Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Bitcoin War Begins – Bitcoin Cash Rises 50% While Bitcoin Drops $1,000 In 24 Hours - Jeff_Berwick
2.Fragile Stock Market Bull in a China Shop -James_Quinn
3.Sheffield Leafy Suburbs Tree Felling's Triggering House Prices CRASH! - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Bank of England Hikes UK Interest Rates 100%, Reversing BREXIT PANIC Cut! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Government Finances and Gold - Cautionary Tale told in Four Charts - Michael_J_Kosares
6.Gold Stocks Winter Rally - Zeal_LLC
7.The Stock Market- From Here to Infinity? - Plunger
8.Ethereum (ETH/USD) – bullish breakout of large symmetrical triangle looks to be getting closer - MarketsToday
9.Electronic Gold: The Deep State’s Corrupt Threat to Human Prosperity and Freedom - Stewart_Dougherty
10.Finally, The Fall Of The House Of Saud - Jim_Willie_CB
Last 7 days
Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals Q3 2017 - 17th Nov 17
The Social Security Inflation Lag Calendar - Partial Indexing - 17th Nov 17
Mystery of Inflation and Gold - 17th Nov 17
Stock Market Ready To Pull The Rug Out From Under You! - 17th Nov 17
Crude Oil – Gold Link in November 2017 - 17th Nov 17
Play Free Online Games and Save Money Free Virtual Online Games - 17th Nov 17
Stock Market Crash Omens & Predictions: Another Day Another Lie - 16th Nov 17
Deepening Crisis In Hyper-inflationary Venezuela and Zimbabwe - 16th Nov 17
Announcing Free Trader's Workshop: Battle-Tested Tools to Boost Your Trading Confidence - 16th Nov 17
Instructions to Stop a Dispossession Home Sale and How to Purchase Astutely at Abandonment Home - 16th Nov 17
Trump’s Asia Tour: From Old Conflicts to New Prospects - 16th Nov 17
Bonds And Stocks Will Crash Together In The Next Crisis (Meanwhile, Bond Yields Are Going Up) - 16th Nov 17
A Generational Reset That Will Redistribute Wealth to the Bottom 60% Is Near - 16th Nov 17
Ethereum (ETH/USD) – bullish breakout of large symmetrical triangle looks to be getting closer - 16th Nov 17
Gold’s Long-term Analogies - 16th Nov 17
Does Stripping Streets of ALL of their Trees Impact House Prices (Sheffield Example)? - 15th Nov 17
The Trump Administration’s IP Battle Against China - 15th Nov 17
5 Ways Bitcoin can Improve its Odds of Becoming the Future of Money - 15th Nov 17
These Headlines Say Gold is Building a Base for Something Big - 15th Nov 17
Protect Your Savings With Gold: ECB Propose End To Deposit Protection - 14th Nov 17
Gold on the Ledge, Trend Forecast - 14th Nov 17
The Unbearable Slowness Of Fourth Turnings - 14th Nov 17
Silver Sign’s Confirmation & More - 14th Nov 17
Could This Be The End for Tesla? - 14th Nov 17
Harry Dent’s Fourth Cycle: More Evidence of Stock Market Downturn - 14th Nov 17
Why Having Good Credit Is Important If You Want to Invest - 14th Nov 17
The Bitcoin Bubble Explained in 4 Charts - 13th Nov 17
How the US Has Secretly Subsidized China to Produce Eco-Unfriendly Solar Panels - 13th Nov 17
The Increasingly Unstable Middle East Must Be On Every Investor’s Radar - 13th Nov 17
Stock Market Critical Supports are Being Challenged - 13th Nov 17
The One Chart All Investors Should See Before 2018 - 13th Nov 17
Short-Term Stock Market Uncertainty Following Recent Rally, Will Stocks Continue Higher? - 13th Nov 17
Is Hillary Just the “Fall Guy” for the Intel Agencies and their Moneybags Bosses? - 12th Nov 17
Stock Market Correction Phase - 12th Nov 17
Finally, The Fall Of The House Of Saud - 12th Nov 17
Bitcoin War Begins – Bitcoin Cash Rises 50% While Bitcoin Drops $1,000 In 24 Hours - 11th Nov 17
E-franc, E-krona... E-volution? - 11th Nov 17
Gold Investment Stalled - 11th Nov 17
Smart Ways to Get Loans Online - 11th Nov 17
What Can Pot Teach Us About Economics and Government? - 10th Nov 17
Can Stocks and Bonds go Down at the Same Time? - 10th Nov 17
Gold Market 2017 Will We See a Replay of 2015 and 2016? - 10th Nov 17
Oil markets turn bullish with shift to backwardation - 10th Nov 17
The Strange Behavior of Gold Investors from Monday to Thursday - 10th Nov 17
Where to Start Your Cryptocurrency Company - 10th Nov 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Forex Trading Free Week

Syria, Iraq... US Picks Wrong Friends, Wrong Enemies, Wrong Fights

Politics / Middle East Aug 11, 2014 - 12:15 PM GMT

By: Raul_I_Meijer

Politics

There are presidential elections in Turkey today, and current prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks set to win. Which means the US will have a definitely uncomfortable bedfellow in the Eastern Europe/Middle East region (the borders between the two are not terribly clear) in the coming years.

Erdogan has recently become a very loud opponent of Israel – and all the world’s Jews – , and US relationships with him had already been cooling way before this latest foray into ‘international diplomacy’.


Turkey is a secular state, and as such an indispensable buffer zone between religious spheres. But Erdogan knows he needs the votes of the muslim population in his country, which makes up about 98% of the total 76 million. And now the US will need him, and Turkey as a whole, perhaps more than ever. Obama may have some sucking up to do.

Like Erdogan, his neighbor, Syria’s President Assad, has been an unwanted ally. Last year, accusations of poison gas used in his fight against Al Queda linked rebels backfired on Washington, which managed to save face – but only sort of – when Obama asked Vladimir Putin to convince Assad to give up his chemical weapons. Which he did.

Over the past while, out of the boondoggle US invasion of Iraq, a new group has risen, the Islamist State (IS) – formerly ISIS. Much of their weaponry consists of US arms seized from the Iraqi army.

President Obama last week ordered targeted airstrikes on their positions near the Kurdish city of Erbil, which has a US Embassy, and is not far from the giant Mosul dam.

Today, the president prepared Americans for the fact that this may be a long term operation. Weeks, months. Where have we heard similar things before?

One good look at this WSJ map (click to enlarge) of hotspots in Iraq would seem to make it clear that airstrikes in just one place may indeed not do much of anything.

And besides, Iraq was never a country, only a western invention. The Islamist State are Sunni, then there’s the Shi’ite, and the Kurds the IS are presently fighting, and who also happen to have millions of people just across the border in Turkey. Nice mix, right?

The Islamist State’s main adversary so far – besides the Iraqi army – has been Assad. Now, they have started to threaten Turkey as well. Erdogan earlier this year decided to close the Ataturk dam on the Euphrates River (of Fertile Crescent fame), cutting off the water supply to northern Syria (which includes Islamist State base camp city Raqqa) and, further downstream, large parts of Iraq. Here’s the flow of the 1700 mile-long Euphrates:

And here are the parts of Syria and Iraq presently assumed to be under IS control (the blanks spots are mostly inhospitable terrain, mountains, deserts):

It’s obvious why the Euphrates water is important to the IS. And why they seized control over the Mosul dam (a spot, by the way, that the US cannot risk bombing).

Water is at least as precious in the Middle East as it is in the southwestern US these days.

In a video series made by VICE (see below), an IS member says Erdogan should open the dam or they will conquer Istanbul and do it for him.

Blocking people’s access to water as a warfare tool is something international law frowns upon for obvious reasons. And Erdogan isn’t even at war with the Islamist State. Yet.

Will the US be able to stay out of the war if the IS decide to expand northward, over the Turkish border? It’s certainly not going to be easy.

Meanwhile, America’s main allies are an Israel basher and a butcher with the blood of thousands upon thousands of his own people on his hands. With wrong friends like that …

There is one man in the world without whose – absolutely indispensable – assistance nothing the US come up with, will work.

He’s already helped Obama out of a very tight spot once, and he could do it again. He carries a lot of clout in the region, probably more than anyone else in the world. And knows it better than anyone else.

But that man has in record time gone from one of America’s allies, and an almost-friend of Obama, to the number one public enemy.

Obama, and Washington as a whole, may yet come to regret alienating Vladimir V. Putin the way they have.

There is no way this did not cross Obama’s mind just before he ordered the airstrikes.

Here are the videos from VICE (first 2 released in a series of 5):

The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group that formerly had ties to al Qaeda, has conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group has announced their intention to reestablish the caliphate and declared their leader, the shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the caliph.

Flush with cash and US weapons seized during recent advances in Iraq, the Islamic State’s expansion shows no sign of slowing down. In the first week of August alone, Islamic State fighters have taken over new areas in northern Iraq, encroaching on Kurdish territory and sending Christians and other minorities fleeing as reports of massacres emerged.

Elsewhere in territory it has held for some time, the Islamic State has gone about consolidating power and setting up a government dictated by Sharia law. While the world may not recognize the Islamic State, in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group is already in the process of building a functioning regime.

VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining unprecedented access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings. In part one, Dairieh heads to the frontline in Raqqa, where Islamic State fighters are laying siege to the Syrian Army’s division 17 base.

The Spread of the Caliphate: The Islamic State (Part 1)

Grooming Children for Jihad: The Islamic State (Part 2)

By Raul Ilargi Meijer
Website: http://theautomaticearth.com (provides unique analysis of economics, finance, politics and social dynamics in the context of Complexity Theory)

© 2014 Copyright Raul I Meijer - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.
Raul Ilargi Meijer Archive

© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife