middle east

Does the Middle East Confuse You? Slate.com Provides a “Friendship Chart” To Help You Follow Along

The below is an interactive chart from Slate.com showing the different relationships between involved parties.

Interactive chart here.

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There Is A Coup Taking Place in Yemen

The Shia Houthi rebels from the northern tribal areas of Yemen have finally had their moment. Today they stormed the state-run media and surrounded the presidential palace in the capital city of Sana’a. While their presence in the capital city is nothing new, today marked the first time time the international (western) media took notice. The prime minister’s convoy was surrounded and a cease fire was arranged. The cease fire turned out to be sort lived. CNN confirmed the news early this afternoon on Twitter (#Yemen) and Bloomberg covered the story.

The geopolitical ramifications of this are interesting as AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) claim responsibility for the attacks in France. With a full on coup taking place in a gulf state that is historically supported by the Saudis and it’s allies (US), the threat of Iran taking the reign is worry for western imperialists. I’m sure Israel, the neo-con wing of the Republican party and rank-in-file western globalists will be demanding intervention to quell the revolt and bring “stability” back to the country quickly. The ongoing drone operations in Yemen will be ignored or seen as not “tough” enough as the threat of Islamist terrorism fills the news cycle.

The sell will be tricky, as this is secretarial conflict mixed with the endless proxy war between the Saudis & the Iranians. The Saudis will not take this lightly.

The Telegraph article linked above includes a history of the involved factions.

What Happened to the “Khorasan” Threat?

I guess the Pentagon got it’s airstrikes in Syria and now the “threat” used as pretext for them isn’t needed anymore:

“As the Obama Administration prepared to bomb Syria without congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the “homeland.” A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign with no viable claim of self-defense or U.N. approval.

The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded “The Khorasan Group.” After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat — too radical even for Al Qaeda! — administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations and national security journalists tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new terror group was created in media lore.”

Source

Same can be said about the “Save the Yezidis” campaign that crashed and burned once it was revealed that:

1) There weren’t hundreds of thousands of Yezidis stuck on a mountain.

2) They didn’t want to leave. They lived there.

3) It wasn’t ISIS, but their Sunni neighbors that were attacking them.

None of this means the campaign didn’t do it’s job. The majority of the American people saw the headlines on CNN and that was enough to convince them (along with a beheading) that America HAD to come to the aid of the poor Yezidis. This is one of the ethnic groups which only found themselves in danger once the 2003 invasion took place and any stability in the country was aborted.

After Pretending to Care About Egyptian Democracy, the U.S. Back to Openly Supporting Tyranny.

Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept does a great job summing up the last 3 years of US policy towards Egypt, and how the wishes of the Egyptian people are the last thing on the list.

Grayson Asks Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Other Nations for Multilateral Forces to Fight ISIS

House Foreign Affairs Committee Member Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-09) wants to know if any of Iraq’s regional neighbors would be willing each to commit 5,000 soldiers or more to a multilateral force, in an effort to fight and defeat ISIS in Iraq. Grayson sent inquiries to the U.S. Ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, and Morocco today.

“Right now, there is no clear plan that would lead to the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq,” Grayson explained. “I think that some plan is better than no plan, particularly if it means that we could avoid U.S. military intervention. If these nations band together to create a multinational force, they could defeat ISIS, and they could do it without U.S. military intervention. This plan would put troops in the field who share the same religion as the local population, can (in most cases) speak the same language, and understand the local culture, rather than troops that would be perceived as a hostile occupying force.”

Grayson’s letter, which requests a response by Wednesday, September 10th, reads, in-part:

“I would like to know whether your nation would be willing to contribute a substantial military force of at least 5,000 soldiers to a multilateral, regional force to fight and defeat ISIS forces within Iraq, subject to the consent of the Government of Iraq.”

Grayson also wrote Iraqi Ambassador and asked whether the country would accept or reject such soldiers to fight ISIS. Congressman Alan Grayson represents Florida’s 9th Congressional District, which includes Osceola County, as well as parts of Orange and Polk counties. He previously served as the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 8th Congressional District in the 111th Congress.

 

Click here to view the letter.

Source

USA Overtakes Saudi Arabia As World’s Largest Oil Producer

So why are we intervening in the Middle East?

 Oil extraction is soaring at shale formations in Texas and North Dakota as companies split rocks using high-pressure liquid, a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The surge in supply combined with restrictions on exporting crude is curbing the price of West Texas Intermediate, America’s oil benchmark. The U.S., the world’s largest oil consumer, still imported an average of 7.5 million barrels a day of crude in April, according to the Department of Energy’s statistical arm.”

 Why aren’t prices lower?

 “The shale production story is bigger than Iraqi production, but it hasn’t made the impact on prices you would expect,” said Blanch. “Typically such a large energy supply growth should bring prices lower, but in fact we’re not seeing that because the whole geopolitical situation outside the U.S. is dreadful.”

 It’s news like this that should make more and more people realize our adventures in the Middle East have less to do with “American Interests” with each added day. If you included invading countries for oil control “American Interests”. I believe this new round of intervention in the Middle East is more about our ally Israel. In truth, the list of reasons for the last round begins with Israel. The difference this time is it will be sold as such. It won’t be a hidden agenda. No masking this time. In true 1984 fashion, America has to fight in the Middle East because America has always fought in the Middle East.

The world is a scary place when the liberal narrative (partially correct I might add) that the War in Iraq was fought for oil is no longer relevant. We have truly moved into a new stage in the struggle to keep imperial control of the Middle East.

The Age of Blowback.

Source

William Polk’s Take on Iraq 3.0

“The diplomat and scholar William R. Polk (right) first wrote about the Middle East in The Atlantic back in 1958, in an article called “The Lesson of Iraq.”… Now he is back with an assessment of how the United States ended up in the situation it now confronts throughout the Middle East, and what if anything it might do to improve—or at least avoid worsening—its and the region’s prospects.”

Source

Militants Allied with Syrian and Yemenis Caught Planning “Major” Terror Plot on Saudi Arabia Regime

Al Arabiya is reporting that the Interior Ministry of Saudi Arabia has “dismantled” a major terror plot with links to “elements” in Syria and Yemen. These elements included having “direct” contact with the ISIS or Islamist State of Iraq and Syria.

The Interior Ministry stated that the attacks were plotted against “government facilities and foreign interests”.

According to a ministry statement, 62 suspected members of the group – among them three foreigners; a Palestinian, a Yemeni and a Pakistani – were arrested.
 
Among the Saudi detainees, there are 35 who had previously been detained on security-related allegations and released, it said.
 
Members of the organization have “links with extremist elements in Syria and Yemen,” it said, adding that authorities are still hunting down 44 others whose names have been submitted to Interpol.

 
The tribal population of Saudi Arabia and Yemen have for a long time blamed the ruling family of Saudi Arabia as much as they blame the U.S. and Israel for the occupation and exportation of the Arab World.

After a wave of deadly al-Qaeda attacks in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006, Saudi authorities cracked down on the local branch of the group founded by the late Osama bin Laden, himself Saudi-born.

Members of that group went on to merge with Yemeni militants to form al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen and seen as one of the network’s most formidable affiliates.

The government that original pushed to start civil war in Syria, is now getting its newest round of blowback.