5 07 2014

Eric Wallberg has written an excellent macro-historical summary of what is happening in today’s post-Sykes-Picot Middle East.  The full article is at MiddleEast.Org.  Here’s the opening summary:

Osama Bin Laden’s goal in 9/11 was to suck the US into Afghanistan and Iraq, sparking a regional conflagration that would sweep away the imperial legacy and establish a new caliphate. Over a decade later, this plan is still on track. As he led his jihadists triumphantly into Mosul and declared an emirate on Iraq-Syrian territory, ISIS ‘caliph’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced that the 1916 secret Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain, France and imperial Russia was at last being dismantled.

The US and Saudis now face an intractable dilemma.

  • For the US, allowing the local al-Qaeda rebels to consolidate their hold on Sunni Iraq and northern Syria means the complete failure of their post-9/11 strategy of creating a new Middle East under their hegemony.
  • For the Saudis, it means risking the very existence of the Saudi state itself.

Draining the U.S. — in a long protracted unconventional conflict with Islam — of its money, unity, and credibility and staying-power was Bin-Laden’s strategy from the start.   Just compare the U.S. of today with that of the roaring 90s…