By Said E. Dawlabani and Elza S. Maalouf
Since Russian President Putin began his military air campaign in Syria, Western media has offered a myriad of half-baked analysis for his motivation. Today’s news agencies are completely detached from the idea of consulting with history. If they were to do so, they will quickly come to the conclusion that all Putin is doing is using the same modus operandi that Russia, Europe and the US have used in the region for decades.
BACKGROUND: THE NEED FOR INSTABILITY
The Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s taught the West very valuable lessons on the volatility of oil markets: Threaten the supply and the price of crude oil will double if not triple in a short period of time. Since then, it has been in the West’s best interest to keep the region unstable in order to sell the fear that oil supply is under constant threat. This was the lever that many US administrations pulled including Bush/Cheney’s real reasons for invading Iraq. Successive Russian administration went along with this philosophy since it benefited them in both arms sales and as the world’s largest oil producer. As a result of these blood-soaked policies, hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East have died, and the objective of keeping oil prices artificially high was met.
ENTER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
In 2008 America voted for hope and change, and with it came the most passive foreign policy in modern US history. The idea that the US will no longer be the RED/Blue global police automatically activated the next Reds in line to fill the vacuum.Putin, intent on reclaiming past glory of mother Russia fired the first shot by invading Ukraine. President Obama countered with a stern speech and several bullet points outlining why in his words “This wasn’t 21st century behavior.”
The US and its allies immediately imposed sanctions on Russia hoping that Vlad will have a sudden attack of conscious and tap into the same delusional Green Kool-Aid the Obama Administration has been drinking from.
Punishing Putin meant crippling the Russian economy, and what a better way to do that than killing Putin’s cash cow; oil. The US and Western Europe flooded oil market with increased shale production in the US. In an unprecedented move, they demanded that Saudi Arabia not reduce its production quota, guaranteeing the complete decimation of Russia’s economy.
The idea that Putin will be forced to withdraw from Ukraine with his tail between his legs is a clear indicator of the West’s inability to assess emerging Red leaders around the world. Putin, a past KGB operative was all too familiar with the principles of Middle Eastern instability.
As the West lifted sanctions on Iran, Russia got the military supplies piece of the spoils. Shortly thereafter, Iran announced that it would partner with Russia to make what Middle Eastern analysts call the “Shi’a Crescent” a reality. For readers who are not familiar with the term, this is Iran’s dream of establishing a Pan-Arabian Shia region that spans from Iran, through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. To Putin, this serves his ego on several fronts: One, he’s providing a new regional military counter balance to the West and two, he’s beating the West in its own game by destabilizing the region to bring up oil prices. The good old strategy has worked yet again. Just since the Russian air strikes began last week, crude oil has reversed a yearlong trend and is up 10% on global markets.
One might also ask why is Russia bombing the Syrian opposition, not ISIL. Putin’s immediate goal is to punish Saudi Arabia for siding with the West on economic sanctions. This is not strategic, its RED eye-for-an-eye. The Saudis and other rich Sunni Gulf countries are the primary supporters of the Syrian rebels and that’s whom Putin is bombing.
When it comes to destabilizing the Middle East, Putin is not as diabolical as the West. He doesn’t hide behind the idea that he’s bringing democracy and the one-person one vote system. No, he’s very clear about who his new friends are. They’re the Arab Shi’a that include Assad’s Alawite sect, which is a branch of Shi’a Islam. Trained Shi’a fighters are seasoned killers, unlike any other Arab groups the West trains as fighters. They have a highly regimented (False) Blue organizational structure which gives them a purpose and that is to fight and die for Imam Ali so Shi’a Islam can prevail. Today, they are being trained by the thousands, thanks to the lifting of sanctions on Iran, which are bankrolling their trainers, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
In the post American century, this is how you divide and conquer the Middle East. It’s done by giving power to a false purpose that ignites the sectarian need to kill. Not by naively promising democracy. As for the idea of a peaceful Middle East? That paradigm might crystallize a few hundred years after oil disappears.
You can file this one under the “Only Money Matters” file. In a world run by the values of the Orange level system where only money matters, the lives of a few million Arabs are reduced to a simple cost-benefit analysis. That analysis is very likely made by a Harvard MBA, who did an internship with Kissinger and Associates, who every night goes home to his wife and kids and sleeps soundly.
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