By F. William Engdahl
It’s clear at this point that the recent visit of US President Trump to Saudi Arabia and Israel was about setting events into motion in order to fundamentally alter the present balance of power in the entire Middle East to the greater advantage of the United States and US energy geopolitics. As with most everything that Washington tries to do to rebuild its rapidly declining global dominance, this latest move by Washington to incite the Saudi Kingdom to ignite regime change in Qatar and escalate a form of oil war disguised as a Sunni-Shi’ite power conflict already looks in serious trouble.
I share with you a recent interview with an Arabic-language Middle East magazine in question and answer format.
Q: What can you say about the conflict between Qatar Gulf at this moment after the Arabic-Islamic-American summit at Riyadh?
WE: In my view this is a deep power struggle between Qatar and Saudi Arabia that has little to do with stated reasons regarding Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. The action to isolate Qatar was clearly instigated during US President Trump’s recent visit in Riyadh where he pushed the unfortunate idea of a Saudi-led “Arab NATO” to oppose Iranian influence in the region.
The Saudi move, clearly instigated by Prince Bin Salman, Minister of Defense, was not about going against terrorism. If it were about terrorism, bin Salman would have to arrest himself and most of his Saudi cabinet as one of the largest financiers of terrorism in the world, and shut all Saudi-financed madrasses around the world, from Pakistan to Bosnia-Herzgovina to Kosovo. Another factor according to informed sources in Holland is that Washington wanted to punish Qatar for seeking natural gas sales with China priced not in US dollars but in Renminbi. That apparently alarmed Washington, as Qatar is the world’s largest LNG exporter and most to Asia.
Moreover, Qatar was acting increasingly independent of the heavy Wahhabite hand of Saudi Arabia and threatening Saudi domination over the Gulf States. Kuwait, Oman, as well as non-Gulf Turkey were coming closer to Qatar and even Pakistan now may think twice about joining a Saudi-led “Arab NATO”. Bin Salman has proven a disaster as a defense strategist, as proven in the Yemen debacle.
As to the future, it appears that Qatar is not about to rollover and surrender in face of Saudi actions. Already Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is moving to establish closer ties with Iran, with Turkey that might include Turkish military support, and most recently with Russia. Kuwait and Oman are urgently trying to get Saudi to backdown on this, but that is unlikely as behind Saudi Arabia stands the US and promises of tens of billions of dollars in US arms. This foolish US move to use their proxy, in this case Riyadh, to discipline those not “behaving” according to Washington wishes, could well be the turning point, the point of collapse of US remaining influence in the entire Middle East in the next several years.
Q: Terrorism threatens the world. What in your view, according to what you wrote in your book, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics” and other writings about DAESH (IS) is the real story behind the recent so-called “clashes of civilizations between East and West and between the West and Islam?
WE: We must keep in mind that all serious terrorist organizations are state-sponsored. All. Whether DAESH or Al Nusra or Mujahideen in Afghanistan or Maute Group in Philippines. The relevant question is which states sponsor which terrorists. Today NATO is the one most complicit in sponsoring terrorism as a weapon of their geopolitical designs. And within NATO the United States is sponsor number one, often using Saudi money and until recently, ironically, Qatari funds.
My newest book, The Lost Hegemon: Whom the Gods Would Destroy, gives a far more detailed road-map of the use made by both British intelligence, by the Third Reich under Himmler, and since the 1950s, by the CIA, of especially the Muslim Brotherhood and its later “offspring” including Afghan Mujahideen of Osama bin Laden–a part of CIA’s Operation Cyclone to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s.
The CIA’s Mujahideen, trained by Pakistan’s ISI and recruited for the CIA by Osama bin Laden under the supervision of Prince Turki al-Faisal, the notorious head of Saudi Intelligence, were then brought by CIA private airlines after the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, into former Soviet Union republics to sow trouble. This included Azerbaijan, where the CIA used them to topple the government in favor of the Aliyev dictatorship that was amenable to giving oil rights to BP and American companies and to abandoning using the Soviet era oil pipeline through Russia’s Chechnya.
Then the CIA brought the Afghan Mujahideen veteran terrorists they had trained– including Osama bin Laden–they brought them into Chechnya to destabilize Russia’s oil pipeline route from Baku across Russia. That was to open the way for the Anglo-American Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Control the oil.
In my book, The Lost Hegemon–the United States as Sole Superpower after 1990 is meant–I trace the evolution of these CIA mercenary terrorists who hide behind the facade of being “devout Muslim fundamentalists.” The CIA and Pentagon brought them into Iraq after 2003 where US military operations under General David Petraeus, in effect created Al Qaeda in Iraq. Then the US launched the Arab Spring in 2011 to force regime change across the entire Muslim world, in a move to militarily control all oil and gas resources there, long a dream of the CIA and what some call the US “Deep State.”
When the Washington Arab Spring could not bring down Libya’s Qaddafi by peaceful protests as in Tunisia or Egypt, Washington opted for a military solution using France and NATO bombs as the up front actor. However, when they then tried the same in Syria against Bashar Al Assad, who opposed the Washington agenda, they were unable to do so, mainly because of UN security council vetoes by Russia and China. After September 2015 when Russia answered Assad’s plea for help against foreign terrorists and Russia brilliantly and swiftly responded, it exposed for all the world to see that Washington had been lying about trying to defeat DAESH or the so-called Islamic State.
The real story behind the rise of so-called Islamic Terrorism is the increasingly desperate attempt of the Anglo-American Deep State to control the rise of Eurasia, especially of China in combination now with Russia, and increasingly with Iran and Central Asian republics as well as South Asian. Without understanding this, none of the recent events in the Middle East make sense.
Washington strategists today foolishly believe that if they get choke point control of all Middle East oil and gas, they can, as Henry Kissinger stated back in the 1970’s “control the oil and thus, control entire nations,” especially China and Russia and also Germany and Europe. Their strategy has failed but Washington and the Pentagon refuse to see the reasons for their repeated filed wars. The hidden reality of American global power is that the American “giant” today is a bankrupt superpower, much like Great Britain after their Great Depression of 1873 up to 1914. Britain triggered a world war in 1914 to desperately try to retain their global power. They failed, for reasons I discuss in my Century of War book.
Today for much the same reasons–allowing the power of US financial conglomerates supercede the interests of the national industrial economy– America’s debt, national, private, corporate, is out of control. Reagan and Cheney were dead wrong. Debt does matter.
Eight years after the greatest financial crisis in history, the US real estate crisis of 2008, the US Central Bank is unable to raise its interest rates above 1% without risking a new financial meltdown. That alone suggests the degree of the dollar system crisis. Private economists estimate that real US unemployment today is near 23% of the workforce not the mythical 4-5% cited by the US Government.
Q: How would you comment on the position of the United states regarding Arab-Arab and Islamic-Islamic conflicts ?
WE: Washington wants conflict in order to divide and rule. As Dick Cheney said in a London speech in September 1999 to the London Institute of Petroleum when Cheney was CEO of the world’s largest oilfield services company, Halliburton, the oil-rich states of the Middle East is “where the prize ultimately lies.” US policy has been to break the control of Arab national monarchies and the threat from the rising wealth of oil-based Arab sovereign wealth funds which were threatening to go away from the dollar.
Case in point, in 2010 under initiative from LIbya’s Qaddafi, Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egypt’s Mubarak and Libya were planning to issue an Arab Gold Dinar and to demand payment for their oil exports in gold dinar and not US dollars, the seed of a Pan-Arab Bank. That would have spelled the end of the dollar, the key pillar of US hegemony. The released emails of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to her private Libya adviser, Sid Blumenthal, confirm this as the reason for Washington urgency in removing those three–Bin Ali, Mubarak and Qaddafi in their so-called “Arab Spring.”
Q: In your opinion what is the new world order after the recent London IS attacks and Iran?
WE: I would not call it a new world order after the recent London and Teheran attacks. Rather we are in the midst of the disintegration of the old world order, an order dominated for the past two hundred years since the British victory at Waterloo, by first, a British Empire, and after 1945, by an Anglo-American syndicated empire based on soft power, control of NATO, control of the IMF and World Bank and supreme or nearly supreme military power.
That order today is bankrupt. The downfall of American power in my view began in August 1971 when President Nixon tore up the solemn Bretton Woods Treaty obligations of the United States and shut the Federal Reserve Gold Discount Window. Since then Wall Street money power has made a silent coup in transforming the United States that I knew as a yound man in the 1950s and 1960s, from a more-or-less functioning democratic republic into an Oligarchy where money controls all, from Presidents like Obama or Trump to Congressmen who make the laws. That is a very dangerous state of affairs for Americans and for the entire world.
We may never know who was behind the London or Teheran attacks but a strong finger of suspicion must point to Washington, or the Mossad or their Saudi proxy in the case of Teheran.
Resort to terrorism to advance national interests by any nation is a sign not of fundamental strength but of pathetic weakness. Today our world is in the midst of the most profound paradigm shift, a truly tectonic geopolitical shift away from a system where one nation dictates to the entire world, the US version of globalization and New World Order as the late David Rockefeller proudly called it.That system may well have died with him and his long-time adviser Brzezinski.
Now the nations of Eurasia are building up a new world with huge investment in economic growth, investment in infrastructure, high-speed rail links, new deep water ports, all connecting the peoples of all Eurasia from Beijing to Moscow to Bremen or Rotterdam, to Teheran, perhaps to Istanbul and beyond. For more than the past two decades all the USA has offered the world is a foreign policy of wars and destruction of any and all threats to her power, to her failing hegemony. Now the world has a chance for the first time in several centuries to build up and develop our civilization in truly positive ways. It’s our choice which alternative we take.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”