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

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

To my Chinese friend

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

An open letter from business to world leaders: “Be ambitious, and together we can address climate change”

THE COMMITTEES: From the colonies to the space race – past, present, future converge in Fourth Committee

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

Eurozone banks to separate risky activities: Can they stay afloat?

Joint advocacy letter template to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear test ban treaty critical to global collective security – UN chief

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Lack of involvement, or lack of opportunities?

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

FROM THE FIELD: A UN peacekeepers-eye view of DR Congo

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

EU-Russia relations: the beginning of a warmer winter?

What can stop the ‘too big to fail’ bankers from terrorising the world?

The European Parliament double-checks the EU 2014-2020 budget

Job automation risks vary widely across different regions within countries

Want a more inclusive society? Start with mobility

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

UN urges ‘restraint’ in Bangladesh’s post-presidential election violence

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

A Sting Exclusive: “China-Africa Cooperation Sets a Fine Example of South-South Cooperation”, by China’s Ambassador to EU

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

UN agency chief calls Ethiopia’s revised refugee law ‘one of most progressive’ in Africa

Draghi tells the Parliament the ECB to use all its weaponry; euro slides to parity with the dollar

Canada and EU officially sign the trade agreement that could open-up the road to TTIP

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

These charts show where the world’s refugees came from in 2017 – and where they’re heading

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

Better care, stronger laws needed to save 30 million babies on the brink of death

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Is ECB helping Germany to buy cheaply the rest of Europe?

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

Three ways the world must tackle mental health

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

UN chief condemns killing of ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo, as violence erupts prior to elections

MWC 2016 LIVE: EC adds Brazil to partner tally

Some Prevailing Arguments and Perceptions over the South China Sea Issue Are Simply Wrong

The representatives of the regions and the cities know better what the EU needs on migration, trade, poverty and taxation

Climate Change: a challenge yet to be tackled in medical schools

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

Climate change will never be combatted by EU alone while some G20 countries keep procrastinating

Guinea-Bissau: Upcoming elections vital to prevent ‘relapse’ into instability, says UN envoy

This is the world’s greenest football club – and you’ve probably never even heard of it

EU to increase spending and improve delivery of education in emergencies and protracted crises

Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

“Health and environment first of all”, EU says with forced optimism after 7th round of TTIP talks

‘12 million’ stateless people globally, warns UNHCR chief in call to States for decisive action

Bid to raise $5.5 billion for millions of Syrians and their host communities

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

The way to entrepreneurship in the developing world

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

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