BLOG 288 February 1, 2016
January is past and we’ve already broken those New Year’s resolution. The time for projecting the future of 2016 is almost past. So, let’s take a last peek behind the Middle East curtain before we launch into February. What’s happening that’s not in the media?
` Syria continues to be the target with all sides acting like they don’t know what’s going on. The truth is that they all do.
You don’t have to follow the headlines closely to know the American CIA has been arming the rebels fighting Bashar Al-Assad and his government. The CIA efforts have been largely financed by Saudi Arabia. The Saudis in turn shrug and say they don’t know what that contention is all about.
On the other side of the battlefield, Vladimir Putin brought in a fleet of jets to bomb the rebels while he is claiming to be fighting ISIS. The truth is that Assad was just about to topple and Syria was the only ally Russia had in the Middle East. Putin saw Russian influence slipping away and showed up “just to help.”
What we have is a proxy war –without end!
A January 24, report from The New York Times indicated the Saudis, the Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, and Egypt are about to buy thousands of American-made missiles, bombs, and other weapons for the on-going war. Behind the scenes Israel and Saudi Arabia are in a de facto alliance against Iran. Consequently, the United States keeps arming the gunfight at the OK Corral.
The merry-go-round of killing continues to whirl.
The ultimate war behind the scenes is a centuries old feud between Sunnis and Shiites. The Bush-Chaney administration came loping along chasing Saddam Hussein and turned a quiet feud into a regional chaos. Now, we have an all-out warfare that is destroying multiple countries.
People like Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan are running around buying up armaments to keep the Syrian rebels fighting. In turn, the sacking of the Saudi diplomatic mission after the Saudis executed a senior subversive Shiite cleric reflected how complicated and deep these rifts run. Iran is now considered the country to oppose and Iran always strikes back. On and on it goes—
US President Obama appears to have no Middle East policy except to be “buddies” with all the Muslim factions. The naïveté of this approach is reflected in the fact that the year’s old Syrian war has no end in sight and the two major Arab factions go on killing each other (and a few Americans along the way)
If the Syrian war ended tomorrow, the fighting between Sunnis and Shiites would continue into the next century and beyond. Unless America and Russia come to some agreement about ending the Syrian civil war, the mess will be in the lap of the next American president.