Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Battle for Syria

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The television is kind of bored about Syria, but in reality the war is stepping up.

The 22 January there is the first real peace talk and the various sides want to arrive there in prime position.

Plus there is the temptation from Saudi and Israel (what a strange alliance!) to create problem for the Iran/US talks.

There has been an increase of quantity/quality of weapons smuggled in from Jordan from Saudi Arabia, Qatar (apparently with the help of Israel) and Turkey. Apparently also there are sign of electronic warfare assistance with signature devices typical of the IDF (Israel Defense Force). Also some appearance of Croatian war weapons (usually more lethal of the current stock) is starting to appear.

In Lebanon Hezbollah is reinforcing its position in the civilian villages near Israel and meanwhile Shiva (apparently) attacks against Hezbollah are on the increase.

 

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The Saudi Kingdom issue

Posted: October 23, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The new geopolitical positioning of the US is creating a strategical problem for the Saudi Kingdom. Their refusal to join the UN Security Council is more of a temper tantrum against the US than the official story of the issue of lack of help towards the poor Syrian civilian (who, unfortunately, nobody really cares about).

In reality the Saudis have plenty to worry about as they have been a very smart (and self serving) ally of the US for over 70 years (more than Israel).

The softening of positions between the US and Iran and the missing bombing of Syria in the midst of a generational change of the kingdom princes is actually creating a major strategical problem.

Saudi and Iran (Sunni and Shia) are the two rising powers of the Middle East (also Turkey, but it has quite a few issue to solve) and Saudis also counted on (and manipulated) the US to have the upper hand.

This potential re-alignment between US – Iran (historically correct as Iran is much more libertarian than the Saudis) is actually destroying the current Saudi strategy.

Already there is unconfirmed  evidence that they decided to send to the Syrian opposition (whatever, they do not care if it is Al Qaeda – most of the act of terror in Iraq are Sunni (read Saudi) driven) more sophisticated weaponry. And probably they will look into friendly deals with China in search for a new patron (and if you wonder yes there are opening between Israel and Russia).

The situation is very fluid indeed.

Wag a dog was a beautiful movie about how a Government can fake a crisis in order to distract people and achieve other objectives. That is what I think of Syria and why, in the end, it will just another buying opportunity in the market – unless there is a serious miscalculation somewhere.

A gas attack is a terrible thing. But in the 1980s thousands of Iranian and Kurdish died of gas attack (from the US supported Saddam) and nobody said anything….because there was the greater issue of the Cold War and a nice terrible 8 years war was distracting two large Arab country.

Now we have the US which has to answer because a red line has been crossed (nothing to do with the gas poising…less of a 1,000 people on a 110,000 death war). But it does not want Assad to collapse as the projection give Al Qaeda as a clear winner of an Assad fall. That is the real motivation before the delay in action and the call for limited strikes.

Moreover it has the side benefit to distract everyone from the US Fed tapering…..but more important solve the looming Debt Ceiling debate in October.

It also opens a realpolitik alliance with Iran (apparently Oman’s leadership went to Iran with nice US messages and openings). If you noticed Iran has been much more restrained than usual in their threat.

Israel actually likes the situation of a weakened but not out Assad (apparently the Occupied Golan Heights have a lot of oil underneath and if no-one is there to contest it is all theirs….or better the contract of oil  extraction has been already assigned to Genie Energy (owned by…guess (and cry) by Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch)  – Please note in international law is illegal to use resource of an occupied country (Singapore vs Japan, International Court of Justice sentence 1945)

The party that really wants the fall of Assad are actually the Saudi as they fight for the Middle East supremacy against Iran (there is even a theory that if it was not the Government to use gas – it could be some Saudi sponsored element).

In effect all brings to a “show war” more than a real war. Also Russia show is more to get credits in other negotiation than anything else.

Yes there will be some real consequences as some Hezbollah actions against Israel (nothing new there….it just usually does not make the news).

As usual with any war, there could be unintended consequences: Hezbollah and Assad’s brother are the one to watch. And the master puppeteer – the Saudis

People is starting wondering what is happening.

The issue is that when Obama laid the RED LINE (August 2011) he thought that no-one was going to cross it.

The facts have now disproved him and now he has to face the consequences: punish Syria in a not really wanted confrontation or let the red line be crossed and be considered a “paper tiger”.

Unless he attacks all the red lines with various countries (Iran, North Korea, but also China and Russia) will be rendered invalid and the US will not be seen as a credible superpower with consequences on the entire US foreign strategy for the year to come.

The only potential other solution is a coup d’etat that takes out Assad. The issue with this solution is that only Iran or Russia could try to orchestrate such an event…and they will ask for great compensation for the favor. Probably too great.

So Obama is opting for the best option of asking the Congress for approval – so taking time to form a “coalition of the unwilling”.

Who could have called Obama’s bluff?

There are two parties who definitely could have achieved that:

a rogue part of Assad’s army (like his brother)

a Saudi sponsored faction (rebels or even Saudi’ General Intelligence Presidency’.

I personally lean towards the first.

But all the Middle East is on a tension alert…some news that have been missed by the media:

– Egypt: A Panama’s ship as been attacked in the Suez Canal (insurgent defeated)

-Egypt: A bomb as been found and rendered useless in Alexandria main train station

-Israel: a bomb as been found and rendered useless in Jerusalem

Update:

One of the reason of the delay of the attack has to do more with Realpolitik than anything else. The US need to make a show of force with a limited strike that does NOT topple Assad. Why? The two main rebel forces (there are close to 1,000 rebel groups operating in Syria) are clearly Al-Qaeda supported group…so their victory against Assad would be even more dangerous than Assad itself