IST’s Middle East Round-Up–Dec 2017

One of my major in college was Middle East East and I have been all consumed with the stupidity around the Korean Peninsula to write much about the situations in Syria and Iraq…..and the greater Middle East.

I hope to rectify my oversight here and now……

Saudi Arabia has been making nice with the shia militias in Iraq….think about that for a moment….Saudis are an extremist brand of Islam that does not approve for the shia’s beliefs…..what is this all about?

Saudi Arabia is attempting to mend its historically antagonistic relations with Iraq’s Shia, at Iran’s expense.

In early November, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a domestic shake-up, as well regionally, ratcheting up tensions with Iran, and sabre-rattling against the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

However, as Riyadh seemed to stoke tensions with the region’s Shia, there had been a quieter Saudi campaign unfolding to co-opt Iraq’s Shia.

While Riyadh has maintained relations with Iraq’s Arab Sunni politicians and tribes in the past, beginning in the summer of 2017 it has forged connections with Iraq’s Arab Shia political elite as well. In hindsight, this Saudi strategy has sought to undermine the relationship between Shia Iran and its co-religionists in Iraq.

Something about that situation smells.

Here’s why I ask that question…..

The Arab League is embroiled in a new cold war among its own members, largely over Iran’s role in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have so much influence in the Arab League that they got through a resolution of the foreign ministers committee condemning Iran and casting Lebanon’s Hizbullah as a terrorist organization committing terrorism in Arab countries. (This attitude is not new. In 2016, as well, the Arab League called Hizbullah terrorists).

This resolution was rejected by Lebanon, Syria and Iraq as well as by the Palestinian party-militia Gaza. At least in the past, Algeria has also refused to buy into such rhetoric. The Houthi government of Sanaa Yemen demurred, as well. I can’t imagine Oman going along with this wording, since it brokers deals with Iran.

It appears that some think that Iran is reshaping the Middle East…….

Iran has always seen itself as being in competition with the Arab states for domination of the Persian Gulf. Its ambitions were put on hold in the late 1980s, at the end of an eight-year war with Iraq that cost Iran more than a million casualties. The war ended in a military draw, but strategically it blocked Iran’s hopes for expanding its power westward. The war against the Islamic State, particularly in Iraq, has opened that door again

Most neocon analysts see the Middle East as a region being destabilized mostly by Iran but is there more to it than that?

One of America’s favorite talking points on Iran is its “destabilizing” role in the Middle East. There’s no question that Iran does things that contribute to regional instability. In particular, it frequently supports armed non-state actors that serve as alternate sources of power inside their countries—Yemen’s rebels, militias in Syria and Iraq, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

But Iran is not the only or even the biggest contributor to Middle Eastern instability. In this area its contribution is at least matched, if not exceeded, by rival Saudi Arabia. Or, to be more specific, by one particular rival in Riyadh: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS). Since his father King Salman appointed him defense minister in January 2015, no single individual has done more to destabilize the Middle East or put more civilian lives in jeopardy than the future Saudi ruler. Saudi rhetoric about Iran’s “aggression” aside, it’s been Saudi aggression that has most afflicted the region on MbS’s watch.

So why all this going on in the Middle East is there a way forward?

The ongoing aggressive and violent quest for power and dominance in the Middle East between two regional rivals i.e. Saudi Arabia and Iran has rendered peace and stability into a utopian idea that evades the region. In addition, the continued meddling of foreign powers ostensibly to fight terrorism and extremism further aggravates the situation and has seemingly spawned more intractable problems than solutions to the existing humanitarian crisis. The Yemen crisis, described by UN as “the largest humanitarian crisis,” has the potential to affect the entire region. The troubling fact is that the flawed approach and myopia of policy makers and the disgusting apathy and inaction of human rights organizations remain the same.

Personally, I use to believe that the Middle East would sort out its problems and a more peaceful region was possible…….but the US elected Fearless Fosdick and now I am not so sure….I see many more years of conflict before this is resolved…..

In closing let me leave my reader with one thought……for years that idiot BiBi and a wealth of US paid agents of Israel that serve in our Congress have been predicting the dangers to the homeland by Iran……it is bullsh*t!

Iran is NO threat to the US!

In a speech Tuesday at the Wilson Center in Washington, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration is “committed to addressing the totality of the Iranian threat,” asking America’s allies “to join us in standing up to all of Iran’s malign behavior,” including its “support for terrorist organizations” and “active ballistic missile development program.”

He echoed President Trump’s rationale last month for decertifying the Iran nuclear deal, an Obama-era agreement that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program by imposing a set of restrictions and a comprehensive inspections regime. Like Tillerson, Trump cited two issues that lie outside the deal itself: Iran’s support for proxy groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and Houthi rebels in Yemen; and Iran’s development of ballistic missiles.

And with the clowns running the US foreign policy they are approaching Iran from the wrong direction…..

In remarks on Oct. 13 when decertifying Iranian compliance with the July 2015 nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump called on Congress to address the “near total silence on Iran’s missile program” and prevent it from “developing an intercontinental ballistic missile.” Congress has since floated bills that would not only impose further sanctions on Iran for its missiles, but would also condition America’s commitment to the nuclear deal on Iran’s missile policies.

While the European Union and the United States differ on the nuclear deal, they have taken a common position on Iran’s missile capability, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying on Nov. 9 that Iran’s missile program should be restricted, either via negotiations or sanctions.

The Middle East is truly a tinderbox and the US policies are not making things better.
I know it is a lot to take in but your knowledge has increased 100 fold thanx to this round-up.

9 thoughts on “IST’s Middle East Round-Up–Dec 2017

  1. My own thoughts on this stem from the ‘Cold War’. When the Soviet Union and the USA held the balance of power in the respective regions of east and west, there was actually a feeling of security, an inherent belief that the world would not be plunged into total war, as either side had far too much to lose.
    Since the break up of the Soviet Union, and those European countries under its influence, we have had nothing but conflict in Europe, both military, and political. It now seems that those two super powers are intent on playing out a similar game by proxy, in the middle east and wider region. Destabilising the countries there seems to be an overwhelming compulsion, something that both sides cannot resist.

    It reminds me a lot of ‘compulsive gambling’.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. What Like this?
      Auntie Beeb at it again?

      ukcolumn,org news 1pm today analyses EU ROM-COM by @BBCNews @adamfleming @SofiaBettiza plus more please join us and bring a few friends …

      1. live 1pm today as we analyse @BBCNews ‘documentary’
        For the Brits.

  2. pftt….look to Israel/USA (same thing)Saudi/UK/France etc etc
    Perhaps,we shall have to build a wall.
    Lets call it a Cold War Wall.
    Lets call it a feeling of security.

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