New Eastern Outlook
by Viktor Mikhin
In its quest to secure a global leadership role and establish or strengthen its dominance, the US continues to wreak havoc on the entire planet. The determining factor in Washington’s struggle for geopolitical dominance is the country’s large foreign debt, the payment of which is not possible. Under these circumstances, the only way for the current US administration is the option of suppressing the world economy in the Middle East and the subsequent capture of energy resources and the establishment of full control over them.
The so-called fight against the Islamic State is used as a pretext. At the same time, by launching air strikes on militant positions in Iraq and Syria, the US is trying to squeeze them in the direction of the Russian Federation, including in the Central Asian region, in order to be complete masters of the natural wealth of the Arab countries. An interesting interview has appeared in the American press with former CIA officer Graham Fuller, one of the leading analysts of the Middle East. It is titled “The United States created ISIS”. Incidentally, this is one of thousands of conspiracy theories that are prevalent on the Middle East. This is what Noam Chomsky, American linguist, political essayist, philosopher, and theorist, stated in an interview with the American magazine “Jacobin”. He added: “But this is another source: this is right at the heart of the US establishment. He [G. Fuller] hastens to point out that he doesn’t mean the US decided to put ISIS into existence and then funded it. His point is — and I think it’s accurate — that the US created the background out of which ISIS grew and developed. Part of it was just the standard sledgehammer approach: smash up what you don’t like.”
As always, Washington is trying to attract its satellites ready for sacrifices and heroic deeds, to carry out its plans. And now Italy is ready to lead a coalition of European and North African countries to combat “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” in Libya, as well as to send to this country a large military mission, as Defence Secretary Roberta Pinotti said in an interview with the newspaper Messaggero. “If we sent five thousand soldiers to Afghanistan, then in Libya, which is much closer to our borders, the mission may be very impressive in terms of numbers,” she said.
By the way, the Libyan ISIS is none other than the “Tripoli Province” of group, which received official recognition in this status from its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Along with this cell, ISIS operates in two other historic areas of Libya – Cyrenaica and Fezzan. “Tripoli province” is considered the most dangerous: this was the group that in January attacked the luxury hotel in Tripoli, where Western citizens stay. Then, reportedly eight people were killed.
Along with Libya, in neighbouring Egypt another cell recognized by al-Baghdadi is active – “Sinai province”, or “Ansar Beit al-Maqdis”. This group is constantly committing attacks against the security forces. For example, at the end of January, it took responsibility for a series of bombings that killed 24 soldiers, six policemen, and 14 civilians. It has been reported that emissaries of “Sinai province” had already travelled to Syria in order to obtain financial aid, weapons, and military and tactical advice from the Syrian opposition. Needless to say that Washington is rendering every possible assistance to the Syrian opposition, sowing death and destruction on Syrian soil.
Incidentally, news just came that Turkey and the United States agreed on a programme of military training for the Syrian opposition, according to the official representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Tanju Bilgich. According to the TV channel NTV, after the start of the programme in March of this year, 30 American experts will come to Turkey to teach a group of 300 people. The selection of candidates will be carried out by a specially created American-Turkish commission. Training will be provided for periods of three months. Qatar and Saudi Arabia will also participate in the programme. They will provide training for a total of 15,000 members of the opposition a year.
According to the channel, the main goal of this programme, called “train-provide”, is the training of local security forces so that they can actively fight against the legitimately elected President of Syria Bashar al-Assad. At the same time, it is regarded as a step towards the establishment of a “security zone” in the north of Syria, which Ankara claims to be necessary, along with the creation of a so-called no-fly zone. Where this will lead – the whole world knows well through the example of the once independent Libya, where NATO members, having unleashed a bloody civil war, divided the country into a number of competing regions.
The US strategy to combat Islamic State militants knows no geographical boundaries. Other countries are following the example of Washington and fighting extremists wherever they are given the opportunity. Egypt launched airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Libya after the militants beheaded 21 Egyptians. No one said a word, because now Libya is not in any state to fight anyone. Utter chaos rules in the country after its government was overthrown with the assistance of the US and its allies. At first they were very proud with it, now they have simply given up on Libya.
Jordan has launched strikes on IS positions in Syria. Fighters of the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia are also involved in the operation. The coordinates of the attacks are often not disclosed. On February 16 the United Arab Emirates announced strikes against the IS-controlled refineries, but did not specify exactly where they were located. The United States welcomes the bombing of militants’ positions in Syria by its allies, but criticizes the Syrian government forces’ attacks on its own territory, although they too are struggling with the Islamic State.
“It’s very odd, that a state in which the militants are active cannot strike at their positions in its territory, while others may do so freely. This is certainly an interesting position… and a hypocritical one. US calls for the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad. I think now, given what happened in Libya, they have some doubts,” said the expert in the field of defence Ivan Hyland.
US allies in the Persian Gulf, which carry out air strikes on Syrian territory, are pursuing their interests in the region – and particularly in Syria. Until recently it was not clear what they want more: to destroy the Islamic State or overthrow President Assad. Now that the fight against the IS has no boundaries, and everyone is bombing something based on obscure intelligence, the question arises: could some countries take advantage of the confusion to achieve their own goals, unrelated to the fight against Islamic State militants?
The futility of the struggle in the Middle East, where Washington classifies anyone who carries a weapon as a terrorist while this is a tradition in this region, is already understood by many. US State Department spokesman Marie Harf said the United States will not be able to defeat the terrorist group Islamic State by killing its fighters. She expressed confidence that the keys to victory lie in another area. “We are killing many terrorists, and their losses will grow. The Jordanians and Egyptians who fight with us are doing the same. But we cannot win this war by killing all the enemies. The path to victory is not paved with corpses,” she said. According to Harf, the US should help to address long-standing problems, which were the reason for the increase in terrorist activity.
Unfortunately, this is only the voice of one crying in the Arab desert, or cheap demagoguery, because in fact the present US administration, which is headed by a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, continues to rely on force, forcing its allies to use only the armed forces. It is understandable that Arabs cannot be forced to agree to new slavery, given the neglect for the problems of the indigenous peoples of the Middle East, from which they have suffered for about a century after the end of World War I, when the colonial powers, Britain and France, came to their land, which then was followed by the economic oppression of the United States. They meet the West as they were met: force with force. And because the United States has an enormous advantage in power and military technology, consequently, fighting and chaos will continue in the interests of the West in this region very rich in mineral resources, for a long time.
Victor Mikhin, member correspondent of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.