Syrian protests and US strategy in Lebanon

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Syrian protests and US strategy in Lebanon

Since the beginning of the summer, more and more reports began to appear in the media about the activation of the United States in the Syrian direction. Incidents in the air with Russian aircraft began to occur one after another, and additional American units with light armored vehicles were deployed across the Euphrates. The total increase in the contingent amounted to 2,5 thousand military personnel, which is quite decent by local standards.

Characteristically, now friction in the air occurs not only with drones, but also with F-35 fighters. This is a small but important detail, since the United States has not previously conducted such “tests” for its equipment. In past years, F/A-18 and F-22 operated there from them. Blows were exchanged several times between American and pro-Iranian forces, and Israel increased strikes on the warehouses of pro-Iranian formations.



It is logical that when a series of civil clashes and protests began in the summer, especially in southwestern Syria, observers attributed this to the return of the United States to the methods and practices of color revolutions. Unrest has actually become a frequent phenomenon, given the period of two years of relative calm and the general conciliatory trend of the Arabian monarchies with Damascus and Tehran.

There is no doubt that such methods and programs are working again - just look at how various offices have become more active, "studying" human rights in Syria from the western side.

But in fact, the roots of the situation are somewhat deeper.

Roots deeper


Some time ago, the author made two materials: “Why Lebanon's finances have become the object of US scrutiny" and "On the growing risks of a crisis in Lebanon". The subjects of the articles have been US activation in the field of control over dollar flows in the region and consideration of the technology and interrelations with which different players take these flows out of the view of US regulators.

The US decided to take care of the financial sphere of Lebanon, as well as Iraq, not just for the sake of an abstract putting things in order. This is part of the strategic concept, where all the "correct" ones should be gathered in one place, Turkey is docked to the EU, and all the "wrong" ones - Syria, the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iran - are forced out of the new Middle East bloc.

Disconnecting the wrong players from dollar flows, players who perfectly use the internal channels of money movement, but, more importantly, the American payment systems themselves, is a non-trivial and ambitious task for the United States.

Especially taking into account the fact that the Arabian monarchies not only turned a blind eye to this, but also joined in the normalization of relations between official Damascus and tribal Arab associations of Trans-Euphrates. Actually, the transfer of an additional American contingent is designed to slow down these processes.

The financing of Syria can be divided into two large and not very overlapping parts - the public sector, which pays a very small state salary and social programs, but the infrastructure is literally restored from ruins, and the private sector.

The influx of money into the public sector is ensured under sanctions by small regional trade, trade with Russia, the supply of oil and oil products, as well as grain and flour from Iran (however, it is no secret that a significant part of Iranian purchases from us is intended specifically for Damascus), small Arabian (UAE), Chinese and Iranian tranches.

In the private sphere, everything is much more interesting, and for this let’s look at some numbers.

The average salary until recently was 120-150 dollars at a rate of 5 Syrian lira (until this summer).

At the same time, the official rates are 90–110 thousand Syrian liras. You can imagine what this means if you consider that a kilogram of simple rice cereal cost approximately 9 thousand, and the distant analogue of shawarma cost 5 thousand.

Rates that are multiples of $200 are considered good in the country, $350-400 are great, and $1 or more can get “not just everyone”, you have to work in the right place and be connected by good family ties.

How do they survive in Syria, especially how do they return former refugees (albeit in a very limited number so far)? And most importantly - where do they get the difference between official and real income?

For this, the dear reader needs to remember our domestic history early 1990s. Compare official rates and what they lived on. Here is the same, to put it in a florid language, "two-loop" economy worked then in our country, it works today in Syria.
The government is forced to look at these internal market affairs with understanding, since all available funds are invested in infrastructure - there will be no infrastructure, there will be no country, but people need to live.

And a special system of Middle Eastern money transfers, pawnshops and depositories, as it helped the Syrians in past difficult years, so it helps now, but its main source is in Lebanon, where a significant part of the same second economic circuit is the monetary system of the Hezbollah movement. This is precisely the second monetary system, and not just a shadow transfer of cash from hand to hand. Its details are just described in one of the previous articles.

What happened in the middle of this summer?


Interesting fresh material was posted by A. Kochneva, who lives permanently in Lebanon (this is the same journalist who was kidnapped by Syrian militants in 2015). She just cited the August prices in Damascus and the fresh rate of the Syrian lira. The exchange rate is 13 thousand per dollar, and the same rice of inexpensive varieties is already worth 14 thousand. Salaries in lira, of course, remained at the same level. They may be raised, but very gradually.

Protests went through the cities, and Druze communities also joined them. But, it is clear that it was not exchange rate fluctuations as such or price increases that triggered protests, price fluctuations are not new, but the fact that dollar cash, with which the population on the second circuit covered their real needs through Lebanese and Iraqi channels, regional small trade, has become dry up. Dollars have become less not so much in the state, but in the private sector.

In Russia, they periodically wrote about the situation in Syria this year, but for some reason, Lebanon completely dropped out of the reviews, even more was said about US financial restrictions on Iraq, although Iraq is ranked second here relative to Lebanon. But without analyzing the situation in Lebanon, it is absolutely impossible to understand the problems in Syria, and the activation of the United States in Lebanon is connected with their current Indo-Arabian strategy (which, by the way, is also not mentioned in our country for some reason).

It is absolutely no coincidence that the intensification of financial control measures that the United States began in Lebanon, i.e., limiting Hezbollah’s participation in Lebanese official politics to the maximum extent possible for the United States, coincided with protests in Syria and simultaneously with armed clashes in Lebanon. It was this summer that there were outbreaks of violence in Palestinian camps, the most famous of which was the fighting in Ein al-Hilweh.

The skirmishers were affiliated with Al-Qaeda cells (banned in the Russian Federation) groups. The synergy of actions in this direction with Israel is undoubted, but this is precisely the synergy of the efforts of a private Israeli strategy with a regional American one.

The representatives of Fatah, against whom these actions were directed, are not, for obvious reasons, close to Hezbollah, but the addressee here is no longer even the movement itself, but the official Lebanese government, which today also acts synergistically with Hezbollah.

But in fact, it moves many government contracts through its structures, which is equal to financing not only itself, but also private trade in the same Syria.

Lebanon is now in a severe financial crisis, which is precisely connected with the lack of liquidity in the banking system, while Hezbollah has been doing surprisingly well until recently. The United States decided to break this link with the Lebanese executive power, simultaneously engaging in the rehabilitation of the entire system of money transfers in the region.

The media pays more attention to the movement of the American army in Syria and incidents in the air, the protests are covered to varying degrees, but the protests are a consequence of changing US approaches to the region, and army activity is only a small part of the mosaic.

In fact, Washington has long understood that the situation cannot be changed in its favor by force, but Syria itself is not some kind of strategic goal.

Washington's bet on controlling financial flows in this region is interesting in its ambition. If you look at the situation from the American bell tower, then the approach is essentially correct - instead of cutting down the branches, they decided to pour pesticides on the roots of the tree.

And the problem here is that the roots of this financial system are so intertwined between all regional states that there is a chance to affect those areas that are a priority for the States themselves, such as Yemen, or neutral, like Jordan. The United States has always been distinguished by large-scale and well-thought-out strategies, which ultimately collapsed due to problems in local control. From the outside, the “strategy container” looked ideal, but the bottom usually turned out to be like a sieve.

So far we see that regulations for systems like Western Union and activity in terms of demands on Lebanese big business and politicians are having some success.

There are also results for the United States in terms of strengthening military contingents - it has become easier for them to control the transportation of goods from Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, which has already caused an exchange of blows with pro-Iranian formations.

As we can see, a difficult (although much more difficult) time has come in Syria, when Damascus and its allies will have to launch additional channels for pumping and collecting dollars for the population.

But how the United States will be able to implement the strategy as a whole depends on too many factors. Thus, Saudi Arabia is in no hurry to join the Indo-Arabian concept. She is either joining BRICS, or is going to think about it before January 1, she seems to agree to strengthening the American presence in the Persian Gulf, but is very active in terms of normalizing relations with Iran.

And without the participation of Riyadh, a return to a full-fledged confrontation between the trans-Euphratic Arab tribal unions and the government of B. Assad is impossible, respectively, and the new contingent will not give the effectiveness that Washington is waiting for.

patchwork quilt


The second problem that the United States is unlikely to adequately resolve is the peculiarities of the Middle East political process as such.

It is interesting that the United States has always tried to present this region as a place of tyranny and dictatorship, tribal archaic, but in Lebanon alone, more than fifty political parties and movements officially operate. If we take Yemen, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria, then there will be more than three hundred of them. And all of them are active and participate in political life. Somewhere they are joined with national, ethnic and tribal factors, but somewhere they are not.

This is such a peculiar legacy of the Cold War, after which many movements of anarchist, socialist, religious, nationalist persuasion remained in the Middle East, and even in various combinations, like pan-Arab socialism.

It is actually very difficult to swing such a political patchwork quilt and it is quite difficult to repeat the Arab Spring even with the proven technologies of color revolutions - a lot of factors must coincide.

The same Druze communities, about which the Western media write as alleged drivers of the summer protest, are considered “anchorites” - they did not welcome either official Damascus, or radical Islamists, or civil activists of the “Arab Spring” in Suweida. But they did not interfere with Damascus, they did not hit in the back at a critical moment.

Now they are writing about the fact that the Druze have risen against, but the protests are not massive, and in the Druze communities themselves there are political movements allied with the Baath, there are anarchist socialists, etc. The hero of Syria, General I. Zahreddin, who kept him from ISIS for three years ( prohibited in the Russian Federation) in a complete siege, the city of Deir es-Zor on the Euphrates, was a Druze, like many officers of the army of B. Assad.

Explosion of civil strife in Syria in 2011–2012 Basically, it had not so much social problems (although they were considerable), but a factor of large-scale drought, which shifted tens of thousands of people from their traditional places of residence.

Nevertheless, we see that the United States has so far been able to achieve certain results by playing one round. And having achieved them, they, no doubt, will continue to put pressure on them not just with demonstration actions in Syria, but with much less media-hyped, but much more effective actions in Lebanon.
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  1. 0
    1 September 2023
    Each US administration feeds its own and not only bankers and vice versa.
    Where to invest the loot is also decided by the team.
    New century - new bankers, "new Rockefellers" ..
    unrelated to the old ones?
    1. +4
      1 September 2023
      Well, financial instruments are a method of pressure tested by the USA. The question is how systematically they will apply them. This is a very swampy swamp - Arab and Persian mutual settlements.
    2. +3
      1 September 2023
      Quote: antivirus
      Each US Administration

      The main mistake of the author is a stagnant view of the processes in which BV is the subject of interests of external "colonial" forces, not being an active player with its own interests. A sort of tribe of backward natives who can only follow other people's interests, as if it were the 1970s. The inertia of thinking does not correspond to reality.

      Saudi Arabia is in no hurry to join the Indo-Arabian concept. She either joins the BRICS, or is going to think before January 1.

      Prince Salman has his own, clear and detailed grand plan to merge the region in the next decade, following the example of European integration, improving living standards and education, scientific and technological development, multi-vector economic development. He wants to see BV equal the EU in all respects by 2050. A new center of influence capable of competing with the US, EU and China in all aspects of development, from medicine to space exploration.
      Roughly speaking, he sees BV as a superpower-level Confederation by the end of the century.
      And the "Indo-Arabian concept", like the BRICS, is for him only secondary tools, and not the main goal. And the Saudis will most likely accept both, but not in order to integrate into someone else's system, but to use its tools to create their own, which will interact with other people's systems on an equal footing. They need time to "think" to evaluate and plan how these programs should benefit their own plans.

      The devil is in the details. Recently, the press of the region slipped the news about the Saudi-Palestinian talks, in which Abbas "set his conditions" for the normalization of relations between Saudi and Israel. So, unlike the original "Saudi Peace Initiative", which was invented by Salman's grandfather, and which set obviously impossible conditions for Israel, Abbas's conditions are frankly scanty and insignificant, from the position of the petitioner and according to the principle "even a tuft of wool." He is ASKING the Saudis to talk Israel into giving it a little more autonomy and diplomatic access to a future Saudi embassy....in JERUSALEM!!!
      This suggests that the normalization of relations between the SA and Israel is an ALREADY DECIDED issue in which the Palestinians were given the right to vote purely for the sake of appearances.
      And this, in turn, suggests that the Saudi grand plan is advancing at full speed, right on schedule and ahead of schedule.

      but very active in terms of normalizing relations with Iran

      Which only confirms the implementation of the Saudi program. Salman needs to minimize Iranian interference in the internal affairs of BV through various illegal groups and militants. And the best way is to negotiate.
      This peace agreement, on the one hand, hobbles Iran in illegal methods of influence, leaving it only diplomatic channels, and on the other hand, it will give it legitimate economic access to the platform of the future BV union.
      And it will give the Saudis leverage to force Iran and Israel to cool down their confrontation, at least to the level of Turkey's confrontation with Greece, allowing at least indirect economic interaction, the benefits of which will outweigh Iran's ideological antagonism.
      1. +5
        1 September 2023
        For the prince, I2U2 + may be secondary, but for the United States it is still paramount. It is not at all a fact that they will "stretch" this project, but so far it is a strategic and, importantly, an integral structure.
        The negotiations between Palestine and Saudi Arabia are actually very interesting, I completely agree here, they should be monitored. But there is a nuance. Although not a nuance - you are aware of the attitude of the current American Administration to the issues of reform in Israel in general and the problem of the West Bank and settlements in particular. Washington will certainly insert its "five kopecks" into this topic. It is not at all a fact that in the end Riyadh will not agree to I2U2 + S, knocking out its rightful place. The question is that Salman, quite logically, does not want to finance this association as the first number, but, in fact, India's technological breakthroughs. The tangle there is interesting, but I don’t remember something that I considered the processes in the region only as a “play of external forces”, which you called an “old approach” winked . It’s just that for some reason we don’t write anything about various Abrahamic agreements and I2U2+, and even though these ideas are external to the region by origin, they have a considerable influence. This does not mean that the players do not have their own strategies, they do, it's just that Washington's ideas must be taken into account.
        1. +2
          1 September 2023
          Quote: nikolaevskiy78
          For the prince, I2U2 + may be secondary, but for the United States it is still paramount.

          You did not understand. US interests do not play any role. There are existing India-Israel, India-UAE, India-SA links. And in the I2U2+ initiative, the US is the designated facilitator designated players in the regionas a notary. And if the Israeli-Saudi normalization has already moved into the category of "set a date and specify the nuances", then I2U2 + has already been resolved. Whether the United States will be in it or not is no longer important. The main task of I2U2+ is to withdraw the entire region from external influence. It's no secret that Israel itself is the scene of undercover economic squabbling between the US and China, who are competing to see who can pour more money into its economy. The same is happening on a smaller scale in other countries in the region, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Salman, on the other hand, wants to push most of the American and Chinese capital out of the region's economy in the future, replacing it with local capital, which is now half dead weight. And he wants to start with Israel, which plays a key role in his plan, as a scientific and industrial locomotive. According to rumors, he planned up to a trillion dollars for this scientific and industrial cooperation until 2050. Starting from investments in Israeli universities (which have already begun quietly and without publicity), to the creation of common research centers and production facilities. And there are grandiose plans - AI, thermonuclear energy, manned space, and so on.
          I2U2+ in this scheme is the foundation on which everything will grow.
          BRICS, on the other hand, is the foundation of foreign trade and a platform for establishing independent horizontal ties.
          Therefore, he will enter both programs. There is no "either-or" situation here, and no one can impose it on him.

          Quote: nikolaevskiy78
          The talks between Palestine and Saudi Arabia are actually very interesting

          This is a populist front for domestic consumption, Salman just needs a tool to quickly legitimize relations with Israel, in the eyes of the population of the region, who have been brainwashed with hostility towards the Jews for almost a century.
          But long-term programs are also already working, a whole galaxy of religious leaders whose task is to gradually reduce the inertia of Islam's hostile thinking towards Israel and reverse it. The task for decades, what was created by several generations, cannot be eradicated immediately. But he has a trump card - he is the guardian of Mecca and Medina.

          Quote: nikolaevskiy78
          you are aware of the attitude of the current American Administration to the issues of reform in Israel

          Oh yeah, this is hysterical. You can’t refuse them foresight, they sense a loss of influence - that’s why they twitched. But Israel is not Ukraine, the number with the puppets will not work, even with the victory of the "left-liberals", they will remain "at their own" at most, that is, they eat with the right of an audience out of turn. The very fact that Israel let the PRC in as a counterbalance and gave them a platform almost equal to the United States (when they stopped getting impudent in the 90s) long ago made the Americans understand that with any attempt to twist their arms, they will find someone to push their foreheads against.

          Quote: nikolaevskiy78
          The question is that Salman, quite logically, does not want to finance this association as the first number.

          Wants and will. He needs a "controlling stake", and to put to work the assets accumulated over the century. But he will not block minor third-party investments either, there is never a lot of money, especially for such purposes.

          Quote: nikolaevskiy78
          technological leaps in india

          Tied to Israel, and began with the beginning of partnerships in these areas. The same wants and Salman, and at the same time fasten India to the region, as the United States fastened the PRC in the 70s, for the sake of a source of unlimited labor. And as a strategic partner in nuclear security, because whatever one may say, the Israeli nuclear umbrella will not be enough for the entire region, and Israel’s monopoly on nuclear weapons will not be touched until the mentality of the region changes and the Jews do not need such guarantees of their security. Therefore, the nuclear program of the SA will be exclusively civilian.

          Quote: nikolaevskiy78
          It’s just that for some reason we don’t write anything about various Abrahamic agreements and I2U2 +

          Because apparently they have realized the fact that the region ceases to be a platform for the games of external forces, and therefore is no longer of interest in this vein. That it is stupid to talk about the interests of your opponents (and your own), where these interests are not the determining vector of processes.
          Roughly speaking, it makes no sense to repeat the joke about how "first the enemy occupied the forest, then we recaptured it, and then the forester came and kicked us out nafig."
          And the forester, in fact, has already arrived.

          Quote: nikolaevskiy78
          but they have a significant impact.

          As long as it does not contradict local interests, otherwise opposition begins, and the further - the more successful. The smart ones adapt, the stupid and arrogant are forced out.

          Quote: nikolaevskiy78
          This does not mean that the players do not have their own strategies, they do, it's just that Washington's ideas must be taken into account.

          The strategy of the Indians does not excite the sheriff. And in the role of the Indians are now not local. Everything is taken into account, otherwise how else to control them and designate the limits of what is permissible.
          1. 0
            1 September 2023
            I understand that you consider the current situation as de facto controlled from Riyadh. But the reassembly of the region under the wing of Saudi Arabia should have certain conceptual foundations. There should be an integral concept that will link a lot of interests of regional players and, which is typical, will link mainly at the expense of the author of the concept. In the early stages, at least. And here there are certain problems, since such a concept, for various reasons, must take into account the system of checks and balances from Libya to Iraqi Kurdistan.

            So far, it is not noticeable that at the level of the Arab League or the same GCC, Riyadh acted precisely as the author of the general concept. The first among equals, of course, but here are the questions with the concept.

            The fact that the United States frankly stumbles over the intransigence of the prince is apparently perceived as "playing number two", well, actually just your thesis about "Indians and the sheriff." Yes, Riyadh knocked out direct answers from Sullivan on work in Yemen, and this is clearly seen in his speeches this May. But the issue with Iran has already turned out to be closely linked to Chinese diplomacy, in Syria there are still unresolved contradictions with Qatar. This is more of an individual position than a concept where the interests of other players are linked. Riyadh is still reminiscent of a spider in the center of the web, which is sensitive to fluctuations and inserts just more of its percentage everywhere, because there is something to bargain. But the question is, is the web exactly woven by him or only partially? So what about the Indians and the sheriff is another question. Maybe we're just talking about two sheriffs, just different ranks.

            About Israeli normalization. Here is also a controversial, I think, the thesis that Riyadh is "ready to press the reset button." So far, I see the situation on the contrary - Jerusalem is ready to reboot, but Salman's demands on the Palestinian problem just look much tougher than Abbas (Abu Mazen) even advocates. It even looks interesting from a certain point of view, considering that today there is going on around the settlements and in general the approaches of such authors of the "solution of the issue" as the same Smotrych. And Salman is well aware that, given the views of the American administration, they just need to act tough and demand the same from Washington. He will earn a lot of points on this.

            And what about the Israeli-Chinese initiatives, sort of related to Iran. These ideas were included in our analytical reviews a few months ago (I heard and read them several times), but where they came from is the question. In general, in our media, they often simply broadcast the agenda not even of the conservative US party, but directly of the MAGA (such as the US withdrawal from Europe, withdrawal from the Middle East, strengthening in Southeast Asia), no matter how it turns out that this thesis has roots somewhere there . Why and for what it is necessary to look separately.
            1. 0
              2 September 2023
              Tomorrow I will answer on all points, it is inconvenient from the phone, and the computer has already turned off. hi
              1. 0
                2 September 2023
                Yes, let's comment, especially since I want to make a separate material on this topic. You can discuss. Well, now Zayefratye has woken up, a lot of interesting things are happening there too, the Turks have already actively connected there. I wrote back in the spring that Iranian-Saudi normalization would inevitably lead to tribal activity in the oil fields. But whether the Turks will be able to take advantage of this is an interesting question.
                1. +1
                  3 September 2023
                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  Zaefratie has woken up, there is also a lot of interesting things going on, the Turks have already actively connected there.

                  Iran is diversifying vectors of interests. request

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  I wrote back in the spring that Iranian-Saudi normalization would inevitably lead to tribal activity in the oil fields.

                  Well, it could not be otherwise, there is a patchwork quilt with a bunch of patrons.
            2. +1
              3 September 2023
              Quote: nikolaevskiy78
              you view the current situation as de facto controlled from Riyadh

              More directed than controlled.

              Quote: nikolaevskiy78
              But the reassembly of the region under the wing of Saudi Arabia should have certain conceptual foundations. There should be an integral concept that will link a lot of interests of regional players and, which is typical, will link mainly at the expense of the author of the concept.

              The concept has been there for a long time, it just has never been voiced publicly and in its entirety. When Salman was young and green, right after high school, he started working for his grandfather as an errand trainee. He gave a series of interviews to small regional media, and in each he described his vision of one or another aspect of the future of the SA and the region, in one he spoke about medicine, in another about science, in the third about economics, and so on. It would seem - the fantasies of a young idealist. But if you take a squeeze of these (really long and tedious talks) and combine them together, a single thoughtful plan emerges, drawn up by a serious analytical group, taking into account many nuances and emergency moves. But even this I took as a populist project, as an abstraction. But then Salman, in portions, but quickly began to receive power from his grandfather, until he became the acting King. And then there was a "small internal incident" - the dispossession of two hundred snickering kindred princes for almost a trillion dollars. Exactly the amount that loomed as the start-up capital of his project. And the further - the more pieces of the puzzle fall into place, convincing me that this plan is real, alive and moving forward, and much faster than I predicted. Not one point at a time, but several in parallel.

              Quote: nikolaevskiy78
              such a concept, for various reasons, must take into account the system of checks and balances from Libya to Iraqi Kurdistan.

              The Arab mentality and clan system do not work like that. They obey the strong and rich, no one guarantees anyone any freedoms and liberties, it will be a tough but well-fed dictatorship according to the Singapore model, only strength and power are valued in BV.
              Israel rakes away problems precisely when it is led to the Western howl about "liberalism" and lowers its tight rein. And when he takes the enemies by the throat, they obediently bow, but then a howl rises in the west. And Israel will gladly dump the role of guardsman on future partners in the confederation. Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas twitched about what, they understand that later it will not work to harm Israel without affecting Saudi interests, and when the Arabs beat the Arabs, the "common people" and liberals do not care. And the Saudis will not arrest anyone - they will send the same fanatics to cut their throats and flood the streets of "freedom fighters" with blood (and this has already happened). Therefore, Abbas ran to bow to Riyadh - he realized that the clock was ticking.

              Quote: nikolaevskiy78
              The US openly stumbles over the intransigence of the prince

              They don’t want to lose the initiative and their position as a plug in the barrel, but he needs just the opposite, so that they do what he needs and dump him into the auditorium.

              Quote: nikolaevskiy78
              But the issue with Iran has already turned out to be closely linked to Chinese diplomacy.

              Iran is needed by the PRC as a cheap gas station, and they will do everything to keep it that way, in principle they are doing it now, without selling them anything more technologically advanced than a washing machine. In addition, they are afraid of technology leakage, the Iranians are already selling everything to the Mossad and the CIA almost from the KB, and nothing helps, they are in the top ten from the bottom in terms of corruption.

              Quote: nikolaevskiy78
              in Syria there are still unresolved contradictions with Qatar. This is more an individual position than a concept where the interests of other players are linked

              Assad was given a chance, hinted through the Arab League that he could fit into the program, but for this he needs to stop looking back at Tehran. He can get money to rebuild the country. And by signing peace with Israel - and help in eliminating the centers of Islamists (as Egypt and Jordan received), and even the Yankees will remove the troops and begin to pay for the oil produced. This was announced on the sidelines, but Assad is still hesitating, apparently waiting for a Saudi-Israeli settlement (to make sure that this is not a mess) and the outcome of the next Hezbollah war with Israel, through which Iran will try to disrupt the settlement. He wants to make sure that the strength of the members of the union that he is offered is undeniable even in principle. But there is a danger that Iran will bang him, feeling that the puppet is cutting the threads.

              Quote: nikolaevskiy78
              but Salman's demands on the Palestinian problem just look much tougher than Abbas (Abu Mazen) even advocates.

              This is a public game. Otherwise, ordinary people will not understand him. Even the most totalitarian tyrant is forced to look back at public opinion. And the population of the region has been driven into hatred for Israel for generations, especially the peasants and proletarians, and this cannot be corrected in a year, all that remains is to disguise all steps under "so be it, let's condescend to a favor." The same tactics are used in Jordan so as not to anger their inhabitants, and Israel treats with understanding. As I said - changing public opinion is a long process and there is simply no time for it, so we have to break the comedy.

              Quote: nikolaevskiy78
              It even looks interesting from a certain point of view, considering that today there is going on around the settlements and in general the approaches of such authors of the "solution of the issue" as the same Smotrych.

              An old circus with a new sauce. It's just that this time Western NGOs bucked up, stepping on an oxygen hose. The only bad thing is that right-wing conservatives had to make an alliance with outright radicals in order to stop this relapse, this adds to the costs.

              Quote: nikolaevskiy78
              And what about the Israeli-Chinese initiatives, sort of related to Iran.

              Yes, there are no initiatives there, it’s just that the PRC made it clear to Iran that they will not tolerate real threats to the existence of Israel, such as attempts to attack with weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, the anti-Israeli rhetoric in Iran has gone down a bit.

              Quote: nikolaevskiy78
              no matter how it turned out that this thesis has roots somewhere there

              The centers of influence are transnational and decentralized. There are gunsmiths, financiers, merchants and industrialists. And the whole global game of pulling the blanket is between them, of course they are not a "secret world government" from conspiracy theories, but they have a huge influence, Trump and Musk, for example, from the camp of industrialists, and the same Soros from financiers. Therefore, it is pointless to look for the roots of the thesis, it is important who implements it and who rides it. But this is already a whole separate topic, and political science alone cannot reveal it, you will have to delve into history, sociology and even anthropology. hi
              1. 0
                3 September 2023
                Thank you for such a comprehensive answer. good

                In general, it would be interesting if such a large-scale strategy of Riyadh took place. In principle, the moment is not ruled out that the prince does not implement it initially, but simply gradually develops a similar concept. After all, the United States also went through stages to the current model of work in the region. At first, all these agreements of Abraham were just a reactive response from Trump, then they grew into a concept. I had an article on this topic, it was laid out right there in stages.
                Salman could well delve into this topic with age, and if at first he wanted to expel sybarites and refresh the heads of his hardened relatives, incidentally returning excess funds "to the base", then technological modernization and renewal, then an equilibrium approach in terms of the cost of raw materials and adequate capitalization, then in In principle, he could later take a swing at geopolitics.
                Your ideas about the original big plan have, I think, a certain vulnerability - the fact that he was drawn into the wars in Yemen and Syria, and it was very clearly visible even at that time that there were not "anti-Iranian" roots, but a project to redraw everything region, and completely not in the interests of Riyadh. There, even Qatar won more, which ultimately affected their relationship. In Yemen, they and the UAE are bogged down to their very ears, although given how things are going with us in terms of Ukraine and the "strategy" there, what is called "whose cow would moo" request . Nevertheless, it is a fact and it was strange to play on several boards at once in the interests of others, having lost a decent amount of money from Salman. I do not rule out that in the end this formed the basis for the prince's personal rejection of any US strategies and concepts in the region. I do not exclude.

                But let's assume that the idea of ​​having such a geopolitical plan for Salman is correct, i.e. its task is to form not an "Indo-Abrahamic" or similar bloc that the US proposes, but a strong Arab macro-cluster, with normal relations with neighbors in such a macro-cluster.

                And here many pitfalls will come out. The first is that although Saudi Arabia is the custodian of the Shrines, it is the first among equals in the tribal table of ranks, although here, from time to time, the "communal apartment neighbors" have a lot of questions. He will have to unite such comrades as the UAE and Qatar with a common project-vision of the future.

                But in addition to the project, he will have to face a second pitfall - more than the previous one. What Islamic project can he propose? Turkey is weaker, but as usual, the Ikhvans work on their conservative flank, and on the external so-called. "Political Islam". These have been worked out for years. What will the prince oppose to them? After all, they will still have to be linked with various pan-Arbists-socialists, religious utopians, like the Sudanese ideologists, all this must be included in the current political agenda. In principle, the Arab world itself, and even more broadly the Islamic world, is waiting for such a project - it may even, somewhere in the depths, gradually mature, but will the prince and his entourage raise it? Question.

                The third point is that any unification in this region, assuming that someone wants to build it as a geopolitical project, should be based on control over the grassroots financial system. So far, it is based on the US dollar, gold and, in fact, American payment systems. Without control over this instrument, it is impossible to manage the flow of goods within the region and ensure the main thing - the liquidity of the bazaars. The United States, until the last moment, simply did not need it, and now they themselves have gone to drain this swamp and there is a suspicion that they will drown there. In any case, such a project would require a common regional currency, such as the "Arabian dinar". The most interesting thing is that the UAE-Qatar-Saudi trio has real opportunities to do this, but who will convince them of this? To do this, you need to go through stone number one and stone number two.

                And this is only a part of the questions. The topic can be developed in many more positions. However, it is quite possible that the prince harbors such ideas and something breaks through in an interview, in the end, if everything goes well, he will rule as much as we would just stretch winked

                In the meantime, Iran has decided to stretch a railway line through the south to Baghdad. hi
                1. +1
                  3 September 2023
                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  that he got involved in the wars in Yemen and Syria

                  And he had no other option to slow down the spread of Iranian influence in the region. They simply did not have time to begin to stop the consequences of the “Arab Spring” and skim off its cream in time; Iran came to the rescue faster.

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  it was strange for Salman to play on several boards at once in the interests of others, having lost a lot of money

                  It's not a loss, it's an investment. Moreover, with money that still did not bring any significant benefit. Money for which there was no place in significant investment markets (those through which geopolitics can be influenced), so he invests in the very creation of such a market.

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  this formed the basis for the prince’s personal rejection of any US strategies and concepts in the region

                  Including. The USA doesn’t need an independent BV. Yes, no one needs him except BV himself.
                  But here a unique situation has arisen. An interesting precedent has arisen. The region has clearly understood that the Israeli scheme of balancing the contradictions of global players in its own interests works great if these players are hooked in sensitive places.
                  And it turned out that it is scalable. The Saudis tried this on the oil hook, and voila.
                  Now the United States is ready for a more independent BV, so that it does not end up under the PRC, and the PRC is ready for this, so that the BV does not remain under the United States. In addition, the planet is limited, if there is no place else to get new channels of financial development from, then they must be “born”, and a new global player is the source of new channels.
                  At the top of the financial pyramid of the world, profit itself has no meaning, just like money in principle, it is one big Rummikub, the main task of which is to maintain dynamics in the system, to drive money blood through the financial arteries. Companies must compete, rise and fall, otherwise stagnation will set in, and the world of stagnation (lack of dynamics and competition) will quickly (on the scale of history) degrade and collapse - the economy of the USSR clearly proved this.
                  But again, this is another separate topic.

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  The first is that Saudi Arabia, although the custodian of the Holy Places, is first among equals in the tribal table of ranks, although even here from time to time the “neighbors in the communal apartment” have a lot of questions.
                  First among equals is a populist cliché to be fed to the plebs. This is the same as asserting in all seriousness that the Russian Federation and Belarus are absolutely equal partners, or the United States and the EU countries. But that doesn't happen in the real world.
                  There is a strict hierarchy in the table of ranks. And at the top of the BV food chain there are two “warring” countries with identical interests, which, over decades of connections at the intelligence level, have muddied this whole movement. Moreover, the first of the interests is not common opponents (such as Iran), but a common “big brother”, whose regular attempts to tell us how to live have become quite boring and the desire to determine the vector of development ourselves, and not to be a figure in someone else’s game.

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  He will have to unite comrades such as the UAE and Qatar with a common project-vision of the future

                  The UAE is already in the game, Qatar is breaking down. But he will have no choice, they will simply make him “an offer he cannot refuse.”

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  What Islamic project can he propose?

                  The “Islam of the Future” project is a concept within which Islam is not a civilization of wild Papuans on suicide cars, but a civilization at the forefront of progress, as it was in ancient times. Salman proposes an Arab-Islamic RENAISSANCE.

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  After all, they will still need to be linked with various pan-Arbist socialists and religious utopians

                  They will simply be driven under the bunk, radicals without the support of external forces are nothing, a gang of marginals. And this is exactly what Salman is doing now (the same peace with Iran), he is creating new external agreements that will be more beneficial for external players than rocking the boat by radicals. And it works - how dashingly the Houthis changed their shoes in a jump and suddenly became ready for a peaceful solution to the conflict cannot be appreciated without sarcasm.

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  So far it is based on the US dollar, gold and essentially American payment systems. Without control over this instrument, it is impossible to manage the flow of goods within the region and ensure the main thing - the liquidity of the bazaars.

                  And this is the task of the Saudi and Israeli lobby in the United States, to make sure that the Yankees do not pry too much, while their currency is used in the initial stages of the project.

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  In any case, such a project will require a common regional currency, such as the Arabian dinar.

                  Rather, it will be a cryptosystem; this is the only way to promise equal trading conditions to participants and comply with Islamic morality about finance.

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  The most interesting thing is that the UAE-Qatar-Saudi trio have real opportunities to do this, but who will convince them of this?
                  Nobody, Katara will be twisted or left behind.

                  Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                  In the meantime, Iran has decided to stretch a railway line through the south to Baghdad.

                  100 years late, but better late than never.
                  1. 0
                    3 September 2023
                    Well, yes, only families like Tanya, Khalifa, Maktoum, etc. are left. agree to this arrangement.

                    They have already tried to twist Qatar's hands, but it didn't work out for a long time. As a result, there is a Turkish military presence in Qatar. They didn't spin for very long. In the United Arab Emirates in Yemen, the island and Aden have not been divided. Yes, actually, the point is not in the island, but in the fact that Yemen is a dynastic cradle. It was not so easy to put together a coalition there.

                    I kind of do not argue that Salman is not opposed to reaching the level of full-fledged geopolitics, but this matter in those realities requires too much consensus between the main clans and surnames. Maybe it will be achieved, but this is a distant and not the most obvious future.
                    1. +1
                      4 September 2023
                      Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                      Well, yes, only families like Tanya, Khalifa, Maktoum, etc. are left. agree to this arrangement.

                      What do they disagree on? Is there any outright opposition on their part?

                      Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                      In the UAE in Yemen, the island and Aden were never divided.

                      And Turkey and Greece have a whole network of islands, which does not prevent them from remaining members of the same alliance. request

                      Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                      this is a distant and not the most obvious future

                      Wait and see.
                      1. 0
                        4 September 2023
                        I think they don't agree with the question itself. laughing
                        Actually, both Aden and the story of the “blockade”-“boycott” of Qatar are quite indicative.
      2. 0
        1 September 2023
        Quote: And Us Rat
        Quote: antivirus
        Each US Administration

        The main mistake of the author is a stagnant view of the processes in which BV is the subject of interests of external "colonial" forces, not being an active player with its own interests. A sort of tribe of backward natives who can only follow other people's interests, as if it were the 1970s. The inertia of thinking does not correspond to reality.

        Saudi Arabia is in no hurry to join the Indo-Arabian concept. She either joins the BRICS, or is going to think before January 1.

        Prince Salman has his own, clear and detailed grand plan to merge the region in the next decade, following the example of European integration, improving living standards and education, scientific and technological development, multi-vector economic development. He wants to see BV equal the EU in all respects by 2050. A new center of influence capable of competing with the US, EU and China in all aspects of development, from medicine to space exploration.
        Roughly speaking, he sees BV as a superpower-level Confederation by the end of the century.
        And the "Indo-Arabian concept", like the BRICS, is for him only secondary tools, and not the main goal. And the Saudis will most likely accept both, but not in order to integrate into someone else's system, but to use its tools to create their own, which will interact with other people's systems on an equal footing. They need time to "think" to evaluate and plan how these programs should benefit their own plans.
        The devil is in the details. Recently, the press of the region slipped the news about the Saudi-Palestinian talks, in which Abbas "set his conditions" for the normalization of relations between Saudi and Israel. So, unlike the original "Saudi Peace Initiative", which was invented by Salman's grandfather, and which set obviously impossible conditions for Israel, Abbas's conditions are frankly scanty and insignificant, from the position of the petitioner and according to the principle "even a tuft of wool." He is ASKING the Saudis to talk Israel into giving it a little more autonomy and diplomatic access to a future Saudi embassy....in JERUSALEM!!!
        This suggests that the normalization of relations between the SA and Israel is an ALREADY DECIDED issue in which the Palestinians were given the right to vote purely for the sake of appearances.
        And this, in turn, suggests that the Saudi grand plan is advancing at full speed, right on schedule and ahead of schedule.

        but very active in terms of normalizing relations with Iran

        Which only confirms the implementation of the Saudi program. Salman needs to minimize Iranian interference in the internal affairs of BV through various illegal groups and militants. And the best way is to negotiate.
        This peace agreement, on the one hand, hobbles Iran in illegal methods of influence, leaving it only diplomatic channels, and on the other hand, it will give it legitimate economic access to the platform of the future BV union.
        And it will give the Saudis leverage to force Iran and Israel to cool down their confrontation, at least to the level of Turkey's confrontation with Greece, allowing at least indirect economic interaction, the benefits of which will outweigh Iran's ideological antagonism.
        hi From my point of view, the article is interesting, although not entirely indisputable. Thank you for the comment with additional information and its assessment!
  2. 0
    1 September 2023
    Democracy games are always flawed. Few people remember how strongly the economies of these countries were developed. Everyone wanted freedom and equality, as if someone forcibly deprived them of all this. Here is the result for you.
    1. +2
      1 September 2023
      I believe that the United States did not take into account the development of democratic institutions in the Middle East. Sounds, I understand, rather strange and even unusual. Still, we strongly associate the region with "dictatorship", clan system, and so on. Without canceling the factors of clans and religious tensions, it should be noted that political activity there is very high. Having stirred up the system of checks and balances, which at the very least worked there until the Arab Spring (in Syria and Lebanon, for sure), the States themselves opened the way for Iranian influence and got a wasp swarm that fought with each other. To stir up, to stir up, but as usual "something went wrong" and it was not possible to take the processes under control. This is a kind of regional paradox.
      1. +3
        1 September 2023
        Quote: nikolaevskiy78
        The states themselves opened the way for Iranian influence and received a wasp swarm

        And the region woke up. And this is a natural phenomenon, when a foreign body invades, the immune system is activated. Now Iranian influence is slowly being eroded, and the Saudi peace treaty and Saudi-Israeli normalization have put them in a box they didn't expect but can't avoid.
        Iran hoped to finish off what the Americans had shattered and puppet with disparate regimes through carrots and sticks, and ideally put their puppets at the head of the BV countries, but did not calculate their strength.
        While it was about exhausted Iraq and Syria, everyone was silent, but the buildup of Yemen forced everyone to wake up and consolidate.
        Iran realized that either the world with the right to access the economy of the region, or its influence will sooner or later be uprooted and left in isolation, out of the processes.
        1. 0
          1 September 2023
          But was Iran really at the origin of the confrontation between the Houthis and their opponents? It is possible that the game was less straightforward, but more ambitious, but not in the interests of the Iranian project, but the "Hashemi" one. In the end, it turned out as it turned out, but what was the initial scale of the idea :-)
          "Difficult but Necessary Lessons from the Yemeni Conflict" from 17.04
          https://topwar.ru/214923-slozhnye-no-neobhodimye-uroki-jemenskogo-konflikta.html
          1. +3
            2 September 2023
            Quote: nikolaevskiy78
            But was Iran really at the origin of the confrontation between the Houthis and their opponents?

            And this is no longer important, he took advantage of it to the fullest and that was enough.

            Quote: nikolaevskiy78
            but "Hashemitic"

            The Hashemites are a political bankrupt. The leash from their economy (as well as from the Egyptian one) is in the hands of the Saudis. From water infrastructure and the supply of military products in the hands of Israel.
            1. 0
              2 September 2023
              Well, the Americans in past years, when they rushed about the Greater Middle East project, did not think so. They raised "disintegrators" throughout the region. And then they went their separate ways. Over in Syria, in Deir es-Zor, local Arabs are once again burning wells, and this time the SDF and Kasad may even be kicked out of the fields of Omar. Although not a fact, you have to look.
              1. +1
                3 September 2023
                Quote: nikolaevskiy78
                Americans in past years, when they rushed about the Greater Middle East project

                And the Middle East looked at all this indecency and decided - "Well, what the hell, let's better decide everything ourselves, in a family way, until these crazy people with a new idea of ​​​​doing good and causing peace do not gallop!" laughing
  3. 0
    5 September 2023
    In Lebanon, after a protracted political crisis, there is finally hope for a possible election of the president of the country ... as here you are, the next mass demonstrations of the population. Indeed, the Americans know how and manage to muddy the waters everywhere. In addition to them, the British used to hang out there with paddling pools, but then they were sent off by mattress covers.
    1. 0
      5 September 2023
      I think that today they decided to try a more systematic approach.

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