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.

 

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

Top UN rights official urges transparent probe into Khashoggi disappearance

Neither side stands to benefit in US-China trade spat, UN says

Questions and Answers on issues about the digital copyright directive

EP President calls for emergency assistance to migrants stranded on Open Arms boat

Women’s rights face global pushback from conservativism, fundamentalism – UN experts warn

Team Europe: €34 billion disbursed so far to tackle COVID-19 in partner countries

Here’s why China’s trade deal with Mauritius matters

Data marketplaces can transform economies. Here’s how

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

Primary Care: a way to provide Palliative Care in Universal Health Coverage

To solve the climate crisis, we need an investment revolution

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

Bulgaria: MEPs call for EU values to be fully and unconditionally respected

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

Being blinded by labels stops social change. Art helps us see a better future

As threats to IoT devices evolve, can security keep up?

Innovation and entrepreneurship can cut waste and deliver the circular economy

EU Budget 2020 conciliation talks suspended

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

UN cooperation with League of Arab States ‘pivotal’, UN chief tells Security Council

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

Three experts on why eradicating plastic pollution will help achieve gender equality

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

This is where teachers are most (and least) respected

Understanding the gender gap in the Global South

European Parliament approves new copyright rules for the internet

Chile ups foreign bribery enforcement but flawed case resolutions are insufficient to ensure transparency and accountability

India’s economy is an ‘elephant that is starting to run’, according to the IMF

What will Germany look like after the next election?

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

As G7 calls time on coal, have you checked your supply chain?

Campaign kicks off with High-level Event on #FairInternships

Could 2021 be a turning point for forests and climate change?

New UN Syria envoy pledges to work ‘impartially and diligently’ towards peace

The sustainable fashion revolution is well underway. These 5 trends prove it

Arrest of three Libyans wanted for grave crimes ‘would send strong and necessary message’ to victims, urges top Prosecutor

Rule of Law mechanism applies without further delay as of 1 January, MEPs stress

Indonesia has a plan to deal with its plastic waste problem

Rise in violent conflict shows prevention ‘more necessary than ever’: UN chief

Yemen: ‘A great first step’ UN declares as aid team accesses grain silo which can feed millions

Using CO2 as an industrial feedstock could change the world. Here’s how

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

MEPs call for the protection of fundamental values in the EU and worldwide

The West and Russia accomplished the dismembering and the economic destruction of Ukraine

WHO chief underscores need to address climate change following visit to Bahamas

After the George Floyd protests, what next for racial justice in the US?

80,000 youngsters at risk in DRC after forcible expulsion from Angola: UNICEF

Don’t take African generosity towards refugees for granted, says UN refugee chief

Humanitarian action: New outlook for EU’s global aid delivery challenged by COVID-19

Food choices today, impact health of both ‘people and planet’ tomorrow

From DIY editing to matchmaking by DNA: how human genomics is changing society

How global tech can drive local healthcare innovation in China

Here’s why the tech sector could be the next target for Chinese investment in Africa

Is South Korea set to lose from its FTA with the EU?

Artificial Intelligence raises ethical, policy challenges – UN expert

The future of manufacturing is smart, secure and stable

European Semester Autumn Package: Bolstering inclusive and sustainable growth

Can the world take the risk of a new financial armageddon so that IMF doesn’t lose face towards Tsipras?

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa: Rise of the Digital Citizen, Kigali 16 – 18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

Universal Health Coverage will ‘drive progress’ on 2030 Development Agenda

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

%d bloggers like this: