Democracies or Islamic States in West Asia?

Dr. Jan Best de Vries:

Democracy is neither a guarantee for individual happiness nor is it perfect. However, as a polity it may bring political stability, long-lasting peace and economical prosperity to a country, because all its inhabitants have equal rights and, being certain of their constitutional rights, can freely choose their own representatives in their parliament and government. How many real or potential democracies according to American and European standards are at the moment present in West Asia? Not that many, one must sadly conclude: Kurdistan in present North Iraq, Rojava in North Syria, the part of Aleppo still falling under the authority of the FSA, a rather shaky Lebanon, the kingdom of Jordania and Israel? Although formally presenting themselves as democracies, both Turkey under Erdogan and Iran under the ayatollahs are in fact Islamic states, and the same holds true for the caliphate of the Islamic State, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. Syria and Iraq are states falling apart and have never been properly governed.

During the past three years I have followed the developments in West Asia, because many of my late wife’s and my friends are Iranians and Kurds living in exile in the Netherlands. In an interview of a year ago, an FSA commander in Aleppo declared that, after the fall of the Assad regime, Aleppo would ask for economic support from Israel to rebuild the city and, a few weeks ago, I heard Israel’s president Netanyahu say that Kurdistan should become an independent state. Last year I have seen some videos in which the female Kurdish commander Engizek explained why her female and mixed brigades defended Aleppo’s northern Kurdish district Sheik Maksud against the assaults of Assad’s and Hezbollah’s troops. In both interviews the word “democracy” was raised as being their final goal.

As the Western democracies did not react to the repeated requests by the freedom fighters in Aleppo for military and humanitarian help, the only way to install democracies in West Asia is the way of West Asians themselves. In geopolitics they should strive after a string of democratic states reaching from Kurdistan to Israel and comprising the present Iraqi Kurdistan, Rojava, the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, Lebanon, Israel and, in a not-too-distant future, Palestina and a greater Kurdistan. At the moment the governments of free Kurdistan and Israel should strengthen their diplomatic bonds in order to solve together their respective problems in the region, for these two countries at the ends of the string may stand next to the cradle of a West Asian Union. In the Netherlands we shall found the Koerdisch-Joodse Vriendschapsvereniging “Azadi Shalom” (Kurdish-Jewish Friendship Association “Azadi Shalom”), but Barzani and Netanyahu should do a lot more, in the interests of both their countries, than making statements….

Dr. Jan Best de Vries is an archaeologist and historian, decipherer of the so-called Byblos Script from Aleppo and Alalakh (‘How to Decipher the Byblos Script’, Aspekt Publishers 2014, ISBN978-946-153-420-0)  

One Response to Democracies or Islamic States in West Asia?
  1. Aso
    November 11, 2014 | 01:40

    Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the United States Department of State, will soon respond to Kurdish petition for independence, according to a US government official.

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