Middle East: the Fleeting Mirages of the United States
Members of the Washington administration, who claim to govern the whole world, every day surprise everyone with their political short-sightedness.
For example, United States Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson called on the pro-Iranian armed groups fighting Islamists on Iraqi territory to “return home” because the war with DAISH is coming to an end. It is not clear whether Mr. Tillerson was actually calling upon these groups fighting the bandit monster created by the United States to return to Iran or to their Iraqi homes. Although these groups are armed and funded by Tehran, they are composed of Iraqi Shiites who are located and fighting in their homeland. The precautionary Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, not only refrained from welcoming the call of this American “great politician”, but categorically stated that the militias from the pro-Iranian factions were real “Iraqi patriots” who apparently deserve all the praise. It turns out that none of these groups are going to disband, and even more so, none of them are ready to consult with the American current “experts”, who cannot even pinpoint the location of Iraq on the map immediately.
After that, some high-ranking “experts” from the administration of Donald Trump bitterly lamented that the Iraqi government and Iraq itself would not exist at all if thousands of American citizens had not given their lives for the sake of “protecting” it, and American taxpayers would not have spent half a trillion dollars to turn Iraq into a so-called “democracy.” The Shiite government has repeatedly rejected the US calls for reconciliation with the Sunnis, because this was the main reason why DAISH was created by the United States and flourished in the Sunni provinces of Iraq. This government, the American media notes, is paying more attention to Tehran than Washington, and is increasingly beginning to cooperate with Tehran, Russia, and the countries of Europe.
The US, because of its short-sighted politicians and military, and relying only on brute force, has not been able to stop the process of the gradual loss of influence in Iraq. There is a simple question: for the sake of which since 2003, the Washington administrations have been spending their forces and finances in Iraq, whom they are helping, and does the American taxpayer need all this?
President of the United States Donald Trump quite straightforwardly and naively answered all these questions, noting that he always advocated the preservation of the US military presence in Iraq, which would ensure control over the country’s oil fields. “I’ve always maintained that we aren’t supposed to be there, but since you decided to go in, then take the oil,” Donald Trump said at the time of the campaign, reproaching the previous leadership for the fact that the deposits went to Iran, Russia and China. “We were supposed to have been left with the power to control the oil fields.”
At the same time, the US president disclosed his plans to “take control” of the oil, which temporarily fell into the hands of the DAISH militants. This is what the pro-American coalition is currently doing in the Syrian Deir ez-Zor, where, before the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, the recently taken Al-Omar field provided up to 25% of all Syrian oil. The total volume of oil production throughout the country was 385,000 barrels a day. Right now, the Al-Omar field, just like approximately 70% of all of Syrian oil, is under control of the Kurds, and thus entirely under the United States control. “The main goal of the US and its allies is to establish control over the Syrian economy, primarily over gas and oil resources,” the provincial governor of Deir ez-Zor Mohammad Ibrahim Samra said in an interview with Sputnik in September 2017.
The maniacal stubbornness with which Washington, having completely failed with its campaign to “democratize” the Middle East, including the emergence of such terrorist monsters as Daish, Jabhat al-Nusra and several others, continues to follow the same course, bringing to the people only death, tears and grief, is surprising. Well-known researcher William Pfaff warns: “We can assume that any new American strategy aimed at reforming the Middle East will be perceived by the world as madness. Previous attempts have brought only destruction and created fierce hatred towards the United States in much of the Islamic world, and also, if you wish, the “New Caliphate” itself. Washington has now appointed itself as the leader of another, as expected, unsuccessful intervention, in which tens, hundreds of thousands of people, or even millions, may die if the hostilities continue. The Saudi monarchy and the United States, as sponsors of what is left of Iraq, declare themselves to be defenders against the possible successor to the major Sunni powers of the DAISH.”
Washington has recently been operating in a rather complex situation of rivalry between its own allies and partners. The US must maintain equilibrium and settle conflicts to reaffirm its hegemony. It will be recalled that, in early June 2017, a split occurred in the group of US allies of the member states of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf (GCC) But in recent times, this conflict seems to have gone into the shadows, although it continues to develop. Some experts believe that the coercive measures taken by Saudi Arabia to pressure Qatar had the goal of encouraging members of the Qatari ruling family to overthrow the Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Qatar, as they say, was ready to retaliate and has revealed a number of “secrets”, which the world media had repeatedly written about. Former Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani on the air of one of the Qatari telecasts made a statement actually revealing the four main sponsors of the so-called Syrian armed opposition and radical Islamist groups operating in Syria. The politician frankly admitted that from the very beginning of the crisis in 2011, terrorists were fully armed and under the direct command of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. The ex-prime minister also added that the goal of the war provoked by these four states was and still is the displacement of the unwanted Government of Syria and President Bashar al-Assad. Hamad Al-Thani hinted that official Doha had records and documents that directly corroborated his words.
This recognition was a kind of response to Qatar’s recent statement by the representatives of the United States and Saudi Arabia, which dramatically changed their attitude towards their recent ally, accusing it of funding the DAISH and Al-Qaeda. In a revealing interview, the former Qatar prime minister however noted that initially, all of them – Washington, Riyadh and Doha, as well as Ankara, “were in one trench,” coordinating all their criminal actions on the territory of Syria with each other.
In these new and unfamiliar circumstances, the American president decided to resort to his “last weapon” and send his son-in-law and adviser to Jared Kushner to the Middle East. It is probable that the latest statement by the crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, concerning the intention to “bring the country to a moderate, open world for Islam”, has in turn caused panic in Washington. The US is afraid of losing the Persian Gulf, and so is Saudi Arabia, among others. The constant control of oil sources in the region is of great importance for the United States of America, and besides, Riyadh is one of the main creditors of the United States and an oil ally that promotes Washington’s interests in the region. This is particularly important today against the backdrop of China’s recent purchases of Saudi oil in RMB, with further conversion of RMB into gold, which will weaken the dollar against major currencies. It may well be that the dollar could lose its status as the leading reserve and transactional currency of the world.
In this connection, the unannounced visit of Jared Kushner is a signal that it is time to give new approaches to American policy and to find out whether Washington has a reason for panic. Like many other regions of the world, the Middle East has ceased to belong to the United States alone. It is probable that the United States has something to fear in the present circumstances. The war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the rapid development of the SCO and ASEAN have demonstrated to many countries from the Middle East to South-East Asia that the time has come for a transition from American expansion to mutually beneficial cooperation with Russia and China, which most of them are likely to use.
By Victor Mikhin
Source: New Eastern Outlook