Tag Archives: Middle East

The US Desperately Needs To Rethink Its Middle East Strategy, by Paul Sullivan

Playing nice in the Middle East is winning China and Russia more friends than the US’s bullying. From Paul Sullivan at oilprice.com:

Is the Middle East still important? This is a seemingly absurd question, yet some are asking this in Washington. The Middle East is the source of massive reserves in oil and gas. Much of the fuel to produce goods and trade from Asia and the EU comes from the Middle East. Much of the world economy relies on Middle East energy. The region has strategic chokepoints like the Strait of Hormuz, The Suez Canal, and The Bab al Mandab. It is a source of some of the more significant threats in the world, such as from ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other groups. It contains some of the most important security connections in the world. Consider the neighbors of the Middle East and not just the Middle East. The Middle East is a crossroads for energy and security. It also could be one of the generators of change and improvement, if it is allowed and supported to do so.  However, as the U.S. becomes more focused on “The Great Powers Conflict” in Asia, especially with China, it is becoming clearer that the U.S. is losing the plot in the Middle East. Consider the slow to no reaction to the shipping of Iranian fuel with the help of Hezbollah and Syria to Lebanon.

The U.S. could have done many different things to help the Lebanese with this without handing a massive public relations and political victory to its adversaries. But, in some ways, Washington’s sanctions have painted it into a corner on such issues. Consider how the U.S. took the anti-missile batteries from Saudi Arabia as the Houthis are still attacking Saudi Arabia with missiles. The Saudis made a deal with the Russians in response to this and other moves by the U.S. The U.S. handed leverage to the Russians. These are just two of many examples of how the plot is being lost.

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Blinken on Damage-Limitation Tour After Afghanistan Fiasco, by Finian Cunningham

The Biden administration is sending a schmuck to convince our allies that the Biden administration isn’t full of schmucks. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:

Washington’s whirlwind outreach is evidently an effort to shore up confidence among U.S. allies in American defense commitments.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting the Middle East and Europe this week in an effort to repair the damage to Washington’s standing with its allies following the disastrous retreat from Afghanistan.

The top U.S. diplomat first goes to Qatar, the Persian Gulf state which has served as a forward – and now backward – operating base for the Pentagon during its military occupation of Afghanistan. Blinken then travels to the giant U.S. airbase at Ramstein, Germany, which was also a vital logistics hub for prosecuting America’s “longest war” – a war that ended in spectacular failure last month. There he will meet German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas ahead of a virtual conference with other European officials on the challenges posed by postwar Afghanistan.

Blinken’s itinerary will overlap with that of the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin who is also visiting Qatar and the other Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Washington’s whirlwind outreach is evidently an effort to shore up confidence among U.S. allies in American defense commitments. The dramatic and hasty pullout from Afghanistan by the Biden administration has left allies wondering if their American patron can be trusted when the chips are down.

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Why the West Funds Terrorism, by Cynthia Chung

The West, led by the US government, has funded a long and illustrious list of organizations that meet anyone’s definition of terrorist, including many who have declared war against the US and the West. From Cynthia Chung at strategic-culture.org:

It is clear that the declared “enemy” in this “War on Terror,” is not what we were led to believe, and increasingly, it is beginning to look like the enemy may in fact be, anyone who resists this global agenda.

I believe in a cruel God who made me in his image and who in fury I name.

– Iago, in Verdi’s Opera Othello

On June 22, 2021, Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva published an expose titled “US fuels Syrian war with new arms supplies to Al Qaeda terrorists,” showing documents obtained by the US Federal Contracts Registry, revealing that the US Army Contracting Command, ACC Picatinny Arsenal,  has contracted eight American companies to procure Category 1 End User Certificate weapons from 2020-2025.

According to Gaytandzhieva, the Pentagon is buying $2.8 billion worth of weapons for conflict zones around the world. Most of the weapons are destined for Syria. After all, the Idlib Province in Syria (which is presently entirely controlled by Al Qaeda) has been recognised as one of the most strategic locations in the Middle East.

There are even a number of propaganda videos by Hayat Tahrir Al Sham HTS (formerly known as Al Nusra Front, which is Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria), showing them using American TOW anti-tank missiles.

A US-made TOW missile system seized by Syrian troops during their offensive in Urum al-Kubra in the de-escalation zone of Idlib. The province is under the control of the terrorist group HTS. (Telegram)

Propaganda footage published by Ibba news agency, linked to the terrorist organisation HTS, shows HTS militants being trained to operate American BGM-71 TOW weapon systems, Kornet and Konkurs anti-tank systems in the Syrian province of Idlib (Telegram @new_militarycolumnist)

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Palestine: Hamas Defeats Israel, by The Saker

Israel’s enemies in the Middle East know it is not invincible. From The Saker at unz.com:

Credit: Musa Al-Shaer/AFP

Just like in 2006, when both Ehud Olmert and George Bush declared that the “invincible IDF” had, yet again, achieved a “glorious victory” and the entire Middle-East almost died laughing hearing this ridiculous claim, today both the US and Israeli propaganda machine have declared another “glorious” victory for the “Jewish state of Israel” cum “sole democracy in the Middle-East”. And, just like in 2006, everybody in the region (and in Zone B) knows that the truth is that the Zionist entity suffered a huge, humiliated, defeat. Let’s try to unpack this.

First, a few numbers. The combat operations lasted two weeks. All other missile numbers are in dispute. Rather than trust this or that source, I will simply say that Hamas fired many thousands of missiles into Israel. Some, probably less than 50%, were truly intercepted by the Israeli air defenses, others hit in no man’s land, and some actually landed and caused plenty of destruction and at least 12 deaths. The Israelis executed hundreds of artillery and airstrikes causing massive destruction in the Gaza strip and killing about 250 Palestinians. Again, these numbers are guesstimates and they don’t really tell the full story. To understand the story, we need to forget about these numbers and look at what each side was hoping for and what each side achieved. Let’s begin with the Israelis:

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Why The Main Argument Against Withdrawing US Troops Is Bogus, by Caitlin Johnstone

Maybe the Middle East can manage its own affairs. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Former National Security Advisor and literal psychopath John Bolton has a new opinion piece out in Foreign Policy titled “‘Bring the Troops Home’ Is a Dream, Not a Strategy“, which should surprise no one and enrage everyone at the same time. The fact that this reptile continues to be elevated on mainstream platforms after consistently revealing himself to be a bloodthirsty liar is all the evidence you need that we are trapped inside a globe-spanning empire fueled by human corpses.

John Bolton has pushed for deranged acts of mass military slaughter at every opportunity. He not only remains one of the only people in the world to continually insist that the Iraq invasion was a great idea, but has actually argued that the destabilization and chaos caused by the invasion cannot be attributed to Bush’s war because you can’t prove that “everything that followed from the fall of Saddam Hussein followed inevitably, solely, and unalterably from the decision to overthrow him.” There are harrowing accounts of Bolton threatening, assaulting and intimidating anyone with less power than him if they got in his way; he once threatened to harm the children of former OPCW Director General Jose Bustani because Bustani was interfering in attempts to manufacture consent for the Iraq war.

In an even remotely sane civilization, such a creature would be driven from every town he entered until he is forced to crawl into a cave for the rest of his miserable life eating bats alone in the darkness. Instead he is given the mainstream spotlight whenever he wishes while truthful and intelligent anti-imperialists are relegated to fringe blogs and podcasts. This would not be the case if we did not live in an empire that is held together by war and war propaganda.

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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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Shock and Awe Is a State of Mind: Millions of Deaths Have Not Made Americans Safer, by Philip Giraldi

How can invading foreign lands that pose no threat to the US make Americans safer? From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

That the United States likes to use expressions like “shock and awe” or “maximum pressure” would rather suggest that there is a psychopath working in the White House basement whose full-time job is to come up with pithy one-liners to somehow euphemize government bad behavior. The expressions hardly mean anything in and of themselves apart from “tough talk” but they do serve as an alternative to having to admit in plain language to the killing of millions of people since the Global War on Terror began in 2001. “Millions?” one might skeptically ask. Yes, millions if one includes all those killed directly or indirectly as a result of the wars. Direct victims of the violence number at least 157,000 in Afghanistan, 182,000 in Iraq, 400,000 in Syria and 25,000 in Libya. And if you want to go back a few years three million Vietnamese died in 1964-1975 while 2.5 million civilians were killed in Korea. And even in the “Good War” World War 2 there were unnecessary incidents to include the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed 105,000, the firebombing of Tokyo adding another 97,000, and the firebombing of Hamburg and Dresden that together killed 45,000.

An estimated ten million more civilians have been displaced from their homes since 2001, creating refugee crises in both Europe and the Americas, while trillions of dollars have also been wasted or “misplaced” by the geniuses at the Pentagon and in Congress. And some might reasonably argue that the violence taking place all around the world has also been internalized in the U.S., with mass murders surfacing in the news media every few days. Some argue that the United States has nearly always been at war since its founding, which would be true, but it is also correct to note that the nature of America’s lethal engagement with the rest of the world has changed in the past twenty years. Old wars were fought to expand territory and trade or to acquire colonies for the same purpose, meaning they were intended to increase one’s power and wealth. Since 9/11, however, the wars are being fought seemingly without any real identifiable objective while also inflicting significant losses in relative wealth and power on the United States.

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The Entire World Should Be Laughing At America For Pretending To Care About Muslims In China, by Caitlin Johnstone

Hypocrisy, as HL Mencken once said, is the hair running through the hot dog of American foreign policy. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

The current representative of the US empire finally held his first full press conference yesterday, an embarrassing and undignified affair which saw a gaggle of obsequious imperial stenographers gather round to make believe that important policy decisions about the operation of the most powerful government in the world are actually being made by this dried up empty husk of a man who can barely think or talk.

Once again we heard the US empire babbling about the plight of Muslims in China, with the words tumbling out of Biden’s dementia-addled brain that he “made it clear that no American president, at least one did, but no American president had ever backed down from speaking out of what’s happening in the Uyghurs.”

By “what’s happening in the Uyghurs” Biden was attempting to articulate a concern for the human rights of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, a talking point the US empire has been fallaciously and dishonestly pushing with more and more aggression as attempts to halt the rise of China escalate in urgency. And literally seconds later, Biden made it clear that that is exactly what this feigned concern for Muslim lives was indeed really about.

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Joe Biden Is Following a Blueprint for Forever War, by Danny Sjursen

Going bigger in Syria and backing up the power-mad idiot in Saudi Arabia just gets the US more stuck on the Middle Eastern tar baby. From Danny Sjursen at inthesetimes.com:

Bombing Syria and excusing the crimes of the Saudi crown prince won’t bring us any closer to a withdrawal from the Middle East.

Last week, the U.S. military bombed a site near al-Hurri, along the Iraqi border inside Syria, where Iranian-backed Iraqi militias were allegedly stationed. Although the U.S. launched its missiles across an international border (and without the approval of Congress), White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki framed the strike as a ​defensive” response to a series of rocket attacks that have killed one and wounded several Americans over the past two weeks. The American bombing left up to a handful dead,” according to one U.S. official who spoke with CNN, and Tehran condemned the assault as ​illegal and a violation of Syria’s sovereignty” — a perception gap certain to complicate President Joe Biden’s pronounced plans to reverse Donald Trump’s antagonistic Iran policies and rejoin the nuclear deal.

The campaign will do little to further the United States’ objectives in the Middle East (in as much as they can even be articulated at this point), but it heralds something more dispiriting still: That nearly two decades into a regional war, Washington (perhaps willfully) does not understand the Syria-Iraq-Iran nexus, and that the Biden administration is following a failed blueprint in the Middle East — a reality that was thrown into even sharper relief when the U.S. elected not to punish Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) after the release of a declassified intelligence report that found he was directly responsible for the murder of the Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi.

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9 Signs That Chess Pieces Are Being Moved Into Place For A Major War In The Middle East, by Michael Snyder

Would anybody be surprised that the same crew who brought us Libya and Syria forever wars would start a new one in the Middle East? From Michael Snyder at themostimportantnews.com:

The American people are really going to regret putting the warmongers back in control.  Joe Biden has been in the White House for less than two months, and the warmongers that Biden has surrounded himself with have been feverishly setting the stage for the next war in the Middle East.  I do not believe that it will start within the next week, but I do believe that it is inevitable.  While President Trump was in the White House for four years, the U.S. didn’t start any new conflicts, but now the Biden administration is quite determined to start projecting “American influence” all over the globe once again.  Most Americans don’t understand the bigger picture, but the truth is that this is going to have very serious implications over the next few years.

In this article, I would like to examine some of the chess moves that have been made since Joe Biden entered the White House.  As you will see, a very troubling picture emerges once you start putting all of the pieces together.

#1 Literally one day after Biden was inaugurated, a massive U.S. military convoy rolled into Syria

A large US military convoy entered northeastern Syria on Thursday, Syrian state news agency SANA reports, citing sources on the ground.

According to the report, the convoy included some 40 trucks and armored vehicles and was backed from the air by helicopters.

President Trump had tried very hard to disengage from the war in Syria, but Biden has made it crystal clear that the U.S. will be heavily involved in that conflict moving forward.

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