Editor’s note: if I’m being honest I should start by admitting that I have avoided sitting down to write this series of articles for a very long time, even though I’d come to many of the conclusions that you’ll find contained within them months ago. This is in part because these discussions involve a very complicated study of actual US foreign policy and in part because providing sources for all of these different but inter-related issues is an exhausting exercise in sifting through mountains of bullshit to find nuggets of truth. This is going to be a very different sort of “Russiagate” article series than I’ve written in the recent past because the scandal itself is only our springboard for investigating what I sincerely believe is a coming larger (proxy) conflict between the United States and Russia in the Middle East and North Africa. The twist this time however is that this conflict is further nested inside the already escalating Saudi Arabian-Iran proxy war and as such, actively threatens to draw enough nations into the conflict to fairly describe the situation as a potential third World War.
Please keep in mind that explaining how over thirty years of disastrous US foreign policy has lead America to the brink of yet another “Persian Gulf” war is a task worthy of an entire book that I simply don’t have time to write, so I’m going to be focusing on just the information you need to know in the absolute broadest of strokes. While I had originally intended to combine this entire series into one post, I’ve since realized the sheer volume of material (both past and present) demands examination over the course of multiple essays; indeed, I’m already over a thousand words into Part Two as I write this.
In today’s Brief Thought post we’re going to start in the present, with a brief snapshot of an empire sitting on the edge or war before exploring how we got here and why you should be worried in later installments:
Note: Please be reminded that if you’re having trouble reading this info-graphic you can right click on the picture and select “view this image” to pop out a larger version. Additionally, don’t forget to check out my comments after the lengthy sources section of this article.
I’m honestly not trying to be an alarmist folks but it might be time to smoke em if you’ve got em here. While the international community and various media organizations have (perhaps rightfully) turned their attention towards the other brewing forever war the Trump administration is foolishly threatening to unleash on North Korea; the US military industrial complex and their client state allies in the Middle East are quietly working on manufacturing consent for a war that will likely engulf the entire Middle East, North Africa and Southwest Asia in a never-ending conflict that could perhaps be best described as “Sand Vietnam.”
Just how horrifying is the current situation?
- since virtually the moment Donald Trump won the 2016 American election, the United States has aggressively sought to manufacture public consent for military intervention and or regime change in longtime hated Republican (and war hawk Democrat) boogieman Iran. Provocations by the objectively hostile Trump administration towards Iran include but are not limited to calling the Islamic republic the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, accusing Iran of actively destabilizing the Middle East, accusing Iran of failing to crack down on human trafficking violations and accusing Iran of helping North Korea develop nuclear weapons. This is of course in addition to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s highly questionable accusation that Iran is somehow supplying sophisticated missiles to supposedly blockaded Houthi rebels in Yemen and swine emperor Trump’s nigh-constant attempts to completely scuttle the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by former President Obama and largely credited for maintaining “peace” in the region.
- Saudi Arabia (a US client state) is currently engaging in what is now bordering on a three year, brutal “intervention” and blockade in Yemen that is starting to look like an impeding genocide. Saudi atrocities in Yemen have been committed with the full backing (both in terms of arms supplies and actual military support) of the United States, a multi-state coalition of nearby countries also closely tied to US interests in the region, as well as US western allies like the United Kingdom and Canada. The supposed objective of this intervention that now threatens to starve literally millions of innocent Yemenis to death is to reinstall the country’s highly unpopular, Saudi-backed government in exile after deposing Houthi rebels the coalition claims are controlled by, wait for it; Iran.
- this would naturally be the same Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that lavished President Trump with outrageously expensive gifts to elicit his publicly spoken permission to escalate their ongoing proxy war with Iran; only to immediately turn around and economically blockade Qatar for its supposed ties to Iran, transparently attempt to force the Prime Minister of Lebanon to resign while accusing Iran as well as Hezbollah of trying to kill him in what might be a legitimate prelude to open war and otherwise destabilizing the Middle East with American support – while accusing Iran of doing much the same thing.
- Israel (another US client state) is also working hard to manufacture international consent for what is now being sold as an inevitable war in Lebanon by ratcheting up tensions with Hezbollah and accusing Iran of being responsible for the group’s actions. This is the same Israeli government that is actively helping Trump undermine the Iran nuclear agreement in UN meetings and has set aside decades of mistrust, hatred as well as religious differences with longtime enemy Saudi Arabia to join together in mutual aggression towards Hezbollah and yes, Iran.
Russia, Russiagate and Trump’s Neocon Turn
So how exactly does all of this involve Russia and the absurd McCarthyist conspiracy aspects of Russiagate? Well for starters, Russia has increasingly become a closer and closer ally of the country America and its allies have in their cross hairs, Iran; particularly when it comes to cooperation in Syria (another Russian ally.) You might also remember Syria as the Russian client state a constantly changing number of American forces have refused to leave despite the fact that the “civil war” is over, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has explicitly called US troops invaders and the units that remain in Syria aren’t even engaging fleeing ISIS forces anymore; which was ostensibly the entire excuse for entering the country against the wishes of its government. All of this would obviously mean that anyone who wanted to attack Syria, Iran or their allies, would instantly find themselves involved in a war with Russia. Naturally, Russia’s status as a proven ally to both Iran and Syria gives the nation a significant leg up on Western interests when it comes to accessing the natural gas field mostly controlled by Iran and moving that gas through Syria to Russia and Southwest Asia; perhaps to a nation like Turkey who despite its NATO allegiances suddenly seems more comfortable negotiating with Vladimir Putin. This would subsequently allow Russia and Iran to both effectively mitigate inhumane, debilitating US and UN sanctions by facilitating the establishment of a massive energy market completely apart from the west; an idea that might seem quite appealing to other BRICS nations or other countries who are facing US and UN sanctions, like North Korea – in other words, this would be a complete disaster for US and allied imperial interests.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this concept does not seem lost on pro-US war hawks in the western media who have recently begun eviscerating President Trump for “losing” the new Middle East Cold War with Russia in the wake of Assad’s victory in Syria. This in turn maps perfectly on to a larger pattern of attempts to push Donny “Tiny Hands” towards a more belligerent, security state approved foreign policy posture with Russia (and its allies) by neoconservatives, pro-war corporate media and even Trump’s enemies in the Democratic Party. When examined in this context, it is difficult to regard manufactured Russiagate hysteria as anything other than a smashing success; Trump’s campaign overtures towards Putin were immediately thwarted, the American public is primed for war while now largely regarding Russia as a potential enemy and the diplomatic relationship between the two countries is currently at it’s lowest ebb since the original Cold War. The fact that the scandal also allows the centrist, war hungry US establishment to actively “red bait” their political enemies and crush numerous forms of dissent in advance of this coming conflict is simply icing on a cake soaked in blood, money and oil.
Of course, just how much Trump and his administration had to actually be prodded into this geopolitical position remains something of an open question. After all the swine emperor himself threatened to “shoot Iranian boats out of the water” during his election campaign and pretty much the entire Trump administration has made openly hostile remarks towards Russia’s Persian Gulf ally; including Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, Nikki Haley, disgraced former advisor Mike Flynn, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence and unsurprisingly, Donald Trump. With the departure of bigoted isolationist advisor Steve Bannon, the administration’s commitment to actually accelerating the war in Afghanistan and the decision to reverse the Obama-era informal policy against selling lethal weapons to Russian rival Ukraine, Trump already seems demonstrably more “George W. Bush” than “William Jennings Bryan” on US aggression and foreign policy.
Frankly, if you aren’t some kind of emotionless sociopath and you’ve been following along with the links in this article, you probably should be getting a little worried right about now. As tragically disastrous as America’s first two “forever wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan remain to this day, a “nested” proxy war featuring military forces as powerful as those of the United States, Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran and even Syria represents a potential clusterfuck unlike anything the world has seen in three generations.
In light of the sheer volume of information we’ve just gone over, I feel like this is a good resting point. During the next couple of installments in this series I hope to cover topics like why this brewing conflict enjoys bipartisan support in US politics, the long history of attempted American hegemony over the Middle East, how the original Cold War is still shaping this terrifying geopolitical situation, why this isn’t about fighting terrorism, why US aggression towards Russia and Iran has nothing to do with human rights, how more “loosely involved” nations like Turkey, China or Pakistan might respond to the outbreak of war and how the Western corporate media is shamefully manufacturing consent for this completely unnecessary conflict.
Until then, keep your powder dry and don’t let the bastards make you hate.
- Nina Illingworth
Update: Part Two of Russiagate, Foreign Policy & the Coming Forever War (Bipartisan Support) is now available, click here to read.