New Eastern Outlook
by Viktor Mikhin
World media has repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that one of the main aspects of both American internal and external politics is plain and simple demagoguery. This type of demagoguery has become very characteristic of American diplomacy in the Middle East. This conclusion can easily be reached by simply comparing the current US President Barack Obama’s words with his deeds.
In his last State of the Union Address to Congress, American President, in relation to the situation in the Middle East, flatly stated: “Instead of sending large ground forces overseas, we’re partnering with nations from South Asia to North Africa to deny safe haven to terrorists who threaten America. In Iraq and Syria, American leadership – including our military power – is stopping ISIS’ advance.” This deceptive spiel incites nothing more than a brief smile. It is sufficient just to read recent headlines to understand how Washington is “effectively battling” and defeating ISIS. And besides, it was the United States that initially had a hand in creating terrotist organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Here is a well-known, but very eloquent fact. On May 27, 2013, American Senator John Mccain secretly entered Syria via Turkey, meeting on rebel territory the head of the General Staff of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), Salim Idris, as well as other leaders of armed groups. At that time, the FSA was still in an alliance with Al-Qaeda that was represented by ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. Each of these groups received support from the US, France, Turkey and other governments. Soon after, 13 of the most successful FSA groups, on the orders of American advisers, left the oppositional coalition and created a new front, which they called the “Islamic coalition”, with Jabhat al-Nusra, a branch of Al-Qaeda in Syria, heading up the group.
Later something even more incredible occurred: another branch of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, refused to submit to the leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and began to pursue an independent policy, which resulted in declaration on June 29, 2014 of “caliphate” on the territories occupied by them in Syria and Iraq. By now the Pentagon has merely been staging a mock fight against ISIS, which received the new title of the Islamic State, periodically dropping bombs on Syrian and Iraqi deserts. Lately, the American media has delivered no information on fallen terrorists, of which it used to triumphantly report to American taxpayers.
This is in no way surprising if you take into account a number of American documents on the subject. For example, in an interview with an Argentine publication, the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange unveiled a number of secret documents, according to which the White House was allegedly directly involved in the creation of ISIS, the “destruction of civilization in Iraq and Syria” and a coup in Ukraine. Among the documents are diplomatic telegrams that reveal that conditions for war in the Middle East were created in the State Department, the US Department of Defense and the CIA. The text in the telegram contains proof of sponsoring for ISIS from the United States in the fight against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Julian Assange argues that the Americans’ goal is to control the oil fields and encircle Iran strengthening its geopolitical position. According to his information, Washington decided to create a dangerous terrorist organization, in yet another attempt to dominate over every government in the region.
Here is another statement from Barack Obama’s speech to Congress, which is worth pausing on for a closer look: “Second, we’re demonstrating the power of American strength and diplomacy. We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small.”
Apparently, that is why each of the Arab Gulf states contains a huge military base, where the Pentagon advisers and the CIA tirelessly “work” at closely observing and controlling the behaviour of the local rulers. It will suffice to say that just recently with the help of such advisers, there was a change of emirs of Qatar, when to relieve his not too aged, but no longer on the American “good side”, father came his son Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
It should be noted that the new Qatari ruler, at only 35 years old, does not have enough experience to manage his country in such a difficult region, and is therefore listening to the suggestions of Washington and its many US advisers.
Incidentally, these advisers rather comfortably settled down in the Al-Adid base. Another name for this US military base located in the west of the Qatari capital Doha is Abu Nakhla airfield. In essence, Al-Adid is the base of the coalition of pro-Western forces in the Persian Gulf. Another important fact is that in 2003 the Qatari Al-Adid of the Mulk Sultan airbase in Saudi Arabia was transformed into an American training centre for air operations in the Middle East. During US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the base turned into a command centre and auxiliary post for coalition forces.
On July 17, 2012 The Wall Street Journal in an article dedicated to the new US missile radar in Qatar, wrote: “This radar station should improve the system of missile defence, designed to protect the interests of the US and its allies.” The report on the establishment of a US missile radar in a certain secret location in Qatar is another proof that the foreign policy of Washington holds a militaristic strategy that represents a threat to the security of the entire region, because in recent years the US has increased the number of its military bases in the Middle East, and especially in the Persian Gulf.
Overall, in the Gulf region, where, we recall, very small emirates are situated, the number of US troops reaches about 40 thousand: 7,500 in Qatar, 5,000 in Bahrain, about 3,000 in the United Arab Emirates and a little less in Saudi Arabia and Oman. In short, in places that lack any military operations, 235,000 US troops are deployed outside of their borders and 175,000 are focused on bases in Europe, Asia and the Persian Gulf. “Keeping peace in the regions” is achieved by about 11% of the of the US military personnel.
New evidence of demagoguery in Washington was recovered from the telephone conversation between US President Barack Obama and Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, in which the two leaders said that “armed conflict in Yemen should be resolved as quickly as possible.” But it is Riyadh who, unprovoked, attacked Yemen, daily bombing peaceful cities, villages and towns, resulting in a growing number of casualties in Yemen, whose only guilt is that the “Saudi wolf wants to eat.”
But do not forget about the many American advisers who at military bases train and direct Saudi pilots, carry out aircraft repair and maintenance, perform the logistics and transmit data on the facilities in Yemen to be bombed. The very same American press reported that Saudi intelligence pilots receive data from US satellites. If we add to this all the warehouses crammed full with American weapons, the Washington administration’s words and deeds regarding “preventing bigger nations from bullying the small neighbours” become clearer.
Somehow, Washington’s memory didn’t reach those few years back, to when the unrest started in Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia immediately sent troops to the small in size and population emirates. For some reason we don’t hear the cries of the democrats about this flagrant violation of the very foundations of international law, and in particular, human rights.
It is obvious that the aggressive policy of the US Administration in the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf region, is aimed at the realization of long-term objectives in terms of politics, economics and strategy.
US Democratic President Barack Obama, who on his arrival to the political scene of the country expressed that his views on the Middle East issues were more restrained than those of his predecessor, but further actions demonstrated that in this regard, he follows the strategy and principles of the foreign policy of his generation of American leaders.
Demagogy is but a last attempt to justify before the international community the aggressive policy of the current rulers of the White House.
Victor Mikhin, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Natural Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.