Thursday, November 17, 2011
George Friedman from Stratfor's most recent essay about the Middle East is for the most part accurate. It does not make any bold predictions, but does outline the current and coming conflicts.
Iran's best case is that its alignment with the powers in Iraq and Syria will grow closer as US influence in Iraq continues to decline and if Syria does not fall to the current disturbances.
Libya had never been of strategic importance. It was already selling oil, was already not acting against Israel other than purely symbolically. Claims that Gaddafi was a genocidal maniac are just stupid, not worthy of response. What Barack Obama got out of Libya was that he made a statement that leaders who are not pure stooges like Mubarak can also be forced out of power. That statement only cost tens of thousands of unnecessarily lost Libyan lives.
There is currently less focus on the US colonies of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and others when attention is directed toward Libya and Syria. The colonies are more comfortable in this position but again, that is not worth one life. It was a betrayal of humanity for Barack Obama to trade Libyan life as cheaply and easily as he did.
If Syria survives, which still from outside seems the most likely course of events, then Assad's cooperation with Israel and the regional colonies will only decrease. If he falls, that would be a victory for the US and Israel, especially if Syria implodes as Iraq did and becomes unable have an impact on the region outside of its borders.
I'm still hoping this situation resolves relatively gracefully.
Iraq was destroyed by a constant but changing campaign of US hostility that began around 1990. Iraq is now beginning to rebuild but the US has established a presence and vectors of influence on the Iraqi government that though declining, are declining from a previous state of complete dependency. Iraq at its height was more responsive to US direction than even Saudi Arabia. As US influence declines, that is where it is declining from.
The hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been killed there by various US policies since 1990 were killed for a largely successful campaign to prevent Iraq from threatening Israel and the string of colonies the US maintains in the region for Israel's sake. It is interesting that the US also sacrificed over 4400 US troops for this, as well as hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars of costs related to its occupations in the region.
Iraq is now rebuilding, and is somewhat independent. Decades from now when it has restored its ability to influence the region outside its borders it may pose new problems for the US, or the region may by that time be unrecognizable on today's terms.
Egypt's elections remain the crucial event in the upcoming future. The military, certainly with US encouragement, is working to limit the influence Egypt's voters have both on the constitution and on Egyptian foreign policy. But the military does not have a rationale for excluding the people of Egypt that it can say in public and it has active and ideologically coherent opponents. It is not clear that the military will successfully exclude the public from policy after elections now that Mubarak is gone.
The United States continues to make huge sacrifices in diplomatic power, money and lives to remain a negative influence on the region. The net impact of the last twenty years is that after these huge expenditures, the US goal of securing an enforced Jewish political majority state is more difficult to achieve than before.
There is a real question of not only should - which is clearly no from a moral standpoint, even by the professed US moral system - but could the US maintain its commitment to support an enforced Jewish political majority state for twenty more years. By 2031, we'll have seen the answer to that question.
Posted by Arnold Evans at 12:53 PM