“There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making. Hell’s bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?”―Smedley Butler (Major General, an outspoken critic of U.S. military adventurism and, at the time of his death in 1940 the most decorated Marine in U.S. history). The world military manpower has increased substantially in 75 years.
The two US political parties hiding under the garbs of “democracy” are both right wingers (conservatives, liberals, neocons, fascists, capitalists etc.) pursuing the same geopolitical agenda in the Middle East. On one hand the GOP (Republicans) are pursuing a belligerent agenda while the Democrats are pursuing a diplomatic agenda. The goal for both parties is exactly the same, that being global hegemony and survival as an empire. They share the ideology with their right wing partners in Britain, France, Germany (EU3), Canada and Israel and all are beating on the war drums while at the same time working hypocritically for peace.
N. America and Europe remain unchallenged externally through NATO military alliance and economically by liberal capitalism (PITFALLS OF LIBERAL CAPITALISM) Russia and China rank number 2 and 3, respectively, as military powers after the US while China is on an equal footing with the US as an economic power. Russia has been militarily contained in Ukraine and perceptibly weakened by western sanctions. Both are perceived as Eurasian threats towards achieving global hegemony. The west does not have the stomach to engineer a conflict in Eurasia so the killing fields will be in the Middle East. The methods by the right wingers are different but the result has always been identical whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Gaza, Libya or Syria. Now they intend to pit Iran and it’s so called Shia allies with Sino-Russian support and Saudi Arabia with its Sunni allies supported by the NATO alliance through a disastrous conflict in the Middle East-a Muslim civil war in the region.
Learning from the pages of history, the Battle of Jamal (camel) took place at Basra, Iraq in November 656 AD. Aisha, a wife of Prophet Mohammed and daughter of the first Muslim caliph Abu Bakr, heard about the killing of Uthman, the third Caliph. Angered by his unavenged death, and the naming of Ali as the fourth caliph she took up arms against those supporting Ali. She gained support of the big city of Basra and, for the first time, Muslims took up arms against each other. This battle is now known as the first Muslim civil war. The battle was politically (tribal) motivated regarding the issue of caliphate succession after Uthman’s assassination. Some miscreants used Aisha to gain power but lost out. This battle had nothing to do with Shias and Sunnis as neither existed then but one entirely of pre-Islamic practices of tribal avenging. After the battle, Aisha’s brother Muhammad, who was Ali’s commander and his adopted son, approached his sister for reconciliation. It was accepted. These pre-Islamic tribal practices of vengeance continue on even in these modern times in the Gulf monarchies of Arabia.
The signs of another great Muslim civil war are becoming visible on the region’s horizons. Though perceptibly it is about the Shia-Sunni conflicts, the fact is that the sectarian issues are being exploited together with the geopolitics of the region. The Gulf monarchies and Israel feared that the Iranians were acquiring a nuclear bomb to threaten them. Will both be pacified by the N-deal and convinced that Iran is no longer a regional nuclear threat to Israel as a state and to the Gulf monarchies as religious extremists? Thus far it does not seem so.
It may seem, in all aspects, that the P5+1 N-deal with Iran is with the objective of achieving peace in the region. It is an illusion. Iran understands that but it has accepted the deal to maneuver out of the sanctions and what have USA and EU3 powers gained by the easing of the sanctions? US, Israel and EU3 are also no fools hiding behind the illusion of peace when the agenda is war-one not of their making but that of the “bloodthirsty Muslims”. Both aspects will be examined without delving into details in the following paragraphs.
Iran achieved the 20% enrichment of uranium as a bargaining chip – not that it ever wanted a bomb. Once it had achieved that leverage Iranian President Rouhani made peaceful overtures towards negotiations so that sanctions against it would be lifted and accrue economic benefits from the lifting of sanctions on banking and financial sectors and export of oil and gas imposed under UNSC. In exchange Iran surrendered various facets of its N-program.
Due to the sanctions Iran’s crude oil exports had fallen from 2.2 million barrels per day (MMBOPD) in 2011 to 700,000 MMBOPD by 2013-14 costing Iran $50-55 billion/year (It is anticipated that additional 300,000 BOPD will come on the market in early 2016). The Iranian currency also fell against the US dollar by 60% causing inflation to rise by 35-40%. By early 2013 Iran’s economy was seriously being pinched by the economic sanctions. Iran’s ulterior motive was its right under the NPT to acquire nuclear technology for scientific research and fuel and it has managed to achieve the desired results by being able to operating about 5,060 centrifuges to produce 3.67% LEU (low enriched uranium) while at the same time stabilizing its economy. All along Iran was supported by China and Russia, its principal arms suppliers.
As Michael Rubin, an Iran analyst and critic of the administration at the American Enterprise Institute (supported by the neo-cons under Bush dynasty) correctly stated: “The Iranians used to brag that they play chess and we play checkers. It turns out that they play chess, while we play solitaire.” Not quite.
The US has portrayed itself as a global peace broker by the deal with Iran but on the other side it continues to support the Gulf monarchies and the 10 member Sunni coalition to adopt belligerence in Syria and Yemen. Large corporations operate the cogs of the American economy and thrive during periods of recessions and wars. Both right wing parties are just puppets of the big corporations. The US recognized that without the lifting of sanctions under the N-deal, Iran would’ve been unable to fund and sustain its position as the regional power and support Iraq, Syria and Lebanon making up the Shia crescent. The US also needed to get an inside view of Iran’s military capability and most likely it will manage it even though Iran took off the table the issue of PMD (possible military dimensions). If it’d not have done so, the same WMD issue with Iraq would’ve been imposed on the country. If Iran, by some scheme of the west, is to get involved in the Muslim civil war, it would need the monetary clout. The US and EU3 have ensured this by lifting the sanctions in phases.
Since the Western powers were kicked out of Indo-China, they along with Israel have managed to create wars, civil wars and wars of terrorism in Muslim countries over the past four decades – in Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Mali, Libya, Yemen and Iran. These wars have killed at least 15 million Muslims in those four decades. In sharp contrast, Southeast Asia has seen peace and economic prosperity. If Muslims desire peace and economic prosperity, they’ll have to adopt the SE Asian model. In a civil war, it will be Muslims eating the flesh and drinking the blood of each other. Some sense should prevail among Muslims by not falling into the western trap. Will it? Time will tell if the western powers will be able to impose their civil war agenda in the Middle East or will Muslims get their sanity to defeat the western agenda and opt for peace?
Gulam Asgar Mitha is a retired Techinal Safety Engineer. He has worked with several N. American and International oil and gas companies. He has worked in Libya, Qatar, Pakistan, France, Yemen and UAE. Currently Gulam lives in Calgary, Canada and enjoys reading and keeping in tune with current global political issues.