US Middle East Policy is Divide & Conquer (first published on siasatrooz.ir September 2014)
Luke Eastwood in conversation with Mani Alvand of siasatrooz.ir
Mani - As you know West-Russia conflict over Ukraine is getting worse and Russia said it won't tolerate Ukraine's membership in NATO. What do youthink will happen next? Do the US and its allies continue to badger Russians? and How will Moskow react? Especially now that West is also threatening Russia ally_Syria government(by forming the so-called anti ISIScoalition)?
Luke - I believe that the plan all along has been to ruin any good relationships that exist between Russia and Ukraine. The two countries have cultural, historical, economic and energy ties going back a long time but this is all being destroyed by a puppet government that is following the USA/NATO plan to isolate Russia. Personally I think that this is against the interests of Ukraine and its people, the Ukrainians are likely to suffer greatly as a result of the foolishness and short-term outlook of the unelected government.
This is one piece in the jigsaw in the encirclement of Russia and China as a means to prevent them toppling USA from its pole position. Syria is another jigsaw piece - strategically important for pipeline routes and it is also important to Russia because of the naval base, this makes it a prime target for USA/NATO. The portrayal of Assad as some terrible villain is concocted, it appears that the majority of Syrians support Assad and that the vast majority of ‘rebels’ are in fact foreigners.
I hope that the Ukraine situation will not return to conflict and that the Syrian government will not be attacked, however I am sure that USA/NATO will do all that they can to ensure that Syria is destroyed as an ally to Russia and that Ukraine becomes permanently anti-Russian.
Mani - What do you think about west public opinion? How much are they aware of what their governments do for example in the Palestine(Gaza),Middel East and Ukraine...? In one of your writings you pointed to this fact that some people tend to be domesticated sheeps. How many percent of western people are like that?
Luke - I think that public opinion is not reflected by the mainstream media in the west. In fact the mainstream media is more of a tool by which public opinion can be steered – it is really just a propaganda machine in most cases. In the case of the Palestine issue, there is tremendous public sympathy for the suffering of the Palestinians and their plight as a people under siege in a near helpless state. In the case of Ukraine, it is a less familiar issue and so I believe that many people do not know what to believe. I’d say that most westerners can see that war is a bad thing and can appreciate the suffering that it brings to ordinary people.
There are unfortunately many people who believe media and government lies even when they are transparent. I think some people do not like to think about the possibility that their government is dishonest and not acting in the interest of the general population – these people are sheep.
I cannot say how many people qualify for being described as sheep, but I can say that there is something of an awakening, especially among younger people, since the age of the internet. When we had just newspapers, magazines and TV it was often hard to find an alternative view if one was suspicious of the official version of events. Nowadays people who want to be better informed can find whatever they want – the days of being able to completely smother a story are now gone, news can travel around the world in minutes. We now live in the age of the whistleblower, thank goodness!
Mani - Let's consentrate on Iraq situation. It's known that the US along with its allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatr have supported terrorist groups like ISIS during the past years. Now they've announced that they wanr to fight ISIS. How do you explain this paradox? Do they really want to fightterrorists? Overally, how do you explain the rise of ISIS in Iraq?
Luke - It’s pretty clear that there has been massive support for ISIS from some arab countries that have an anti-Shia agenda, but is also clear that USA has also done the same. It’s hard to know if creating a new ‘bogeyman’ was the original intention. I suspect that when ISIS had first gone ‘AWOL’ from the purpose of bringing down the Assad regime the USA was not too bothered. Over six months ago there were reports of infighting amongst the Syrian opposition – this was the beginning of ISIS growing into a major force.
Surely USA and/or it’s Middle Eastern allies could have snuffed out ISIS while it was relatively weak? I’m sure they’ve been keeping an eye on them for quite some time, however it obviously didn’t suit them to intervene. Now that ISIS is big news USA/NATO has conveniently taken advantage of them setting their own agenda to create an excuse for another American theatre of influence.
USA hawks are desperate to bring down Assad but the failure of the Free Syrian Army and other groups means that Russia has not yet lost one of its major allies in the Middle East. In fact the Syrian government appears to be winning the civil war after a bad start. One must ask, is this an excuse for USA to become directly involved in the Syrian civil war?
Mani - What do you think about the future plans of the US for the ME region? What's their plan for countries like Iran?
Luke - Put simply I’d describe US policy as the old ‘divide and conquer’ which goes way back to Rome and beyond. I think that US policy makers wish to see the Middle East weak and divided so that manipulation of the situation, and appropriation of resources will be easier.
This is quite obviously a nefarious policy, but the last two centuries clearly demonstrates that this is not uncommon in US foreign policy. USA invaded Libya in 1801 (then a semi-independent part of the Ottoman Empire) to protect its interests and little seems to have changed. The same policy of intervention to protect its interests has continued regardless of such concerns as justification, sovereignty, needless slaughter etc. Since its foundation, USA has attacked 70 countries, has been the only country to use nuclear weapons (on a helpless enemy) and now uses remote control machines to bring death to people in many countries where they are not even officially at war.
I think that the USA government would love to bring down an elected government in Iran like they did in 1953. Unfortunately for them it is no easy matter as Iran has friends in Russia, China and many other countries. Also Iran is obviously prepared for US or Israeli aggression – however that does not mean that this or future USA governments will give up on their dreams of installing a new Western puppet in Tehran.
I sincerely hope that such a thing does not happen. In fact, like many others in the West, I see USA as the most dangerous country on the planet – if they gave up their imperial ambitions the world would be a much safer place. We can only hope and pray that there will be a powerful movement in US politics away from the two party charade that currently exists. If Ron Paul had not been cheated of the chance to stand for president I think that US policy would be different right now. I believe that American citizens are sick of war and intervention – they have enough problems. Sadly the government does not act for the people, it acts on behalf of the military-industrial complex, Wall Street and other such powerful but morally suspect interests.