The Name of the Game Is Geopolitics and Status Quo
Major media, including the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Guardian for example –which align with the war hawks in both parties – imply that Joe Biden’s his seeming disinterest in the Middle East stems from being “wrapped up in domestic issues”, and by the continued “pivot to Asia”.
But this is a diversion, away from the “bigger picture”, which reveals that the instability in the whole of southwest Asia, including the Israel-Palestine question, results from the hegemony of British geopolitics in defining U.S. policies in the region. The “endless wars” since the 9/11 attack on the U.S. are a continuation of the geopolitical doctrines which have shaped the region since the British intervention in the last decades of the 19th century. The destruction in recent years of nationalist regimes in Iraq and Libya, the continuing drive for regime change in Syria and Iran through murderous sanctions, and support for Saudi genocide in Yemen – all with full backing from Biden and his foreign policy team (with the exception of a minimal pullback of some military aid to the Saudis in regard to Yemen) – are consistent with London’s efforts to prevent sovereign governments from emerging in the region.
The biggest threat to those London-Washington forces comes from the prospect that Russia and China will support nationalist governments in the region that reject the “Rules-Based Order” that is being imposed by U.S.-U.K.-NATO military power. Russia has done so in aiding Syria, and China may do so in extending the Belt and Road Initiative into the region as the basis for reconstruction. Joe Biden has thus far committed himself to the “status quo”, not only in defending the war hawks’ policy against Syria and Yemen, and in supporting Israel and the Saudis, but in moving more aggressively for regime change against both Russia and China.
Antony Blinken’s tour this week thus seems to be more about optics than a substantive change in the unilateral policies coming from Washington, in league with London. In the absence of a break with geopolitics and the failure to engage in serious projects of real economic development, the ceasefire will likely have a short shelf-life, and the fuse is waiting to be lit for another explosion.