The Imperial Vacuum in the Middle East and Near East, and Its Consequences

Initial Thoughts

I have been reading about what appears to have been the appalling and unusually cruel murder of a dissident Saudi journalist, supposedly cut up while still alive by some kind of Saudi Arabian “security” team in the Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul.

This news item made me once again muse on the unsatisfactory position in the “Levant”, the Middle East and also what was once called the Near East.

The region is not one that I know well personally. I have been to Qatar twice on short visits, once in 2001 (when Doha was a rather pleasant and rather sleepy place) and again in 2008 (by which time it had become a horrible, dystopian and skyscraping sprawl). I spent less than a week in the Luxor Hilton in 1994, and another three months in Egypt in 1998 (Aswan, the Red Sea, Alexandria and the oasis of Siwa). I have also spent about 4 months in Turkey and Turkish North Cyprus.

The Gulf

What many younger people fail to realize is just how recent (in present form) are the phenomena we know as Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar etc. Take Abu Dhabi: when I was at school in England, aged 14, in 1970, there were a couple of rather unpleasant boys whose father was chief of police in Abu Dhabi, which was at the time a dusty desert enclave just beginning to profit from its huge hydrocarbon wealth. The British still supplied the senior military, police and other officials in Abu Dhabi at that time. Abu Dhabi, which had been known (right up to the Second World War) only for its pearls and for the slave trade, first struck oil in 1958 (or rather BP, as concession-holder, did). That first strike was followed by others, in 1959, 1962 and 1965.

The growth of Abu Dhabi in terms of population can be judged by the following progression: in 1960, the entire resident population of the city itself was 25,000. That grew to 50,000 by 1965 (though falling back to 46,400 by 1969). By 1995, the population was 398,695, and by 2014 was apparently 1,205,963, an increase of 31% even on the previous year! The latest estimate for the (entire) Abu Dhabi population (2018) is nearly 3 million! Abu Dhabi city (which contains about two-thirds of the entire population) was planned in 1967 for 40,000 inhabitants, which was changed in the 1970s (i.e. less than a decade later!) to a projection of 600,000. The present (2018) population of the city is said to number about 2 million. About 90% of the population of the emirate is foreign.

Qatar, likewise, is a very recent phenomenon in its recent form. Oil was discovered only in 1940, after which successive oil and gas finds in later decades transformed the small enclave once populated by a few thousand fishermen and pearl divers. The population of the entire sultanate in 1970 was 108,000, whereas in 2018 it is between 2.5 million and 3 million. As with Abu Dhabi and other Gulf Arab “states”, something like 90% of the population is foreign and that 90% does almost all of the work (from banking to street-sweeping), and has few rights.

I was once told, around 1977, by a construction person who spent his time in the Gulf, that he was engaged on constructing a new airport (I forget exactly where) there. He told me that the growth in the region (even then) had been phenomenal. I asked him where he thought that the Gulf Arabs would be by some date in the future (probably 2000, but I have in fact forgotten which year I specified) and he answered, cynically, “back riding their camels”! Well, he was wrong (if 2000 was the year), but I wonder whether he will be so wrong when looked back at from, say, 2050 or even 2030.

The Gulf “states” or statelets have no resilience: 90% of their population consists of expats, many of whom are from poor parts of Asia. The 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait showed that, for all their expensive Western military toys, the Gulf rulers and their forces are men of straw.

Some Gulf states are running out of hydrocarbons, others have understood that the demand for oil may have peaked with the development of other energy sources, and so have begun to diversify economically. However, in the end, the future for these socially-backward societies with their “ready-to-wear” (bought) Western toys and expertise may be not so good.

The Main Part of the Middle East

We have seen that, from the time of open proclamation of the New World Order [NWO] immediately after 1989, the NWO has destabilized the Middle East and North Africa. Israel is of course pivotal. The destabilization has, overall, helped Israel. Its major opponents militarily (Syria, Iraq) have been cast into chaos, Iran has been embroiled in conflict in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, Egypt has been further suborned and placed under NWO-controlled dictatorship, while even Libya (peripheral, but wealthy and always anti-Israel) has been broken up internally. There are now no regional armies able to pose an immediate threat to Israel, the “Zionist entity”.

Turkey

Turkey was, for much of the past century, a relatively static and relatively neutral player on the geopolitical stage. That was the genius of Ataturk, to make Turkey militarily-strong without (usually, much) using that power externally. Now, Turkey risks being drawn into the sphere of destabilization.

The Big Picture

The combined region of the Middle East and Near East has always been the stage for empires, among them the Alexandrine Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantine Romans, the Ottomans, the British; the French too (from Napoleon’s day until 1945). There were attempts by others to exercise imperial power: the Russians under both Tsarism and Sovietism; also, briefly, Iran under the Shah in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, beyond the strictly regional squabbling players, there are attempts at larger-scale control: Russia, the USA (i.e. the NWO), as well as, on a more limited level of power than the first two (and also than under the Shah), Iran again.

It is clear that the only solution to the problems of the regions, particularly of the core Middle East, likely to last long, will be the imposition of a supervening imperium which can subordinate all existing states to its control. That means that the Arab states and Israel would be ruled by this quasi-imperial power. It is equally clear that such an imperium does not exist. The Americans have huge destructive resources, but lack the imperial will and desire which would enable them to succeed the British, the Ottomans, Byzantium, Rome etc. That is also true of the Russians, who also can be described as largely “defensive” (wishing to defend their Southern flank as much as anything). The Iranians have not the power to make a substantial difference in this arena.

The conclusion is, to me, obvious: the future of the region is not another imperial or quasi-imperial chapter, but large-scale destruction only.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Dhabi

http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/abu-dhabi-population/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Qatar

 

7 thoughts on “The Imperial Vacuum in the Middle East and Near East, and Its Consequences”

  1. I don’t want to diminish the effort you’ve put into this article but to the average Brit one suspects interest in Matters Middle Eastern has never been at a lower ebb. The only reason we get our quotidian infusion of boredom on this subject in the media is the presence of a certain “shitty little state” and the ceaseless quarrels it engages in with its neighbours, usually via Western proxies and/or with Western tax support. Even the benighted “UK Column” is more like The Wog Intelligencer since that’s all they and their luftmensch “correspondents” seem to cover.

    More compelling is the threat of suicidal hostilities with Russia being worked up by our traitors in power. Then I suppose the Middle East might engender increased interest in the public mind if it were recognised as being THE flashpoint for another global White blood-letting.

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    1. You are of course correct to say that the problems of the Middle East (and elsewhere overseas) are of limited interest to the mass of the British public (leaving aside those who are not really British but who live here and may have British passports). I wrote about the issues because I think them important. To me, “one human soul is a big audience”, as someone or other (St. Augustine of Hippo? St. Dominic? St. Thomas Aquinas?) may have said.

      Since I started blogging nearly 2 years ago, some (not many) of my articles have only attracted a few dozen views, the majority have had a few hundred views, whereas others yet (always on domestic UK issues) have attracted many hundreds, with the top few reaching now the 1,000-view mark. I think that the top two articles are still that about my experience of being persecuted by the “Campaign Against Anti-Semitism” (with Essex Police helping them), and that analyzing the constituency of Barrow and Furness and its doomed pro-Zionist MP, John Woodcock).

      As you note, the superpower rivalry is paramount in the Middle East (and elsewhere), but it is not (as in the Cold War) ideological now, at least not on the surface.

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  2. This potty-mouthed youth presents a plausiible diagnosis of what’s really up with Khashoggi’s murder and Saudi Arabia, namely a likely pretext for regime change, given the basis of the petrodollar (bulwark of US global hegemony and indirectly of Israel) is potentially threatened by the distinct possibility that Saudi may be moving to deal in oil otherwise than exclusively for USD:

    @24m’25s onwards [WARNING: much gratuitous foul language]:

    https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/jaredhowesotospeak/S1E089STS.mp3?dest-id=638484

    https://www.jaredhowe.net

    If correct this signals profound changes (or strife) in the political landscape of the Middle East.

    Incidentally, I hadn’t forgotten that his uncle, Adnan Khashoggi, was of the Tribe, though I doubt you would have gained that intelligence from Private Eye, where he featured often iirc.

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    1. Thank you. I have to admit that I had no idea that Adnan Khashoggi was part-Jew! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adnan_Khashoggi
      In the 1970s, he was of course often featured in the Press, not least for his, er, social activities.
      I did wonder whether there was a familial connection to the recently-murdered journalist/activist. I had no idea that AK only died last year.

      Interesting speculative analysis, but why would NWO want to rock the Saudi boat when the Saudis are completely or almost completely under the NWO thumb anyway? Without “US” and “UK” etc (i.e. NWO) support, the Saudis are just tent-dwelling camel-drivers. Their “state” could scarcely exist for a day on its own. I am not so sure that it matters that Saudi Arabia will value its oil in other than USD. Surely that reflects only the dollar’s precarious present valuation?

      As with all the Gulf “states”, Saudi Arabia parlayed a “neutral” or “semi-neutral” position in the Cold War into vast wealth and a totally unmerited place at the diplomatic table. If they imagine that their huge wealth will save them from the wolves, they have misread history, not least the history of their own region.

      Having said that, it may be that the Saudis have outlived their usefulness to the NWO, and that their potential threat (though never made real) to the Israeli state means that they are to be destabilized as have been so many other states in the region in the past quarter-century (since the NWO was proclaimed in 1989 (openly by George Bush in 1990)). NWO would rather destabilize Saudi Arabia than have radicals capture its state power, air force etc intact. Any destabilization, however, would boost the power of Iran regionally.

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  3. Many complex and largely speculative issues, too many for a blog comment and not a subject I’ve looked at in any detail for years, but probably more for your readers’ information than yourself as you are already familiar no doubt I hereby shoot from the hip:

    1) true identity of the Saudi Royals / nature of Wahhabism

    https://web.archive.org/web/20120311190030/http://www.fortunecity.com/boozers/bridge/632/history.html

    Many points here echo content of David Livingstone’s “Terrorism and the Illuminati” (2007) a surprisingly good (and mainly plausible) read.
    Public indebtedness/deficit of USA is making the dollar look historically unattractive to an extent higher interest rates may not persuade lenders; but servicing that enormous indebtedness at increased rates may become difficult if not impossible. Assuming that the above about who the Saudi Royals are is basically correct, it’s factions within factions – and maybe there’ll be a local equivalent soon-ish of a Valentine’s Day Massacre. Kissinger brokered the petrodollar consensus in 1971 (?) when the USA went off gold linkage under Nixon, the attraction being that requiring dollars to settle international transactions in commodities (mainly oil) not only “backed” the currency (coupled with threat of US military intervention for oil States) but also enabled the US domestic political process to be manipulated with social programs demanding deficit spending but without runaway inflation – problem solved by exporting domestic inflation. I thought Mike Stathis of AVA Research wrote a detailed and penetrating article on the petrodollar and its geopolitical importance in the last ten years before its political significance really entered popular consciousness but I can’t find it right now. The likes of Jim Rickards have probably written a (less forthright) version somewhere or other.
    Also they fear the domino effect of chip-chipping away at dollar hegemony – Iran supplying its oil for Euros, Saudi potentially making a move likewise, who’s next? In the meantime, the dollar is hanging on in there – you only need to see the ongoing rise in inverse trackers for companies in emerging economies to know their dollar indebtedness means they’re trapped by the short and curlies and increased debt service costs have generated fear of coming economic turndown. Rinse ‘n’ repeat, as all this has happened from the 1970s onwards if not before – presumably facilitated by the relevant government officials in the likes of Latin American states in particular being of a certain… kidney.

    2) I personally don’t subscribe to the Cold War dialectic idea as for sure the NY banksters financed the 1917 revolution in Russia and the Soviet economy was supported by the USA in one way or another for decades. “Stalin” may have altered the ethnic bias of the regime but for all we know it may have regrouped and re-emerged in the many years since his doctors got to him. The idea, eagerly pushed by the media, of the “overthrow” of communism in 1989 is facile and the better analysis imo is indicated by Golitsyn in “New Lies for Old” – referenced in of all places, Pat Robertson’s “The New World Order” (1991), the Foreword:

    “On pages 83 through 89 of this book, I quote from Anatoliy Golitsyn’s book, New Lies for Old, written in 1984, which gives a startling and detailed account of the KGB plan that was actually played out in 1989 to lull the West with false “liberalization.” On page 81 I quote headlines from the New York Times which reveal a virtually identical program carried out by Nikolai Lenin in 1921, a program he called glasnost. Such precedents for deception should jolt the public conscience, but memories are short. As I kept track of events–actually the remarkable lack of them–during the August “coup,” it became all too clear that many facts just did not add up, except as an attempt to make the Soviet Union more palatable as a partner for the United States in the coming new world order…. ”

    I forget now all the other sources, for instance there’s a possibly relevant title in the Library of Political Secrets series from the mid-1960s-1970s “The Soviet-Israelite Claw Strangles The Arabs” but I’ve not read it for years.

    I appreciate this doesn’t do justice to your remarks but I’m just throwing out some points for consideration.

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    1. Further reply: in respect of the Golitsyn theories, I once teased a senior member of the Foreign Office Research Department with them, knowing that he would take the bait. He did! His urbane manner became quite sharp in refutation! It was rather rude of me, I having just had dinner with him and his wife, as well as his teenage and other daughters (the middle one of which –14 or 15 y o– was remarkably attractive and flirtatious– I was about 28 then). My view is that socialism in all forms did collapse after 1989, but that the inner core ruling the defunct forms of socialism just took on other coloration (as in the UK, where socialist Labour became non-socialist “New Labour”).

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  4. “but that the inner core ruling the defunct forms of socialism just took on other coloration”

    yep.

    Stathis’s exploration of the political significance of the petrodollar appears on pp 12 and 310-312 of his (unabridged) “America’s Financial Apocalypse” (2006). It’s not as detailed as the article I recall but I may have seen a copy of a copy…

    Regarding David Livingstone’s book I should add lest my above opinion appear too roseate that the text would have benefited from a copy editor’s touch and as I think GBS said of the Bible, it should be read with a critical eye; it contains the howler that the City of London is a sovereign state and cites a Henry Makow piece in support…

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