Reflecting on the Middle East, we unwittingly become hostages of the most complex combinations and contradictions. When logic is no longer an assistant, but intuition is the inheritance of the elect, we turn to storieswhose political portraits of his contemporaries find a lot of analogies. So, for example, G.A. According to his personal scope and strategic plans, Nasser can be comparable to Muhammad Ali of Egypt. They came to power, having carried out a military coup, both of which rebelled against empires: the first against the British, and the second against the Ottoman. These rulers foresaw the moment of the transfer of world power. And they did a lot.
However, each century (and generation) has its own revolution and its own upheavals. At times, it seems that human society is in dire need of shocks that enliven it and add stability in future trials. Revolutions always destroy the old order, offering instead something new, previously unthinkable. Thus, the Netherlands revolution (1568 - 1648 g.) Was destined to turn the XVI century, obstructing the power of the Habsburgs. The English revolution (1640-1660), based on the bourgeois principles of the Dutch, shook the monarchical Europe of the XVII century, putting an end to the hegemony of the United Provinces in international trade. The American Revolution (1775-1783), rooted in the philosophy of the French Enlightenment, undermined the values of the 18th century, dispelling the aura of English omnipotence. The Great French Revolution (1789 - 1799) stirred the XIX century, ending the feudal foundations of continental European societies, which gave legitimacy to the Anglo-American model of capitalism on a planetary scale. The Great October Revolution (1917) defined the vectors of human development in the 20th century, showing how national projects can organically coexist with supranational federal governance.
Based on these examples, is it possible to consider the events in the Middle East as the Great Arab coup? How to evaluate regime change in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen; civil wars in Libya and Syria; mass protests in Turkey, Israel, Bahrain, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Djibouti and the Western Sahara? The author will try to answer these questions.
Coups like a sign
At first glance, chaotic and uncontrolled, coups in the Arab-Muslim world reflect a very interesting trend: the countries that took the brunt of the protest wave - Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria occupy about 80% of the coast of the Southern and South-Eastern Mediterranean. And this means the following: the political forces that will govern these countries will seize control of oil and gas supplies to the European Union and China, with all the ensuing consequences. In addition to the designated economic centers of power, great damage may be inflicted on Russia, the most powerful nation state on the international energy market. The guarantor of the stability of Gazprom’s position on the European market is Damascus, which is holding back the aggressive plans of Doha; the fall of B. Asad will mark the output of Qatar’s gas transportation infrastructure to the Mediterranean Sea, its ability to freely transit raw materials from the giant gas field “North” located in the territorial waters adjacent to Iran (and its South Pars field).
Judging by Russia's foreign oil policy, based on Rosneft’s strategic partnership with ExxonMobil’s US, the country's leadership, represented by President V. Putin, perfectly assimilated the negative experience of the USSR, to which, as we recall, R. Reagan’s administration organized a dumping war. Agreeing then with the allies to increase the production of "black gold" in the Arabian Peninsula and in the North Sea, America forced the dismantling of the world socialist system. And now, if successful on the Syrian front, Washington, relying on the raw material reserves of Doha, has every chance of moving the conflict zone into the interior of our country. The stakes are incredibly high. At stake is the global pricing of oil and gas, on which the integrity of not only individual countries but also the entire international system formed after World War II will depend.
Rosneft and ExxonMobil do not lose time: 13 February 2013 they expand the scope of cooperation under the strategic cooperation agreement 2011, including in addition about 600 thousand square kilometers (150 million acres) of exploration area in the Russian Arctic offshore, potential participation of Rosneft (or its affiliate) in the Point Thomson project in Alaska and a joint assessment of the possibilities of implementing the LNG project in the Russian Far East (4). The agreements provide for exploration of 7 new areas in the Chukchi Sea, the Laptev Sea and the Kara Sea. 6 March 2013, the parties went even further: Neftegaz America Shelf LP (Neftegaz), an indirectly independent subsidiary of Rosneft, acquires 30% of the ExxonMobil deepwater blocks in the Gulf of Mexico to conduct geological exploration in according to the signed agreement (20).
Considering that the changes affected those countries on which the postwar US dominance in the Middle East was based, the prospects for the dollar-centric world look more than vague, because the US dollar exchange rate, which President R. Nixon relieved of 1971 from quasi-gold provision, depends entirely on oil prices .
The departure of M. Gaddafi and H. Mubarak (despite the counterturn of the military, who overthrew 3 in July 2013 by M. Mursi) means the end of the Nasser political line aimed at dismantling British influence in the Arab-Muslim world. Egypt, with its population in 85 million, and Libya, with its large oil reserves, previously stabilized the political landscape of the Arab-Muslim world, ensuring uninterrupted oil supplies for industry giants such as ExxonMobil, Texco, Chevron and Gulf Oil. ". The current situation is alarming.
The changes affected even the country that forced them - Qatar. 25 June 2013 Amir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani abdicated in favor of his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. It would seem nothing special: the father passed the reins to his son. But the geopolitical consequences of this event did not take long to wait - the Egyptian military launched a counter-coup on 26 June, displacing the Qatari client a week later. The civil movement “Tamarod” (“Uprising”), which united the liberal and secularist opposition, including the “Front of National Salvation”, gathered millions of its supporters on the streets of Cairo, Port Said, Suez, Monophia and Sharqiya.
The most interesting event happened a few days after the arrest of Mursi, when “Katarges company informed Egyptian gas holding that it undertakes to provide the ARE with“ blue fuel ”according to the agreements reached earlier,” namely, “will give five batches of gas in the summer months ”(5). The new emir of Qatar sent congratulatory telegrams to the new president of the country, A. Mansur, setting an example for the UAE intending to provide Cairo with significant economic assistance. While under Mursi, Egypt received economic support only from Qatar and Turkey, now Saudi Arabia provides about 5 billion dollars, the United Arab Emirates - 3 billion dollars and Kuwait - 3 billion dollars.
Where does such generosity come from? Why are these countries so changeable?
The answer lies in the foreign policy ambitions of M. Mursi, who tore up 15 in June of this year. diplomatic relations with Syria, declaring B. Assad and Hezbollah a “holy war”, implying the direct participation of the Egyptian army in the war against Damascus. And then the former allies came to their senses. It is one thing to finance the Syrian opposition and blow up the country from the inside, and it is completely different to allow the Egyptian army to leave the borders of the state, which undoubtedly upsets the balance of power throughout the macroregion. At best, Saudi Arabia (where the internal conflict between the clans smolders), and with it Qatar and the United Arab Emirates would be under the military influence of Egypt, at worst they would crumble like a house of cards, as was the case with Iraq. The Arab monarchies, seeing the hopelessness of the position of their protégé, who could not solve the problem of the lack of hard currency, fuel and grain in large cities, decided once again not to risk it. The refusal of the IMF to the government of M. Mursi in a loan in the amount of 4,8 billion dollars only confirmed their doubts.
Economists who study the evolution of the planetary political system reasonably believe that “throughout the capitalist era, financial expansion testified to a transition from one mode of accumulation on a world scale to another”; “They are components of the current destruction of the“ old ”regimes and the simultaneous creation of new ones” (1). It is difficult not to agree with such a statement. However, it should be remembered that each financial expansion marks only the final stage of the redistribution of power; the event preceding it is a large-scale conflict between nation states. With their inherent aggression and perseverance, they are fighting not only for territory and population, but also for money, in order for this money to be in the right place at the right time.
History shows: after the Westphalian Peace 1648, the international system, as if by magic, is modified at the beginning of each new century. And this happens in the intervals between the first and second decades. Thus, at the beginning of the 18th century, the War for the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) turned out to be in the epicenter of international politics, weakening the hegemonic positions of France in Europe; the confrontation of Louis XIV with England undermined the overseas power of the French, allowing the British to juggle the continental balance of power. With inherent for the XIX century. on a scale, Napoleon's wars also fell on a similar period of time (1799-1815), bringing chaos into the world-political system, to which Britain would respond by expanding its colonial possessions in East and South Asia.
The 20th century close to us also did not become an exception to the rule. The First World War (1914 - 1918), the epoch-making human tragedy, will shatter the British former confidence in their abilities, forcing them to check the clocks of their Middle Eastern policy with the Americans. However, the reconfiguration of hours has not yet guaranteed the observance by the British of American interests, another world war was needed for London to accept the conditions of Washington for the redistribution of oil resources of the Middle East. As is known, this whole process corresponded to the scheme of F. Roosevelt, promulgated to British Ambassador E. Halifax during a meeting at the 18 White House in February 1944 G.: “Your Persian oil,” he told the ambassador. - We will share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi oil, it is ours ”(3). In order to make America’s voice even louder, Secretary of State E. Stettinius proposed including provisions on the guardianship rights of individual countries in the UN Charter, provoking W. Churchill’s outrage: “Under no circumstances would I agree that the ryty fingers of forty or fifty nations dealt with issues of vital importance to the British Empire. As long as I am Prime Minister, I will never give a single share of our inheritance ”(6). But London had to do it, the capital of the once all-powerful empire could not single-handedly curb the systemic chaos of international relations. Chaos control turned out to be too expensive for a country shrouded in a multi-billion dollar public debt.
Does America B. Obama repeat the fate of Britain in the 20th century? The question is open. Especially when it comes to US government debt, which by the end of 2013 will be 106,6 percent of GDP - 17 trillion. 453 billion dollars The voices of venerable experts are sounding louder, believing that economic recovery in the West Bank of the North Atlantic after the 2008 crisis is possible only with the help of the Great War. Maybe the Great Arab coup is the prelude to such a war?
From the point of view of historical comparison, much converges with previous eras. The great Arab coup, launched in December of 2010, has been going on for two and a half years and is likely to last as long. We are witnessing a crucial period in history, similar in its consequences to the epochs of Louis XIV and Charles II of Spain, Napoleon Bonaparte and William Pete Jr., Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. The only difference is that previously financial expansion was carried out within the framework of the territory of the historical West (Western Europe and North America), and now the world money supply is concentrated around Russia and China. Despite the former greatness of the Russian empire and the USSR, our country has never before had such political options as it does now. The Great Arab Coup, which has embraced the international system, opens the way for non-Western national projects, among which the Russian project is the youngest and most promising.
Tsaturyan Sarkis Aramaisovich - Master of Science in International Relations, Postgraduate Student, Department of Theory and History of International Relations, RUDN University; coordinator of research projects of the Center for Strategic Estimates and Forecasts (www.csef.ru).
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