I recently enjoyed watching our world leaders at the G8 summit 2013. The snippets of political news footage broadcast in Australian media reminded me of my kindergarten years when I tossed sand from my clenched fists into Thommy Schmidts' face after he called me 'big nose.' It's amusing to witness fundamental aspects of human nature played out by grown men with big responsibility. There are feigned friendships being acted out by highly educated power brokers who clumsily attempt to control our humble little world. As I reminisced about my past sandpit adventures I couldn't help but feel jealous and left out when I realised Australia wasn't invited to the party. Why not? I looked up what constitutes an invite to the G8 and this is what I found:
We just aint rich enough. Our teeny economy just doesn't cut it. Phooee. :-P
Australia missed out on participating in the long walk endured by leaders at Lough Erne resort and witnessing first hand Putin and Obama at loggerheads over Syria. The US are really cranky their turncoat intelligence spy, Edward Snowden, is being looked after by Russia, China, Ecuador and any nation that wants to know dirty little American secrets. (I mean those nations who believe in freedom of speech.) These antics are so similar to my sandpit days it's almost funny. I too would bury and hide other children's Matchbox cars in the deep tunnels of the kindergarten play area when I was four years old. I would laugh when my fellow sandpit buddies couldn't locate and retrieve their toy cars. The frustrated boys would stamp their feet, threaten physical retribution and ultimately cry.
The last few years of Middle Eastern politics has made me wonder if we are being trained and manipulated into being anti-Muslim. Is the media controlled by governments or tricked into broadcasting US government setups? Middle eastern politics is a minefield of religious and ethnic differences and generational hatreds intertwined with Western nations who are just as deceptive, self-serving and power hungry. I find it difficult sometimes to understand what is going on. The US supplies weapons to allies who become foes who become allies again. The borders are murky and it is hard to distinguish who is friend or enemy. Amid all the confusion many conspiracy theories have emerged. Some are most likely fact and others are so outrageous, facts must be hidden amongst the rhetoric. Remember the Benghazi attack:
The Chechnya terrorists
The Boston bombers:
These are just three conspiracy theories. There are hundreds. Every world event has concocted a conspiracy theory. Is it the US maintaining control by causing confusion, fear and hatred?
I decided to try to simplify the Middle East and explain the mechanics for 'Dummies' like me.
To understand the Arab world you need to understand the Muslim faith. Like Christianity there are many interpretations of Islam, mostly referred to as 'factions.' Sunni and Shi'a Muslims are the main two factions. Hezbollah is a militant Shi'a Islamic group and political party based in Lebanon. This is a facet of Islam that is different to Christianity in some respects- politics and religion combine; in fact you have to acknowledge the tremendous dedication Muslims have to their beliefs and politics. Religions in the west like Catholicism and Anglicanism are generally not so intertwined with government and overall we are fairly lacksadaisical compared to our Qu'ran reading neighbours although the US is extremely God conscious and fanatical in some states.
The main political figures and their countries are as follows but forever subject to change:
Iran- Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. President Hassan Rouhani - friends with Hezbollah and Syrian Bashar al Assad. Formally known as Persia this is the most interesting Middle Eastern country to watch regarding US relations. Take note of the countries that border Iran.
Libya- President Mohammed Magarief - kind of friends with US.
Saudi Arabia - King Abdullah kind of friends with US. In 2010 the US sold $60.5 billion dollars worth of weapons. 9/11 saw the US angry as most hijackers were Saudi however 60.5 smackeroos is hard to knock back.
Syria - President Bashar al Assad - friends with Iran - enemies with US. Causing alot of fuss due to civil war. Strategic position for the US as it borders Iran. The US has Iran in their sights and have systemically militarised all nations surrounding Iran.
Israel - President Shimon Peres - US allies. Palestinian enemies
Palestine - President Mahmoud Abbas - Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah- US does not recognise Palestine as a state so relations do not exist. A tiny unrecognised nation built on a couple of rocks covered in bloodshed.
Lebanon- President Michel Suleimen - friends with Iran. Armed and financed by Iran
Tehran- capital of Iran.
Egypt - Acting President Adly Mansour. - A kind of US ally. Appears to have recently cut ties with Syria. Mostly Sunni. Its parliament (what parliament?) is not currently working.
This excerpt by Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhill explains everything so clearly:
In a disturbing article entitled When War Games Go Live , Chossoduvsky quotes from retired General Wesley Clark’s 2003 book Winning Modern Wars regarding the role of military intervention against Syria and Iran in the Pentagon’s grand Middle East strategy. According to Clark, the Pentagon has been making preparation to attack both countries since the mid-nineties. On page 130 of Winning Modern Wars, Clark states
“As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”
The reliability of these predictions, despite a 2008 regime change from George Bush, the so-called neocon hawk, to Barack Obama, a supposed soft power advocate, is uncanny. The US persists in its occupation of Iraq, in addition to major military engagements in Somalia and Sudan. Presumably the military intervention in Libya is complete, now that the new US-friendly regime has agreed to privatize Libyan oil for the benefit of US oil companies.
According to Chossudovsky, countries such as Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Iran and Sudan became US military targets because they refused to play ball by allowing Anglo-American oil company unlimited access to their oil resources. In contrast, oil-poor countries like Syria and Lebanon are current targets because of strategic alliances with oil-rich Iran.
So it all boils down to the sandpit analogy. Except in this case it is the oil underneath the sand that is the impetus. I find it amusing when the words 'peace in the Middle East' appear. I think it is a contradiction in terms. Perhaps when the oil reserves have been depleted there could be a reason for peace.