Looking For The Linchpin

NOTE:  I wrote this post about a month ago…..could not post it for all the scandals that were made up and I had to respond……and now Turkey has exploded so I guess I should post this before more happens……

There is a theory in international relations called the linchpin theory….basically, it is an occurrence, a small occurrence, that could explode into a society ending situation……a couple of good examples are WW1 and the Arab Spring…..

First linch pin was on 20 June 1914 a Bosnian student assassinated one of the heirs to the Austr0Hungarian empire in Sarajevo, Bosnia……after the killing there was a period of back and forth diplomatic adventures….and it slowly broke down to an alignment of countries that lead to the first great war of the 20th century…..July of 1914 the Austro-Hungarians decided to punish Serbia for the act of assassination….the Russians could not chance losing their influence in the Balkans decided to come to the rescue of Serbia…..then like dominoes countries fell into the trap of war……France, then Germany, then England and the Turks and much later the USA……in the end it changed the face of Europe forever……and in the end the Ottoman Empire was gone…..imperial Russia gone…….Austro-Hungarian collapsing….and all with a total of about 3 million dead……..because of one minor situation……the assassination was the linchpin needed…..

My second example is the recent Arab Spring of a year ago……The term “Arab Spring” was an invention by the media to conjure up visions of the revolt by Eastern European countries against the authority of the USSR……the revolts across North Africa and the Middle East encompassed almost every country in the region….Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and to a lesser extent in countries like Bahrain, Oman even the authoritarian state like Saudi Arabia was not exempt….there were many things that added fuel to the fire of revolt….unemployment, economic inequalities, extreme poverty, political corruption and human rights violations…….. but it all began with the actions of one man…….

The catalyst for the current escalation of protests was the self-immolation of Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi.  Unable to find work and selling fruit at a roadside stand, on 17 December, a municipal inspector confiscated his wares.  An hour later he doused himself with gasoline and set himself afire.  One seemingly minor situation and the man became the face of a region ripe for change……..he was the linchpin that started a region on a path to revolt and change…….

Now in today’s world where high unemployment, austerity, corruption, class divisions getting deeper, I believe it is only a matter of time before there is a global situation and it will begin with a single seemingly unimportant occurrence…….and I believe it will originate in the Middle East…….

I have been an observer of the situations in the ME for over thirty years….first as a student then as an participant in the region and now I research every aspect of the area daily for hours….and in my research I have found a couple of areas that could be the linchpin I search for……the Middle East is one, most accurately, the area around Southeast Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Occupied Territories….it is a volatile region and could be the linchpin….but it is also too damn obvious…..but the area that I feel could be the best chance of being the linchpin that starts a war of no end and total destruction…….

…..(insert drum roll and trumpet blasts)………

The area between the two seas……the Black sea and The Caspian……

Why?  This region is full of hatred for one group or another…..Chechens hate Russians, Armenians hate Turkey, There is South Ossetia within the borders of Georgia wanting independence, there are Kurds within the borders of most of the area’s countries and they have an argument with Turkey, then within Russian there is Dagestan that is a smoldering problem waiting for more fuel, Russia has had its nose disjointed by what they called an Azerbaijan snub, plus the government is cracking down on the press and other civil liberties…..very little of this region can be called stable and there is the rub…

This is the area that could produce the next history altering conflict….it bears watching.

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4 thoughts on “Looking For The Linchpin

  1. Interesting Dr. Chuq. While we focus on the “usual suspects” like Iran, Israel and now Syria, there could be the beginnings of greater volatility in those regions you point out here. We’ll have to wait and watch and hope that those who could prevent this region from exploding are also watching and acting.

  2. Chug, Seeing what is going on now, you hit the nail on the head. Russia feels safe to go down this road. They are not afraid of the US, they are pals with some of the most dangerous countries in the world who just happen to hate the US. Great article.

    1. Thanx….I write a lot on international stuff……I was a grad student in it and enjoy watching the world and of course ranting as I do…..glad you liked the post….chuq

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