Obama has made headlines with his talk of bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan in the next two years. But then this the same Obama who greatly increased the troops in Afghanistan in his first term, and the same Obama who is now negotiating with the very same Taliban, led by Mullah Omar, the US has failed to defeat in its longest war. (IT WASNT MEANT TO BE DEFEATED,THE U.S. KNOWS ITS ALLY(CLIENT REGIME)SAUDIS FUND TALIBAN,IT ALLOWS IT! WINK)Of greater consequence however is that with far less fanfare and very little press attention Obama is using various ploys to escalate the US presence in key countries throughout the region.Obama, a kind of stealth neocon when it comes to the Middle East, is systematically escalating the involvement of US troops as well as the CIA throughout the region. The CIA is quite literally everywhere and now has a kind of stealth army as well as a growing arsenal of Drone killer planes of its own. There are also US agents and assets of various kinds in greater numbers masquerading as “contractors” and “businessmen” and “NGOs” in many countries. Additionally, actual uniformed U.S. soldiers are further invading the region having been inserted in recent months in Jordan, Turkey, and northern Iraq in addition to Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and Israel of course.Meanwhile the Saudis are working extremely closely with the US — and covertly with Israel via the U.S. — but have limited the actual presence of US forces and agents fearing if exposed it could lead to greater tensions within the Kingdom. How convenient for the Saudis that the major U.S. bases are with their brother-regimes in neighboring Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and UAE.
Strange and oh-so-dangerous times in the Midde East. Not since the days of Lawrence of Arabia and the then Secret Sykes-Picot Agreement has the region been in such turmoil with critical geopolitical, military, and economic alliances in flux and the outcome uncertain. Just as in the days of Lawrence it is the dominant Western Christian countries, now allied with Jewish Israel, that foment and exploit the regional and Muslim divisions for their own imperial reasons. Writes Patrick Cockburn at an article now featured in full at MiddleEast.Org:
It is a ferocious war waged by assassination, massacre, imprisonment and persecution that has killed tens of thousands of people. But non-Muslims – and many Muslims – scarcely notice this escalating conflict that pits Shia minority against Sunni majority.Sunni-Shia friction has a long history but took its most vicious form after the overthrow of the Shah by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 and the creation of a revolutionary theocratic Shia state in Iran. (IRANS INTERNATIONAL CONSTITUTIONALISM JUST AS VALID AND EVEN MORE COMPETITIVE ON THE WORLD STAGE THEN ITS WESTERN COUNTERPARTS http://www.scribd.com/doc/24001578/Theocratic-Constitutionalism-An-Introduction-to-a-New-Global-Legal-Ordering PENN UNIVERSITY
The Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88 appeared to end Iranian hopes of spreading the revolution to its neighbour, but after the US invasion of 2003 – to the dismay of the White House and to the horror of Saudi Arabia – Iraq became a Shia-run state. “We are the first Arab state to be controlled by the Shia since the Fatimids ran Egypt 800 years ago” [one Iraqi asserts with pride].Trying to survive protected by the US and under-the-table by Israel as well, Saudi Arabia remains the key US-sponsored regime in the Arab Middle East. That’s why yesterday on a busy Monday a week before his second Inaugural President Obama took time to personally meet with the new Saudi Interior Minister no doubt coming with messages from the King and to return with directives and instructions from the Americans.Meanwhile, back in Saudi Arabia a first and one that’s far more than symbolic. The King has appointed some 30 women to his Shura Council and decreed that heretofore 20% of its members are to be female.
With the older generation dying off and with the new generation arising Western educated (primarily in the US) and with constant Internet connections, tradition-bound Saudi Arabia is in for major social and political changes. Saudi Rulers are well aware they now must escalate measuers to keep the country under control with constant booster immunizations from the contagion known as the Arab Spring.