sexta-feira, 2 de agosto de 2019

A dangerous circus right next door, in the Middle East



The greatest danger is that decadent states tend to not accept this decadence and cause disasters, without, preferentially, opting for hara-kiri.

Contents

Introducing the clowns
An erratic, chaotic pecking
Persian Gulf - many attackers for one target
Where are the threats?
========== ##### ==========

Introducing the clowns

More than 2,000 years ago the first triumvirate was formed in Rome, with Julius Caesar, Pompey (the Great) and a certain Crassus who had as his fixation the conquest the Parthian empire, and ended up dying in that war. Rome never achieved that conquest and it was the enlightened Emperor Hadrian's who, much later, established the peace, after having made a cost-benefit analysis of that ongoing war. 

In the decadent American empire of today, a triumvirate[1] also dominates, a pinchbeck one, with another Pompey (big and fat), a Bolton well suited for the role of Crassus, due to the unwisdom that caused him to be on the shelf for many years and, saving the worst for last, Trump, who is lightyears away from being a Julius Caesar. The danger is that decadent states tend not to accept that decadence and cause disasters, not opting, preferentially, for hara-kiri



An erratic, chaotic pecking

In the ups and downs of the already chronic political crisis in the Persian Gulf there are several contending fields, with less or more political moderation, with various levels of integration and contributions to that crisis. The Middle East is now in the shop-window, after sanctions against China and an attempt to sell, at sales prices, a certain Guaidó, in an action in which any threat will follow any threat. A bedbug, is bouncing, bloodthirsty. 

Despite its geographical and cultural distance from the Middle East’s peoples, the United States constitute the only massive presence[2], the most relevant piece in the political and, above all military, global chess, within a frantic performance begun in 1990.

This ensues, in historical terms, from the US perverted slant for the salvation of others, when they found themselves free and above the European eighteenth-century confusions.  That view, however, did not include any respect for Native Americans, which were slaughtered, or for the enslaved blacks. From it, then, follows, in part, the fact that the US continues to this day to assume an alleged right to intervene in the problems that exist or keep emerging in the Gulf region, as well as in the China Sea, even preparing to create a military base in a wildlife sanctuary called the Galapagos Islands, to prevent iguanas from damaging US interests and the "free world".

In the wake of World War II they benefited, initially, from the end of the European colonial empires, from the strategic retreat of the major European powers, from the establishment of the neoliberal model, from the dismemberment of the Eastern Bloc, from the technologies that have developed the globalization of markets, mostly the financial ones, as well as from the traditional subordination of the Latin American "backyard", which is reconstituting itself today. As setbacks, one can mention the defeat in Vietnam, as in the rest of Indochina, the Iranian humiliation in 1979, the emergence in force of China as a defiant power, the greater autonomy of Asian countries, the chaos provoked by the military interventions in the Middle East or in the Mediterranean, in addition to Russia's return as a potentially challenging powerand, furthermore, in a close strategic relationship with China; which, to the misfortune of US messianic drive, came to coincide with the financial system's debacle of 2008, which was based on Ponzi pyramids. 

As adequate symbols of this decline one can considered G W Bush or Trump –   whose material wealth contrasts with the lack of intellectual preparation, as has been seen recently in the succession of threats and smiles of Trump, regarding North Korea, China, the EU, Venezuela, Mexico ... to iguanas, as mentioned before ... This quest for a return to hegemony is often disastrous, increasingly difficult, and increasingly contested, and is based on certain vectors: 

·        Political control of the production and distribution of hydrocarbons in the Middle East and Venezuela whose transactions, mainly in dollars, are a way of maintaining a high external debt on the part of the USA and provide viability to the export of shale oil made in the USA

·        The Middle East, in particular the Arab monarchies are, along with the NATO countries, the major purchasers of the US arms industry production; a "good" war or a mere threat of war, encourages the sultans to order weapons[3];

·        The attempt to affect or condition the supply of hydrocarbons to China, India and the entire Far East, or of boycotting the import of Venezuelan oil, freezing that country’s capital or boycotting its supply of essential goods to its population;

·        Impotence regarding the Euro-Asian energy integration, as well as the commercial integration channel with the same geographical scope (and including Africa), known as the Silk Road. The fall of Latin American "left" regimes emerges as a way for the US to compensate for difficulties in other geographies and to restore their order in the "backyard".

Persian Gulf - many attackers for one target 

Returning to the Middle East, the US display their strategic assertion difficulties, after the flops of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, the Yemeni stalemate, and having seen Turkey – the second most populous NATO member – buy arms from rival Russia. In this context, and pressed by the panicked Zionist fortress, the US is trying to attack the region's most populous country, Iran – one of the three oldest and most consolidated political entities on the planet, together with Egypt and China.

In the Middle East scenario several sets can be considered ... even when they have only one element:

1.     The Zionist entity appears in this context as the American fortress, with a strategic initiative mediatized and inserted into the US one, from which it’s political, financial and military existence depends. It has, however, sufficient influence (via Jared Kushner[4]) to drive the Trump administration to insane acts – Jerusalem as a Zionist capital and the annexation of Syrian Golan territory – with the tacit acceptance of the Arab sultans.
It should be noted that in the Zionist-occupied Palestine a racist regime is in place in which Jews (?) keep under sword and fire an "inferior" race, the Palestinians, in a practice similar to that of the South African apartheid or the Nazi Germany.

It should also be noted that the Zionist entity has about 200 atomic bombs initially built with French support outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The latter was signed by Iran some fifty years ago, the country having no nuclear weapons; and even its use for the production of energy is subject to control by the International Energy Agency, after validation by nuclear powers such as Russia, Great Britain, China, France or Germany, after the US withdrawal from that agreement, on Trump’s initiative, to justify his current warlike drift in the Gulf.

2 – The Arab monarchies, led by Saudi Arabia of the media-savy Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), having failed to use ISIS to change the regime in Syria and with little influence in Iraq, play their hands in two planes. One, in Yemen, to nullify the power of the northern tribes - the Huti - zaidites, close to Shiism; and, above all, to control the eastern bank of the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb[5] a strategic 20-km-wide passage linking the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea, to the north of which lies the Suez Canal ... with Europe "in sight". The other goal of MbS is to try to take down Iran, its great rival in the region, for which it will have to forcibly rely on the United States. Finally, let us note that there is not a total unity between the set of kings, emirs and sultans, as the Qatari monarch is ostracized by his colleagues, since it has an old connection to Iran and, on top of it, having Turkey as an ally, he feels safe from muscular interventions by MbS and his confreres.


                    Salvador Dali – El Jinete de la Muerte

3 – Iran is a "problem" that the United States have been trying to solve since the fall of the Shah in 1979, when the country ceased to be an American vassal. US support for the repressive monarchist regime has led to the occupation of the US embassy by students who have taken hostage their staff, in a process that ended only in 1981. The disastrous military rescue attempt (a few years after the defeat in Vietnam) heightened in the US a sense of humiliation that propitiated Reagan's victory in that year's presidential election. The arrival of Reagan constituted an essential pillar for the reinforcement of the neoliberalism, that was already being applied in the Great Britain by the baroness Thatcher; Reagan was a sort of announcing angel for the frets that followed him, George W Bush and Trump.

Image painted on the wall of the former US embassy in Teheran

     
       The US placed an order with Saddam Hussein to wage a war against Iran in which he would seize the Kuzistan oil territory as a reward, if he would be able to overthrow the Iranian regime. This war provoked a million dead, consolidated the regime but weakened Iraq, causing Saddam to invade the rich Kuwait to face the debts incurred due to the war; and he did it without worrying to obtain assurance from the American sovereignty, not to mention that the United States is the guardian of the Gulf oil monarchies, successor to the British who invented them, after the discovery of oil under the desert sands. 

      This was followed by two Western interventions in Iraq, led by the United States, resulting in the fall and subsequent execution of Saddam, new sufferings for the Iraqi people, and the transition of former military to Daesh/ISIS, whose mission would be the creation of a caliphate (!) that would join together Kurdish, Syrian and Iraqi territories. For the US, what was important in that conjuncture was the sale of weapons (paid by Qataris and Saudis) for the fall of Assad, which, if it happened, would later weaken Lebanon, providing the Zionist regime with a quiet border to the north and causing joy to the Sunni monarchies for seeing Syrian Alawites and Lebanese Shiites in disgrace and with Iran in greater isolation. 

       As can be seen, there is today a Shia (and related) axis that goes from Iran to the Mediterranean, where the US and its European cadets have lost positions, including in those losses the good graces of Turkey, a NATO partner. 

Also, with regard to Iran, this country has observer status with the SCO –  Shanghai Cooperation Organization and close relations with its members, mainly Russia and China (a strong presence of Chinese cadres is noticeable in Teheran hotels), but also with India and Pakistan. As far as is known, Trump's step back (pressed by Pompeo and Bolton) 15 minutes before an attack on Iran – following the downing of the American drone (20/6) ­– was not due to a humanitarian impulse from Trump, in view of the projected death of 150 people; rather, the cause would lie in Russia communicating that they would be on Iran’s side in the event of any aggression.

4 – Turkey, a NATO country with a unique strategic position, with influence in Europe, and in the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean seas, the Middle East and Central Asia, has been distancing itself from the USA and even threatened the Arab monarchies in case of intervention in Qatar. On the other hand, Turkey, despite its usual position against Kurdish autonomy, has been active in northern Syria with the mediation of Russia, which has in Turkey – a NATO country – an armaments buyer; and has a friendly relationship with Iran, unlike the Arab countries that were included in the Ottoman Empire during four centuries.

5 - The USA are the only case, among those present in the Gulf area, of a global role player and that, despite their own and growing weaknesses, in comparative terms with other powers, arrogantly claims the right to threaten, intervene, issue warnings and opinions, even about the internal affairs of other countries, as seen recently in Britain where Trump has announced, without any detail, a gigantic plan to support the country once Brexit materialized ... as a performance bonus. 

For a simplified picture of the US decay, see the recent dynamics:

2017
2000
2017
2000

Large Exporters ( % of world total)
Large Importers ( % of world total)
Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands and Italy
19.0
21.9
24.3
29.6
China
15.0
5.7
9.5
3.0
USA
7.7
12.0
13.0
19.0
External Deficit / Surplus
China
USA
Millions of $
896500
391400
- 863900
- 434000
                            See: International trade - who wins and who loses

This is compounded by the regular issuing of sanctions and threats against Canada, Mexico, the EU, China, Venezuela, North Korea and Iran, in addition to the already chronic case of Cuba and others that ... nobody remembers anymore; in addition to seeking to sow military bases a little about everywhere, the last being the Galapagos Islands ­ a wildlife sanctuary and which may have already obtained the agreement of the Ecuadorian backyard butler, a certain Lenin Moreno.

Salvador Dali - The Great Masturbator

Where are the threats? 

We are going to present several indicators on the countries that are actors on the Gulf crisis, so that their differences in forces can be assessed. Some will be economic indicators and others have an eminently military content; and we have added data for Portugal, for comparison purposes.

Economic indicators
Iran

United Arab Emirates
Oman
Kuwait
A. Saudi
Israel
Qatar
Bahrain
USA

Portugal
Population (millions)
83.0

9.7
3.5
2.9
33.1
8.4
2.4
1.4
329.3

10.4
GDP per capita ($) 2017 World Bank
5470

39441
20224
41423
20747
42056
69554
25309
59172

21087
Foreign debt (% GDP)
1.8

62.1
65.4
39.3
29.9
25.1
100.5
147.2
91.9

204.7
External debt per capita ($)
96

24495
13220
16290
6196
10555
69917
37250
54388

43173
Foreign Debt / Gold and Foreign Exchange Reserves
0.1

2.5
2.9
1.4
0.4
0.8
11.2
22.2
145.3

17.2
Military expenditure per capita ($)
76

1482.0
1918.6
1793.1
2114.8
2333.3
804.2
521.4
2174.3

365.4
                                                         Source: https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp

In demographic terms, Iran far outnumbers the population of its antagonists from the other side of the Gulf, including that of the Zionist entity, which includes several million "Israeli Arabs" or Ethiopian, second-class, segregated citizens, because the Zionists are eminently racists and fear the effects of their fellow citizens connecting with those living outside Zionist-held borders. In the Gulf monarchies there are millions of immigrants from Africa or Asia (with emphasis on the Philippines) conscribed to their spaces and being denied family reunification. In the spasms that regularly pop-up in this region, the United States is the great balance-breaker, taking into account its military and economic power. We did not include in the above table data on Jordan because it is only a weak monarchy, another British creation from the end of World War I, with a strong Palestinian population and dependent upon foreign financing from neighbouring oil monarchies. 

Iran’s GDP per capita is significantly lower than that of the other antagonists that, as a rule, have an indicator higher than that of the European Portugal, as is also the case with the United States. The inequalities’ levels are enormous within each country. However, anyone who knows Iran will know that Tehran has 12 million people, receives daily 4 million workers living outside, has an intense traffic, a high degree of self-sufficiency and people sport a dignified look, the swarms of beggars that are common in other places of the Islamic world being nowhere to be seen. However, the regime decided to build a luxurious, pharaonic space to contain the body of the ... founder Khomeini. 

Unlike Iran, which is one of the three oldest political entities on the planet – along with China and Egypt – recently created entities abound among the Arab monarchies, former possessions and British protectorates that the discovery of oil has greatly inflated, well beyond tribal leaders, merchants, horse and camel breeders, and that the various empires that have succeeded each other in the Middle East have never coveted. The Saud family, for example, had to wait until the 1930s to, with Western help, establish a kingdom, thereby abandoning the traditional practice of assaulting caravans. Qatar was a Persian territory for centuries, Bahrain made a living off oyster harvesting, and Oman is the only case with a presence in history because it was a maritime power in the western Indian Ocean for a few centuries having created, for example, Zanzibar. 

Given that Portugal is on the European debt podium, all the capitation indicators are negligible, except in Bahrain which no longer has oil reserves. The irrelevance of Iran's external debt in the context of the GDP is noticeable, which has consequences in capitation, Qatar and the US presenting themselves as true champions in this indicator.

The comparison of gold and foreign exchange reserves with the external debt shows great inequalities. The external debt of the USA is equal to 145.3 times the value of the country's monetary reserves, which, combined with its huge trade deficit, is only admissible for political reasons, anchored in its military supremacy spread throughout the planet, avoiding, in a completely artificial way, that the dollar be considered as something without any value. Among the remaining countries, all with indicators substantially lower than the US, Bahrain and Portugal stand out – for the worst reasons in terms of solvency – and Iran as well as Saudi Arabia, for diametrically opposed reasons.

Finally, before addressing the military indicators, the enormous expenditures of the Gulf countries are visible, being comparatively more modest in the cases of Bahrain and Qatar; those being clearly superior to the (already exaggerated) Portuguese military expenditures. Military expenditures per inhabitant are particularly high in the US and Saudi Arabia, surpassed only by the Zionist fortress; and, contrastingly, they are comparatively much lower in Iran. The question of Portuguese military spending which, given the geographical environment, are very high as we have already mentioned years ago, and justified only by membership in NATO, poses itself, as a draining channel for armament made in the USA, as an overriding reason for sending troops to places where Portugal has no strategic or commercial interest and also, because "it is necessary" to keep a high number of "desk generals". In this frivolous context of military spending, understanding the reality in the Gulf will be sharpened by knowing that Saudi Arabia's military budget is 23 times greater than Portugal’s. 

Military indicators
Iran

United Arab Emirates
Oman
Kuwait
Saudi A.
Israel
Qatar
Bahrain
USA

Portugal
Active military per 1000 inhabitants
6

6.6
12.1
5.3
6.9
20.2
5.0
5.9
3.9

2.9
Air Force (No.)
509

541
175
85
848
595
100
107
13398

87
Battle tanks (nº)
1634

510
117
567
1062
2760
95
180
6287

186
Armoured vehicles (No.)
2345

5936
735
715
11100
6541
465
850
39223

700
Rocket launchers (No.)
1900

72
12
27
122
150
17
17
1056

0
Warships (No.)
398

75
16
38
55
65
80
39
415

41
                                           Source :     https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp

Regarding the number of military personnel per thousand inhabitants there is a clear highlight for the Zionist entity, about five times that of the United States that is intent on being able to intervene across the globe. In the other countries of the region the indicators have close values, excluding Oman. 

In Portugal, the indicator should be lower, although it is understandably lower than those recorded in the Gulf region. In Spain, a few years ago, there was one officer with the rank of general for every 186 soldiers; in Portugal that number is reduced to 131. 

In the air force area, without going into details about its composition and modernity, and beyond the special case of the USA, Saudi Arabia stands out, the Zionist entity, the Emirates and Iran emerging on a second plane. Kuwait, despite the small size of its population and of its territory, shows an air force quantitatively similar to the Portuguese one. 

Being a global power, the US relies heavily on the air force and less on battle tanks, needed in conventional ground combat. As wars, today, tend to be very asymmetrical, the use of tanks against guerrilla forces or in urban settings is not the most appropriate. In this type of weapon, its number stands out among the Zionists, fearful of conventional attacks or, possibly, to be used in deep penetrations into the territory of the bordering countries. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia have vast territories where tanks can be of use. More strange is the number of these war machines in territories as small as those of Kuwait (perhaps still fearful of a new Iraqi invasion ...) Qatar or Bahrain. The latter is a small island state (780 km2 spread over 35 islands) and has a number of vehicles similar to Portugal, which is much larger and has a long land border. The sultans are very insightful; they will certainly know how to use such a fleet of tanks in such a small island territory... 

In the case of the armoured vehicles, lighter than the tanks, their number among the Saudis (a little less than 1/3 of the Americans) but with a population almost forty times lower is also curious; another staggering indicator is that of the Zionist fortress, with a vehicle armed for every two square kilometres, and which cannot all be used simultaneously so as to not generate... traffic jams. Once again, we see the asymmetries in the appropriations of these vehicles, with similar numbers for such unequal territories, as in the cases of Kuwait or of the insular Bahrain, when compared with Portugal. 

Regarding the rocket launchers – a highly mobile weapon used, for example, in Gaza against Zionist targets – Iran is better equipped than the US itself, which of course do not expect to be attacked in a conventional war. And that justifies saying that "the Iranian air defence system is extremely powerful" and that the United States would face "an enemy that, despite being militarily weaker (...), has a capacity for retaliation and to cause tremendous damage "(declarations by Carlos Branco, major-general, reserve). And this is in addition to the closure of the Strait of Hormuz[6], in the case of a war, with incalculable implications to the global economy. 

Note that the other countries in the Gulf area have comparatively few rocket launchers for the simple reason that they do not expect to be attacked. At the light of this logic, we can see the reason for Portugal not having rocket launchers. 

As for the size of the navies – all the countries considered have a sea border – the largest is the Iranian navy, despite Saudi Arabia and Oman also having long coastlines. In terms of units, the Iranian navy has a size close to that of the US, but its profiles are very different; in one case it is a fleet for coast surveillance and in the other it is a powerful fleet, present in every ocean. Thus, for example, the United States has 24 aircraft carriers and, among the other Near and Middle East countries, only Egypt has this type of ship, and then only 2 units.

What is the solution for the Middle East? Some general ideas:

  • All conflict mediations must pass through the UN
  • Removal from the region of foreign military bases and any other type of military intervention
  • Channelling the monetary reserves and wealth held by the oligarchies to vast plans aimed at the generation of well-being for the population
  • Substantial reduction of existing military assets, particularly with the renunciation to the possession of nuclear weapons
  • Enactment of a Palestinian, democratic and multi-denominational state, following the extinction of the apartheid regime set up by the Zionists

This and other texts at:
http://grazia-tanta.blogspot.com/                              
http://www.slideshare.net/durgarrai/documents


[1] For the place of supplemental triumvir we bet in the interim secretary of defense, a certain Mark Esper, a brilliant mind who announced that countries should prepare for Russian missile attacks. Esper expects that everyone will dig a shelter in their yard.
[2]  Russia has, since a few years, maintained two military bases in northern Syria (Tartus and Latakia), with very limited military intervention capacity within the region known as the Near and Middle East.
[3]  Very recently, the US sold $ 8,000 M (more than twice the Portuguese defense budget) of armament to the Gulf’s sultans, even without Congressional endorsement. The businessman Trump does not tie himself to ... bureaucracies ... On the other hand, Turkey, whenever it wants to buy arms from Russia, is facing retaliation and threats from the United States; and the same Trump has been threatening India with sanctions due to its $ 5000 M purchase of S-400 missiles to Russia, thus revealing its function of salesman of the American military-industrial complex.
[4]  Kushner and his ideological brother Netanyahou drew up a plan to create a Palestinian state that is, in fact, a name change for the current Bantustan, and where it is foreseen the building of heavy infrastructures, for the pleasure of the top companies of the concrete area. The plan is so unreal in its sectarianism that it makes one want to laugh ...
[5] On the other side of the Bab el Mandeb, in Djibouti, there are deployed military bases from the USA, China, Japan and France where German and Spanish military are welcomed as guests: on a ground where the world's highest density of military bases occurs, they fraternize.
[6] 76% of the oil headed for China, Japan, South Korea, and India, and 25% of the global liquefied gas trade passes through the Strait of Hormuz.





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