Middle East Geopolitics 202: What’s Next?
By Al Martin
Israel has been bombing Lebanon and the U.S. has acceded to this latest conflict in the Middle East, which might actually expand into Syria. The reason why is because the U.S. is secretly pushing the Israelis to expand it. The Syrians are very weak right now, and the allied forces in Afghanistan and Iraq could put pressure on the Syrian border. Syria has a big military, but, technologically-speaking, it’s an old military. It’s like Iraq, or like the old Soviet Union in the 1980s.
This would be a dangerous gambit because you don’t exactly know how the rest of the world, especially the Russians and Chinese would react to it, since the Bush Cheney Regime has secretly, behind the scenes, been egging on Israel to expand the conflict into Syria. The Bush Cheney Regime, with so many U.S. forces in the area, would not find it hard, certainly, to create an incident and blame it on the Syrians.
Special forces would be used to create an incident, blame it on the Syrians, and that would give Israel the pretext. That would, then, expand the conflict, which I don’t think the Bush Cheney Regime necessarily wants. But they want to bang the drum. Elections are coming. They’re going to lose these off-year elections. They’re going to lose the Senate, maybe the House. What’s the old tried-and-true way for Republicans to stay in office when their popularity is under 30%? Create a military incident. People will start waving around the flags again.
So it would have to appear to involve Americans, and that wouldn’t be hard. It would be twofold. What would happen is U.S. Special Forces would kill some of our own people around the Syrian border, or something similar. Then the Israelis would sacrifice some of their own, a couple dozen guys and that would be all it takes. And that would give them the pretext.
How likely is it? I think that’s entirely possible. If it did happen, I think, the Russians would sign off on it. So what would be the ultimate game plan? To force the Assad regime in Syria out of power.
Syrian politics are essentially the same as what Iraqi politics were. They could replace him with anybody. We’d put in a puppet. It doesn’t make any difference.
We create a puppet, somebody from the majority. Nobody in government has the same fundamental weakness that the Iraqi government did. That is, that the Assad regime is from the minority within the Syrian population. Not only are they Sunnis, but they’re Syrian. There’s some special branch of the Sunnis, which is only about, like, 7% of the Syrian population. Saudi Arabia is the same way. It would be the ideal way to get rid of the Syrian regime.
There’s no place on this planet Assad can go for help. The Russians don’t want to help him, since the Russians have said that before publicly, that they wouldn’t sell Syria any more weapons until Syria pays billions that it already owes the Russians. This would be a Shah of Iran Debacle Redux.
What’s important now is that if an incident was created the right way, it would give allied forces the ability to pressure the border in Syria and to mount air attacks in a limited incursion, (We don’t have the manpower to do much more.) What we do have over there, by the way, is the air power and cruise missiles, etc. We have the ability to destroy most of the Syrian military on the ground. The Israelis coming in from the other side of the country could do the rest.
It’s pretty straightforward. The Russians aren’t going to object. The only thing the Russians are interested in is the $2-3 billion the Syrians owe them. Syria, it should be remembered, has no natural resources of its own. So how would Russia get the payback? There would be some sign-off on a deal with Russia like there was in Iraq.
Where does a large percentage of Syrian state money come from? Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait. They’re not a puppet of Saudi Arabia. That’s just simply how they stay in business.
The Syrian government is nothing. It is a negative economic entity. It isn’t worth anything. Palestine is really the same way. The only reason Syria still exists as a nation-state is because it isn’t worth anything.
The Saudis pay, but they’ve never had all that much political influence. Saudi Arabia and the so-called friendly Arab states, which includes Kuwait, the UAE, Muscat, Oman, Qatar, Dubai, Bahrain, etc. have for a long time kept Egyptian governments in power. They’ve kept the Syrian and the Lebanese governments in power.
To what end? To prevent the Middle East from disintegrating into endless Islamic-controlled jihad-type wars. That would threaten Saudi interest, and it would threaten all oil because the first target would be Saudi Arabia.
Despite the billions Saudi Arabia spends on U.S. weaponry, which was part of the 1973 Kissinger Accord, the problem is Saudi Arabia has an enormous modern military, but they don’t have reliable people. They don’t know if they could trust their own military. Like all the other nations in the Middle East except for Israel.
Israel is a different story. Israel knows it can trust its military. Saudi Arabia doesn’t know that. All the senior officers in the Saudi Arabian armed forces are members of the royal family. If Saudi Arabia stopped the money to Syria, Syria would fall apart. It doesn’t do that. Saudi Arabia would probably like to do so, but it needs the pretext. So Syria could be gone in a minute. The reason it isn’t is because it’s a nation-state that isn’t worth anything.
The bigger picture is very simple. It is, really, the Western powers and Russia that have long cooperated tacitly, covertly even, in some cases, to constantly fan the flames of Middle Eastern tension to maintain an ever-rising price of oil. It benefits the United States and Russia frankly. It doesn’t benefit the United States the same way it does Russia. But it does benefit those who control the United States, not only the oil industry but the shareholders of the oil industry, those that own most of the wealth in the nation, the affluent class.
Middle Eastern tensions -- the hoi polloi are sold on this thing. All you have to do is watch the news to know this. They are endlessly told the story that the Middle Eastern situation is both implacable and intractable.
They say -- “It is a problem that can never be resolved through military means alone. Only through political compromise,” which of course has never worked. All the ragheads have been fighting each other for centuries, in some cases millennia. “They will never stop. The conflict will never stop.” Therefore, Russia, the United States, and the Western allies can always justify multibillion-dollar defense expenditures. It can always get Saudi Arabia and the friendly Arab powers to buy billions of dollars of Western weaponry. It does effectively no good because those governments couldn’t trust their own militaries to use it against a would-be enemy.
Saudi Arabia bought a slew of advanced fighter planes like the F 15s from the United States. And they have been continuously upgraded, so they do have a very modern military force. But did you know that most of the weapons have self-destruct mechanisms that are controlled by Saudi monarchy?
The Katyusha missiles, which Hezbollah has are all Russian made and they are all 1980s technology, some of them even earlier. And they’re not even reliable. Why do you think the Russians sold them to them? They aren’t worth anything. Their real value is they can be used to terrorize the civilian population. (The Russians sold them to the Iranians, who paid twice the going price in order to placate Russia. Iran then gave them to Hezbollah.)
These rockets have this whistling sound, which is on purpose, to terrorize the population. The type of missiles they’re using, the Frog M’s, are not even missiles. They’re rockets. The Russians stopped making them in 1973. They don’t even have an internal guidance system. They’re so unreliable that they’re only being fired over a distance of 100 miles or less, from Lebanon, to try to hit a city that is 20 miles across. From 100 miles away, you can’t even do that necessarily. And the whistling sound scares everybody. Also it has a big incendiary magnesium charge so when it hits something, even though it’s miles away, it makes a huge flash. Which really photographs well. FOX just loves it.
FOX, which is rabidly pro-Israel, shows these FROG-Ms going off, and it looks like a nuclear bomb. The scare potential is increased exponentially. That’s why the Russians built them. They weren’t worth anything as military weapons systems.
Geopolitically the Middle Eastern situation could have been resolved through military force a long time ago. An imposed military solution could have been reached between even Russia and the United States a long time ago. It still could be done today. The Middle Eastern regimes, including Iran, are not that strong. The news says -- Oh, look at the Iranian army! 500,000 strong. They’ve got 3,000 tanks. You hear that on FOX all the time.
To try to reinstall the Maronite Christian majority, the Phalange -- the problem is the United States and the Western powers let the situation unravel too much, beyond the point where it could be put back together again. It was all due to disinterest and inertia. They let the whole situation unravel beyond the point where it could be put back together again.
Why does Israel even exist as a nation-state? It is to act as an American proxy.
The reason why I think an Israeli incursion into Syria is possible is because the Syrian government is the weakest it’s ever been now. If we launched a big air campaign against them on the other side of the country and began systematically destroying their military on the ground, and Israel were to mount an invasion of Syria on the other side, the Syrian government would fall. A deal could be worked out with the Russians, the same as it was in Iraq. Russians don’t care. The thing is, in the end, nobody wants the headache of a bombed-out country that has no resources to export.
Eventually Iran is also going to fall. I think the Iranians must know that. Also an incursion and an effort to dethrone the Assad regime in Syria and to put it under Western orbit would also send the Iranians a signal that the old way of doing business is gone.
Syria was always a card in the Russian geo-political deck. And that’s gone now. And they’ve got nothing to replace it because they don’t have any money. They were a Russian satellite because simply put Syria had the geography. Russia had so-called technical advisors behind the Syrian army. And from Syria you could launch an attack into Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey. Now that whole strategy was gone. After the fall of the Soviet empire, the Syrians became a de facto useless regime.
People ask -- why didn’t Bashir Assad talk to Washington? He couldn’t -- because of internal politics in Syria. How could he, when 90% of the Syrian population hates the United States? He didn’t have any choice. If we start dropping bombs on Syria, he’s ready to get on a jet and get out. The logical thing for him to do would have been to switch allegiances, come into the U.S. orbit. How can you do that when 90% of your population hates the United States? He can’t do it.
The only way you can do it is secretly collude with the United States and potentially other powers to provoke an invasion of your own country – The Mouse that Roared scenario. He needed the pretext to do that.
At this point, the American people aren’t going to go along for another $500-billion to expand this war. You play the Israeli card. You get the Israelis involved first. Then you get the rest of the Western powers involved. And that entails some sort of pretext. Israelis are very good at fomenting pretexts.
Do you think Israel cares about 2 or 3 soldiers? Of course not.
The only unknown part of this at this point is the Syrian part of the equation. The Israelis would obviously like to see Syria brought into the Western orbit under the thumb of Western power. No one cares about Hezbollah. The Israelis don’t even care about them.
Hezbollah is a well-organized guerilla force and is supplied by Iran. There’s no more than about 500 of them with any military training. And they got the military training from Iran, which is useless.
So what is the Israeli endgame? There are a couple of Israeli objectives. One: Hezbollah’s gotten more radical. What they want to do is weed out the radical faction. They want to destroy all their weapons again, and destroy what little infrastructure they have. There are factions within factions within factions. Hezbollah isn’t one unified organization.
The most radical factions are those controlled by radical factions in Iran, which are outside, or on the periphery of, the Iranian government. Israel has consistently punished Hezbollah by creating excuses, allowing them to shoot a few missiles into northern Israel when radical factions within Hezbollah haven’t been able to gain control of the organization. Then, they kill all the members of the radical faction at that time. They takeout all of Hezbollah’s weapons storage in Lebanon. They sink all the Iranian ships that are carrying weapons they can find. And everything goes back to status quo again -- until Hezbollah needs to be dusted off the shelf again for somebody’s geopolitical reason.
The latest reason is because the Israelis are nervous about having Hezbollah lawfully incorporated into the Lebanese government. Hezbollah has become a legitimate, recognized political organization.
Hezbollah is really like the IRA, that effectively has a political and paramilitary wing. But the political wing is recognized. People in Lebanon voted for them. Nobody in the West wants Iranian controlled or influenced, Middle Eastern based terrorist groups gaining any political legitimacy. That’s the heart of it.
The IRA was never considered that much until it began to have some political legitimacy. That’s what the problem is with respect to Hezbollah. They want to get rid of Hezbollah and take it out of the Lebanese government. They want a puppet Lebanese government that they can control. They want to put the Maronite Christians and Druze factions, who are friendly to the Israelis, back into the Lebanese government. They want to reconstruct the Lebanese government the way it used to be, where there was a balance between moderate Lebanese Arabs and Maronite Christians, and the Druze being the fulcrum in the middle.
If you make the Lebanese people suffer enough, they’ll make sure that Hezbollah doesn’t get back into the government. That is the lesson being taught to the Lebanese people. What they have to understand is what they didn’t understand before and should have been made clear to them.
The problem was nobody made it implicitly clear to the Lebanese people that, if you vote Hezbollah into power, there’s going to be a consequence. That should have been made implicitly clear. Obviously nobody can make that clear overtly, but it should have been done.
The conflict in Chechnya also comes to mind. Since the newly floated oil company Rosneft whose prime assets taken from YUKOS were in Chechnya. Putin is right when he says that Russia has historical claims over Chechnya.
Things are calming down in Chechnya, and will probably continue to calm down. That’s the only thing Russia is interested in -- the metal and mineral wealth of Chechnya. The Chechens know that. But they’re too stupid to play ball. They don’t understand that the Russians will just do what they’re doing now, which is just wear them down.
The Russians are adopting the old Soviet strategy. What you do is occupy them, and then gradually kill off as many as you can of the troublemakers and native Chechen people. And gradually dilute the population. All countries need their extremists when there’s a political faction.
Even the Bushes know this. You can’t kill all the leaders of the Chechen rebel factions. If you do that, you don’t have the political mandate anymore to stay in Chechnya and kill all the Chechens.
Like Richard Secord said: “You’ve got to have a boogeyman to make any money.” He’s right.
Meanwhile, Bush in his latest address to the US Coast Guard in Miami linked the war in Lebanon to the “War on Terrorism,” thus trying to open the door to US involvement. Remember what National Intelligence head John Negroponte and former CIA head Porter Goss said -- Bushonian interests have long sought to control Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley “cash cow,” i.e. revenue from narcotics.
Could Bush’s statement be a precursor to stationing US forces in the Bekaa Valley, a move that would also be helpful to Israel?
But that’s what Al Martin Raw and Insider Intelligence are for -- to get people to understand what everyone should know. People realize that the oil, etc. are all part of a bigger picture. And the bigger picture is making money -- globally.
People that understand are those that make money. That should be our motto at Insider Intelligence -- “Those that understand the planet are those that make money.”