By Steve Brown – Since May we have seen a bewildering series of events, running the gamut from bizarre attacks on shipping in the Gulf; the downing of an US RQ-4 Reaper drone by Iran; Israel bombing Lebanon, Iraq and Syria; mysterious attacks on a Saudi oil field and installation; and now the sudden US withdrawal from Syria. Consider too, rumours that US friction with Qatar may force the US to move Central Command HQ (Rapid Deployment Force) to North Carolina.
In Has US Foreign Policy Changed? we examined the confluence of these events, including the departure of General Dunford as chair of the Joint Chiefs, the departure of Jim ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as Defense Secretary, and John Bolton as National Security Advisor, all to be replaced with (perhaps) less radical counterparts. Those cabinet departures coincided with the eclipse of Trump’s friend Netanyahu, who, despite appealing to Olim, settlers, and JTF extremists, could not form a ruling coalition. Trump has no doubt lost patience with Israel’s political crisis, while Mr. Trump is facing fierce opposition from Washington’s own War Party.
Note that Mr Trump was elected partly on an antiwar platform. During his campaign Donald Trump spoke of his disapproval for Bush 2’s Iraq war, against Obama’s intervention in Libya and Syria, expressed disdain for Henry Kissinger, and expressed a desire for better relations with the Russian Federation. All the foregoing appealed to the electorate, and additional funding from a few billionaire hedge fund managers and tycoons assured Trump’s victory.
Then Trump walked back much of his antiwar platform by scuppering the 2015 Iran agreement, he ordered a cruise missile strike on Syria subsequent to the fake Douma attack, then hired John Bolton; and approved the illegal Israeli annexation of the Golan, while cutting off aid to Palestinians.
Trump even employed his son-in-law to engage in a rather farcical attempt to forge an Israeli-Palestinian “peace deal” to no avail, while leveraging the most serious sanctions versus the Russian Federation ever. Indeed, Mr Trump’s foreign policy was such a disappointment, this author wrote Trump’s Limited Hangout in appreciation of such.
The foregoing of course begs the question as to whether Mr Trump is solely responsible for the recent move (in Syria) to distance the US from Netanyahu’s likudnik bloc. There is some evidence that Mr Trump individually took the decision on Syria, on behalf of US non-interventionism. That conclusion is based on the resultant manic hysteria we see from Washington to impeach, via the ultimately ridiculous Ukraine ‘whistle-blower’ setup.
The growing movement to impeach becomes curious too, when Israel’s future as a vassal state to the United States is questioned. Israel is experiencing internal political divisions and economic pressures of its own, of an hitherto unknown proportion. For example, while Yisrael Beiteinu, the JTF, and far right militants squabble over ideology, the prospect that an Arab minority may participate in any new Israeli government shakes the foundation of Israel’s apartheid state. To see an Arab minority in the Knesset is especially ironic, subsequent to Netanyahu’s far right campaign to appease Israel’s far right radicals.
Likely on behalf of Israel’s militant extremists, Netanyahu ordered the bombing of al Bukamal, and a suburb of Damascus, and Lebanon north of Avivim. Or, Israel undertook those strikes at Trump’s behest, urging Israel to engage in its own military actions, rather than relying on the US military. Regardless, the consequence and result of those Israeli air strikes caused Syria to operationally deploy upgraded S-300 and S-400 defense missile systems, protecting the territory that Syria controls.
Meanwhile, Israel has seen their important Kurdish ally marginalized, and Israel’s ability to supply weaponry and funding to YPG and PKK terror groups has now been derailed, with significant negative economic impact to Israel. Israel also operates three listening posts in Iraq’s Kurdish region adjacent to Syria, comprising AMAN’s regional headquarters. Israel’s presence in Iraq is thus endangered by Iraq’s international call for the removal of US troops there, within four weeks from October 21st.
Seldom reported in the west, Israel has been quietly cultivating the possibility for gain in North Africa via Tunisia, and has pushed for bilateral relations with Tunisia for years. Israel’s base in Tunisia is on the island of Djerba where it is alleged to run a spy operation. And the Minister for Tourism in Tunisia is an Israeli, Rene Trabelsi who has also called for bilateral relations with Israel. In conjunction, the US operates strike drones and surveillance aircraft from Sidi Ahmed air base near Bizerte, and is planning to supply F16’s to Tunisia, while US Congress just approved the sale of T-6C Texan aircraft to the country. But even in Tunisia, Israeli and US agendas are now being confronted.
Since the advent of the el Abidine ben Ali regime in 1987, repression and corruption has been rampant in Tunisia. On November 28th, 2010, WikiLeaks released over two-hundred thousand confidential documents relating to ben Ali’s historic thuggery. Just after that, the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi coincided with outrage about the contents of those newly released WikiLeaks documents, and so the Tunisian revolution began. The riots in Tunisia spread to nearby states, heralding the ignominious Clinton “Arab Spring” of 2011.
After 2011, Tunisia provided a convenient failed state for the west, where Ansar al-Sharia and other takfiri groups prevented new constitutional reforms from taking effect, with increasing lawlessness and anarchy extant. That provided fertile ground for a failed state policy, as we examined in Has US Foreign Policy Changed?
Now after many years of political flailing, Tunisia has sworn-in constitutional scholar and intellectual Kais Saied (Qays Sayed) as president. But don’t expect to read about that as headline news in the western media… or to read that embattled Donald Trump has given the Tunisian president a congratulatory phone call. That’s because the US-Israeli axis in Tunisia is already in question.
Saied’s election as president has already created a stir in Israel, where he has been denounced by the Israeli media. And not so surprising as Saied’s landslide win, was his opposition by Nabil Karoui, a western surrogate and close ally of the Clintons. Karoui was of course imprisoned for money laundering and tax evasion, and Karoui waged his campaign from prison, by way of explaining his poor performance in the polls.
The point is that once again the western powers including Israel fail again to have their way in Tunisia, just as they failed to have their way everywhere else in the Middle East. No matter what form colonialism takes, it will always be rejected by people, where self-determination is the mandate of any free people.
Israel faces political uncertainty at home, the loss of YPG/PKK terrorist allies in Syria, the stabilization of Syria overall, inability to seek peace with Palestinians, severe setbacks in Iraq and Northern Africa, and dwindling public support abroad. Thus it appears that Israel’s last bastion of support is in the US Congress. But both US political parties are behind the curve, failing to appreciate the impending change in new world disorder, where the US is no longer global hegemon.
While Israel’s influence wanes, and Saudi Arabia pivots to the east, no single factor has caused the hegemonic to change behaviour, or caused its global alliances to shift — the factors for flux are many. Trump wrong-footed so-called antiwar Democrats (including Sanders) by ultimately coming out as antiwar in Syria. Trump acted like the non-interventionist he has usually claimed himself to be. But was Mr Trump’s action in Syria simply a means to wrong-foot the opposition? … to show how hypocritical and duplicitous liberals are? Or was Mr Trump’s move in Syria symbolic of something else, something more profound?
Since the financial collapse of the West in 2008-2009, financial intrigue and illusion has kept the system afloat. Whether QE, Operation Twist, Repos or Reverse Repos, or even illusory quantitative tightening, the sum total of predatory finance is now one quadrillion dollar+ derivative. It’s the mathematical derivative where one may approach the final result, but can never reach it.
The foregoing monetary analogy equates to the ends of the State itself. Whether Israel, or Saudi, or the United States, these ‘states’ are states without borders, States in constant flux — never static, never defined. Israel’s failed ‘election’ is just one small component of that matrix, just one insignificant exhibit in the presentation of evidence that the matrix is real. Hence the concept of globalism.
But, as we see in Washington, Neoliberals and Neoconservatives have been consumed by the Empire of Chaos that they created. They squeal and squirm as they rhetorically burn, because the Fall of Empire is never pretty. The Alchemists of the swamp attempt to transform lies into truth, while knowing that they cannot succeed. That’s just the nature of fraud. And the problem is not only Israel … or Saudi Arabia, or the EU, or the UK, or the greed of Central Bankers and their hedge fund managers… or even the failing US Congress.
The problem is the direction of US foreign policy since 1948. And the prospect that US foreign policy has taken a new antiwar direction will be resisted by Congress, resisted by big business, resisted by the major media… and resisted by Israel and Saudi Arabia.
In the end, we must ask whether the good people of the world will see through those phantasmagoric political illusions with which they are perpetually bombarded by the Phantom State, and that is our only hope.
Steve Brown is the author of “Iraq: the Road to War” (Sourcewatch) editor of “Bush Administration War Crimes in Iraq” (Sourcewatch) “Trump’s Limited Hangout” and “Federal Reserve: Out-sourcing the Monetary System to the Money Trust Oligarchs Since 1913”; Steve is an antiwar activist, a published scholar on the US monetary system, and has appeared as guest contributor to the The Duran, Fort Russ News, Herland Report, The Ron Paul Institute, and Strategika51.