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John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

“Tryst in Tel Aviv: Trump Tries to Unite Israel, Saudis With Anti-Iran Rhetoric”

 

God, Trump is a disappointment.

Israel and the Saudis have shared a hatred of Iran for years, each for its own reasons.

After all, Israel and Saudi Arabia are virtually secret allies now and both important supporters, now or in the past, of outfits like ISIS and al Nusra.

Neither of them likes anything to do with change or social reform or revolution or anything which could endanger their comfortable and oppressive stability and the comfortable rule of wealth in the region.

Israel hates genuine liberals, for example, almost as much as the House of Saud does, and that is because liberals are seen as important critics of Israel’s ugly human rights policies.

In general, Shia Muslims compare to Sunni Muslims today very much as Protestants did to Catholics in 16th century Europe.

In the light of the time, Protestantism then stood for progressive matters, as for example education of people so they could read the Bible, an idea Catholicism, representing the doctrine of Church authority interpreting the Scripture for people, opposed.

Protestants also simplified many things about worship, again things Catholicism opposed.

There are many parallels to today’s Sunni-Shia hostilities in the Middle East.

Israel, of course, couldn’t care less about these issues except to exploit them for its own purposes.

Israel’s key impulse is to be the leading state in the region, serving also as a kind of chief lieutenant and enforcer for the American empire there in a kind of symbiotic relationship in which Israel’s attention in the region on behalf of the United States is repaid by the United States’ continued support of Israel in the wider world.

Quite apart from immense financial and technical subsidies and privileges America sends pouring into Israel, America’s active work of suppressing criticism of Israel in everything from the United Nations and other international organizations to the calculated, relentless bias of its corporate press has been an important tool in making Israel’s often lawless behavior seem legitimate.

Iran, by virtue of its size – 70 million people – and resources, is destined, unless someone interferes, to itself become the region’s dominant state. Israel will do anything to stop that natural progress. And just so, Saudi Arabia for several reasons of its own, including the religious differences which are used to disguise other social and political and economic interests.

The Saudis once quite disliked Israel and acted in public ways to make their dislike apparent, but since 9/11, things have changed dramatically. The Saudis were terrified that America would invade and topple them, so they have worked hard to become especially cozy and accommodating with the United States and its colony, Israel.

They keep the close friendship secret because it would not go down well with a great many Saudi Muslims who are largely very conservative Sunnis, called Salafists. In the world of Islam, they might roughly be compared to Israel’s ultra-Orthodox, a people who although a minority in Israel determine many of its laws and policies because their parties always have the balance of power necessary for a larger party to form a government. In the matter of being almost violently intolerant of other religious groups or anyone intruding on their community, Muslim Salafists and Jewish Ultra-Orthodox are close relatives.

My great fear here is that Trump – now, by all appearances, loyally on board with the very American imperial establishment of whom he seemed, rightly, so critical only months ago – is going to prepare the ground for another Mideast War such as the terrible one between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s. That war, given allowance for the size of the parties involved, was about as bloody as the First World War.

America did everything it could to stoke and facilitate that war, always hoping that both sides would be badly bled and weakened. It supplied some terrible weapons, too, including the poison gas used by Iraq on tens of thousands of Iranians. The American strategy much resembled that of America in Europe during WWII. They dearly wanted Germany and the Soviet Union to both be bled and weakened, and they didn’t truly invade until the conflict was largely decided and they feared the Soviets might overrun all of Europe.

Israel would just love such a war. The typical view, if we are to judge by public statements, of Israeli officials concerning Arabs and Persians is pretty unpleasant, downright racist at times. And Israel is ruthless enough to encourage just such a conflict to weaken all parties involved.

From Ariel Sharon to Benjamin Netanyahu, there have been countless calls and demands for invading Iran, one way or another. Netanyahu, after being frustrated in his efforts to have the United States attack Iran, made serious preparations for Israel’s doing so on its own. In one of the few decent acts of his blood-drenched record in foreign policy, Obama prevented that effort by telling Netanyahu he’d shoot his planes out of the sky. Iran, unfortunately, has become a national obsession for Israel’s furious leaders.

Being a nation which has attacked no one in its modern history and a nation which has suffered terribly under numerous American policies – from the 1953 coup which destroyed a democratic government and put the brutal Shah into office to the 1980-88 induced war with Iraq which saw about a million people die – is not enough to save you if you stand in the way of empire. There is no pity or even humanity in the works of imperial power.

 

 

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