To be flip, Obama appears to be maintaining the middle east’s new imbalance of power. smile emoticon
As regards sectarian favoring of any kind, he has referred to involvement in Iraq and Syria and elsewhere by characterizing such conflicts in a catch-all: “another dumb war in the middle east” — and “dumb” because war cannot and will not decide anything having to do with the nature of God.
Those who have visited or followed BackChannels, e.g., https://conflict-backchannels.com/…/ftac-on-separation…/ know that the present Moscow-Damascus-Tehran axis of power promotes and sustains by example of the Syrian Tragedy medieval absolute power. Different talks — same walks: what Putin, Assad, and Khamenei share is the will to completely control their constituencies to serve themselves. One possible Obama Administration underlying strategy: avoid the hot war with Russia over the character of 21st Century Feudalism vs 21st Century Modernity and quietly (!) drawn down the mess-making capacities of the feudal axis. As much has nothing to do with identification as a Shiite Muslim per se — only identification with the medieval worldview that (in the mind) makes the distinction so important.
As regards the Sunni side of this most complex quadratic puzzle, U.S. aid and trade are inseparable from Sunni-led state defense capacities, and as much has been so for Jordan and Saudi Arabia for some time.
The ocular, as it were, through which one views these conflicts — I sometimes call the same the “Islamic Small Wars” — is through an etching of the behaviors plus zones of influence set through the Soviet Era — the Cold War — and transitioned through time in Putin’s neo-feudal Russian revanche.
The 24th anniversary of the dissolving of the Soviet will take place the day after Christmas, i.e., December 26. The occasion must have then seemed quite the gift to the pro-democratic and foreign policy oriented of the United States. However, influencing the transition turned rocky with the ebullient activity of unbridled Russian mafia and the machinations of the once “Party privileged” to remain privileged. Blame Berezovsky if you must (you must) — at least he’s a safe bet for criticism — and otherwise welcome to the “Vertical of Power” and the New Nobility.
The “quadratic conflict”?
(Medieval vs Modern) x (Sectarian vs Plural / Shiite vs Sunni / Post-Soviet Arc vs NATO + Alliance ME)
As regards standard American and western cultural values, the politics become convoluted as western defenses include some cooperation from Sunni-associated powers, e.g., the Kingdom and Turkey (whether or not Erdogan likes it — and, of course, he can’t like it, but he’s out of the Shiite-associated loop that wobbles around the beleaguered regime in Damascus).
None but close family pay attention to 24th anniversaries but when a state reaches such a milestone and the dysfunctional family of nations has been yoked to its internal politics and foreign affairs, some notice might be in order, for a year plus six days from this one, there will be a 25th Anniversary of that most singular and wondrous of near historical events.
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