affairs.

The developments in the relations between Syria and its neighbors (Israel, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey) reflect the capacity of the regime to balance between the external and internal threats. In comparison to the domestic affairs, Syrian foreign policy has long been shaped to great extend by the public opinion, or at least been largely approved by the people. Even the vehement opposition of the regime appraised its successful foreign policy, despite the hard conditions in relations with such regional players as Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. 

The war 1967 (more) between Arab nations and Israel resulted for Syria in the loss of the strategic territory in the Golan Heights. The defeat of Syria was perceived by the broad masses of people as a national tragedy and the return of the occupied land has become the constant agenda in the foreign policy in Syria[1]. The military solution that had long been accepted as the only means to get the Golan Heights back, was rejected due to the increased cooperation between Israel and USA, the collapse of once united camp of the Arab nations and the end of the USSR's military support as a result of the latter's collapse. 

The Lebanon's place in the Syrian foreign policy can be described as the relations between the core and the periphery of the once existed state of the Greater Syria[2]. The colonial rule by France ended in 1946 resulted in the separation of historically bounded territories, leaving Lebanon outside the Syrian statehood. Nevertheless, the hopes of the possible unification have never faded in the minds of the ruling elite in Syria armed by the new ideology of the pan-Arabism, the center ideological principal of the Syrian Baath party, that came to power in  1963. The developments of the last 50 years in Lebanon has enabled Syria not only directly influence the politics in this country, where the conflicting sectarian groups haven't for long been able to compromise, but also, what was more important for Syria, to exercise pressure on Israel. 

Having limited military capacity in the conflict with Israel, Hafiz Assad found using the help of the radical islamist groups very productive in the rivalry where the enemy has superiority. However, even putting the accent on such a networks and groups engaging in Palestine and Lebanon, the Assad's regime spent huge financial resources on the maintaining its military power and internal security apparatus. 

Huge spending on the army however should be explained solely by the threats of the external nature. The Assad's regime existed due to the successful oppression of the opposition. Among them are the Muslim Brotherhood, that began its political activity in Syria in 1961 following the ideas of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. The Brotherhood was undoubtedly the only political force in Assad's Syria capable of challenging the regime, thus it was the  movement who suffered the state's suppression the most. The conflict between religious oriented Brotherhood and the regime, preferring not to resort to the religious agenda due to the strained relations between sectarian groups of population, resulted in 1982 massacre of 10000 people, killed by Hafiz Assad's army.

Cooperation with and support of active militant groups such as Hamas in Gaza Strip or Hizbullah in Lebanon, that have anti-Israel agenda, provided Assad's regime with the effective unconventional means in the conventional war, though not declared Muriel Asseburg (Hg.) Regionale (Neu-)Ordnung im Nahen und Mittleren Osten und die Rolle externer Akteure, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Deutsches Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit, S 7, März 2007, Berlin.. Even when there were attempts to stabilize relations with Israel and the agreement on the return of the Golan Heights was about to be reached, neither Hafiz Assad nor his son neglected playing Hamas or Hizbullah's card. Even the relations with Iran were defined by the strategic necessities of both, but not by the cultural and historical closeness. On the other hand, Hafiz Assad was always ready to fight Muslim Brotherhood that though was much more moderate in its rhetoric, was seen however as the major threat to the regime.

More obvious such an approach to the militant groups by the Syrian regime can be demonstrated on the example of the relations between the latter and Iraq. After the beginning of the war waged by the USA in Iraq with the aim to overthrow the Saddam's regime, Syria was accused of the support and sheltering the former members from the Saddam's government. Moreover, with the discovering in 2007 of the so called records Sinjar records[3], that proved the support of the Iraqi insurgency by the Syrian government (or at least by its indirect complicity), regime in Damascus has experienced the feeling of the imminent danger. 

Denying all the accusations, Bashar Assad decided however to cooperate with the USA in the fight against the Iraqi insurgency by sharing intelligence information and tightening the borders, that on the other part could be caused by the increasing number of refugees from Iraq. Nevertheless the fact that Syrian regime, who once decided to supported the recruiting network for Iraqi insurgency[4], finally stops its activity and begins cooperating with the USA after it becomes evident that the latter is about to implement necessary measures against the supporters of the terrorists and after Syria's own radical militants signalize that they are ready to use their guns against the Assad's regime, demonstrates the high adaptability of Damascus being under the pressure.

The capacity of the regime in changing its foreign policy and its methods in accordance to the growing external pressure can be vividly demonstrated be the development of the Syrian-turkish relations during 1990-s and 2000-s. The main issues between the two countries have long been the disputed Hatay province and the activity of the Kurdish PKK, members of which were long sheltered in Syrian border regions not thanks to the efforts of the Syrian government. Syria has been suppressing the Syrian Kurds whereas provided safe heaven for the PKK-fighters. However, after the escalation of the confrontation with Turkey, Syria showed it readiness to sack the terrorist organization. Only after the warming of the Turkish-Syrian relations it became possible to say that Syria stopped using Kurdish card towards Turkey.

After seeing how proficient the Syrian foreign policy was in the last 2 decades in the relations with regional main actors the only question still stays unanswered why by having such a genuine in the foreign policy the regime has failed to maintain the internal stability that resulted in end effect in the open revolts against the Assad's clan?



[1] .Itamar Rabinovich. How to talk and how not to talk to Syria: Assessing the obstacles to and opportunities in a future Israeli-Syrian-American negotiation. Middle East MEMO, №18, May 2010.p.2
[2] Raymond Hinnebusch, “Syrian Foreign Policy under Bashar al-Asad”, Ortadoğu Etütleri, July 2009, Volume 1, No 1, pp. 7-26
[3] Matthew Levitt, Syria's Financial Support for Jihad \\ Syrian Terrorism, Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2010, pp. 39-48
[4] Michael Rubin, Syria's Path to Islamist Terror \\ Syrian Terrorism, Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2010, pp. 27-37

2011-07-20

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Arab Spring

The Muslim Brotherhood (for the Arabic al-Ihwan ul-Muslimuuna) through its history since the establishment in 1928 has demonstrated the high degree of adaption to the changing surrounding by revision of its tactical positions though being true to the basic ideas developed by its founder Egyptian theological intellectual Hassan al-Banna. Despite the changing rhetoric of the members from the Muslim Brotherhood the cornerstones of the its ideology have been always the same. As Hussein al-Banna formulated it, the Brotherhood is a genuinely Islamic movement inspired by the desire for the establishment truly Islamic society. This has always been seen possible by the following three different ways. The first one presupposed the struggle against the unwanted governments or external forces by the military means. The strategy of the open conflict with the existing government had been long used by the radically minded members of the Muslim Brotherhood, however this tactic didn’t prove to be fruitful in the era of the Abdel Nasser's strong regime. Instead of the resistance to the regime established after the Egypt's independence the Brotherhood focused its attention on the another two methods of the gaining its ideological goals, notably political participation and the social activity in the poor and uneducated population[1]. The first was doomed to be practically fruitful in the political framework of the post-Nasser's regime, however in the 1970-1980's the state loosened its grip following the political liberalization and the MB got the chance to challenge the system by political means that in fact led to new oppression in the first years of Mubarak's presidency.

So only the social engagement and work with people became the only possible chance to propagate the ideas of the movement what therewith was corresponding to the al-Banna's view on the BM as a social movement. And though it was forbidden in the constitution to form political parties on the basis of the religion or ethnicity the MB could easily nominated own members as the independent candidates (the result of this strategy can be clearly demonstrated by the results of 2005 elections when the MB's "independent" members could gain almost 20% of votes) and even form a coalition with other smaller parties like liberal Waqd-party under the tolerable oversight of the government.

The way how the MB has been evolving all these years shows the influence of the established political conditions in Egypt. Though the confessional party were prohibited the MB managed to push through its members in the parliament. Despite the fact that the MB has long been obscure in its intentions, since there was not clear how exactly the MB wants from the government and the politics at large and the more interesting how this movement wants to achieve its goals, it was at the same time clear that the mainstream of the MB was always true to the ideas of al-Banna on the establishment of the Islamic state following the gradual implementation of Sharia. It seems that vagueness and the universal character of its program enabled the MB on the one hand to survive in the anti-Islamist surrounding and on the other hand to attract as more supporters as possible. The dawa or the spreading of Islamic ideas in the society and thereby social work with the deprived people was the domain where  the MB was successfully gaining points on the state's losses. The education, medicine or employment were spheres where the MB got its support, and its work has long been seen positive even by the government due to its inability (and inefficiency) to provide these services.

Before the upheavals in January 2011 the MB had a well organized infrastructure throughout the country what made the movement the most influential political force after the Mubarak's resignation. Though the core of masses on the anti-governmental demonstrations was made up by the youth and there weren't any pro-Islamic slogans during the revolution (what has let to the presumption that the islamist have no power or that they are not leaders of this social uprising), the MB was an active participator in these events. Being one of the beneficiaries of the January revolution the BM tries to use the fruits of the new situation as much effective as possible. The movement has already claimed it intention not to run for the presidency (although there were attempts by its former members to do that) what proves the fact that in the future political system the post of the president (discredited by the Mubarak's regime) is going to be less influential. Though the ongoing debates within the movement on the set of issues like the status of the Copts, the necessity to participate in the Egypt's politics and the further development of the MB demonstrates the serious division between its members, especially tactical disagreement between the older generations preferring the nonparticipation of the MB in the political life and the younger (students of the 1970's) one who see the participation in the politics and the interaction with other political parties as a way to achieve the movement's conceptual goals[2]. Nevertheless, the announced plan of the BM to seek 45-50% of the seats in the future parliament can be interpreted as a unwillingness of the BM to share the inevitable mistakes and failures of the future government that in perspective can bring additional points to the islamist movement. Another interesting point to mention is that the more the MB was involved into the politics during the authoritarian regime the clearer (and more moderate) became its approaches to such issues as women and the religious minorities, but it will not necessary be the same trend of the evolution under the current circumstances, when the MB is regarded as the best organized political force in Egypt.

Concerning the perspectives of the political development in Egypt and the role of the MB in it could be said that being a very adaptive social force the future of this movement will be fashioned primarily by the slow evolution to the moderate Islamist party, however it must be an issue of further discussions whether this evolution is possible as the unfriendly conditions where the MB has emerged as the social political force with a broad moderate agenda have changed into the extremely favorable ones when there is no political force on the horizon capable of the competition with the MB. Moreover, the MB will definitely need to prove its moderate consciousness by introducing more distinct program and implementing into it missing issues on women and religious minorities as well. If the MB will succeed in the holding powers in Egypt in will have effect on the regional relations, the MB attention (or critic?) will definitely be directed on the Jordan and Syria, where its sister(brother?)-movements are restricted (and even suppressed - Hams 1982 in Syria) in their social and political engagement. However anti western rhetoric on such issues as Palestine will have its place in the MB's political activity, although there is a reason for the western governments to deal with the MB. Since its position are strong in the traditionally Muslim society the radical Islamist will unlikely have support in Egypt among electorate, thus making the MB important player in the War on Terrorism[3].


[1] http://www.kas.de/wf/de/33.22023
[2] Israel Elad Altman // Strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement 1928-2007 // Research Monographs on the Muslim World Series №2, Paper №2, January, 2009 // Hudson Institute
[3] Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 11, No. 2 (June 2007) p.108

2011-07-12

The reaction of the Russian scientific and political circles on the uprisings in the Arab countries 2011

The analysis of the news delivered by the main Russian news agencies during the events called now “the Arab Spring” may demonstrate the specific perception of the developments in the Arab world by the scientific and political circles in Russia. The revolts and uprisings in the different corners of the so called Arab world not only stimulated rethinking the approaches in the foreign policy in the Middle East and Northern Africa but uppermost made observers to project the scenario of the revolution onto the domestic political landscape. Due to similarities in the social conditions between Russia and countries undergone the political instability and the resembling political regimes there was the quite appeal to implement more democratic principles in the country.

However, the brief look onto the earliest reaction of the news agencies suggests that although among the reasons for the revolts in Tunis were named social and economic conditions in the society and the corruption of the president’s clan, the revolts and the fall of the long ruling regime of Ben Ali were seen as being masterminded by the USA and its western allies conducting neocolonial politics in the region. Even though it took quite a long time for the news observers, especially after the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, the faithful ally of the USA, to accept the natural and internally conditioned character of the risings. The more serious political observers saw in the large-scale political changes in the region and the late reaction of the USA concerning the support of pro-democratic (or at least anti governmental political movements) the failed Middle East foreign policy of the United States.

One the main discussions in the political circles in the country caused by the Arab spring and fall of the several regimes, that had long been reliable economic partners of Russia (arms trade, building, oil-gas-cooperation) was focused on the current approach of the new post-Soviet Russia not only towards the Middle East and Northern Africa, but also more globally on the role of the country in the emerging multipolar world. The first camp within the Russia political establishment was presented by the current president Dmitry Medvedev that enjoys a reputation of the liberally-minded politician in the western countries. The presidents unites the people who consider Russia as a tightly linked to the western democracies country. It explains why president didn’t put a veto on the resolution 1973 in the UN Security Council.

Medvedev has indicated his support for the concept of humanitarian interventions but that conducted in the frames of the clearly defined and sanctioned by the UN resolution. The observers see reasons for Medvedev’s backing of the Resolution #1973 in the fact that the same concept was used during the conflict with Georgia in August 2008. The humanitarian intervention belongs to the arsenal of Russian foreign policy, especially in towards its sphere of influence in the former USSR republics.

Another camp is constituted by the former president and the current prime-minister Vladimir Putin and his supporters impelled by a feeling of nationalism and nostalgia for the Soviet times. Having much from the Soviet mentality this part of the political establishment sees Russia as a not only regional but effective global player in the world politics. The membership in the Security Council is regarded as one of the few mechanisms that could be used for continuation of the rivalry with the west. The sharp criticism of the prime-minister over the military operation in Libya (Putin has described actions of the NATO in this country as “a new crusade”) has demonstrated that there aspirations for Russia to be more engaged in the world affairs.

The more moderate circles, especially in the ministry of foreign affairs, have defined the necessity for making non-confrontational politics in the world and for the use the experience of the past generations of the Soviet diplomats in the Middle East but without its ideological component.

The events in the Middle East have also caused discussions among the political observers over question where scenario happened in Egypt or Tunis may be repeated in Russia. Many commentators were emphasized the striking resemblances not only in economic sphere but also in relation to the political regimes, the state of democracy and democratic procedures in the country. Although it is clear that possibility of uprisings in Russia is extremely small approaching to zero, the fact that there were discussions made clear that political regimes in the oil-rich countries later or sooner face the problem of legitimacy. Event though these discussions were just a part of the more broad process of the rethinking of the Russian political future.

Another interesting point made during the analysis of the news reports was that in the light of the events in the Middle East significant portion of the attention in the press was devoted to the Central Asia – region seen as a sphere of the Russian influence. The developments in the former Soviet republics have long been crucially important for Russia, mainly because its historical relationships with this region. After the emerging more or less clearer image of the events in the Middle East and the reasons for uprisings many researchers familiar to the central Asian region started examining whether the same revolts are possible in the republics, where people also suffer from poverty under the authoritarian rule. The majority of the observers agreed that it is unlikely.

After the beginning  of the upheavals in Tunis the leitmotiv of the first reviews and analytical papers was the same as it was during so called “orange revolution” in Ukraine in 2004 when after contested elections and the victory of the pro-russian candidate Mr.V.Yanukovich oppositional parties stroke a deal and started campaign for the recount that finally resulted in the re-elections that let another candidate Mr.V.Yushenko (that is regarded in Russia as a pro-western politician) to beat the almost president. In Russia events in the Arab world and especially the operation of the NATO in Libya have been associated with the NATO’s humanitarian intervention in the former Yugoslavia in 1999.

To sum up, the most distinguishing feature during the delivering of the news about the developments in the Arab world was that formulated in analytical papers reasons for the revolutions and the social-economic conditions in these countries were compared with those in Russia that demonstrates the concentrated attention of the circles not on the foreign issues but mainly on the domestic politics. 

2011-07-11

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf


The GCC initially created in 1981, just 2 years after the Islamic revolution in Iran when the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was overthrown. The reason for creation of the common intergovernmental organization was actually the fears in the Gulf monarchies of the possible revolts within their own countries, where the Shia-muslims made up from 10% (in Saudi-Arabia) to 75% (in Bahrain) of the total population. The Shia-muslims have long been seen as a base for future Islamic revolution, the concept of which the new Iranian regime adopted in its foreign policy as an instrument that allowed to broaden its sphere of influence on the region by delegitimizing the monarchies under the banner of the establishment the just system of rule based on true (Shia) values of Islam.

Already at the beginning the two main areas of cooperation were defined. The proclaimed economic cooperation between the Gulf states with obviously same oil-exporting economies was already then seen as a marginal field of work within the GCC. However, since its establishment the GCC has involved from mere the free-trade agreement to the customs-union and there is now the implementation of the common currency in the agenda, although differences within the GCC hamper this process[1]. The Council deepens economic ties with such regional player as Turkey[2] and the more influential China.  

Much more interesting was another domain of cooperation, defence. As it was initially formulated the main objective of the GCC in matters of defence was actually cooperation against any possible outside threat in the region, primarily Iran, that is still perceived by the GCC as a main destabilizing factor in the Gulf. It explains why the GCC provided financial support to Iraq during the War of 1980-1988. Despite its declarations of readiness for fight against external aggression, the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait clearly showed the disability of the GCC to defend its own territory[3]. After the establishment anti-American regime in Iran and the active engagement of the USA in the Middle East in Afghanistan and Iraq the GCC has obtained greater significance in the eyes of the American policy-makers that would like to see Saudi-Arabia (the core country in the GCC[4]) as a counterbalance for Iran and a stabilizing factor in the region as whole.

After inviting foreign troops to fight Iraq and start of the Saudi-American cooperation in the region the necessity of having developed system of defence within the GCC became less acute. Instead, the Gulf-countries have focused their attempts on the building of the effective force structure that could fight internal threat coming from the Shia-comminites in the Gulf-monarchies. The cooperation of the Gulf states in this area demonstrates the nature of the Council. It is the intergovernmental mechanism created by the monarchies in order to safeguard[5] their regimes existing in the highly unstable surrounding[6] by mutual financial and first of all military support. The ongoing negations over the possible accession such countries as Morocco and Jordan with their monarchial system of governments show the growing need inside the GCC for more sources that might legitimize its own systems of rule.

2011-06-22

Syrien: Freiheit ohne Freiheit

Die jüngsten Aufruhre in Syrien den kärglichen Presseberichten zufolge nehmen allmählich zu, die Sanktionen der EU werden immer stärker und die Forderungen der Aufständischen werden immer maßlos. Vor einigen Monaten war es sehr schwer sich vorzustellen, dass es in einem der Länder des Nahen Osten wie Syrien zu dem aufrichtigen Krieg zwischen dem Staat und der Bevölkerung kommen kann. Nach Ansicht des syrischen Präsidenten sollte Anfang 2000-er angekündigte Liberalisierung der Wirtschaft die Lage der Bürger, ihren Lebensstandart spürbar verbessern. Das Ziel der wirtschaftlichen Reformen war es, der Welt das Land zu öffnen, um die notwendigen Investitionen ins Land ziehen zu können.

Unter anderen verfolgte man in Syrien mit der Lebalisierung die Elemente der Planwirtschaft aufzuheben. Dazu musste der Staat aufhören, die weite Schichten der Bevölkerung durch die finanzielle Unterstützung zu leisen. Der Staat sorgte damals für niedrige Preise für Grundlebensmittel und Heizstoff. Die Leute hatten zwar wesentlich niedriges Einkommen, war ihr Leben aber ziemlich stabil.

Die meisten Wirtschaftsexperten schätzen die Ergebnisse der Liberalisierung Syriens und der Reformen Assads in der Wirtschaft sehr positiv ein. Aber die meisten von den Forschern sind der Meinung, man müsse sich nicht nur auf den ökonomischen Raum beschränken. Syrien sei das Land aus vielen Facetten und mit vielen Brüchen (Religion, Einkommensdifferenzen), deswegen sei es höchst schwer, dieses Land langfristig mit den drastischen Mitteln zu lenken, was Assad eigentlich bis vor kurzem jahrelang tat. Eine komplexe Gesellschaft wie in Syrien brauche ohne Zweifel noch die Freiheit in dem politischen Raum, wo die interessierten Seiten den Dialog friedlich führen können, ohne sich an den Staat zu wenden.

Der Grund, warum Assad und vor allem seine Umgebung, besteht meiner Meinung nach darin, dass der Machhaber die Spaltung des Landes aufgrund der Religion befürchten. Der Vater von Assad zeigte 1982 es klar, wozu der Staat bereit ist, um die Stabilität im Land zu sichern. Die Massaker in der Stadt Hama, wo tausende Islamisten ermordet  wurden, dient heutzutage in Syrien als eine Warnung für die Menschen, die einen Konflikt mir dem Staat wagen.

2011-06-16

Rationalität und Irrationalität in der iranischen Politik

Schon nach der Gründung der Republik wurde der Iran, genauer gesagt sein Regime der Klerikalen als höchst irrational betrachtet. Das wäre darauf zurückzuführen, dass die islamische Religion als Kern des Staatswesens sofort nach dem Sturz des Paschas aufgeklärt wurde. Damals war es im Westen, in den Ländern, wo Religion und Staat getrennt sind, unvorstellbar, dass die Gruppe der Theologen in der Lage sind, den Staat zu lenken. Zum Teil waren solcher Art Vorurteile gegen das neue Regime zum Recht. Die Geiselnahme der amerikanischen Diplomaten und lange Verhandlungen schon danach, die antiisraelische Rhetorik in Außenpolitik und die ständige Bestrebung eigenen kulturellen und vor allem ideologischen Einfluss in der arabischen Welt auszuweiten können zweifellos als Beweis für irrationale Elemente des schiitischen Regimes im Iran dienen. Bei der näheren Betrachtung aber stellt es sich ganz anders heraus, die Irrationalität, die der Führung im Iran ständig in der letzten Zeit zugeschrieben worden ist, kann ausschließlich als eine der Facetten des iranischen Regimes betrachtet werden.

Die antiamerikanische Haltung wird von den Beobachtern durch eine Reihe Gründe erklärt. Erstens gilt die koloniale Vergangenheit des Landes als Last voll mit den traumatischen Erinnerungen. Dabei wäre es auch interessant zu bemerken, dass nicht nur die USA im Iran als koloniale Mächte schuldig der traurigen Geschichte des Landes sind, außer England und Frankreich kommt auch Russland mit der ständigen Besatzungen der iranischen Territorien und Erweisung der Hilfe den Rebellen im Kaukasus in XVIII-XX  Jahrhunderten.

Sowohl die antiwestliche als auch antiisraelische Rhetorik bevorzuge ich persönlich als einer der Mobilisierungsmechanismen zu betrachten. Solche Rhetorik dient vor allem dazu, die Wählerschaft zu mobilisieren und zudem die Legitimität der Repressionen im Land zu rechtfertigen. Die USA selbst durch die Besatzung zwei Nachbarländer des Irans das Ziel des Überlebens erleichtert.

Was die Prozesse in dem Regime selbst angeht, so machen es die jüngsten Geschehnisse im Iran (die Streitigkeiten zwischen dem Ayatallah Khamenei und Präsident Ahmadinedschad) ganz klar, dass die Politik im Iran auch höchst festgefahren sein kann. Die Verhältnisse zwischen der ersten Person im Iran und dem Konservativen ausweisen, dass zwar diese zwei Posten gleichgestellt aussehen, ist hier der Ayatallah der einzige, der die erste und die einzige Geige spielt. Ahmadinedschad gilt im Iran als Vertreter der Konservativen, der weit weg Konservativen. Der Grund, warum trotz der Unpopularität Ahmadinedschad seine Figur immer noch einen wichtigen Platz in der Innenpolitik des Landes besetzt, besteht darin, dass im Vergleich mit dem Präsidenten Ayatallah viel weniger konservativ aussieht, was seiner Figur in den Massen Punkten lässt.

Nicht nur in der Innenpolitik ist die Rationalität des Regimes offenbar, sondern auch in der Außenpolitik. Das Konzept der Verbreitung der islamischen Revolution in den arabischen Ländern und sogar in der Welt hat an Popularität im Lichte von dem Arabischen Frühling (und Forderungen der Demonstranten) verloren. Das Regime bemüht sich aber, neue Wege zu finden, den Einfluss in den Nachbarländern zu gewinnen. Darunter auch durch die Unterstützung der in diesen arabischen Ländern wie Bahrain, Libanon oder Irak lebenden Schiiten. Das nennt man Soft Power. Die Einflussnahme durch die nichtkriegerischen Mittel ausüben zu können, braucht man nicht nur attraktive Ideologie oder Idee, sondern auch einen guten Verstand und Einsehen der eigenen Nachteile und Vorteile.

Die antiamerikanische Haltung wird von den Beobachtern durch eine Reihe Gründe erklärt. Erstens gilt die koloniale Vergangenheit des Landes als Last voll mit den traumatischen Erinnerungen. Dabei wäre es auch interessant zu bemerken, dass nicht nur die USA im Iran als koloniale Mächte schuldig der traurigen Geschichte des Landes sind, außer England und Frankreich kommt auch Russland mit der ständigen Besatzungen der iranischen Territorien und Erweisung der Hilfe den Rebellen im Kaukasus in XVIII-XX  Jahrhunderten.

Sowohl die antiwestliche als auch antiisraelische Rhetorik bevorzuge ich persönlich als einer der Mobilisierungsmechanismen zu betrachten. Solche Rhetorik dient vor allem dazu, die Wählerschaft zu mobilisieren und zudem die Legitimität der Repressionen im Land zu rechtfertigen. Die USA selbst durch die Besatzung zwei Nachbarländer des Irans das Ziel des Überlebens erleichtert.

Was die Prozesse in dem Regime selbst angeht, so machen es die jüngsten Geschehnisse im Iran (die Streitigkeiten zwischen dem Ayatallah Khamenei und Präsident Ahmadinedschad) ganz klar, dass die Politik im Iran auch höchst festgefahren sein kann. Die Verhältnisse zwischen der ersten Person im Iran und dem Konservativen ausweisen, dass zwar diese zwei Posten gleichgestellt aussehen, ist hier der Ayatallah der einzige, der die erste und die einzige Geige spielt. Ahmadinedschad gilt im Iran als Vertreter der Konservativen, der weit weg Konservativen. Der Grund, warum trotz der Unpopularität Ahmadinedschad seine Figur immer noch einen wichtigen Platz in der Innenpolitik des Landes besetzt, besteht darin, dass im Vergleich mit dem Präsidenten Ayatallah viel weniger konservativ aussieht, was seiner Figur in den Massen Punkten lässt.

Nicht nur in der Innenpolitik ist die Rationalität des Regimes offenbar, sondern auch in der Außenpolitik. Das Konzept der Verbreitung der islamischen Revolution in den arabischen Ländern und sogar in der Welt hat an Popularität im Lichte von dem Arabischen Frühling (und Forderungen der Demonstranten) verloren. Das Regime bemüht sich aber, neue Wege zu finden, den Einfluss in den Nachbarländern zu gewinnen. Darunter auch durch die Unterstützung der in diesen arabischen Ländern wie Bahrain, Libanon oder Irak lebenden Schiiten. Das nennt man Soft Power. Die Einflussnahme durch die nichtkriegerischen Mittel ausüben zu können, braucht man nicht nur attraktive Ideologie oder Idee, sondern auch einen guten Verstand und Einsehen der eigenen Nachteile und Vorteile.

2011-06-15

Sieg der AKP bei den Wahlen in der Türkei

Nach den Einschätzungen vieler Beobachter im Ausland haben die am 12.Juni stattgefundenen Wahlen in der Türkei die gemischten Gefühle in der Bevölkerung erregt. Die ziemlich hohe Beteiligung der Bürger kann als Zeichen für Legitimität der AKP auf die nächste Legislaturperiode betrachtet werden. Der Sieg der islamistisch orientierten konservativen Gerechtigkeits- und Entwicklungspartei war zwar ein unbestrittener Beweis für die Popularität und Billigung der erfolgreichen Politik der vergangenen 8 Jahre, mit ca.50% der Stimmen gelang es dem Ministerpräsident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan nicht das vor den Wahlen gesetzte Ziel der Partei zu erreichen. Das Ziel der AKP war nämlich, die Mehrheit im Parlament zu schaffen, damit es möglich wäre, die notwendigen Änderung der Verfassung zu initiieren, ohne die oppositionellen Parteien heranzuziehen.

Die Pläne der AKP sind zum größten Teil an den Wünschen der Bevölkerung gescheitert, die Alleinherrschaft der konservativen Partei zu vermeiden. Dazu kommen auch die Befürchtungen der weiteren Verschärfung der repressiven Maßnahmen des Staates, wie z.B. gegen die zahlreichen oppositionellen Journalisten (die Türkei hat mehr inhaftierten Journalisten als in China!). Die Reformen, deren Ziel ist es, die Zivilgesellschaft und die Demokratie zu schaffen, existieren mit den undemokratischen autoritären Handlungen der Regierung nebeneinander.

http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/id/ipa/08147.pdf


Die Schritte der AKP, dem Militär die Macht und die Möglichkeit die Macht zu verwenden zu entziehen, werden insgesamt positiv bewertet. Die meisten Kritik weisen aber darauf, dass während das Militär immer mehr schwach wird, verhindert die AKP die Entstehung der Zivilgesellschaft in der Türkei. D.h. ohne Militärs, das die Kontrollfunktion über die Zivilregierungen in den letzten Jahrzehnten erfüllten, kann es so sein, dass AKP ohne Aufsicht bleiben kann, was natürlich zur Verstärkung der autokratischen Tendenzen führen kann.
http://www.freiheit.org/files/62/N_26_Parlamentswahlen_in_der_Tuerkei.pdf

Die positiven Aspekte der Wahlen in der Türkei bestehen darin, dass erstens die regierende AKP die Änderung der Verfassung nur durch Konsensus mit den oppositionellen Parteien beginnen kann. Apropos sind diese Partei für die Änderung der Verfassung 1982, die vom Militär nach dem Putsch verabschiedet wurde. Zweitens gelang es den prokurdischen Kandidaten (zwar nicht als eine einheitliche Partei, aber als unabhängige Kandidaten) ins Parlament einzuziehen. Drittens wurde die Niederlagen der sozialdemokratischen CHP und nationalistischen MHP zum Anlass ihren Kurs zu überprüfen und mehr zur Realität des Lebens in der Türkei zu werden.

2011-05-24

Die Rolle der Medien in der Demokratie

James D.Wolfensen, the president of the World Bank:

“A free press is not a luxury. A free press is at the absolute core of equitable development, because if you cannot enfranchise poor people, if they do not have a right to expression, if there is no searchlight on corruption and inequitable practices, you cannot build the public consensus needed to bring about change.”

Heutzutage spielen die Medien eine große Rolle im Leben der Gesellschaft. Zwar sind die meisten Forscher darüber einig, dass die Medien schon seit langem zum Bestandteil der Politik wurden, sie streiten aber immer noch, welche Bedeutung die Medien in der Demokratie haben .und ob, das Vorhandensein der Medien eine entscheidende Voraussetzung des gut funktionierenden demokratischen Systems ist? Obwohl haben die Medien einen Status eines der Bausteine der Demokratie, gibt es zahlreiche Problemfelder im Zusammenhang zwischen Demokratie und den Medien.

Viele Wissenschaftler heben die Bedeutung der Medien in der Vermittlung der Information zu den Bürgern hervor. Man glaubt, dass um in der Lage zu sein, die gut durchdachte Wahl zu machen, brauchen die Bürger zuverlässige Information über die Probleme, die entschieden werden sollen. Gerade bei der Lieferung solcher Information erwiesen sich die Medien als Hilfsinstrument des demokratischen Prozesses, sie nicht nur helfen den Bürgern, ihre bürgerliche Rechte gut ausüben zu können, sondern auch tragen sie zu Bildung der Achtung in der Gesellschaft vor den demokratischen Werten und Praktiken bei, außerdem ermöglichen sie, eigene Meinung ungeachtet Rasse, Nationalität, Geschlechts zu äußern.

Bei der positiven Bewertung der Medien im Informieren der Bevölkerung wird aber oft vergessen, dass die meisten Bürger in der Regel alle politischen Informationen aus eingeschränkter Zahl der Quellen bekommen. Sehr oft gibt es zudem ein Monopol einer oder mehreren Agenturen, zum Bespiel in Russland benutzen die meisten Zeitungen die Pressemitteilungen von nur drei größten Agenturen – RIA Novosti, ITAR-TASS, Interfax, was eigentlich dazu führen kann, dass es den meisten Medien an Adäquatheit und Objektivität mangelt.

Vielfältigkeit ist außerdem dadurch untergraben, dass immer mehr Zeitungen, die auf den ersten Blick sehr unterschiedlich scheinen, zu einer Gesellschaft oder einem einzigem Verlag gehören, anders gesagt verstärkt sich die Ballung der Medien und folglich sinkt die Zahl der einzigartigen und originellen Medien, die Presselandschaft und somit Qualität der Information verbessern. In der Welt der Medien findet der Prozess der Standartisierung statt, was zum Mangel an den neuen Ideen und Konzepten und schließlich zum Verarmen des intellektuellen Raums der Gesellschaft führt.

Der heutige Status der Medien ist auch dadurch kennzeichnend, dass Zivilgesellschaft immer öfter die Funktion der Kontrolle über die Handlungen der Politiker den Medien zuschreibt. Der positive Beitrag der freien Medien in Aufdeckung der Korruptionsfälle und Machtübergriffe ist unstreitig, die Bedeutung der Medien in der Politik lässt sogar darüber als „die vierte Gewalt“ sprechen, was ziemlich richtig scheint, die Medien sind nämlich einflussreich.

Aber das Problem besteht darin, dass nicht alle Bürger und legale politische Kräfte gleichermaßen den Zugang zu dieser Gewalt haben. Jeder kann zwar sich freilich aussprechen, d.h. es gibt einen nominalen Zugang zu den Medien, es geht aber hier um keinen realen Einfluss von der Seite der Bevölkerung, die Medien werden nicht vom Volk ausgewählt, deswegen es scheint sehr fraglich, on es sich überhaupt lohnt, Medien als legitime politische Macht zu betrachten.

Historisch gesehen hatten die Medien und die Presse keinen wichtigen Platz in den Werken von Klassikern der demokratischen Theorie. Die Forscher des 17. und 18.Jahrhunderte erwähnten nicht, dass die Medien eine Kontrollfunktion sollte. Solche Funktion bekommen die Medien schlechthin nebenbei mit der Zeit, deswegen kann man sagen, dass sie wurden zum Bestandteil des politischen Systems teilweise zufällig. Außerdem kann solcher zufällige Werdegang auf der Geschichte der USA bewiesen werden. Das amerikanische politische System funktioniert schon seit 200 Jahrhunderten, und der Fall der USA zeigt, dass gerade die rechtsprechende Gewalt die Rechte der Bürger schützen kann, ohne die Medien dazu zu benötigen.

Einer der Gründe, warum die Medien heutzutage so wichtig im Leben der Gesellschaft sind, besteht darin, dass sie oft als die Quelle der Information über Gesellschaft und ihre Probleme gebraucht werden. Für die Politiker, die die wichtigen Entscheidungen treffen sollen, ist es wesentlich einerseits die Stimmung und die Meinung der Bürger zu wissen, andererseits, helfen die Medien effektiver die Gesellschaft zu entwickeln und die Reformen durchzuführen, sie gewährleisten die Lieferung der aktuellen Information über den Zustand der öffentlichen Meinung und deswegen sind sehr hoch in dem Bereich Politik sehr hoch geschätzt.

Bei der Analyse der Tätigkeit der meisten Medien fällt es aber auf, dass manche Redakteure und Journalisten, wenn sie bestimmte Geschehnisse erleichten wollen, vor allem von eigenen ideologischen Einstellungen ausgehen, dabei ist die Meinung der Gesellschaft nicht geachtet. Die Medien haben Ressource, um selbstständig bei der Auswahl der Nachrichten zu handeln. Die „Gatekeeperfunktion“ ermöglicht den Medien nicht nur die Tagesordnung bestimmen, sondern auch beeinträchtigen sie das objektive Wesen der Nachrichtenlieferung.

Außerdem betont man die Unfähigkeit der Medien, die Meinung der ganzen Gesellschaft zu vertreten. Das ist darauf zurückzuführen, dass es höchst kompliziert ist, jeden Einzigen zu befragen und alle notwendige Information in kürzerer Zeit zu sammeln. Die Medien haben nie die Meinung der facettenreichen Gesellschaft vertreten, und deshalb wäre es kaum vernünftig, die Medien als die sicherste Quelle der Information über Gesellschaft wahrzunehmen.


Eine andere Besonderheit der Medien in der Politik besteht darin, dass die Medien als die Plattform für Diskussionen und Konfliktlösung angesehen werden kann. Für alle Gesellschaften, insbesondere für diejenigen, die in den Weg der Demokratisierung eingetreten sind, ist es typisch, dass zahlreiche Gruppen, die für und gegen Neuigkeiten auftreten, streiten und kollidieren. Gerade bei der Artikulation und der Vermittlung der Interessen spielen die Medien entscheidende Rolle, sie lassen alle Saiten im Rahmen der Vereinbarungen und legalen Schranken ihren Streit führen. Unter den Bedingungen des gleichen Status aller Parteien kann man den stabilen Kompromiss erreichen.

Die Teilnahme der Medien bei dem Vermittlungsprozess kann aber dazu führen, dass die Redakteure die einzige werden, die das Recht haben, die Artikel und Information zu veröffentlichen. Und wenn ein Redakteur entscheidet, einen bestimmten Artikel zur Veröffentlichung nicht zu lassen, kann niemand sich darüber erschweren, dass es die Verletzung der Redefreiheit ist. Somit kann die Zensur der Redakteure effektiver als staatliche Zensur sein. Zudem taucht ein anderes Problem in der Vermittlung zwischen den politischen Kräften auf. Den größten Einfluss haben diejenigen, die mehr Geld und Ressource haben. Anders gesagt, es gibt eine Gefahr, dass die Medien einer der Seiten den Vorzug geben können, um mehr Geld zu bekommen.

Zum Abschluss kann es gesagt werden, dass, obwohl Medien eine große Rolle beim Funktionieren der Demokratie haben, es völlig recht ist, über die Medien als über einen Bestandteil der Demokratie zu sprechen. Wegen (aber nicht nur) des immer noch laufenden Prozesses der Vereinheitlichung und Konzetrierung, wäre es sinnlos die Medien als die sicherste Quelle der Information zu betrachten. Außerdem ist es kaum sinnvoll, den Medien alle Kontrollmechanismen im politischen System des Landes zu übergeben, vor allem ist es die Hauptaufgabe der rechtsprechenden Gewalt. Zudem ist es gefährlich die Medien als die einzige Mediatorstruktur ansehen, die Medien können nur zu Vermittlung beitragen, aber nicht der Hauptvermittler sein.

2011-05-23

Die Türkei und arabischer Frühling

Was können die jüngsten Revolutionen in der arabischen Welt für die Türkei bedeuten?

Was ist in der arabischen Welt entstanden?
Die jüngsten Revolutionen haben zum Sturz der autokratischen Regime geführt. Die ehemaligen Präsidenten in Tunesien und Ägypten, die seit langem regierten, wurden von der eigenen Bevölkerung niedergeschlagen,  weil es allen an den Reformen und vor allem an dem demokratischen Wesen der Politik mangelte. Der Kern der Aufständischen waren die Jugendlichen, die zwar eine schon die Bildung haben, keine Hoffnungen aber auf die Arbeit haben konnten. Jetzt ist der Weg den neuen Regimen offen und die Frage ist deswegen, ob es den Menschen in Tunesien und Ägypten endlich gelingt, eine wahre und stabile Demokratie zu bilden?

Die Außenpolitik der Türkei
Vor den Geschehnissen in der arabischen Welt war es recht zu sagen, dass die Türkei den regionalen Mächten gehörte. Die große Rolle der Türkei bei den vielen Prozessen im Nahen Osten ist das Ergebnis der neuen Außenpolitik der neuen türkischen Regierung. Das Grundprinzip der Außenpolitik des Landes wurde im Satz "Null Probleme mit den Nachbarländern" formuliert. Schon seit 10 Jahren bemüht sich die Türkei mit den Nachbarn guten Modus der Beziehungen zu erreichen. Gerade das hat den heutigen positiven Ruf der Türkei in der arabischen Welt ausgemacht.

Die Türkei als Vorbild
Die Analytiker im Westen und v.A. in den arabischen Welt versuchen auf die Frage antworten, wie der Prozess der Demokratiebildung in den neuen Regimen laufen soll. Die Fall ist auf die Modelle der türkischen Demokratie gefallen. Und dabei lässt man außer acht, dass die arabische Länder sehr stark von der Türkei unterscheiden. (Hier kann man die Übersicht von RAND zu diesem Thema finden + der Artikel zum Thema der Unterschiede zwischen der Türkei und den arabischen Länder)

Welche Bedeutung hat der Frühling für die Türkei?
Vor allem ist es notwendig zu unterstreichen, dass viele Menschen die Türkei und die türkische Modell las Vorbild wahrnehmen. Außerdem blieb die Türkei fast die einzige regionale Macht in der Region. Iran hat zwar die Revolution unterstützt, hat aber selbst Probleme mit der Forderung der Iraner nach der Demokratie. Ägypten befindet sich in der Phase der Transformation und es bleibt immer noch unklar, ob das Militär bereit sein wird, die Macht den Zivilregierung zu übergeben. Deswegen erwartet man den wachsenden Einfluss der Türkei im Nahen Osten. Schon jetzt hat Fatah zur Vermittlung in der Versöhnung mit Hamas und in der Anerkennung des palästinensischen Staates.

2011-05-22

Pakistan und Taliban

Pakistan und Taliban

Es scheint merkwürdig, wenn man über die Taliban (Plural) spricht und dabei das Thema der Rolle Pakistans betrifft. Man hat sich schon gewöhnt, über Afghanistan zu denken, wenn jemand über die Taliban spricht. Aber der Anfang der Bewegung der Taliban geht auf die Mitte der 1990-er Jahre zurück, wenn die in Pakistan wohnenden Flüchtlinge aus Afghanistan beschlossen haben, die nach dem Abzug der sowjetischen Truppen etablierte kommunistische Regierung umzustürzen und eigenen muslimischen Staat zu gründen. Nach den schweren Gefechten, gelang es den Taliban, die Hauptstadt Kabul zu besetzen, somit endete der langjährige Bürgerkrieg.

Der neue Staat, der seit 1997 den Namen "Islamisches Emirat Afghanistan" trug, wurde von den drei regionalen Staaten anerkannt. Vereinigte Arabische Emirate und Saudi-Arabien verfolgen dabei hauptsächlich ideologische Ziele v.a. die Unterstützung der muslimischen Regierungen in der Region. Was Pakistan angeht, so ist es recht schwer zu sagen, ob die damalige pakistanische Führung von Religion bestimmte Ziele hatte. Pakistan, nach den mehreren erfolglosen Kriegen mit Indien, versuchte die Stabilität an der westlichen Grenze zu erreichen, deswegen beschloss die Regierung die Taliban zu unterstützen.

Da die Puschtunen den Kern der Taliban ausmachten, war es für Pakistan ziemlich leicht diese Bewegung zu beeinflussen, weil in Pakistan selbst der Anteil der Puschtunen an der Gesamtbevölkerung etwa 15,4 Prozent beträgt. Deswegen kann man auch sagen, dass es kein Wunder ist, dass Pakistan die Taliban als kein Terroristen, sondern als nationale Befreiungsbewegung der Puschtunen betrachtet.

Eine andere akute Frage ist, ob überhaupt Pakistan in der Lage ist, die Puschtunen und somit die Taliban zu kontrollieren, wenn in Pakistan selbst keine Rede von der Stabilität ist?