Comment: Syria, Iran & Saudi Arabia...Appearances

Le Petit Parc - Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Apparent victories, apparent defeats. Appearances deceive.

The Syrian deal, reached last summer, appeared to have been a Russian success and a Western defeat. However, the victory was actually granted to Israel (unwittingly or not): a chemical threat - that had been denied for over 30 years - has been removed from its way.
Russia justified the Levant's chemical arsenal as a way to counter the Israeli menace; but now that the Syrian weapons are on their way to destruction, I wonder how Syria intends to counter the "Jewish threat"?
Bashar al-Assad, and his father before him, was always good in keeping the status quo when it came to the Golan Heights (perhaps because he read all the relevant literature and knows very well that those heights belong to Israel) but whomever succeeds him may not share the proclivity to maintain the status of things, therefore we must start thinking of scenarios where Syria will either restock its chemical arsenal or make use of Jihadist activity against Israel.

The Iranian deal, celebrated last November, appeared to have been a Western victory and an Iranian success. However, the victory was surprisingly granted to Israel for if Iran fails to keep its side of the bargain, and everything starts to point in that direction, the Jewish State will be validated to deal with the Persian problem in any way it sees fit.
I am not quite buying the recent love-making between the US and Iran. I can't show enthusiasm because we have been down this road before: President Bush's administration cooperated with Iran (to capture Al-Qaeda elements and fight the Taliban in Afghanistan) however it all ended when President Bush realised that Iran kept supporting terrorism, around the world, and had misled the West with its nuclear programme.
When we read Iranian declarations such as "We have put in 1,000 centrifuges of the second generation (IR-2m), but we have not injected the UF6 gas into them given the ongoing nuclear talks," we may want understand this sort of statement is for domestic consumption; but at the same time we have to ask ourselves how far Iran is willing to go to assuage domestic fears...

The fit Saudi Arabia had last year, by rejecting a UN Security Council seat (one it lobbied so heavily to get), appeared to have been well founded given the Saudi disappointment in the US. But once again, appearances deceive.
Saudi Arabia rejected that coveted seat because it realised what being in the UNSC really meant: it signified to be on the spotlight (which carries with it a heavy burden of responsibility). At the UNSC, the world would suddenly realise that Saudi Arabia does not contribute with one cent to the Palestinian "Refugees" problem and Cause (leaving it all to the West); the world would also realise that Saudi Arabia is actually responsible for most of the Sunni Islamist problem and mass conversions in the West, Africa and Latin-America; we would all realise that the Arab League Star moves in the Western arena to protect its own interests and outrightly play against westerners; and if Saudi Arabia had taken that seat, it would have had to show America that it plays a double game most of the times and, thus, it would've been precluded from voting alongside the US...a true conundrum it would have been. So, the easiest solution is to pretend to be a political brat and turn down the seat...that way the Saudi game remains preserved...or so they think.

"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu


  1. That's actually a good question, what will Syria do after it's done with internal fighting? I didn't think about it. Iran is lying with all the teeth they got. Come on, who are those dudes trying to kid? They announce they have put more centrifuges but then go on saying ah we didn't put gas cause we are talking with the guys who are going to cut down the sanctions...come on!

    1. Hi Adam :D!

      I am starting to think about the post-civil war as well and the implications for Israel - things can get chaotic, if al-Assad exits just like that. But there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel: intel agencies are working together with the Assad government to mitigate the Jihadist advances and influence. Let's see how things will go, right? :)

      I admit it is odd, the Iranian episode. But I will discuss it more later on.

      Adam, always a pleasure, mate: thank you so much for your comment :D.


  2. I am worried about the situation in Syria as no peace deal is in sight. All those women and children suffering and all those displaced people just breaks my heart. I hope the Geneva meeting goes well!
    Iran is showing good will and I'm confident about this deal! From January 20 they will destroy their enriched material and slow down their program, how can this not be a good thing?

    1. Hey Celia :D!

      It is worrying.
      You are confident about the Iranian deal despite their history of having fooled us before? I admire your positive attitude, for I am sceptical.

      Celia, thank you ever so much for your comment :D.


  3. Saudi Arabia showed her true colors if you ask me! Finally, the Saudis revealed their two-faced nature, didn't they?
    Iran, we all know they lie but at least Obama seems to have conscience of that and warns them if they fail, sanctions will be imposed! Syria is a lost case.

    1. Hi Ana :D!

      Yes, they did, darling. And it was strange and wonderful (at the same time) to see it.
      Indeed, indeed.
      You quit on Syria so soon? My goodness...where's your faith, woman?

      Ana, thank you ever so much for your comment :D. Always a pleasure.


  4. Hey Max, sorry for the absence, this month is being crazy. I totally agree with you, what's up with America? Getting offended in politics and demanding apologies from Israel, are they nuts? I thought Obama was stopping kissing the Arab ass! I don't get him at all now, his administration is out of touch.

    1. Hey Carl :D!

      It's quite all right. You visit us whenever you are available or feel like it - there's no pressure in our domain ;).
      Something is up but I am not sure of what it is exactly. But it looks bad.

      Carl, mate, thank you so much for your comment :D. Always a pleasure.


  5. Olá Max,

    I second everything you said about these countries. But this week, I prefer to comment on your thought of the week: I am beginning to be disappointed at Mr Kerry. He is not doing a very good job in the peace process; yes, everybody keeps saying that there is something behind all this but come on, and I know very well what politics stands for! I feel like we are going back in time repeating the same mistakes!
    And now the US gets offended? With what? The truth? Disappointing...
    When are you writing about Israel, dear?

    1. Olá Celeste :D!

      All right, let's hear it:
      True, politics is about perceptions and PR and it is a fact that this peace process is not going as expected. Something is off (besides the usual suspects). I hear you on the past mistakes.
      I wonder since when diplomacy got so....mushy.
      Ha...stay tuned, darling, stay tuned ;).

      Celeste, thank you so much for your comment :D. Loved it.


  6. "All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu

    Love that quote, and very appropriate.

    The middle east is a game of chess that never ends. Give away a rook to get the Queen. The Saudis are masters at playing the game of smoke and mirrors. Slight of hand. They play on the fact that the Arab tribes have never got along, even without Israel being in the equation. They have been playing the U.S. for a fool as long as I can remember. Thanks to families like George Bush et al playing footsy and getting rich. At least we know Iran is the big bad wolf. Nothing grey there.

    In a nutshell the middle east is a mess. What it all comes down to is I blame Sir Lawrence of Arabia for helping them get control of the oil and rich, trading in their swords for bigger and badder weapons. Yes, my tongue is a little in my cheek of course. -_^ And oh yeah, look what happened with the Arab Spring. I would much rather have a military despot in control than the religious fanatics. Just saying.

    Thanks for the great post Maxine. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

    1. Hi Blog Bloke :D!

      Welcome to our domain *bowing*.

      It is a great quote, isn't it?

      I agree with you on the Saudi game of smoke and mirrors. Everybody played on the fact that Arab tribes did/do not get along - look at the English and how they formed the Kingdom of Jordan. However, you said something important: even if Israel were to be removed from the ME (God forbid) the problems would still continue to exist because of those tribal rivalries.

      Playing the US, and even Europe, is Saudi Arabia's favourite game - and I am not even going to mention their sponsorship of the Arab infiltration in the West, since the 50's.
      Iran never hid its colours and that is what I admire in them; but they are still dangerous because they are more calculating.

      LOL Sir Lawrence of Arabia...nice synecdoche. The Arab Spring can still result in a positive change, however it had to go through a phase of destruction first; because there were/are to many things that need to be confronted and dealt with first. Too many years of oppression and lies being told, brainwash etc.

      "I would much rather have a military despot in control than the religious fanatics. Just saying."

      I hear you on that one.

      "Thanks for the great post Maxine. Looking forward to hearing more from you."

      You are welcome; I am just glad you liked it :).

      BB (I hope you don't mind me calling you that), thank you ever so much for your outstanding comment :D. I hope to see more of you here among us *bowing*.
      It was a pleasure.


  7. All Saudi Warfare is based on Dissimulation.

    1. Hi Mike :D!

      Indeed, indeed....

      Thank you so much for your comment :D. You were missed.


  8. Max, you know my take on this. The islamic world is churning like never before with internal strife the focus rather than the old anti West/India focus. I am actually happy to see this and look forward to that world weakening quite substantially in the next few years.

    1. Hi Rummy :D!

      I love it when you go straight to the point, my friend *bowing*. Yes, I expect the will be interesting to see its re-birth though, in a few decades. Until then: internal destruction (and we should try to stay out of it).

      Rummy, thank you so much for your comment :D. Loved it.



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