• 5 hours Airlines Could Recover, But Crew Remain Elusive
  • 6 hours Meet The Man Behind The World's Most Exciting Oil Play
  • 1 day Crypto-Mining Immigration Could Be The Start Of A New Trend
  • 3 days Hawkish Fed Sends Gold Prices Crashing
  • 4 days Bezos Is Heading To Space This Sunday
  • 8 days El Salvador’s Surprise Bitcoin Move
  • 11 days Markets Unfazed As Inflation Hits 13-Year High
  • 11 days How the Token Economy is Disrupting Financial Markets
  • 13 days FBI Investigating 100 Types Of Ransomware Attacks
  • 15 days Fed Ends Corporate Credit Emergency Lending Program
  • 17 days AMC Becomes the Latest Winning Meme Stock After GameStop
  • 19 days The Real Reason Your 401k Has Been Lagging
  • 19 days China Lifts Cap On Births, Allows Three Children Per Couple
  • 21 days The Market Is Ripe For Another GameStop Saga
  • 24 days Senate Grills Big Banks Over Pandemic Opportunism
  • 26 days Cannabis Has A Major Cash Problem
  • 26 days Ransomware Netted Criminals $350M In 2020 Alone
  • 27 days Russia Is Taking On Google
  • 28 days Chinese Regulators Deal Another Big Blow To Bitcoin
  • 29 days Ohio Residents Brave Vaccine for Chance To Win $1M
Billionaires Are Pushing Art To New Limits

Billionaires Are Pushing Art To New Limits

Welcome to Art Basel: The…

The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory

The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory

Modern monetary theory has been…

Another Retail Giant Bites The Dust

Another Retail Giant Bites The Dust

Forever 21 filed for Chapter…

John Rubino

John Rubino

John Rubino edits DollarCollapse.com and has authored or co-authored five books, including The Money Bubble: What To Do Before It Pops, Clean Money: Picking Winners…

Contact Author

  1. Home
  2. Markets
  3. Other

We Aren't Nearly As Worried About The Middle East As We should Be

What's the opposite of a gift that keeps on giving? A mistake that keeps metastasizing.

Which pretty much sums up the US role in the Middle East. Beginning with the CIA's 1953 overthrow of Iran's democratically elected president and continuing through the multiple regime changes and invasions of recent years, various American governments have behaved like they both understood that region and had the power to mold it into a docile client that pumped oil, suppressed dissent and otherwise caused no trouble.

Instead, each intervention turned up the heat on an already-boiling pot of corruption, sectarian rivalry and geopolitical anger that has finally erupted into regional civil war. The whole world, at long last, understands that the situation is beyond both US understanding and control.

And that's the good news.

The really scary part of the story is that Russia has jumped -- decisively -- into this vacuum and is building a coalition to take over the Middle East. In partnership with Iran and China it's propping up Syria's dictator and bombing both ISIS and US-trained rebels back beyond the stone age. The next step will presumably be to bring Saudi Arabia into line and thus dominate the region's oil reserves. Israel, in this scenario, has no good options.

Unless, of course, the US pushes back, which will mean escalating from Russian and US proxies shooting at each other to actual Russian and US soldiers going at it, with China and Iran helping the former and Saudi Arabia the latter. This is a nightmare scenario on every level, and it's closer than most people seem to think. Here's a sampling of headlines from just the past couple of days:

Syria conflict: Nato warns Russia on air strikes
Syria conflict: Turkish jets intercept Russian plane
Syrian insurgents vow to attack Russian forces as Moscow hints at ground role
U.S. sees Russia readying ground campaign in Syria
Syria's 'moderates' have disappeared... and there are no good guys
Russia's airstrikes in Syria are playing well at home
A tale of two strategies: Russia destroys ISIS command, US hits Afghan hospital
Obama up against growing support for a no-fly zone in Syria

Just as there was a chance in the 1990s to get developed-world entitlement programs under control and we blew it, there was once a chance to let the Islamic world work out its differences, have its Reformation, and emerge as a more-or-less stable, comprehensible power. But we blew that monumentally as well.

Now the US is financially and politically exhausted, with neither the money nor the will to expend trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives to impose "peace" in a place where the word can't even be defined. Yet, as the last headline says, support for a Syrian "no-fly zone" is growing -- in air space that includes Russian jets.

In some ways today's situation is reminiscent of the late 1930s, when the last thing anyone outside of Germany wanted was another big war, but that's exactly what they got.

 

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment