Dangerous Trumpism in the Middle East with an anti-European edge

President Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion Arms Deal. May 20, 2017 (The White House work, snapshot from a video).

All main stream media analysts agree that the US President Donald Trump last Sunday 21 May in Riyadh, completely reversed his predecessor Barack Obama’s Middle East policy. He made it evidently biased, aggressive and dangerously personal, despite the extensive use of the word ‘peace’. In a matter of hours Trump endorsed one hundred per cent the autocratic Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni Gulf kingdoms regimes, and ostracized Iran as the only source of trouble in the region and the sole supporter of terrorism. He forgot that the US, since 11 September 2001, is fighting terror emanating from the hard-line Salafist Sunni kingdoms of the Gulf. On the same occasion, he repudiated the agreement the Obama administration had signed with Shia Moslem Iran, in order for Tehran to stop its nuclear program and open its markets to the West.

This US step leaves the co-signers of the above mentioned agreement (dubbed the 5+1 deal) Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China out in the cold. The European Union, and more precisely Federica Mogherini the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was very active in striking this Iran deal. Soon after the signing on 14/7/2015, a number of EU giants like Airbus rushed to Tehran and signed contracts worth tens of billions.

Ostracizing Iran

The Americans were slow, presumably for political reasons, in taking advantage of Tehran’s opening to the West. They were rather happy with their lucrative contracts with the oil rich Gulf kingdoms. In short, this week, Trump  tried to annul Tehran’s cooperation with Europe by aggressively taking parts, like a bull in a china shop, in the centuries old rivalry between Shia Iran and the Sunni Kingdoms of the Persian Gulf. None of his last two predecessors in the White House had so vigorously embraced the autocracies of the Gulf and ostracized Iran. And this despite the very good relations of both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations with Saudi Arabia.

Trump also told the super wealthy despotic Sunni hardliners of the Gulf that the US doesn’t want (any more) to tell them how to live and run their authoritarian governance systems. In this way he denounced the albeit small grievances the US had under Obama, in respect with the dictatorial character of those regimes. As if the oil kings have bought into Trump’s total support, Saudi Arabia agreed to purchase $110 billion worth or American armaments, in the hope of changing the balance of power in the Gulf against Shia Iran. Currently, all those oil kingdoms don’t stand a chance, militarily, vis-à-vis Iran. This last country after many years of isolation has managed to develop its own armaments industry able to confront even the US navy in the Arab Gulf.

Packaging Arabs and Israelis?

The next day, Monday 22 May in Tel Aviv, the Israeli capital, Trump again categorically ostracized Iran more than once. In this way, the new American administration is forming a taciturn alliance of the oil rich countries with Israel, both archetypal enemies of Iran. Yet, the US armed forces which are combating ISIS in Mosul, are fighting side by side with Iranian army units. Iran has a very strong and close relationship with the Iraqi government. Tehran has effectively supported Bagdad in redressing – together with the US – the Iraqi armed forces and, with the supply of American weaponry, have jointly managed to overpower ISIS. Iran plays the same role in Syria, where Tehran’s armed forces, while supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime, have also managed to corner ISIS.

However, in Tel Aviv, Trump ‘forgot’ to honor his promise to help ‘transfer the Israeli capital to Jerusalem‘. Last February, he stated that the US was ready to transfer the US embassy there. Not a word about that now. For one thing, he finally understood the complexities which have been haunting Jerusalem for the last two millennia. The three most important monotheisms have their hubs in the city, making it practically untouchable. Christians, Moslems and Jews are packed there, in a way that not even…Trump can touch.

Faulting on promises

This is not the first time that Trump is caught retracting on his promises. During his first 100 days in power he has failed on many occasions to honor his word. He promised to work for the ‘left behind’ Americans and instead he has briefly made the New York bankers immensely richer and appointed as Labor Secretary the most callous American employer. By the same token, his present makeshift Middle East policy is seen just as a pompous arrangement. It’s a readymade White House scheme, to give him the opportunity to boast that he brought $110 billion worth of payrolls back to America.

Rather sooner than later, though, his inexperienced advisors will discover that without Iran, it’s impossible to make plans in the Middle East. With all the latest US guns that Saudi Arabia has been buying during the past few years, Riyadh proved impotent to defeat the barefoot Houthis, the Shia Moslem rebel movement in Yemen, which is being effectively backed by Iran. It’s very probable that in the next few weeks the US will face more demands from Saudi Arabia for field support in Yemen, the underbelly of the entire Arabian Peninsula. Tehran will soon try to test the newly boosted by $110 billion US-Saudi Arabia partnership. Iran is sure to raise the stakes in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East.

A difficult job

Once more then, Trump will learn the hard way that it’s not an easy thing to be President of the US. His own newly botched up Middle East policy will soon prove to be strategically much more dangerous, than it is politically profitable personally for him within the US. America will most probably soon return to the previous mode of energetically supporting the oil rich kingdoms of the Gulf, but at the same time cooperating with Iran too. The Europeans will definitively press the US to this direction, and will demand that Washington honors her signature in the 5+1 agreement with Tehran.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UK voters sent strong message to May and Corbyn for soft Brexit

Strengthening security through an EU-wide information system

Yemen ceasefire deal: ‘Potential’ now to restore humanitarian lifeline to millions

The deforestation risks lurking in the banking sector

The global economy isn’t working for women. Here’s what world leaders must do

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

UN agency chiefs issue ‘call to action’ on behalf of refugee children

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

Chernobyl nuclear disaster-affected areas spring to life, 33 years on

The role of public affairs in student NGOs

This is how we inspire young people in the Middle East to join the fight against climate change

The European Parliament rewrites the EU budget in a bright day for the Union

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

Does the EU want GMOs and meat with hormones from the US?

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

Africa is creating one of the world’s largest single markets. What does this mean for entrepreneurs?

UN launches ‘South-South Galaxy’ knowledge-sharing platform in Buenos Aires

The German automotive industry under the Trump spell

How big data can help us fight climate change faster

Why Climate Change Matters for Future Health Professionals

Here are five tips to make your message clear in a crowded world

Women vital for ‘new paradigm’ in Africa’s Sahel region, Security Council hears

Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Murdered Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi during World News Media Congress 2019

‘The clock is ticking’ on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN deputy chief

Removing deadly mines means ‘new horizons and hope’, clears a path to SDGs, says UN chief

UN-led Yemen ceasefire monitoring team gets ready to begin operations

UN chief expresses solidarity with Indonesian authorities after flash floods kill dozens in Papua

Europe’s top court hears Intel and sends € 1.06 bn antitrust fine to review

Waste-free consumption: 3 reasons why cities will lead

Syria: Ease suffering, save lives, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator tells Security Council

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

EU elections 2019: Trump’s share in the support of populism

Service and Sacrifice: For Ghana, UN peacekeeping is a ‘noble opportunity to serve humanity’

Sherpa climbers carried out the highest-ever spring clean. This is what they found

Mergers: Commission prohibits proposed merger between Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Achieving targets on energy helps meet other Global Goals, UN forum told

Why the UN is investigating poverty in the United Kingdom

Drone regulation is necessary to democratize the sky for humanity

ILO welcomes new UNDP report that places decent work at the heart of sustainable development

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

JADE at European Business Summit 2015

High level political talks didn’t break the stalemate in Ukraine

The big five EU telecom operators in dire straights

Migration and rule of law on next ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly agenda

Extra mild ECB tapering of QE and zero interest rates keep euro low

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

Most leaders are missing this crucial character trait

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

The widely advertised hazards of the EU not that ominous; the sting is financial woes

“The Belt and Road Initiative aims to promote peace, development and stability”, Ambassador Zhang of the Chinese Mission to EU highlights from European Business Summit 2018

“Private” sea freight indexes hide Libor like skeletons?

ISIS fighters fleeing Mosul for Syria can topple Assad. Why did the US now decide to uproot them from Iraq?

As Syria conflict enters ninth year, humanitarian crisis ‘far from over’, Security Council hears

Inaction on obesity stands in the way of sustainable development

Data exchanges: Strengthening Europol cooperation with non-EU countries

The West definitively cuts Russia off from the developed world

Here’s how to make ‘value-based healthcare’ a reality

Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s