domingo, 5 de marzo de 2017

Realineamientos


En los últimos meses la Historia puso tercera marcha y comenzó a acelerar de un modo inusitado. Mientras no choque la calesita todo bien, chicos. Asombra, sin embargo, la sucesión de reacomodamientos tácticos y estratégicos que se están produciendo en el tablero geopolítico. Todo ello mientras la prensa de Occidente habla de la entrega de los últimos Oscars, el derecho de los transexuales a tener baño propio en los edificios públicos o del color del vestido de Melania Trump en la última gala del Imperio. Uno piensa en la Roma del año 300, 400; todavía no entraron los visigodos o los vándalos, pero andan ahí nomás, olfateando la sangre.

Las dos notas que siguen, relativas a la dinámica situación en Medio Oriente, aparecieron estos días en el sitio web Strategic Culture Foundation. La primera es de Peter Korzun; acá va:


Título: Drastic Changes in the Middle East Happen Unbelievably Fast

Texto: The situation in the Middle East is changing at an incredible speed. The things unbelievable yesterday, become reality today. Each of the events becomes part of a bigger picture, with the region gradually moving away from abyss to become a better place.

On March 1, Iraqi forces were reported to have taken control of the last major road out of western Mosul, preventing Islamic State (IS) militants from fleeing the city. The route leads to Tal Afar, another IS stronghold that is 40 km further west. They have since driven militants from the international airport, a military base, a power station and a number of residential areas. IS fighters began to flee. Total control over the city by Iraqi forces seems to be a matter of a few days, maybe hours.

Being almost defeated in Iraq, the IS has nowhere else to go but Syria – the country where they have just suffered a defeat, with Palmyra retaken by Syria’s government forces. Russia’s support has been crucial in the Syrian army's push. Raqqa, the last remaining stronghold of the IS, will be the place of the final battle the extremist group is doomed to lose as many influential actors want it to be wiped away from the earth.

Turkey has announced its intent to launch an offensive to retake Raqqa but only after taking control of Manbij, the town held by the Kurds-dominated Syria Democratic Forces (SDF). The parties were in for a fight to benefit the IS and other terror groups. The US was at a loss as to how to prevent a clash between the NATO ally and the Kurds – the force it relies on in the fight against the IS. That’s when Moscow stepped in to avoid the worst, using its unique position as a mediator. It managed to do what nobody thought was possible. The military council in Manbij said on March 2 it will hand over areas west of the flashpoint town to Syrian government troops, after an agreement brokered by Russia.

Now the town is in Arab hands and Turkey has no reason to attack it. Syria and Turkey are not at war.

The United States had promised Turkey that Kurdish forces would withdraw from Manbij to the east of the Euphrates, but it never happened. Now Russia did what America had failed to do.

As a result of Russia’s effective mediation, Turkey can double down on its plans to advance to Raqqa, while Syria’s government has greatly strengthened its position. Turkey’s President Erdogan has just said he is ready to fight the IS together with Russia. He is coming to Moscow on March 9. It means no clash between Turkey and Syria will take place.

Many things are changing for the Syrian government and it has been going on for some time. It’s not a coincidence that voices get louder, calling for inviting Syrian President Assad to the March 29 Arab Summit in Amman – five years after Syria was expelled from the 22-member organization. Russia, Jordan and Egypt are applying efforts to reconcile the Arab community with the Syrian government. Last month, Egypt’s parliamentary committee for Arab affairs called for the return of Syria to the Arab League. This would signify the reconciliation between Saudi Arabia which backed the Syrian rebels – something unthinkable some time ago.

In 2015, then US President Obama predicted Russia would get stuck in Syria’s quagmire. He appears to have been wrong. Thanks to Russia’s involvement, one can see the light at the end of the tunnel to make the quagmire a thing of the past.

Moscow can facilitate the process of Iran joining with Arab states in the effort to reach agreement on Syria, bringing it to some mutual understanding with Saudi Arabia. Not much has been reported about some recent events of special significance. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Kuwait and Oman on February 15. Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir made a trip to Iraq on February 25, to be received by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi. The trend is visible – Shia and Sunni are on speaking terms again and they are discussing something very important. It would have sounded incredible a short time ago but these are the facts.

All these events and emerging trends are taking place against the background of the ongoing UN-brokered Geneva talks on peaceful settlement in Syria. Here too we have an unexpected turn of events – the Syrian opposition seeks to meet with Russian officials!

According to Paul Vallely, a retired US Army Major General and senior military analyst for Fox News, Russia-US consultations on Syria are to start in two months after the presidents hold a summit. He said Russia is to play a key part in any scenario.

The recent days have literally shaken the Middle East. So many unexpected things happen to push things forward. Right in front of our eyes the impossible becomes possible.

As said before, Moscow is in a unique position to act as an intermediary and it plays its role aptly to achieve tangible results. If the current trend continues in the same direction, leading to the desired outcome, Russia’s effort will go down in history as an extraordinary achievement of military success combined with effective diplomacy.


***


La nota que sigue, por su parte, es de Wayne Madsen para el mismo medio:


Título: A New Global Construct and Realigned Relationships

Texto: Like a scene out of a Hollywood epic movie, Saudi Arabian King Salman journeyed to Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, with an entourage of 1000 aides and servants, including ten Cabinet ministers and 25 Saudi princes traveling aboard four Boeing 747s and two Boeing 777s. Indonesian president Joko Widodo termed the visit part of a «strategic partnership» between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. Salman also visited Malaysia, which has been embroiled in a major political scandal arising from the acceptance by its prime minister, Najib Razak, of a $1 billion «gift» from a stated-owned Saudi company. Political opponents of Razak have termed the gift a bribe.

The Saudi power projection into Southeast Asia and the trip of the Saudi king to Indonesia, the first such visit by a Saudi monarch since 1970, when Saudi King Faisal visited the country, comes as U.S. President Donald Trump indicates that the United States will place its own interests ahead of those of other countries. In a speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress, Trump also stated that it his policy that the United States «will respect the sovereign rights of nations» and that his administration will «respect the right of all nations to chart their own path».

Trump also signaled that while he will «respect historic institutions» – a clear reference to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the United Nations, and the European Union, all of which he has criticized in the past – he expects U.S. allies in NATO, in the Middle East, and the Pacific «to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost».

Trump has congratulated the United Kingdom on the results of the Brexit referendum and the decision to depart the EU. Trump, furthermore, hopes that France, the Netherlands, and other EU members will go their own separate ways from the «Eurocracy» establishment in Brussels.

While Trump has called for huge increases in military spending by the Pentagon, there is clearly a shift taking place in global alignments owing to America’s new policy of bilateralism as opposed to multilateralism. Because of what appears to be an end of the «coalition of the willing» constructs adopted by President George W. Bush and continued by President Barack Obama, nations like Saudi Arabia and others are looking to creating new strategic relationships.

Salman’s immediate and disconcerting goal for visiting predominantly Muslim Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Maldives seems to boost the already-strict Muslim societies in Brunei and Maldives and encourage the Islamic radicalization of Indonesia and Malaysia, both of which have sizeable minorities of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and other religious groups. Recently, Saudi-financed clerics have encouraged Islamic proselytizing among non-Muslims students attending public schools in Malaysia; the firebombing of churches in Indonesia and Malaysia; adoption of strict Sharia law in certain fundamentalist regions like Aceh province on Sumatra in Indonesia and the Malaysian states of Kelantan and Terengganu; complete with flogging and amputation of limbs; and severe restrictions on Christian missionaries.

Beyond spreading radical Wahhabism, the Saudis are adopting a «look east» strategic policy. Salman and his entourage are also visiting Japan and China. In Beijing, Salman may get an earful about Saudi support for Muslim Uighurs fighting in China’s western Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) for an independent Islamic «East Turkestan» state.

The fact that a Saudi king is involving himself in a region, where there is a potential military conflict between China and various South East Asian nations over the control of islands and waters in the South China Sea, serves as but one example of how various nations are beginning to fill the void left by the U.S. disengagement from various geo-politically important regions of the world. It was not too long ago that President Obama was heralding his economic and military «pivot to Asia», which was predicated upon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the reinforcing of U.S. military relationships with Australia, Philippines, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. With Trump’s withdrawal from the TPP, Australia is looking toward China for closer economic ties, the Philippines wants to end the presence of U.S. troops in the country, and, as seen with the visit of King Salman, Indonesia and Malaysia are hammering out new strategic partnerships in the Middle East.

The United Arab Emirates is also extending its influence beyond the Gulf. It recently announced it was building a military base in Berbera on the Gulf of Aden in the breakaway and internationally-unrecognized Republic of Somaliland. Somaliland declared independence from civil war-torn Somalia in 1991. The Somaliland base joins a UAE base already in operation in Assab in Eritrea.

The UAE’s Berbera base was criticized by neighboring Djibouti, which hosts a Chinese naval base at the port of Obock and an American base at Camp Lemonier, next to Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport. There was a time when it was only the United States and France that maintained military bases in the Horn of Africa. With global strategic realignment, that is no longer the case. France continues to maintain a military presence in Djibouti and Japan established its first military base abroad in a 12-hectare site adjoining the U.S. base at Camp Lemonier. In addition, the Saudis are planning on a military base in Djibouti to support its genocidal campaign against anti-Saudi forces in Yemen. Turkey also established its first military base in Africa in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

The United States once enjoyed the distinction of having one of the largest bases in the Indian Ocean on the island of Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory. However, the Americans now have company, in addition to the sudden appearance of military bases in the Horn of Africa. India has built naval bases on Assumption island in the Seychelles and in the Agalega archipelago, a territory of Mauritius that lies 1000 kilometers north of Mauritius. India also maintains a radar and signals intelligence facility in northern Madagascar, near Ambilobe, and a naval depot in Muscat, Oman.

As what can be called the «Trump Doctrine» takes effect, similar «force projections» by nations that have traditionally not operated militarily from their own local regions will become more commonplace. France has, for some time, maintained an Abu Dhabi military base, which is known Camp de la Paix.

Singapore is negotiating for air base rights, to be used mostly for training Singaporean Air Force pilots, at the Ohakea Air Base in New Zealand and at Anderson Air Force Base in the U.S. territory of Guam. Singapore also maintains training bases in Townsville and Shoalwater Bay in Queensland, Australia. The recent seizure by Hong Kong Customs of nine Terrex armored vehicles returning by sea from joint Singaporean-Taiwanese military exercises in Taiwan, maneuvers that have been held since 1975, pointed to the possibility of a permanent Singaporean military presence in Taiwan, although Singapore recognizes only the People’s Republic of China as the sole government of China.

The South Pacific may soon join the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in seeing a scramble for foreign naval and air bases. China is known to be interested in such bases in nations that are major recipients of Chinese aid, including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu. The United States considers the South Pacific as an «American lake,» but as its regional surrogates, Australia and New Zealand, seek their own new strategic relationships, other state players, including Japan, India, Russia, Germany, and Canada, may establish their own military presence in the region.


The Trump Doctrine is bringing about a new world construct; however, it is not the «new world order» envisaged by the globalist majordomos in Washington, Brussels, London, Frankfurt, and New York.


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