A Middle East in Motion, by Alastair Crooke

The China-Russia duo is making inroads in the Middle East. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

U.S. sanctions are easily done, but not easily undone – even temporarily. Lifting them completely is institutionally almost impossible.

If we view the Middle East as a complex network system, it is possible to discern a number of dynamics that now are touching on their potential to shift the regional matrix entirely – to put it on a fresh path.

Some of these ‘seeds’ were sown, a while past: President Putin, in 2007 at Munich, told the largely western audience that the West had taken an adversarial stance toward Russia, challenging it. ‘Ok’, said Putin: We accept the challenge, and we shall prevail. His statement was met with open derision from the Munich audience.

Now, many years later, following the contentious exchanges at Anchorage, Putin’s riposte has emerged fully-fledged: China told Washington flatly, that it refused the imposition of western values and hegemony. China thus accepted, with Russia, the ‘western challenge’: It had its own values and vision that it intended to pursue, and noted that the U.S. was in no position of strength to demand otherwise. China (or Russia) does not seek war with the U.S. – nor want Cold War, either – but both stand steadfast by their ‘red lines’. They should be taken literally (i.e. they were no ‘posture’), China indicated.

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