If you are somewhat confused by a seemingly sudden shift in USA’s foreign policy objectives in the Middle East region, then you might find some answers in “Hydraulic Fracturing”, also known as ‘fracking’. This is enabling USA to wean itself off its addiction to foreign oil. USA is now – at long last – becoming more competent at producing its own energy rather than terrorizing other nations for it.
This is obviously good news for all those people who have been suffering from USA’s brutality in the Middle East region. USA will not anymore feel the urge to invade, interfere with and cause mass murder in the region. It will instead turn in on itself and devour the American environment, probably because of soaring costs of foreign plunder and loot.
Being the most highly indebted nation on earth in absolute terms, the country can certainly do with additional income from a natural – albeit unsustainable – source. It can also save tremendous amounts of money by reducing its military costs in the Middle East too.
USA’s terrifying weapons of mass destruction and its highly trained and ruthless military personnel (including mercenaries, private contractors and all branches of the military) in the Persian Gulf region and South Asia cost a lot of money.
Saudi and other Persian Gulf vassal states of the US can only pay so much, and only for so long. Most of them can’t afford to maintain themselves.
Then there is that endless black hole of violence, Apartheid and racism occupying Palestine (the ‘State’ of Israel) that is very hard to quantify in terms of its financial burden on the corporate fascist regime in USA. It is not just 3 or 4 billion dollars of military aid every year (and constantly so since the 1970s at least) that goes to the world’s largest begging bowl of a ‘state’ that is Israel. On top of that, many American corporations and financial institutions also prop up Israel, probably on a far larger scale than the official aid from the American government.
Then there is that Egyptian military that appears to live off uncle sam too, at a cost of around $1 billion or so a year. And that is military aid alone. How much more does Egypt cost the US taxpayer?
Then there is the Palestinian ‘Authority’ (were they being ironic when they named it that?). Here too it is likely that close to a billion a year is being spent.
Then there is Jordan. More like $1.5 billion a year.
Of course we have not talked about the trillion or so lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. And few of us would have a clue about what the US costs of terror and domination are in Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, Libya etc.
And true to form and beautifully predictable, the ‘reason’ for this shift in the Middle East is given by US officials as a ‘need’ to pivot to Asia. This can only really mean that the US has less reason for interfering in the Middle East, and would instead like to mess more with China, as the country is becoming rather powerful.
This is bad news for the world’s most populous region. Really bad.
But as far as Middle Easterners are concerned, USA cannot frack off out of our region fast enough.
May be now we will have a greater chance to see indigenous movements and greater participation with less foreign-instigated violence in the countries of the region. It could be a period of awakening.
Iran will have a very important role to play in the region over the coming period, as the current geopolitical environment is heavily in favour of the country:
- USA is in deep trouble and cannot get out of the region fast enough for its own sake. Only if the Israeli regime would wipe itself off the pages of time sooner than later…
- A resurgent Russia is preoccupied with several other challenges and can do with Iran’s help.
- China will be facing a formidable challenge from the US over the coming period as it ‘pivots’ that way, and could certainly do with an ally in the shape of Iran with the potential to increase its oil and gas exports significantly above current levels.
- Ukraine has shown Europe (as if Georgia hadn’t already) that it needs to get alternative sources of natural gas or else it will remain helpless against Russia, as it is now today, despite all the false posturing. And one of the best alternative options for Europe is Iranian gas.
- Turkey is in internal turmoil and will need some time before it can worry about countering Iran.
- Pakistan and Afghanistan will unfortunately remain unstable for some time to come yet, and Iran will therefore be the main corridor for the transit of goods from the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf to Central Asia. (As an aside: This has been the main driver of war in Afghanistan since the defeat of the Soviets there, and Iran has emerged as a winner of this war in this sense.) This will drive India toward Iran over the period.
- Iraq will remain a close ally of Iran’s for the foreseeable future with large investment and trade contracts being signed on a regular basis.
- Qatar has broken ranks with the Saudis, and the GCC is likely to be gridlocked for some time, and may even fall apart.
- Oman is strengthening its relations with Iran, while Kuwait and even the UAE are uneasy about Saudi moves of late.
2014 is indeed Iran’s year!
Frack away, USA.