While we were being distracted by the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war – and Washington’s increasing involvement in the war – tremendous developments in the Middle East have all but ended decades of US meddling in the region. Peace is breaking out in the Middle East and Washington is not at all happy about it!
Take, for example, the recent mending of relations between Saudi Arabia and formerly bitter adversaries Iran and Syria. A China-brokered deal between the Saudis and Iran has them re-establishing full diplomatic relations, with the foreign ministers of both countries meeting in Beijing last week. It is the highest level meeting between the two countries in seven years.
Additionally, Riyadh is expected to invite Syria back into the Arab League and Syrian president Assad may attend the next Arab League summit. Syria was suspended from the Arab League 12 years ago when then-US allies in the Middle East signed on to Washington’s “Assad must go” policy that wreaked havoc across the region.
And the nearly decade-long war in Yemen, which has devastated that population, appears to finally be ending, as Saudi Arabia is expected to announce an end to its US-backed war on that country. Troops from the United Arab Emirates are leaving Yemen and a Saudi delegation is arriving to negotiate a peace deal.
To normal people the idea of peace breaking out in the Middle East is a wonderful thing. But Washington is anything but normal. President Biden dispatched his CIA Director, William Burns, to Saudi Arabia in a surprise visit last week. According to press reports, Burns was sent to express Washington’s surprise and frustration over the peace deals going through. Biden’s foreign policy team “has felt blindsided” by Saudi Arabia’s sudden move to get along with its neighbors.
Washington is angry that Saudi Arabia will start trading with Syria and Iran because those two countries are still under “crippling” US sanctions. One by one, as these countries begin ignoring US-demanded sanctions, the entirety of US foreign policy is being exposed as a paper tiger—just bluster and threats.
Middle East developments have revealed a dirty secret about US foreign policy. Washington has for a long time used a “divide and conquer” strategy to keep countries in the Middle East – and elsewhere – at each other’s throats. Sanctions, covert operations, and color revolutions have all been used to make sure that these countries do not get along with each other and that DC controls who runs the show.
As unlikely as it may seem to some, China has moved into the region with a different policy. China seeks business partners, not to manipulate the internal politics of the Middle East. They may be ruthless in their own way, but it is suddenly clear that the countries of this region are tired of US meddling and are looking for new partners.
We non-interventionists are often attacked as “isolationists,” but as I have always said, it is the neocons and interventionists in Washington who are really isolating us from the rest of the world. Nowhere is that more evident these days in the Middle East. It didn’t have to be this way, but if this is the end of US meddling in Middle East affairs then ultimately it is a good thing for the American people…and for peace.