Sunday, January 31, 2010

Answering Readers' Questions and Updates: Fatah and Turkey

Please subscribe to the blog that raises the questions--and answers them--that the media misses or mistakes

1. Fatah, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan

Question: You describe Fatah hardliners as seeking a Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. Why don't they want to take over Jordan also? And why is a similar change of mind impossible about a permanent peace with Israel?

Answer: Historically, the PLO and Fatah have not sought to overthrow Jordan and take it over. The exception is when they were overconfident during the 1968-1970 period and even then that was more a PFLP and DFLP idea than a Fatah one. While seeking revenge through the Black September terrorist group from 1970 to 1972, Fatah and the PLO have not worked actively to subvert Jordan, in part remembering the total defeat Jordan gave them in September 1970. Actually, the fact is that Hamas has largely displaced the PLO and many Palestinian Jordanians support the Muslim Brotherhood-related Islamic Action Front today. Jordan does worry about an independent Palestinian state but doesn't see Fatah as a direct threat today.

2. Fatah and the Al-Aqsa Brigade

Question The new Fatah charter refers to Al Asifa as its military wing. Is there a reason that Fatah seems to be abandoning Al Aqsa martyrs brigade? Or did Fatah itself use both names?

Answer: Al-Asifa has been the name of the PLO irregularforces (guerrilla/terrorist) since the 1960s. Al-Aqsa is not controlled by the Fatah Central Committee. One might call it a deniable terrorist force which is under the control of the West Bank local Fatah organization. Although the Western news media often falls for the trick, since Fatah has never tried to stop the group or disciplined any member for participating in it, al-Aqsa is clearly a Fatah group but, again, not necessarily one controlled from the top Fatah bureaucracy. Al-Aqsa was created by Marwan Barghouti, who is now a member of the Fatah Central Committee though in an Israeli prison for organizing the bloody second intifada--by his own admission--in 2000.

3. Turkish Regime's Plans to Take Over Army

Following the Turkish regime's attempt to intimidate me and my article about how that Islamist government is slandering the army and intimidating or throwing into jail peaceful critics, the next step in the campaign has been taken. Today's Zaman, the leading organ of the regime, now says the solution is that the armed forces reflect Turkey's diversity by admitting Islamist officers. Eventually, of course, the regime would ensure that the army is ideologically loyal to itself. So this is the plan: keep accusing the army of planning coups and terrorism (including schemes to put bombs in mosques), discredit it with the public, and blackmail it into becoming Islamist-oriented, thus completing the AKP regime's control over all Turkish institutions.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books. To see or subscribe to his blog, Rubin Reports.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.