Síria e Iraque são também guerras pela água. E outras virão.

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27/8/2015, Moon of Alabama


Foreign Affairs
traz artigo cuja leitura recomendo sobre as guerras pela água entre Turquia, Síria e Iraque: Rivers of Babylon.

Turquia construiu muitas, muitas barragens por todo o país, para produzir eletricidade, mas também para irrigação. Quando viajei pelo leste da Turquia nos anos 1990s muitos novos projetos, partes doSoutheastern Anatolia Project (tu. GAP), eram visíveis; e água recentemente retida em barragens era fornecida às regiões secas do sudeste mediante canais abertos. Muita daquela água era perdida por causa da evaporação, mas também por que as novas plantações usavam espécies que exigem água intensiva numa região quente e em muitos pontos desértica.

A água agora oferecida a fazendeiros turcos antes corria pelo Eufrates e Tigre, para a Síria e Iraque. Três anos secos na Síria, 2006-2009, induziram muitos fazendeiros a deixar as terras secas e mudar-se para as cidades, onde só poucos deles encontravam trabalho:
À altura de 2011, fracasso de colheitas por causa da seca empurrara cerca de 1,5 milhão de ex-agricultores a emigrar das próprias terras; essa legião de desenraizados virou fonte de recrutas para o Exército Sírio Livre e outros grupos como o Estado Islâmico (também chamadoISIS) e para al-Qaeda. Testemunhos recolhidos por repórteres e ativistas nas zonas de conflito sugerem que a falta de qualquer ajuda do governo durante a seca foi o fator central de motivação para a rebelião antigoverno. Além disso, estudo de 2011 mostram que as hoje fortalezas dos rebeldes em Aleppo, Deir al-Zour, e Raqqa estavam entre as áreas mais duramente atingidas pelo fracasso das colheitas.
A situação no Iraque é similar, se não pior. Grandes regiões perderam a base de sua agricultura e os agricultores pedem soluções e mais apoio.
Em Karbala, Iraque, agricultores estão em desespero e já consideram abandonar suas terras. Em Bagdá, as periferias mais pobres dependem da Cruz Vermelha até para a água de beber. Em algumas ocasiões, a Cruz Vermelha teve de fornecer 150 mil litros por dia. Mais para o sul, as áreas centrais do Irã, as maiores áreas alagadas de todo o Oriente Médio, estão desaparecendo, depois de terem sido re-inundadas depois que Saddam Hussein foi deposto. Em Chibayish, cidade nas áreas alagadas que um dos autores desse artigo visitou recentemente, os búfalos e os peixes estão morrendo. Atualmente, a agricultura ali sustenta no mínimo 60 mil pessoas. Esses e mais centenas de milhares de outros enfrentarão dificuldades muito maiores, se os recursos d’água continuarem a definhar.
A falta de água não é a única razão para as guerras na Síria e Iraque. Mas torna esses países mais propensos a conflitos internos e mais vulneráveis a intromissão de atores externos.

Mas os governos de Síria e Iraque podem fazer pouco para ajudar seus agricultores. Embora haja acordos sobre um fluxo mínimo de água a ser preservado entre Turquia, Síria e Iraque, não há meios pelos quais Síria e Iraque possam realmente pressionar a Turquia para que desimpeça o fluxo de água e preserve o fluxo fixado nos acordos.
Embora acordos vigentes entre Síria e Turquia devam garantir fluxo de 500 metros cúbicos por segundo, 46% dos quais vão para o Iraque, durante o verão os fluxos podem ser muito menores. Segundo Jasim al Asadi, hidrologista de Nature Iraque, quando o Eufrates alcança Nasiriyah no sul do Iraque, é necessário um fluxo mínimo de 90 metros cúbicos por segundo, para uso municipal, industrial e agrícola. Às vezes, o fluxo cai para 18 metros cúbicos por segundo – razão pela qual não surpreende que as áreas alagadas estejam diminuindo rapidamente.Antes da construção da maior barragem nos anos 1970s, o fluxo médio no Eufrates era de 720 metros cúbicos por segundo. Agora, é de cerca de 260 quando entra no Iraque.
Quase dois terços do fluxo que o Iraque recebia já não chegam. Não há meio para substituí-lo. Além disso, a pouca água que está fluindo atualmente pode acabar rapidamente:
As barragens na Turquia, que já ultrapassam 140, têm muito maior capacidade de armazenamento que as que ficam a jusante. E quando as novas barragens turcas estiverem completadas em poucos anos, cerca de 1,2 milhão a mais de hectares serão irrigados dentro da Turquia – aumento de oito vezes, em relação ao que há hoje.[1]

Dada a relativamente melhor saúde hídrica da Turquia, seria razoável supor que o país pararia de construir barragens que tanto dificultam a sobrevivência dos países vizinhos à jusante dos rios. Mas o país fez exatamente o oposto, e planeja concluir 1.700 novas barragens e açudes dentro de suas fronteiras.
A matéria de Foreign Affairs nada diz sobre outro projeto turco que desvia ainda mais água para longe de seus vizinhos do sul. Em 1974 a Turquia invadiu e desde então ocupou o norte de Chipre. Os moradores gregos nativos daquelas áreas ocupadas foram dizimados em processo de ‘limpeza’ étnica, e 150 mil turcos foram transferidos da Turquia e implantados naquela terra grega.

E a Turquia construiu agora aquedutos para fornecer água do território turco às áreas ocupadas da ilha:
Um aqueduto recentemente concluído que cruza pelo fundo do Mediterrâneo levará 75 milhões de metros cúbicos de água fresca anualmente, da Turquia para o norte, i.e. para a parte turca da dividida ilha de Chipre.

A água que chegará pelo aqueduto tornará os turcos cipriotas, que já recebem subsídios de Ancara para sua sobrevivência econômica, ainda mais dependentes da Turquia. Um cenário é, assim, que por estarem mais intimamente ligados ao continente, os cipriotas turcos terão menos liberdade quando negociarem a reunificação com os compatriotas cipriotas gregos, o que tornará difícil alcançar alguma solução.
Outro projeto turco, que vai e vem ao longo dos anos, são planos para construir aquedutos e gasodutos até Israel: Israel espera fornecer gás à Turquia e a Turquia forneceria água a Israel. Água que, além de outras utilidades, faria terrível falta na Síria e no Iraque.

Precisamos de um processo de solução global, com instrumentos para fazer valer os acordos, para regular os fluxos naturais de água através de fronteiras. A alternativa é grave ampliação das guerras entre países que usam água extensivamente em seus próprios territórios, enquanto países localizados à jusante dos rios morrem de sede.

A situação de Turquia, Síria, Iraque não é a única guerra pela água que há hoje no mundo. Paquistão e Índia lutam pela Caxemira ocupada pela Índia, onde estão as nascentes do sistema do rio Indo. O Indo é a água que mantém vivo o Paquistão, e a Índia tem usado ocontrole que tem sobre a Caxemira para pressionar o Paquistão. A próxima guerra entre Índia e Paquistão pode estar a uma seca de distância; e pode ser guerra nuclear.

Outra guerra pela água está fermentando entre Uzbequistão e Tadjiquistão. A Etiópia está construindo uma megabarragem no Nilo que ameaça o principal suprimento de água do Egito. Nada garante que o Egito permita que a construção chegue ao fim. Todos esses casos já levaram ou levarão a guerras entre países ou a guerras civis por causa da água (da falta dela).

O fluxo de água entre países é uma das poucas questões que carecem de governança global. Um livro de regras e um corpo judicial global que determine que todos os povos ao longo de um curso de água devem beneficiar-se dele. Megaprojetos como o GAPna Turquia teriam de ser julgados por aquele corpo judicial e suas regras teriam de ser apoiadas em poderes coercitivos significativos.

É isso ou, se não for isso, haverá muitas guerras, muito intensas, de disputa pelo acesso à água. *****


[1] “Uma das principais razões para os projetos insanos dessas barragens turcas jamais concluídas, por falar delas, é inundar os vales e privar os curdos turcos de terreno onde se possam esconder e abrigar-se (…). Os curdos turcos sempre se opuseram firmemente àquelas barragens” (Bart, 27/8/2015, 2:05:00 PM | 3, nos Comentários a esse postado) [NTs].

Fonte: Moons of Alabama

CrossTalk: Undiplomatic Power

Fonte: RT

US bombs its own military hardware in Syria

‘ISIS is CIA false flag op, pretext for war inside Syria & Iraq’

“Obama’s ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Are Nowhere to Be Found”

Publicado em: 14/09/2014

“Author & Journalist Patrick Cockburn explains the different factions in Syria and why defeating ISIS should start with ending the war in Syria”

Fonte: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12373

TRNN: The Islamic State, Assad, and the Contradictions Faced by the US in Syria Investigative journalist Patrick Cockburn says the U.S. will need to work with Syria and Iran to defeat ISIS, thereby reversing its policy towards Assad

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.President Barack Obama has authorized the military to conduct surveillance flights over Syria. With U.S. airstrikes already happening in Iraq against extremist group The Islamic State, these surveillance flights are being seen as a possible prelude to attacks on the Islamic State in Syria. But where the twist comes in is that the Islamic State in Syria is fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. That has been the very same objective of the U.S. for the past two years. So now that ISIS seems to be the most imminent threat, will the U.S. coordinate with Assad to bring ISIS down? And what role has the U.S. played in creating the rise of this fanatic group to begin with?Now joining us to help answer some of these questions is our guest, Patrick Cockburn. Patrick is an investigative journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Timesand presently works for The Independent. He also has a new book out called The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising. And he joins us now from Ireland.Thanks for being with us, Patrick.PATRICK COCKBURN, JOURNALIST, THE INDEPENDENT: Thank you.DESVARIEUX: So, Patrick, there are so many contradictions in this story. Let’s try to work out some of these contradictions. First explain the U.S.’s objectives in Syria. And how did it come to be that they are now fighting the very same forces that they once supported?COCKBURN: Yes. It’s something of a diplomatic disaster. The U.S. supported the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad to weaken and replace him over the last three years. But over the last year and a half, the main opposition has been jihadis, al-Qaeda type organizations, and over the last six months it’s been the Islamic State, ISIS, which the U.S. is fighting in or were helping the Iraqi government and the Kurdish government fight in Iraq. So in one country they’re supporting the government against ISIS, in Iraq, and in Syria they’re doing exactly the opposite, they’re opposing the government, which is fighting ISIS. And I don’t think this contradiction can go on very long. I think soon they’ll have to decide whose side they’re on.DESVARIEUX: Yeah, and that’s a good question, because there are consequences depending on which side they choose, because if they look to topple Assad, that benefits ISIS. If they look to attack ISIS, that helps Assad. So it seems like quite a mess. What would you suggest they do?COCKBURN: Well, there’s no doubt in my mind that the great threat to both these countries is ISIS, which is a very horrible, in many ways fascist organization, very sectarian, kills anybody who doesn’t believe in their particular rigorous brand of Islam. They killed last week a single tribe that opposed them. They killed 700 members. Another 1,500 have disappeared. So these are big-scale massacres. So I think they should oppose ISIS. But they need to do it effectively, which means that they have a parallel policy with the Syrian government, which they’ve been trying to overthrow. I don’t think they’re going to have a U-turn in that policy, because it would be to humiliating. But covertly I think that they’re shifting their ground. They need to prevent Assad’s government falling to ISIS.DESVARIEUX: Yeah. And the drumbeats of war are really getting louder here in the United States, Patrick. I’m going to pull up an example of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. He was recently asked at a press conference about whether ISIL posed a 9/11 threat. Here’s his response.~~~CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: ISIL is as sophisticated and well funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well funded. Oh, this is beyond anything that we’ve seen. So we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is you take a cold, steely hard look at it and get ready.~~~DESVARIEUX: “Get ready” you just heard Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel say. So what should we be potentially getting ready for, Patrick? What is the U.S.’s real interest in getting potentially back into Iraq and now Syria? You said something about covert operations. But is it possible that we could even see boots on the ground there?COCKBURN: You know, this means so many different things. You know, at one point it meant a few years ago in Iraq that there were 150,000 American soldiers in Iraq. That was awful lot of boots. I don’t think we’re going to see that again or anything like that. I don’t think we’ll see that in Syria. But will there be American airstrikes in Iraq [incompr.] on a more extensive basis? I think there will. Will the same things happen in Syria? It’s really quite likely, because it’s absurd to combat ISIS in Iraq but not on Syria, because ISIS can then get back over the border. It’s effectively abolished the frontier.And this is a pretty big place now that they rule. ISIS rules an area which is bigger than Britain, bigger than the state of Michigan. It has a population of 6 or 7 million people. So this isn’t something that can be easily contained, and it’s very difficult to eliminate.DESVARIEUX: And, Patrick, at the end of the day, what’s this all about? I mean, whose interest is it, really, to defeat ISIS?COCKBURN: Well, I think that this is a rather extraordinary organization. It combines extreme religious fanaticism with military efficiency. It’s won a lot of victories during the summer, and pretty extraordinary ones. There are 350,000 soldiers in the Iraqi army, or there used to be, and they were attacked by two or three thousand members of ISIS in Mosul, and they disintegrated. This caught everybody by surprise. I mean, everybody, including myself, knew the Iraqi army was pretty bad, very corrupt, but I don’t think we expected it just to disintegrate in a single day’s fighting.In Syria they’re also getting stronger and stronger. It doesn’t get reported much because it’s so dangerous, as we saw with poor James Foley, for any journalists to go there. But they’ve been advancing westwards. They’ve won three or four victories, overrun Syrian army bases in the last few weeks, without anybody paying much attention.So this is an expanding organization which could quite soon rule territory right from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean.DESVARIEUX: So is it fair to say, I mean, Iran has a vested interest too to defeat ISIS?COCKBURN: It certainly does. I mean, in Iraq, there’s a rather extraordinary combination of people who previously were confronting each other and certainly didn’t like each other, like the U.S. and Iran, various factions in Kurdistan, various politicians in Baghdad, Saudi Arabia, Turkey. All these people have been brought together by a single factor, which is fear, fear of ISIS. It’s a very frightening organization. And all these countries, I think, are now rather frightened by what they see.DESVARIEUX: So, Patrick, in your book you speak of what could be done to end all of this. You write, quote,

“Given that the insurgency is not dominated by ISIS, JN, and all other al-Qaeda type groups, it is unlikely that even Washington, London, or Riyadh now want to see Assad fall. But allowing Assad to win would be seen as a defeat for the West and their Arab and Turkish allies.”

So what are your predictions here? How do you see this all being resolved?COCKBURN: I think it’s difficult to predict, because it depends on some very important decisions in Washington and elsewhere about where they stand. They are responsible for quite a lot of what has happened. In Iraq we had al-Qaeda in Iraq, which had become a force after the U.S. invasion of 2003. This had been reduced in strength by the U.S. and the Iraqi government about seven or eight years ago. But as Iraq was becoming more peaceful, uprisings started in Syria in 2011, which were backed by the U.S. and its allies. And that led to war in Syria, to the civil war in Iraq starting again. And it was in this crucible that ISIS moved from being a quite small, marginal organization to being an extremely powerful one. It was really the result of miscalculations about the long-term outcome of the war in Syria that led to ISIS’s present victories and the creation of their caliphate.DESVARIEUX: The Independent quoted Prime Minister David Cameron as saying that cooperation with Iran will be necessary to deal with ISIS. Do you agree?COCKBURN: Yes. I mean, it’s a strange situation, because the Iranians are very frightened by what’s happening, because ISIS used to be an organization they were fighting is Syria and Damascus, a long way away. Now ISIS is taking towns that are 20 miles from the Iranian border. So they want to defeat it. So they have a parallel policy with the U.S.But it’s difficult, certainly, for the U.S. to then have a U-turn and say, the Iranians that we used to demonize, that we said were our great enemy in the Middle East, now suddenly they’re our pals, they’re our friends. Similarly with Damascus. So I think it’s difficult for them to make a U-turn, though it’s necessary for them to do so and do so pretty quickly, without being humiliated. And so a lot of what they do they may try to do covertly.

August 27, 14

Fonte: The Real News Network

Iran and Assad have won in Syria, say top Tehran foreign policy figures

Iran and Assad have won in Syria, say top Tehran foreign policy figures

Insiders say western strategy in Syria encouraged radicals and backfired, leading to threat to European security from returning jihadis
Bashar al-Assad, Syrian president

Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president. Senior Iranian officials say: ‘The Americans wanted to replace Assad, but what was the alternative? All they have done is encourage radical groups and made the borders less safe.’ Photograph: Uncredited/AP

Iran and its close ally President Bashar al-Assad have won the war inSyria, and the US-orchestrated campaign in support of the opposition’s attempt to topple the Syrian regime has failed, senior Iranian officials have told the Guardian.

In a series of interviews in Tehran, top figures who shape Iranian foreign policy said the west’s strategy in Syria had merely encouraged radicals, caused chaos and ultimately backfired, with government forces now on the front foot.

“We have won in Syria,” said Alaeddin Borujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee and an influential government insider. “The regime will stay. The Americans have lost it.”

Terrorism perpetrated by al-Qaida-linked jihadist groups and individuals armed and funded by Sunni Muslim Arab countries was now the main threat facing the Syrian people, Borujerdi said. Many foreign fighters who had travelled to Syria from Britain and other European countries could soon return. “We are worried about the future security of Europe,” he said.

Amir Mohebbian, a conservative strategist and government adviser, said: “We won the game in Syria easily. The US does not understand Syria. The Americans wanted to replace Assad, but what was the alternative? All they have done is encourage radical groups and made the borders less safe.

“We accept the need for change in Syria – but gradually. Otherwise, there is chaos.”

Shia Muslim Iran is Assad’s main regional backer and has reportedly spent billions of dollars propping up the regime since the first revolt against the president broke out in March 2011. Along with Russia, the regime’s principal arms supplier, it has consistently bolstered Assad in the teeth of attempts to force him to step down.

Western analysts say Iran is engaged in a region-wide power struggle or proxy war, extending beyond Syria, with the Sunni Arab states of the Gulf, principally Saudi Arabia.

Tehran thus has an obvious interest in claiming victory for the Alawite Syrian regime, which is fighting mostly Sunni rebels, they say. Iranian officials and regional experts deny that is their motive.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi, deputy Iranian foreign minister, said the priority was to accept the rebellion had failed and to restore stability in Syria before next month’s presidential elections. “Extremism and turmoil in Syria must be tackled seriously by the international community. Those countries that are supplying extremist forces must stop helping them,” he said.”Iran has good relations with the Syrian government, though that does not mean they listen to us,” Ravanchi said. He denied Iran had supplied weapons and Revolutionary Guards combatants to help defeat the rebels, as western intelligence agencies have claimed. “Iran has a diplomatic presence there. There is no unusual presence. We have no need to arm the Syrian government,” he said.

Despite its influence with Damascus and Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia militia fighting alongside government forces, Iran has been largely excluded from international talks to forge a peace settlement owing to US and British objections that Tehran does not accept the need for Assad to quit .

But following last week’s rebel retreat from the strategic city of Homs, the so-called capital of the revolution, some western politicians and commentators have also reached the conclusion that Assad has won.

The US and its Gulf Arab allies have supplied funding, equipment and arms to the Syrian rebels. Last year, the US president, Barack Obama, appeared on the point of launching air and missile attacks over the Assad government’s use of chemical weapons, but Obama’s last-minute decision to pull back was interpreted in Tehran and Damascus as a sign the US was having second thoughts and was not wholly committed to winning the war.

“I think the Americans made a big mistake in Syria and I think they know it, though they would never say so,” said Mohammad Marandi, a Tehran university professor. “If they had accepted the Annan plan in 2012 [which would have left Assad in place pending a ceasefire and internationally monitored elections] we could have avoided all this.”

“Iran sincerely believed it had no other option but to support the Assad government. Anything else would have resulted in the collapse of Syria and it falling into the hands of extremists,” he said.

More than 150,000 people are believed to have died in the Syrian conflict and at least 9 million have been displaced.

Fonte: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/11/syria-crisis-iran-assad-won-war-tehran