Chief Joseph — Rest Ye In Peace!
[Originally authored as a Facebook Note]
MICHAEL WEDDLE · TUESDAY, MAY 23, 2017
Whatever was promised since the Bush-Cheney Shock and Awe is now on the back burner or completely realigned. I suspect the latter. There is now an Israeli-Saudi alliance (might as well also throw in Egypt and Jordan as side players) right now in the thick of everything.
I think the pipeline originally was meant to throw Turkey a bone as it would benefit from the Qatar-Saudi pipeline extending into Europe. From the US point of view, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan are meant as a show of US alliance force against possible Russian expansion. That’s where the line is drawn and it’s a line the US would like to keep. But the US blew it by how it handled Iraq.
The principle US objective in Syria is to keep it isolated from the Iran-Iraq alliance (which eventually and inevitably will take a pure form), with a possible exception in the north for the Kurds. If Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran become aligned, this will create a geopolitical territory about the size of the US within the upper Middle East region. The US, on behalf of Israel and the Saudis, is trying to prevent this by creating a Sunni buffer zone to isolate Syria. Hence, the bone thrown to Turkey on the pipeline.
The original plan was to take out the Assad regime, install a puppet government and make it easy for both the pipeline and the Israelis to drill for the newly-discovered oil in the Syrian-owned but Israeli-annexed Golan Heights. Having Syria’s Russian-aligned government gone would be an economic boost to the US, Israel, the Saudis and the Gulf States.
When all is fully considered, however, it is Turkey who sits in the driver’s seat. Any US-Israeli-Saudi plan will also involve a Kurdish statehood, which Turkey outright rejects. The Eurasian alliance of Russia and China — centered around the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Project — is becoming more and more attractive to Turkey and may ultimately provide more long-term economic benefit than would the Saudi pipeline. Plus, OBOR comes without the Kurdish problem.
The Eurasian alliance will also come with a new form of currency which also could become attractive to Turkey. Geographically, Turkey is perfectly positioned for the planned goal of a revival of the Old Silk Roads to run through its territory and its ports. Also important is Turkey controls the Bosphorus Straights leading in and out of The Black Sea, thus making Turkey extremely attractive for sea routes within the OBOR plan. Given Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is based in Crimea and its Mediterranean Fleet in Syria military differences could become minimized.
Next, consider Europeans won’t let Turkey into the European Union, which these days itself is problematic. And growing friction with the Kurds, backed by the US, is severely testing Turkey’s desire to remain aligned with NATO.
Turkey’s gotta make a call. All things considered, it’d likely be best were Turkey to bolt NATO and align with China and Russia on OBOR.
If this happens then you have an upper quadrant Middle Eastern alliance involving Russia, China, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. US shenanigans in this area of the world would come to a screeching halt. This perhaps is what’s needed the most. If the objective is happy people living peace and and engaged in sound commerce this is an answer.
How this would affect Israel’s drilling the Golan Heights becomes a huge question. Since Syria owns the land, but Israel’s got the discovery and the technology already in place, maybe a deal could be worked out. Also, what would happen to Libya and Yemen are also great questions. Most likely, especially with renewed US focus backing the Saudis, they’ll likely wind up in the Sunni fold.
Now, if the two now very large geopolitical Middle Eastern Sunni and Shia entities could function as does the US to Canada and Russia to China, perhaps a long lasting peace — for the very first time in ages — could finally be realized in the Middle East.
The northern Shia nations should become prosperous in alliance each to the other; and so also the southern Sunni nations. Perhaps they’d even trade with each other where beneficial.
What could help bring peace to the whole of the Middle East? Combine all of the above with this idea below:
A Middle East Solution Requires a Palestinian Solution
Much of the turmoil involving the Middle East is rooted in the inability of Israel and Palestine to work out a two-state solution. Here’s a Seven Point Plan to help solve this problem:
- Reaffirm both states have a right to exist and accept the UN-mandated borders of sovereignty.
- Have Israel dismantle its entire nuclear weapons stock.
- Make Jerusalem an international city (something akin to how Washington DC is to America). This would assure freedom for all religions to worship this disputed holy land.
- Relocate The United Nations from New York City to Jerusalem. This would add economy and much-needed respect to the region.
- In the areas where the border conflict is greatest, either the West Bank or Gaza strip, establish a United Nations University of International Diplomacy. This would commit the world’s best academics to help bring forward meaningful solutions unique to the area, and also add economy and and create a much-needed measure of respect to the region. Also, importantly, age demographics of Palestine show a crucial need for education and jobs if children of Palestine are to have a future.
- In the Golan Heights, where Israel borders Lebanon and Syria, establish a United Nations International Peacekeeping Training Facility. At any given time, there are conflicts and wars all over the world. Having a highly-trained, inter-coordinated and well-organized rapid deployment UN force able to step in makes perfect sense, stopping genocide for example. Locating this facility in the Golan Heights would help to ease border tensions that have been infamous over past decades. It would also add economy and respect to the region.
- Eliminate capital punishment worldwide to set the greatest positive example against violence.
Part of the problem has been the perception colonial powers like Britain, France, Russia and the US have continuously raped the Middle East region of its resources, cared little for the region’s inhabitants and have brinked one dictatorship over another to achieve economic self-interest. This perception especially eeds to change. The steps above, if taken, above would go a long way toward curing the terrible stains of past history and certainly help to change today’s present pain and anguish experienced by so many.