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There is no doubt that the US remains the indispensable power in the Middle East, and just about every state in the region relies heavily on the US’ political support and protection. This, however, does not suggest that the US has a magic wand and can simply wave it and change overnight the dynamics of the multiple conflicts sweeping and consuming the region. None of Trump’s predecessors has had that kind of power and Trump has even less.
On a scale not seen since the ‘great’ world depression of the 1930’s, the US political system is experiencing sharp political attacks, divisions and power grabs. Executive firings, congressional investigations, demands for impeachment, witch hunts, threats of imprisonment for ‘contempt of Congress’ and naked power struggles have shredded the façade of political unity and consensus among competing powerful US parties and companies.
For the first time in US history, the incumbent elected president struggles on a daily basis to wield state power. The opposition-controlled state and corporate agencies of mass media are pitted against the presidential regime. Factions of the military elite and business oligarchy face off in the domestic and international arena. The oligarchs debate and insult each other. They falsify charges, plot and deceive. Their political acolytes, who witness these momentous conflicts, are mute, dumb and blind to the real interests at stake.
The struggle between the presidential supporters and the opposition oligarchs has profound consequences for their factions and for the American people. Wars and markets, pursued by sections of the oligarchs, have led opposing sections to seek control over the means of political manipulation (media and threats of judicial action). Intense political competition and open political debate have nothing to do with ‘democracy’ as it now exists in the United States.
Trump intensified the ideological war with North Korea and Iran; promised to increase ground troops in Afghanistan and Syria; boosted military and advisory support for the Saudi invasion of Yemen; and increased US backing for violent demonstrations and mob attacks in Venezuela.
Donald Trump‘s first foreign visit has begun to define America’s foreign-policy posture. After almost two years of words and rhetoric, Trump has began to reverse his electoral promises with diametrically opposed actions.
The tour in Saudi Arabia and Israel, in addition to the usual assurances concerning the sale of weapons – Trump has secured nearly 400 billion dollars of sales to the Saudi kingdom – coincided with the new American project in Syria to directly or indirectly control all the country’s borders. During his meetings with Saudi officials, he said nothing about their gross violation of human rights and the kingdom’s promotion of islamic wahhabi extremism. On the contrary, he was delighted to conclude an arms deal worth over $110 billion, becoming more like a merchant of death rather than a messenger of peace.
Trump’s journey to the Middle East has thus had the goal of boosting the sale of weapons, the confidence in the US as an ally, and the organization of a strategy in Syria. US plan envisaged is essentially that of employing all resources available to prevent Assad from controlling the borders between Syria and Iraq and Syria and Jordan, effectively freezing the situation in Syria. Washington’s desperate wish is to prevent a union between Syria, Iraq, Iran and Hezbollah, for such would spell the creation of a Shiite arch that is clearly opposed to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar and Turkey.
The final strategy for Washington is as simple as it is difficult to implement, namely, to isolate Iran while preventing the emergence of a link between Iran and the Mediterranean, something that is connected to the export of gas and oil from Tehran to Europe, in sharp contrast to the Qataris’ plan to export gas through Iraq and Syria in Europe. In addition to the energy corridors and the domination of the region, there is a much wider picture to consider.
Riddled with hypocrisy, clichés and absurdities, President Donald Trump’s speech before an assembly of monarchs and despots in Saudi Arabia spelled out an agenda of escalating US militarism throughout the Middle East and a buildup in particular toward war with Iran. The reality is that US wars in the region have killed millions over the past decade-and-a-half. And the thrust of the US president’s visit to Saudi Arabia, his first stop in a nine-day foreign tour, is the preparation for new and even bloodier conflicts.
This was made plain by the principal agreements forged between Trump and the Saudi monarchy, which included a $110 billion arms deal that incorporates the option to purchase $350 billion worth of weapons over the next 10 years.
The deep state in Washington, and Trump to a lesser extent, realized that a last attempt was to be made in Syria with the takeover of Raqqa and the conquest of the borders between Syria and Iraq and Syria and Jordan. All future projects of the Wahhabi-neocon-Israeli alliance depend on the military success of these operations.
If Assad will be able to secure his country by defending its borders, the Shiite arc will finally come to life and at that point it will only be a matter of time.
Trump’s Muslim world address was an exercise in deception – exposed by longstanding US policies, its endless wars of aggression, and announced deal to sell Riyadh hundreds of billions of dollars worth of powerful weapons over the next decade, entirely for offense, not defense. Washington’s goal isn’t “stamping out (terrorist) extremism,” as Trump claimed, it’s supporting and encouraging it to further US aims for unchallenged global dominance. The Riyadh Declaration is part of the scheme to pursue this objective, polar opposite what its signatories claim.
There is a ruthless struggle in various areas of the Middle East and North Africa on which the future of millions of people will depend. A victory for Assad and Syria today is a defeat for the American-Israeli-Saudi war machine and a triumph for the future the evolving multipolar world.
Source: Clement Kpeklitsu