Operation Spring Shield, which was launched to halt the human tragedy unfolding in northwestern Syria's Idlib amid the brutal attacks by the Bashar Assad regime, has been of critical importance. In particular, various developments in the region over the last three years have displayed the full array of double standards that the U.S., Russia, the European Union, China and Iran advance, as well as the bipolar attitude they exhibit – working with common, and sometimes opposing, interests in the region – like the Janus of Roman myth.
Condoleezza Rice's “Transforming the Middle East” article, penned on August 7, 2003, during her time as the White House national security adviser, posited the idea that just as the U.S. had transformed Europe post-World War II, now it is time for it to play a transformative role in the Middle East along with friends and allies of the U.S. working to realign 22 regional countries. As Rice would have it, in the absence of such a transformation, the socioeconomic and political framework of the region would mean constant instability in the region and mark it as a source of threats to the U.S.
This process – known as the "Enlarged Middle East Project" – has been subject to many allegations, accusations and criticisms over the last 17 years. The fact that this process was a “U.S.-Israeli military-security cooperation project” aiming to change the borders of the 22 regional countries, prioritizing the emergence of three or four different autonomous regions or countries from among the existing makeup, has been stated by many experts, nongovernmental organizations, think tanks and politicians both in the U.S. and worldwide. Where we are today shows that, beyond all claims, arguments, criticisms, accusations and refutations, we are experiencing a “difficult, hard to describe” human tragedy, in an atmosphere of “tension, insecurity, instability” covering the entire Middle East and the Gulf.
At this point, Turkey, which strengthened its position as a “humanitarian oasis” in Eurasia thanks to the economic and democratic reforms it has implemented over the last 17 years, has become the only country for citizens east and south of its borders in which to seek refuge. In order to protect those fleeing the various disasters caused by the countries focused only on their interests in Asia, the Middle East, the Gulf and Africa, from the humanitarian tragedy extending to Asia, Turkey is carrying out a humanitarian and liberation operation by putting all elements of its hard and soft power on the field with a dignified stance in line with its traditions.
At a time when the center of gravity is being pulled back and forth most viciously between the Asia-Pacific and Atlantic regions, Turkey, thanks to its self-confidence and the ability to maneuver owed to its local-national defense projects, is imposing its absolute amount of weight it can muster on both friends and enemies in the name of pursuing this fight. To recall the words of the late professor Necmettin Erbakan, one of the most important politicians in modern Turkish history: “If one day, the problem is Syria, know that the target is Turkey.” We will work in unity and solidarity to focus over the next 25-50 years in committing justice to the reality that furthermore: “A strong Turkey is a guarantee of regional and global stability.”
Virus’s boomerang effect
Data from the World Health Organization's (WHO) flu-fighting unit shows that each year, 1 billion people catch various types of the virus, that between 3 and 5 million people heavily suffer from such illnesses and that, unfortunately, around 650,000 people die as a result. When the coronavirus debate first flared up, the main issue raised on social media centered around the simulation that Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates shared a few years ago which showed that, in the event of a pandemic similar to Spanish flu, nearly 33 million people could die within six months.
Subsequently, as if rumors of the virus as a biological weapon claimed by certain “experts” were not enough, when this was combined with confessions by the Chinese and South Korean governments that they were late in the fight against the coronavirus, the issue has since spiked global fears. Border security measures rightfully taken by countries to protect their citizens from the outbreak are challenging the transportation industry and global trade on a global scale.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has reduced its global growth forecast from 2.9% to 2.4%, taking into account the possible negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the world's GDP growth. Reports state that COVID-19, compared with the SARS outbreak, has now surpassed the total $40 billion loss suffered as a result of SARS, with an economic loss already totaling $43 billion. Following the Australian Central Bank’s interest rate cut, the U.S. Federal Reserve's 50-point interest rate cut at its surprise extraordinary meeting and the World Bank's $12 billion and IMF's $50 billion coronavirus support packages, all indicate that important evaluations were made at the teleconference of G7 countries' treasury ministers and central bank representatives.
Many global financial institutions have stated that a global loss of national income and of trade of goods and services between $500 billion and $1 trillion may be lost. The sharp decline in China's manufacturing and non-manufacturing confidence indices have also broken spirits. U.S. President Trump, pointing to the interest rate cut by the Australian Central Bank, requested a heavy interest rate cut, citing Fed President Jerome Powell's immobility against the coronavirus and alleging his having dragged the United States into a disadvantaged position.
At this point, since there are those who have turned the coronavirus issue into a fear epidemic in order to break the arms and wings of the Chinese economy, the global crisis has transformed into a vortex that the world pays for in sectoral dimensions, especially in global transportation, tourism, logistics and automotive industries. The fear epidemic has boomeranged back on the Atlantic.
Let's hope that the crisis will settle down when temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere start to rise with the coming spring.