Axis of Resistance Needs to Make its Narrative Heard: Sharmine Narwani
Story Code : 565032
By propaganda I don't mean lying, rather, I mean that the governments need to share their valuable narratives in a skillful way. It is time to accept defeat in war of narratives,” Sharmine Narwani says.
Mrs. Narwani is an author and former West Asia (Middle East) affairs researcher at Saint Anthony College of Oxford University. She took her M.A degree in both journalism and West Asia studies from School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University in New York. Narwani is currently living in London. Her article “How the Narratives Killed the Syrian People" for the first time was published by RT (Russia Today) news network, and was translated in seven languages. The following is an interview with this author.
Q: In your article you referred to the Axis of Resistance. How do you know this camp? And in other words what is your definition of the identity of the Axis of Resistance?
A: In my view, the key members of the Axis of Resistance are Iran, Syria, and (Lebanon’s) Hezbollah, but specifically in past few years the charisma of the Axis saw an increase and other countries in different degrees have taken part in it. For example, Iraq shares security goals with this alliance as it fights the common enemy of the takfiris. The same can be said about Russia. All these five parties since last year have been cooperating with each other in different ways in the Iraqi and Syrian frontlines during their fight against the takfiri camp. The members of this alliance are sharing a common worldview that seeks independence, right to determine fate, anti-imperialism, and adherence to the rule of law that are guaranteed in the international affairs. So, the attraction of the Axis can even expand. You have China, Venezuela, South Africa, Bolivia, and many other countries that share the same worldview and political outlook with the Axis of Resistance.
Q: In a part of your article you have referred to a security arc that starts from the Levant and ends in the Persian Gulf region. Can you explain about it?
A: In 2013 I wrote an article in which I predicted the security cooperation of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran that largely was correct. These countries had to join forces as they faced destabilizing factors and terrorism that in first degree were backed and fed by the US, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. This security arc, that once was raised by the King Abdullah of Jordan as a sectarian Shiite Crescent and made a large splash, today has turned into a reality not for sectarian reasons but due to the acts of the neighboring countries and the global powers that aim at weakening Iran by destroying Syria. My theory was that these four countries would need military collaboration to eliminate the common security threat, and this collaboration prompts deeper economic and political relations. This issue, in turn, would lead to expansion of the cooperation in this camp and so a new political bloc rises in the region. I believe that the terrorism that expanded from the Levant to the Persian Gulf region can be defeated by this four-member bloc, and the foreign military forces are non-productive and unnecessary unless they are invited by members of this security arc.
When this security arc becomes stable, it would present a pattern for the other countries of the region especially the neighboring countries that are gripped with instability. I expect Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, and very likely Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, to move towards stronger relations with this security arc in a bid to largely cooperate on political, economic, and security crises in the region.
Q: You said that that we now have a lot of chances to build the world and the West Asia according to our own views. Can you elaborate on these chances?
A: The West and its proxies in the West Asia cannot win this anti-Resistance war. In fact, the current conflicts are their ultimate hostile efforts to establish their hegemony, but they would lose the war.
In this way they use money, weapons, and political strength. But look what they have earned today? Due to intervention in Syria, the NATO-member Turkey is today facing critical conditions at home as it faces challenges such as the Kurds, political infighting, and the takfiris. The Saudis have lost in their adventures in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. The Qataris became limited to their 200 square kilometers government. The US, Britain, and France are wasting their sources and cash as they try to bring under control Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and other countries in the region under the excuse of supporting democracy. All of them are facing backfiring terrorism, domestic political fights, and people's demands for their rights. The EU is collapsing, NATO has lost its relevance, and fascism is on the rise in any angle across the world.
Syria was a turning point among other challenges. The Syrian crisis dragged Russia and China to the West Asia, and caused a global deadlock. Today we are on the threshold of a fundamental change in political, economic, and financial order of the world. New power centers are rising, and the old powers are breathing their last. There is no better chance than now to organize a new world order in which we find our ideals realized. What kind of West Asia do we want? What is the solution to the Palestinian issue? How to solve our economic problems? We no longer need the International Monetary Fund, Washington, or NATO to tell us how.
We do not need buying Boeing airplanes to win the Americans' content. We do not need to become a market for buying Western products so that they accept us. Let's have a leading role in creation of the new narrative. Asia would be the next rising hub. If I were the Iranian decision makers, I planned to have my country become the eastern wing of the Asian century. A key exporter and a trusted friend of all of those who want to learn from the considerable resistive economy model of Iran. I would teach in Jordan, Algeria, and Egypt how we can manage a country after eight years of devastating war with the oil price at only $8 per barrel. I would teach the Iranian healthcare methods implemented in their provinces and would give tips to help them establish their technology-based economy.
The West Asia needs to stand on its feet even though Westerners are expecting us to give up. In chaos and ruins of the West Asia there are still plenty of chances on the condition that we be active and astute. We can be stronger and more competitive than ever. The future is now. Let's we write it.
Q: You said that the Axis of Resistance is weak in promoting its narratives and confronting the false narratives of the Western media. What do you suggest to change this?
A: The Axis of Resistance is a considerable model of efficiency in the region, and has taken long military, economic, and financial steps in the face of inequalities. But it does not value propaganda. By propaganda I don't mean lying, rather, I mean that the governments need to share their valuable narratives in a skillful way. What did the Axis of Resistance do to make its voice reach the global audience? There are useless media that are administered by unprofessional people. When I see the bias in the news reports and headlines (of these media), I feel so tormented.
The worldview of the of Axis of Resistance appeals to the majority of the regional nations and even the world. When you talk about Palestine and independence, when you talk about technology-based economy, when you talk about fighting imperialism and the right to determine fate and justice, who opposes you? But why people find sectarianism, war, and terrorism as synonymous with the Axis of Resistance?
There are people that do not do their job well. They think they can start a defensive war without explaining the reason why it is right, vital, and fair to start it. You cannot only rely on the weekly speeches of (Ayatollah) Ali Khamenei and (Sayyed) Hassan Nasrallah to confront the Western media and their proxies. They have tens of thousands of journalists, newspapers and satellite broadcasters.
It's time for the Axis of Resistance to accept defeat in the war of narratives. Progress means accepting the mistakes and correcting them.
The Axis of Resistance understands this in its daily experiences in battlefields and so reviews its tactics to comply with the requirements, but it does not understand that if it loses in the war of narratives, it would never be a winner on the ground. The Americans are talking about winning over the heart and mind. They are right and are making heavy investment on narratives to back their strategic objectives. We do not need to reinvent the wheel; we only need to have our own wheel.