There is trouble in oil paradise.
It seems that all the elements of an already explosive geopolitical concoction are getting vigorously stirred. The palace coup in Saudi Arabia, conducted by King Salman’s own son, Prince Mohammad bin Salman, on June 21, 2017, should be understood as the second salvo of a potentially hot war between two Sunni blocks: on one hand, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain; on the other hand, Qatar and its allies of circumstance, Turkey, Palestinian Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood network, and a likely Shiite coalition with Iraq and Iran.
The two blocks, quickly assembled, could enter a terrifying hot war over this new crisis, which would tear apart the entire Sunni Muslim community as well as draw in the Shiites of Iran and Iraq. The entire region could easily become like the current-day Syria of killing fields and ruins.
The pot calling the kettle black
Prince bin Salman has assumed complete control of the Saudi kingdom’s government apparatus. This is a sign that the Saudi hardliners, vis-a-vis the crisis they created with Qatar, have won the prelude of the battle. As Saudi Arabia’s minister of defense, bin Salman was the architect of the nasty war in Yemen, which until the split between the two nations, included Qatar. What happened to the beautiful friendship between the Saudi and the Qatari rulers? Its apex was the sponsorship of jihadists, first to topple Gaddafi in Libya, and their ultimate collaborative proxy-terrorism accomplishment was the creation of ISIS to wreck Iraq, and to topple Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Terror and war might soon come home to roost in the magical kingdom and emirates of princes and sheiks, with made-in-the-USA missiles flying over Riyadh and Doha. Can the crisis be diffused, or is it actually engineered by the United States, its Western NATO vassals and Israel? For the sake of the entire Middle East, the looming crisis must be prevented at all cost.
Prince bin Salman’s coup was the second preliminary salvo, the first one occurred two weeks before that. On June 5, 2017, shortly after President Donald Trump’s flamboyant visit to Saudi Arabia, the expanding rift with the kingdom and Qatar went into full-blown crisis mode. There followed a complete suspension of all diplomatic relations with Qatar, unilaterally decided by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain. The sanctions established a ban on travel of Qataris to the three states as well as a full economic embargo for all goods and services on Qatar, which is the biggest liquid gas producer in the world. Qatari diplomats were expelled, and all land, air and sea travel routes were cut off on allegations that Qatar supports terrorist groups. This almost immediately triggered a panic in Doha, where people feared a food shortage in supermarkets, considering that more than 40 percent of Qatar’s food supplies come by truck through its border with Saudi Arabia.
US foreign policy: schizophrenia or Machiavellian demolition plan?
A couple of days after Saudi Arabia cut off Qatar, President Trump aligned himself with his new regional royal best friends. He wrote on Twitter, his favorite way to communicate his stream of consciousness on policy, that he agreed with the Saudis and that Qatar should be isolated for its support of terrorism. Mr. Trump got carried away, however, and forgot two essential facts. First, Qatar provides a base for 10,000 American troops, which is the biggest US military base in the region and is of critical importance for military operations not only in Syria, but also in Afghanistan. Secondly, right after Trump’s statement on the issue, on June 14, Secretary of Defense James Mattis signed an agreement with Qatar for the sale of $12 billion in weapons systems, including big-ticket items such as 36 F15 fighter jets.
Therefore, by their own admission, and perhaps in a symptom of full-blown administrative schizophrenia, US officials are selling sophisticated weapons to a state that supports terrorism! Adding his voice to the US administration’s cacophony was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who contradicted Trump and sternly warned Saudi Arabia to deescalate the tensions with Qatar. This new crisis, engineered or real, if nothing else, confirms that the administration’s de facto commander-in-chief is General Mattis.
There is something more sinister about all this. Suppose the schizophrenic aspect of it all is just a decoy to hide a Machiavellian plan that has been the hallmark of US policy for decades: the simple divide-and-conquer imperial rule, with the distinction of arming both sides of the potential conflict. In the Middle East, this plan was started during the Reagan administration when President George Bush senior’s crew nicely fueled and fostered the Iran-Iraq war. It seems that, once again, under the mad impulse of its unchecked military-industrial complex, the US, and whatever unwise vassals might join in, is setting the stage for a huge regional conflict. The beast has an unquenchable thirst for blood and oil, and what better place to find both than in a region that is already half wrecked? In this mad logic, if one thinks of who would ultimately benefit from this additional crime of a further destruction of the Middle East, besides the war machine of the military-industrial complex, it would have to be Israel, in the context of a Greater Israel project to be built on the rubble of the Arab world.
The current war project looks like an expansion of the insanely murderous plan that has been implemented in Iraq and Syria: a tabula rasa scenario, with gargantuan sales of weapons to both sides of the conflict, which is as American as apple pie. To degrade their respective cash flows, the Saudi and UAE oil fields would become the prime targets for bombs and missiles from Qatar and their militarily powerful allies; in return, the Qatar natural gas infrastructure would be hit by the Saudi or Egyptian military. Just like during Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, when the oil fields were hit in large numbers, a worldwide side effect of an outright war between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would be a major spike in oil and natural gas prices, which in turn could trigger a massive financial market crash. In our global Orwellian construct 2+2=5, and world order is chaos. By any name, however, chaos cannot be controlled.
Gilbert Mercier is the author of The Orwellian Empire.
All images in this article are from the author unless otherwise stated.
Saudi Arabia, Israel to Establish Economic Relations for First Time: Report
Saudi Arabia and the Israeli regime are in clandestine talks to establish official economic relations for the first time since the entity was created on the Palestinian territories some 69 years ago, a report says.
The Times, citing unnamed Arab and American sources, said in a report on Saturday that forming economic connections between to two, which would be gradual and step by step, could begin by allowing Israeli companies to open shops in the Arab kingdom, or granting El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. permission to fly over Saudi airspace.
“However, any such progress would bolster the alliance between Iran’s two most implacable enemies and change the dynamics of the many conflicts destabilizing the Middle East,” the report speculated.
So far Saudi officials have had some open meetings with senior officials in Israel, trying to gradually pave the way for establishing ties with the occupying regime.
Back in May last year, Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva reported that Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies, namely Jordan and Egypt, had been sending messages to Israel through various emissaries, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. They had asked Tel Aviv to resume Middle East negotiations under new terms, which included changes to the Saudi initiative.
In July last year, Anwar Eshki, a well-connected retired general in the Saudi military paid a visit to Israel, meeting with Israel’s Foreign Ministry director general Dore Gold and Yoav Mordechai. He also met with a number of Knesset members.
Israeli daily Ha’aretz at the time described the visit “a highly unusual one,” as Eshki could not have traveled to Israel without approval from the Saudi government.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and US President Donald Trump speak at Ben Gurion International Airport prior to the latter’s departure from Israel on May 23, 2017. (Photo by GPO)
Furthermore, US President Donald Trump, who visited both Saudi Arabia and Israel last month, seems to support a so-called regional peace approach, part of which could be forming ties between Tel Aviv and Riyadh for the first time in history. The US president has already said he wants to pursue “a much bigger deal” in the Middle East, which would include “many, many countries.”
Saudi Arabia has not yet recognized Israel since its foundation in 1948. Saudi authorities thus do not accept Israeli passports, and holders of passports containing any Israeli visa or stamp will be denied entry. However, any prospect of official ties between Tel Aviv and Riyadh will also mean that Saudi leaders might have on their agenda a review of their recognition of the Israeli regime.
Featured image: PressTV