As the ‘democracy’ movement in North Africa spread to Bahrain, Wikileaks cables released yesterday supported previous Slog posts showing how Russian attempts to destabilise the Middle East are longstanding – and at least part of the explanation for the rapid spread of revolution from one country to another in the region.
Noting that ‘There is no love lost between the Bahraini leadership and the Iranian regime….the King and Crown Prince see Iran as the most serious long-term threat to Bahrain and the region’, a leaked 2008 cable from the American Embassy in Bahrain to Washington confirms the Slog’s contention that Russia has been active for some time in supplying arms to rogue States.
The cable notes, ‘At her meeting with Shaikh Khalid November 18  , Secretary [Condoleeza] Rice urged that the King use this opportunity to raise Bahrain’s concern about Iran, and emphasize that Russian arms sales to countries in the Middle East are counterproductive to regional stability.’
At long last, one or two mature voices in the US and Europe are beginning to voice concerns about what is really going on in the Middle East, as ‘human-rights-democracy-liberty’ spiel begins to sound just a little too scripted.
The short answer is that several things are going on at once. There is some spontaneity, there is a great deal of genuine wish to be released from dictatorial death squads, there is some student naivety, there is some opportunist Islamism, there is some cleverly directed Islamism, and there is an enormous amount of American, Russian and Iranian espionage-agency work laying the groundwork for several agendas.
Three elements – freedom, oil, and religion – have collided. The first will soon give way to events, after which the latter two will fight it out. What still baffles me is the blind acceptance by most Western media that all this sudden upsurge just kind of ‘happened’.
The Islamist, anti-Semitic religious mania never stops, and this is the first thing remote Western journalists need to grasp. It is crude and propagandist, but on your average wannabe human bomb, it is frighteningly effective. Take a look at the rabid Shoah site, for example, and you’ll get some idea of the vicious, boneheaded anti-Jew, twisted reality that drives these people. In some of the ‘democratising’ countries they will fail, in others they will succeed, but wherever they are they will agitate incessantly until their depraved view of the world is given precedence over all others.
And as for oil, well – the Americans want to retain their access to and control over it, and the Russians want regional destabilisation to bump the price up – so they can continue to build palaces for Rasputin the Mad….and then blackmail the EU with high prices.
It is the Russians whose strategy has been most successful at remaining almost entirely covert. Apart from some anti-Goverment Russian sites and the better quality Israeli online commentators, The Slog’s recent piece about Russian arms supplies to Algeria and Tunisia is the only effort I’ve come across trying to point out their obvious game plan. Some may see it as conspiracy theory, but Western security services (and of course, Mossad) don’t.
Israeli media quote Major General Amos Yadlin as saying at a closed session of the parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last November that Russia was providing Syria with ‘portable, state-of-the-art anti-aircraft systems and medium range missiles’. Both Hezbollah and Syria are thought to agree that missile attacks on Israel are far more likely to result in its collapse than ground wars, where the Israelis have a long track record of defeating Arab armies with some ease.
But Russian supples to Iran are an increasing issue of tension between Tel Aviv and Moscow. Russia’s regional destabilising objective is evidenced by the fact that the Kremlin isn’t mad enough to give Ahmadinnejhad nuclear help, but is very happy to give him the kind of arms to create a neat, conventional war sufficient to knock out (or at least make unreliable) oil supplies from the region.
The Iranian boldness in planning to sail through the Suez canal To Syria reflects the increased confidence of the Tehran regime. Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Liebermann called the intention “another of Iran’s provocations”, and added that “The international community must understand that Israel can’t ignore forever these kinds of provocations.”
Meanwhile, the Moscow strategy is working a treat. Bloomberg reported yesterday (Thursday) that petrol is ‘rising with crude oil and heating oil on concern that Middle Eastern oil shipments will be disrupted. Crude oil for March delivery rose 67 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $84.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange’.