Sunday, March 19, 2023

News that China has brokered rapprochement between two Middle-East Arab rivals, Iran and Saudi Arabia hasn’t received much traction in the western media presumably it embarrassed them because they have spent energy driving antagonism, wars, death, and economic ruin. According to the deal, within the next two months, Iran and Saudi Arabia that broke ties in 2016 will re-establish diplomatic relations, post ambassadors and their foreign ministers meet. They also agreed to cooperate on maritime among other security issues, weapons, espionage, and combat terrorism. As well, even investments and trade could flow. US strangulation on Iran must fall like apartheid and Berlin Wall. 

Saudi Arabia and Iran have had conflicts since the latter’s 1979 revolution which overthrew the American puppet Shah who had sold out Iran’s oil under Anglo-Iran Company. That revolution ushered in the Islamic state, and so Iran and Saudi Arabia, have, at the behest of US been fighting proxy wars in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and in other Arab hotspots. Chinese communists-of all people, flipping over Washington, Camp David, White House Lawns, New York, London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels points to shifts in geopolitical dynamics. The development though not anticipated is because the US relies more on blackmail, sanctions or military force.

US ruinous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Libya, and Syria and meddling elsewhere have burnt its veneer in the Middle East but due to arrogance it cannot see it that way. Today, many see the war in Ukraine as unnecessary, and a dangerous provocation from US-led NATO to extend hegemony, even when some may not agree with Moscow. When the West claims to fight for democratic values, it doesn’t resonate with many Gulf States, most of whom aren’t democracies, but theocracies.

Since Xi’s visit to Riyadh last December, conflict in Yemen appear to be abetting as the once shaky ceasefire between Houthi rebels backed by Iran, and a Saudi supported government seem to be moving forward again which many attribute to China. To show Beijing’s growing influence, a while back the Saudis asked China and Russia to prevail over Iran to remove its drones and long-range missiles from close to Saudi’s borders to de-escalate tension and Iran complied. Talks between Iran and Saudi which acrimoniously broke ties in 2016 had gone on in Iraq over the past five years without much headway until President Xi visited Riyadh in December 2022.

During that visit, China that has 130bn USD trade with Gulf States and imports 20% of Saudi oil increasingly being paid for in Yuan, clinched even more lucrative investment and trade deals over the next twenty decades. And China already buys more oil from Saudi Arabia than any other country in the world. And coming on its heels is President Xi’s visit to Moscow next week, most likely to begin thawing tensions over Ukraine, a year-long conflict whose outcome on the battlefield isn’t as clear yet.

But Western allies under NATO would rather prolong it because it provides their military industrial complex huge economic lifeline as they sell equipment and send mercenaries dubbed ‘volunteer fighters’ to a desperate Ukraine, now borrowing from them even without negotiations, and at costs no one is willing to publicly disclose. The global warmongers must be gnashing teeth, and plotting how to torpedo the Iran-Saudi rapprochement. They dread their economic empire built over centuries on war, violent robbery, exploitation, cunning mischief and lopsided rules could slowly grind to a painful halt.

Looking at US leaders-Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin running around the world shows they must be dreading leading oil producers and exporters-Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and China coalescing on one side. US is now a competitor with Saudi Arabia in oil exports especially when we consider that it has oil stolen during its military occupation of Iraq and Syria, which may want to put on the market.

With its lip-service for the so-called green energy driven by Canada, New Zealand and EU, the US is a threat to Arab oil countries who feel being cut out. Most analysts today say that if you want to destroy your country go to Washington. But if you want to resolve ancient disputes probably head towards Beijing.

While the US is not yet down and out, it’s no longer the ‘indispensable’ power in the world except perhaps to its European poodles. China, now with money, good technology, economic, and global diplomatic outreach, is building compromise, harmony and inclusive prosperity through its Silk and Belt Road Initiative, and BRICS, which the EU can only envy. 

Britain which once used force to control 25% of world territory and 30% of its population now claims to have lost love with militarism although it still punches above its weight. The hypocrites are sounding the tin brass of democratic values as if they were only boy scouts during colonial yesteryears, and we shouldn’t believe them. And no matter the outcome in Ukraine or 2024 US elections, the ground is shifting into a new form of coexistence.