EDITORIAL – English version

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Trump, Fillon, Syria, Bashar, Aleppo? What is the common point?

The irreducible arrogance of dominant media, mainstreams and opinion makers who crowd the newspapers.

It is them who had announced the coming of democracy in Libya, in Yemen, in Egypt… and whilst greatly enjoying Putin-bashing, they insist on the politically correct as if it were a greatly prized competition.

They had announced the defeat of Donald Trump in the US presidential election; the victory of Alain Juppé in the primaries of the French right; that a popular force would swipe away the dictatorship in Syria, as it did in Tunisia; that Bashar al-Assad would fall within few weeks and at most some months; that the rebels would resist in Aleppo… and that the ‘Arab spring’ would change the world.

They who responded by invective and media assassination, in a few lines of text, with two strikes of a pen, to those observers that were better informed and knew that the Syrian regime was solid, because they had contacts with the people on the ground, because they had been on the ground themselves, and therefore also knew of how great the risk was of involution of the conflict and of expansion of Salafist Islam…

They who after the nth misguided truth had during one week – an entire week! – like bereaved virgins pronounced something that could have looked like too-smooth self-criticism or soppy self-flagellation; one thing was certain, “it would not happen again!”.

They who, already, have retaken their haughty expressions and have reconnected with their routined habits as if nothing had happened.

They who still jealously occupy the small screens, and continue to monopolise the slots of experts, and without shame invade the columns of tabloids.

And the debonair public, whose very good character is not to be demonstrated, listens to them and reads them without asking any more questions today than they did yesterday.

Today, Aleppo is reconquered by President Bashar al-Assad, still in power in Damascus. Donald Trump has become the President of the United States of America and moves closer to the Russian Federation to constrain and beat the expansion of Salafist Islam in the Middle-East, a policy already sanctioned by François Fillon, the future President of France, as can be guessed by looking at the incapacity of the French left that does not cease to tear itself to pieces in the absence of a key figure to lead what is left of socialism in the ranks of the political class.

The rapprochement of Washington, Moscow and Paris? A “trumpian” vocal excess? Bravado or opposing position by a candidate to the French Presidential election, wanting to demarcate himself from the current tenant of the palace of the Elysée? Or upcoming reality? A (real) end of the Cold war that has resurged where the most perceptive expected it? What new geostrategic given and on what terms? What future for the Egyptian dictatorship, for the Saudi theocracy, the Iranian Ayatollahs, or Baathist Syria, the heritage of the Sykes-Picot agreements or the Iraqi Sunnistan and Shi’astan?

A few questions… and maybe the first words of a new page of the history of the Maghreb and the Orient.

 

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About Author

Pierre Piccinin da Prata

Historian and Political Scientist - Chief Editor / Rédacteur en Chef

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