At 11:15am on July 7, 1919, a US Army convoy consisting of 81 military vehicles departed Washington, DC for a perilous journey to San Francisco.Continue reading Once upon a time there were actually adults in charge…
Category Archives: Geopolitics
The Hidden Hand of the IMF in Sudan’s Crisis
Orthodox economics is the ideology of the rich and powerful, writes Dian Maria Blandina. Poor countries such as Sudan, that are trying to develop, cannot afford a regime of free trade.Continue reading The Hidden Hand of the IMF in Sudan’s Crisis
Syria and Saudi Arabia Reopen Embassies
The move comes just days after Damascus was reinstated to the Arab League, following a decade-long suspension.
Syria and Saudi Arabia have agreed to resume diplomatic relations nearly 10 years after cutting ties, both countries have announced.
The move marks yet another rapprochement between Riyadh and its former foes, after the Gulf kingdom also restored diplomacy with Iran under a deal brokered by China.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry confirmed the decision in a statement on Tuesday, saying the renewed diplomacy would strengthen “bilateral relations between Arab countries to serve joint Arab action.”
“Based on the deep bonds and common affiliation of the peoples of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the embodiment of the aspirations of the peoples of the two countries …The Syrian Arab Republic decided to resume the work of its diplomatic mission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the ministry said.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a similar notice on Tuesday, stressing “the brotherhood ties that unite the peoples of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Arab Republic.” While neither country specified when they would reopen their respective embassies, the kingdom added that the move would “enhance security and stability in the region.”
Riyadh initially broke relations with Damascus in 2012, not long after the Syrian war kicked off, during which Saudi Arabia supplied millions of dollars in weapons and gear to jihadist rebel factions seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Saudi officials were among the first to condemn Assad’s handling of anti-government protests at the time, later shuttering the Saudi embassy in Syria and expelling the Syrian ambassador.
However, following a normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran mediated by China in March, the region has seen renewed efforts to mend ties between former adversaries, with the United Arab Emirates also voicing willingness to improve relations with Syria. Tehran and Riyadh have also taken steps to end the conflict in Yemen, which has raged since 2015, taking a devastating toll on Yemeni civilians.
On Sunday, the 22-member Arab League agreed to lift Syria’s 12-year suspension from the organization, yet another step toward reconciliation. That decision followed a high-level meeting in Amman between Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, where all parties agreed to improve cooperation on combating terrorism and pledged to “support Syria and its institutions to establish control over all of its territory and impose the rule of law.”
Mr. Lavrov’s New York Shuffle
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s New York moment performed the diplomatic equivalent of bringing the house down.Continue reading Mr. Lavrov’s New York Shuffle
ICC’s Putin Arrest Warrant Based on State Dept-funded Report that Debunked Itself
On March 17, the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, introduced an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Llova-Belova.Continue reading ICC’s Putin Arrest Warrant Based on State Dept-funded Report that Debunked Itself
The Taliban Did in One Year What Washington Couldn’t in 20
The ban on Afghan poppy cultivation is set to hit Europe’s heroin supplies.Continue reading The Taliban Did in One Year What Washington Couldn’t in 20
Türkiye-Syria Relations: Toward A ‘New Europe’ in the Middle East
Ankara and Damascus, with Moscow’s backing, are making an effort to reconcile. This could lead to a thriving, integrated region.Continue reading Türkiye-Syria Relations: Toward A ‘New Europe’ in the Middle East
EDCA Camps are US ‘Platforms for War,’ Chinese Missiles’ Targets | Duterte
RODRIGO Duterte hasn’t lost his penchant for telling it like it is, even beating this professional writer in crafting a precise, vivid term for our military camps that the former president Benigno Aquino 3rd and incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. are allowing the US armed forces to use whenever they please, especially in a war with China.Continue reading EDCA Camps are US ‘Platforms for War,’ Chinese Missiles’ Targets | Duterte
US Occupiers Lash Out as Syria War Draws to an End
Washington is worried about a peace between Damascus and its estranged Arab neighbors — as well as Turkey — that is marginalizing the U.S. and its allies.Continue reading US Occupiers Lash Out as Syria War Draws to an End
America, the Reality TV Show, Reaches New Depths with Trump’s Indictment
US politics have gotten even raunchier with the country’s first prosecution of a former president.Continue reading America, the Reality TV Show, Reaches New Depths with Trump’s Indictment
France Blocked for 4 Years: Macron Has Just Deliberately Destroyed His Constitutional Authority
The crisis that France is going through today is not just another episode in an eternally agitated country. It is about a deep crisis of mode which will be solved only with the beginning of a new society. The country will go through several years of blockage, before embarking on a complete transformation, a revolution that will last at least a generation.Continue reading France Blocked for 4 Years: Macron Has Just Deliberately Destroyed His Constitutional Authority
Arresting Putin, Or Arresting All-Out Western Public Revolt?
If there were any genuine principles of justice, Biden should be in the dock facing war crime charges in connection with America’s illegal wars.Continue reading Arresting Putin, Or Arresting All-Out Western Public Revolt?
In Moscow, Xi and Putin Bury Pax Americana
In Moscow this week, the Chinese and Russian leaders revealed their joint commitment to redesign the global order, an undertaking that has ‘not been seen in 100 years.’Continue reading In Moscow, Xi and Putin Bury Pax Americana
Over A Million Demonstrators Took to the Streets Across France
Police clashed with over a million demonstrators opposed to President Macron’s pension reform. Unlike the US State Department instigated unrests, the ongoing French Revolution is not on TV.Continue reading Over A Million Demonstrators Took to the Streets Across France
Another 50 US Banks Could Fail | ex-Lehman VP
The former senior executive says the Fed must cut rates and guarantee deposits held by regional lenders.Continue reading Another 50 US Banks Could Fail | ex-Lehman VP
West’s Contempt for Truth is Leading Us to Ruin
If today’s geopolitics were a tennis match, this would be a 6:0, 6:0 for Russia. It is almost surreal to contemplate the changes that took place over the past 12 months.Continue reading West’s Contempt for Truth is Leading Us to Ruin
How the China-brokered Saudi-Iran Deal will Change the Middle East
Last week, Saudi Arabia and Iran announced a landmark deal, brokered by China in Beijing, to formally restore diplomatic relations. The agreement saw the two sectarian arch rivals in the Middle East agree to put aside their differences and to normalize ties.
It was the first ever deal of its kind overseen by China, framing itself as a peacemaker, and showing that its commitment to have good relations with every country in the region is not just based on rhetoric but actual substance. Some have described it as a sign of a “changing global order.”
To put it mildly, it is bad news for the United States and deals a massive blow to the near-unlimited geopolitical sway Washington has long held over the region via its strategic relationships with countries such as Saudi Arabia.
Additionally, it effectively ruins a US led campaign to pressurize and isolate Iran and hinders American efforts to shape regional politics in Israel’s favor via the Abraham Accords. It is no surprise that the Western media is calling the Chinese-brokered deal a “challenge” to the international order, but what order is that? The ability of the US to dominate the Middle East? Perhaps brokering peace is a good thing.
US foreign policy in the Middle East
Since the decline of European colonial empires, the United States has been the sole military hegemon in the Middle East, using a network of partnerships from Israel to the Gulf States to sustain domination over the region and allowing the US to exploit its energy resources. In order to maintain this position, the US has long needed adversaries in order to perpetuate an ongoing security dilemma and force reliance on it as a security guarantor, which is also beneficial to the US military industrial complex. These policies have accumulated decades worth of wars, insurgencies and attempts at regime change.
Detractors to the US agenda have included revolutionary Arabist regimes, such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Bashar Assad’s Syria, terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and of course the post-1979 Islamic Republic of Iran. It was after the US gave up on its botched attempt to topple Assad that policymakers in the Trump administration decided to focus on Tehran, tearing up US participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and imposing a crippling sanctions regime. In retaliation, Iran has waged a series of proxy conflicts against US partners in the region, most notably assisting the Houthis in Yemen against the Saudi-backed government, which has overseen the carpet-bombing of occupied regions.
China’s policy in the Middle East
Unlike the United States, China’s policy in the Middle East is non-interventionist, and assumes a neutral posture in regional conflicts, taking a position of respect for national sovereignty. However, this does not mean Beijing has no interests in the region. As it grows and develops domestically, its need for secure access to energy resources has increased, leading it on a diplomatic push to build good relations with every country in the region, and this has only accelerated as the US has pushed to isolate China from the West. Despite the intra-regional power struggle, in the past two years, Beijing announced strategic partnerships with both Iran and the Gulf States.
Because China did not have the same military footprint or stakes in the Middle East as the US, many analysts were dismissive of Beijing’s ability to seriously act as a diplomatic mediator in the region. They believed that its attempts to build good ties with everyone were spread too thin. However, the Saudi-Iran deal shows this assumption was wrong. But how did it happen?
First, it should be noted that the Gulf States are not “value” allies to the US in the way European countries are, and not “morally obligated” to follow the American cause. Rather, they are self-interested monarchies with very different ideological and value systems (strict Wahhabi Islam) and have seen the US as a “patron” in guaranteeing their economic and security interests (oil for weapons). This is not a “marriage”, just business.
It should be understood that the world has changed in ways which now lead these states to perceive that unparalleled US dominance, which is its unequivocal foreign policy goal, is no longer in their best interests. They have found a new, bigger partner in Beijing who not only can buy more of their oil, but also doesn’t have a foreign policy doctrine premised on evangelizing its ideology or creating war throughout the region. As such, when the US delivered an ultimatum to the United Arab Emirates that they will block the export of F-35s if they don’t drop Huawei from their 5G networks, Abu Dhabi told Washington where to go.
While this shift was already underway by 2022, events last year exacerbated it further as the Gulf States suddenly found the US demanding that they take sides in a war – in Ukraine – which did not concern them, and worse still, demanding that they compromise their own economic interests to suit its sanctions agenda.
The US fell out with OPEC, and Saudi Arabia publicly rebuffed its demands to increase oil production. Meanwhile, the events of that year also emboldened Iran, who was not being swayed by US pressure, while the return of Benjamin Netanyahu to power in Israel exacerbated Arab-Israeli tensions, damaging the US backed Abraham Accords, and hindering Saudi Arabia’s willingness to normalize with Israel.
These events have ultimately created the political space for a diplomatic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, backed by China. It’s a massive blow to American interests as it is the first major Middle East deal brokered without Washington’s influence, and subsequently dilutes its policy of creating a perpetual war machine in order to legitimize its footprint in the region and its clout over Arab States.
It also shows that the US campaign to try and isolate and crush Iran has failed, and that the United States no longer holds the power it once did to isolate countries. If the US is wise, it should use this development to rethink its approach to the Middle East, but if other policies are anything to go by, the Washington circle is likely to continue to think every problem is a nail, and more hammers are needed.
Saudi Arabia and Iran to Restore Ties in China-Brokered Deal
After seven years of tension, Riyadh and Tehran will reopen embassies and revive a 2001 security agreement.Continue reading Saudi Arabia and Iran to Restore Ties in China-Brokered Deal
Zelensky’s Comic Insults… Gimme HIMARS, Tanks, F-16s and Now, America’s Sons & Daughters
The glib talk of people dying for no good cause, but rather only for a clique of clowns and their imperial circus, is the ultimate sick joke.Continue reading Zelensky’s Comic Insults… Gimme HIMARS, Tanks, F-16s and Now, America’s Sons & Daughters
G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Likely to End in Deadlock with The Body’s Relevance Under Threat
Representatives of the world’s 20 largest economies are meeting in India amid discord over Ukraine and US-China tensions.Continue reading G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Likely to End in Deadlock with The Body’s Relevance Under Threat
Putin & Zelensky: Sinners and Saints Who Fit Our Historic Narrative
Washington has done what it always does, make its chosen wars a manichean conflict. But that doesn’t mean the press has to be so compliant.Continue reading Putin & Zelensky: Sinners and Saints Who Fit Our Historic Narrative
Putin’s ‘Civilizational’ Speech Frames Conflict Between East and West
In his Federal Assembly address, President Putin emphasized that Russia is not only an independent nation-state but also a distinct civilization with its own identity, which is in conflict and actively opposes the values of ‘western civilization.’Continue reading Putin’s ‘Civilizational’ Speech Frames Conflict Between East and West
The World Teetering on the New Polycentric Geopolitics
The world is yet to see how dangerous the decade before us will be, what the new global geopolitical architecture will look like and who is to build it.Continue reading The World Teetering on the New Polycentric Geopolitics
India’s Clash With The BBC is A Warning of Things to Come
Western powers are friendly with New Delhi now, but what happens when they begin to see it as a rival?Continue reading India’s Clash With The BBC is A Warning of Things to Come
US Militarization of The Philippines Has Begun
FILIPINOS have short memories indeed. Suppose one looks and closely examines most, if not all, of the country’s perpetual problems, which are recurrent precisely because we have short memories. We are not learning lessons from our historical experience as a country. We never learn from our history, which should have been our best teacher.Continue reading US Militarization of The Philippines Has Begun
The Hunter Biden + Ihor Kolomoïsky affair
The Biden Administration is finally reacting to the scandals that have arisen from the computer of the president’s son, Hunter Biden. This loser, whose only known activities are those of a junkie and a pimp, managed to become the director of a large gas company; a job he knows nothing about.Continue reading The Hunter Biden + Ihor Kolomoïsky affair
Nord Stream Terror Attack: The Plot Thickens
What’s left for all of us is to swim in a swamp crammed with derelict patsies, dodgy cover stories and intel debris.Continue reading Nord Stream Terror Attack: The Plot Thickens
The Other America
Something worse than anything seen even amidst the dark years of the Cold War has awoken. It feels like today’s world is spinning quickly out of control.Continue reading The Other America
Bye Bye 1991-2022
2023 starts with collective NATO in Absolutely Freak Out Mode as Russian Defense Minister Shoigu announces that Russian Navy frigate Admiral Gorshkov is now on tour – complete with a set of Mr. Zircon’s hypersonic business cards.Continue reading Bye Bye 1991-2022
New Year and New Congress Won’t Silence the Same Old War Drums in Washington
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell makes clear that Republicans will continue to arm Ukraine, regardless of what voters think.Continue reading New Year and New Congress Won’t Silence the Same Old War Drums in Washington