by Finian Cunningham and Michel Chossudovsky
The year 2012 may become known as a watershed for humanity – the year when mankind was precipitated into a global conflagration involving nuclear weapons. The signs are indeed grimly ominous as formidable military forces converge on the Persian Gulf in the long-running stand-off between the United States and Iran.
On side with the US are its European allies in NATO, primarily Britain, Washington’s Middle East client states: Israel and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf – all bristling with weapons of mass destruction. Recent naval exercises by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz have also displayed a fierce arsenal of missiles and military capability, and Iran has strategic alliances with Russia and China, both of whom will not stand idly by if their Persian partner is attacked.
As we have consistently analysed on Global Research, the conflict between the US-led powers and Iran has wider ramifications. It is part and parcel of Washington’s bid to engineer the social and political upheavals across the Arab World in order to redraw the region in its strategic interests. It is no coincidence that fresh from NATO’s conquest of and regime change in Libya, the focus has quickly shifted to Syria – a key regional ally of Iran. As Michel Chossudovsky has pointed out “the road to Tehran goes through to Damascus”. Regime change in Syria would serve to isolate Iran. Subjugating Iran and returning it to Western tutelage is the prize that Washington and its allies have been seeking for the past 33 years ever since their client the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was deposed by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Iran is an energy-rich colossus, with oil and, more importantly, natural gas reserves that put it, with approximately 10% of global reserves, in the world’s top three oil economies alongside Washington’s client states of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In sharp contrast, the US has less than 2% of global oil reserves.
The conquest of Iran’s oil riches is the driving force behind America’s military agenda. – MORE
“[T]he turmoil in the Middle East this past year has morphed into a battleground for much larger interests – economic, political, financial – and the players see this as an existential fight; the final showdown, so to speak. The battle for narratives is the frontline of this war, and it is a dirty one.” – Sharmine Narwani
via Media Lens
Cross-posted @ The Cylinder
I follow Syrian politics only tangentially while mining for news about Palestine. Still, I read this post at Syria Comment recently about Frederic C. Hof who comes out as a rather interesting figure.
Mr. Hof has just published a report about peace between Syria and Israel, a summary of which, as well as a link to the full report in pdf format, can be found here.
Here is Prospects for Peace‘s Daniel Levy on where he sees a possible avenue for peace:
A different approach would require the US conducting back-to-back talks with the Israeli side and with a Palestinian (or Palestinian plus Arab states) interlocutor, in which one attempts to address the key legitimate needs and concerns of each party. It will be the role of the US and international partners to produce a proposal and implementation plan. One should take a leaf from the pages of Don Corleone, and make them an offer they can’t refuse, and do not then get sidetracked by conversations about industrial parks in Nablus or Jenin.
Naturally, one does not only have to contend with the Israeli/Palestinian track, and there is some value to the adage that one way to get out of an intractable problem is to expand it. In other words, work on a comprehensive peace effort that involves Syria and the Arab states as well and that seeks to put into effect the Arab Peace Initiative that would give Israel peaceful and normal relations with the entire Arab world. A sincere good-will effort should be made with Israel’s next prime minister, particularly if it is Mr. Netanyahu, to propose an eminently reasonably plan for Israel’s future peace and security that is also predicated on ending the occupation. Iran too will have to feature, as Israel’s concerns on this front will need to be allayed without resorting to military action. A trade-off is imaginable in which the US is given space to pursue the engagement option with Iran while the US gives Israel cover as increased calls are heard for a WMD-free Middle East, also probably providing Israel with a broader set of security guarantees. If Mr. Netanyahu or any Israeli leader is finally put in the position of having to make real choices, then don’t be too surprised if they choose well. – Link
Whereas the Iran-US track is in a class of its own, with negotiations on or off depending on who is reporting, the situation is not so clear and the level of urgency not so strident as regards the other actors involved: Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, …
Already two views have emerged: “Obama must make Saudi Arabia a major priority”, says former top Middle East analyst Flynt Leverett.
According to Marc Gopin of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, “[t]he key to the future of the Middle East is a revolution in the Syrian/American relationship that will help to re-balance the American historical bias in favor of reactionary forces in Israel.”
One of the purposes of this blog is to shine light on stuff happening on our planet that the powers that be would rather keep in the dark. The part of the world that it covers is mainly “Mandate Palestine”. Other countries are included inasmuch as there are interactions between them and Palestine.
One of those countries is Yemen about which I read the following today:
On the Great Game front, there is this.
So why Yemen? Well, in this article entitled “Gaza war pushes Arabs to the brink”, one of the reasons given as to why the US sort of took a step back from unconditional support of Israel lately is that it feared attacks on its embassies around the world, and blah blah blah …
Not one time was Yemen mentioned. It should have been since the unrests there are fast becoming a threat to the Saudi regime, which might explain why Turki al-Faisal went into a fit over the massacre happening in Gaza.
“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called on Friday for all Arab countries with ties to Israel to cut them and shut its embassies.
Assad told the meeting, called to discuss the Israeli offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, that Syria called for ‘cutting all direct and indirect ties with Israel, and shutting down its embassies.’ ” – Link
[Via Media Lens]
From Syria Comment
We all want to hear him take “possession” of the peace process. He did not do this on Monday. Instead, he repeated the standard pablum of the last 7 years. – Link
What credible bloggers are saying:
From Tikun Olam:
The doubters of the U.S.-Israel story that the IAF attacked a Syrian-North Korean nuclear facility in Syria last weak are few and far between inside Israel. So it is worth noting a story published in Hebrew by Israeli Channel 10 correspondent, Yigal Laviv, which warns us to suspend belief until the facts are more fully known.
He begins by likening the Syrian attack and the entire nation’s basic ignorance of the facts surrounding the attack to a 1959 scandal in which a routine call-up of military reserves escalated into a regional standoff that nearly led to war between Israel and her Arab neighbors. He notes that Menachem Begin, then head of the Opposition, went to the rostrum of the Knesset and blessed the military enterprise whatever it might be without even knowing anything about it. Laviv says that Israelis today are in almost the same boat. Except for knowing there was an attack of some sort they know nothing else for certain. [More]
Indeed, Checkpoint Jerusalem informed us of the difficulty in reporting this incident from within Israel. On September 14, he entered this post: Israel moves to muzzle press.
There is, of course, the blog of Professor Landis: Syria Comment, where he is trying to make sense of the various reports coming in from different sources and angles.