The Middle East. Could there be a more perilous place on Earth, including North Korea? Not likely. The planet’s two leading nuclear armed powers backing battling proxies amply supplied with conventional weapons; terror groups splitting and spreading; religious-sectarian wars threatening amid a plethora of ongoing armed hostilities stretching from Syria to Iraq to Yemen. And that was before Donald Trump and his team arrived on this chaotic scene. If there is one region where a single spark might start the fire that could engulf the globe, then welcome to the Middle East.
Fascinating reading. A much-needed view of the complexity of the ME, its nations, rulers and religion, as well as the shallowness, ease of manipulation, utter ignorance and lack of intellectual capability of donald trump - thank you!
Thank you Dillip. When the Saudi's made this ridiculous play and the Idiot In Chief blithely followed along, I had a feeling it would backfire for the simple but huge reason of the al-Udeid airbase. Most here realize the oversized and cancerous role the MIC plays in what has become "the US."
The popular narrative is that Trump turned over the planning, decision making, and execution of military operations to the generals. It may be the case that the generals told him to keep his pointy little head out of matters he couldn't comprehend and ordered him to instead go play at being president.
The miserable excuse of a human being called Trump viciously insults Obama at every turn (he will never get over the humiliation Obama foisted on him at the correspondents dinner) for being weak, indecisive, and cowardly, yet the Pimple in Chief has done more in 6 mos. to destabilize and weaken US/foreign relationships than three previous 2-term presidents combined. I have to admit feeling, along with a sense of vertigo, an ambivalence at this destructive behavior. The world needs less US power and influence. We, the American people need to stop being compliant upholding this aggressive military empire, for it will surely kill us as it has killed so many elsewhere. However, this is not enlightened, considered de-escalation and de-militarization. Trump is just blindly stupid, and even the most clumsy power-brokers can play him like a cheap fiddle simply by stroking his rapacious ego, or by pointing out that he's naked.
And the congress pols sing -
Do-do-do, t-do, t-do, do-do-do, do-t-do, t-do, t-do, do-do-do
(with apologies to the memory of Lou Reed.)
I don't think I've ever been so disheartened and depressed at the thought of America. And that, over a lifetime of disappointments, is saying a lot.
Thank you for such an informative article. I feel a bit more aware of relationships and their implications among nations and religious factions in the area.
I think for many Americans, as important and relevant the Middle East role is, it is complicated, foreign and difficult to comprehend the extensive history, relationships, alliances, warring factions and religions and the interplay of all that among the different nations. It is too easy to allow our eyes to glaze over and pretend our lives have little to do with the region. This is especially ironic since we have been involved in an endless war in that region for so many years. We would rather not think about the human suffering as a direct result our government's policies and actions. And one might ask, to what end?
Probably one of the few things in the ME that is holding things together is that Persia has not been aggressive for centuries, though they do a good job of defending themselves when attacked.
* If Persia helps friends and neighbors with equipment and medical supplies, or ships food to beleaguered nations, the
US Fourth Reich screams terrorism at the top of its lungs! Meanwhile, the Reich ships millions and billions in weapons, ammo and military intelligence to regimes, thousands of miles away, which have been overthrown or subverted by the CIA and other forces, their elected leaders replaced by Quislings who will do what they are told. Anyone or any group who helps the dissidents are branded terrorists.
* In the world of the Reich, any country who doesn't obey the Reich is marked as a terrorist nation. Any person who picks up a rifle to defend his village or home is a "terrorist" and will be droned or otherwise dealt with. People calling for peace are often assassinated.
* If the situation were reversed and some enormously powerful country were to invade the Reich, bombing cities and towns, launching search and destroy missions to root out anybody protesting their rule, those who picked up a rifle to defend themselves would be considered "Freedom Fighters" by us, and would be honored. Of course the invaders would classify them as terrorists and deal with them accordingly, including their families, homes and villages.
* When I was a youngster, we were fighting WW-II to rid the world of Nazis and Fascists. When the war was over, the world took a deep breath and looked forward to peace. Almost immediately, our friend and ally, the CCCP, was identified as the next "enemy" and the war manufacturers made still more billions arming for the next war.
* After Gorbachev announced his retirement and the formal dissolution of the CCCP, and it became Russia again, Russia went on the back burner, but the military contracts started to slow down so another "threat" was needed. This time, the threat was the Middle East and its vast oil reserves.
* After the black op of 911, the Supreme Court selected President, Bush, started a holy war against Islam, even using the words "a new crusade" in some of his speeches.
* When I was a boy, I rejoiced in the fact that fascism and Nazism had been destroyed and the world could finally live in peace. In 1947 or 48, I went to Bremerton to see the surviving ships from the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests at Bikini.
* In 1956, I observed and felt the horror of WW-III at the H-bomb tests in the Marshall Islands. I survived my exposure, a lot of us didn't. I've spent much of my life working for world peace.
* Unfortunately, now, as I enter my 80th year, to my horror, I find myself living in a new Nazi Reich, with much of the world turning to fascism, supported by this Fourth Reich.
* At my age, I'll not survive to see how this ends, but I feel sorrow for the tens of millions who will probably die before this particular incarnation of Nazism finally burns out.
* I still feel that We the People could turn this all around, if we would just work together, as we did in WW-II.
I'm very worn out with this facade of the U.S.bringing the principles of freedom and democracy, to the MENA or to the 2nd and 3rd World; saving them from themselves and spreading the good news of our capitalist system.The missionary-type zeal of all our foreign adventures, gazing back over times past, looks just like a cold-blooded bankrobber dressed in religious garb, all to often for my tastes. Salvation and grand felonies!
Can you imagine Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin sucking up to The House of Saud/Saudi Arabia and their Wahhabist form of proselytizing and religious zealotry? Their history in the last 50 years of bullying and intimidation tactics in the region? And, our country's doing their dirty work for them, resulting in all of the obvious misery we see.
This is purely an example of the U.S. losing its way in the world; Trump is the real ugly face on all this, unfortunately. He's a despotic nut, and we the people are right behind him riding on the same runaway train. That hellbound train your better self tells you never to answer to, when you hear the whistle's call and that query " All aboard? ".
Who would Jesus bomb, indeed.
What an incredibly fascinating read!!! Dilip Hiro, you are one mid-east scholar of the truth- As with George Bush, I am totally embarrassed in Donald Trump being our commander in chief- This guy is WAY out of his league...
As always, America is busily arming all sides to the teeth- (or is it really America, and not the Banksters/evil counsel on foreign relations/illuminati???)
Man oh man, the World is buning, the poles are melting and these fucks, whoever they are, and I have A pretty good idea of just who they are, well they need to become human beings for once in their satanic lives....
Rest assured, this has all been carefully choreographed and staged- But, will the out come, when the shit hits the fan, be at all predictable???
You people are playing with untold lives here and I for one am NOT amused.....
Excellent summation/comment there mini!!!
I thought this an outstanding read!- It really brought it all home as far as I am concerned- As you can tell, it brought out the sauce in my evening, but that is not totally bad....
I feel your comment was most prescient and although your reference to the CCCP was obviously the USSR, I still am in the dark as to the true meaning of the acronym?
Any way, I really can't quite figure out if this is part of the on-going FEAR game, or is this A toss the dice and hope it all works out scenario? I for one have to take it Seriously!
What in the HELL is wrong with just learning from our past mistakes, (as in the fourth reich) and just getting along on this FKN Planet? These imbeciles are playing with the lives of people that have not even been born yet!!!
Why is EVIL so Goddamn ubiquitous in this World????
"the Pentagon would explore ways to break Moscow’s military and diplomatic alliance with Tehran in a bid to end the Syrian conflict and bolster the fight against ISIS."
Since Iran is one of the main forces fighting ISIL, this tactic doesn't make much sense. We would be a lot better off allying and coordinating with Iran, as we were doing to a limited extent under Obama, than fighting them. Fighting them just lets ISIL off the hook.
And when that dolt of a king in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, says, “How can I come to an understanding with someone, or a regime, that has an anchoring belief built on an extremist ideology?”, the reporter must have just looked at him in utter disbelief. You don't get much more extremist than Wahhabism, the philosophy that sent 11 Saudis in three airplanes to crash into buildings in the US and the version that Saudi Arabia is spreading through the world with its madrases.
All of these named enemies were made in Washington at one time or another. They are the result of destabilizations, invasions and destruction of Middle East nations by the US. They are not natural enemies, not at all.
Without discussing Israeli foreign policy objectives it isn't possible to understand the positions of other key players or the events that have played out. Why Israel gets left out of the equation so often is puzzling.
Because any criticism of Israel is immediately accused of "anti-semitism".
CCCP is Cyrillic for SSSR (From Russian СССР (SSSR), abbreviation of Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик (Sojúz Sovétskix Socialistíčeskix Respúblik, “The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”), which equals USSR.
* I usually refer to Soviet Russia by the Cyrillic letters rather than English or European. After all, shouldn't a country have the right to name themselves in their own language, not somebody else's translation? Of course, now the CCCP is history.
* I wrote the poem below while we were still being Bushwhacked, but I think it still applies in spades.
Hubris Uber Alles
Astride the known world,
Filled with hubris
They marched in their turn:
Darius, Xerxes, Agamemnon, Alexander,
Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler and more
All their empires rising, conquering,
Their passing marked by mounds of skulls
And vainglorious boasts.
Their places taken in turn by others
as their empires rotted from within.
Now yet another warlord stands,
His nation’s proud banner, once a beacon
Of freedom and hope to all mankind,
Now a symbol to be feared
By friend and foe alike.
This, too, shall pass away
After adding its quota of skulls to the mountain,
While the common man around the world
Holds tight the dream of Brotherhood and Peace
Close to his breaking heart.
9 August 2003
"What in the HELL is wrong with just learning from our past mistakes, (as in the fourth reich) and just getting along on this FKN Planet? These imbeciles are playing with the lives of people that have not even been born yet!!!
Why is EVIL so Goddamn ubiquitous in this World????"
* I think it may well be that those of us who have learned from the mistakes of not only us, but much of the world, are rarely in a position of power to change it.
* Those that are in power just look at the profit and loss figures and come to the conclusion that there is nothing more profitable to them than war.
* A big problem is that all of these past dictators and emperors could do damage to those around them that didn't have as good swords or later, firearms, but they didn't have the ability to destroy, in essence, planet earth herself. Now, they do, and somehow, batshit crazy seems to be the link to power these days. Just like Israel's "Samson Option." "If Israel falls, we will take the rest of the world with us." (Here is one link to read about it. There are many more. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Samson_Option:_Israel%27s_Nuclear_Arsenal_and_American_Foreign_Policy )
* Ye gods.
Your poem brought to mind Shelly's "Ozymandias"...
I was aware of the "Samson Option" and it brings to mind the death of JFK- I still believe that the murder/assassination of JFK was tied to his insistence that Israel remain non nuclear and also his printing of silver backed securities to defy the FED....Anyone that falsely believes that Israel and Zionism is not central to all of these mid-east problems had better educate themselves and read on-
Anyway, thanks for all that you do, you have contributed greatly to this site with your poems and knowledge....
Thank you for your kind words. Means a lot in these troubled times.
* I keep hoping for the "hundredth monkey". Watching some of these demonstrations and watching at least a few in the government starting to think in terms of people and the planet instead of what goes in their offshore accounts, perhaps we're nearly there.
* We can only do what we can, and hope.
About that train...
Mindless Juggernaut rolling on,
Crushing, devouring, all in its path
A runaway freight with no engineer;
Or is it?
The people are tired of trying to stop it,
Or control it, or understand it.
Worn down by their efforts,
Their disillusionment, their pain.
No one cares who the engineer is,
Or if there is one.
No one cares who it crushes
As long as it’s someone else.
A runaway freight,
Plunging into an unlighted,
Full of people along for the ride.
22 Nov. 1974
Apparently the tunnel is even deeper than I thought on that eleventh anniversary of JFK's assassination.