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Last week, at the Arab League summit, we saw the Arabs divided between
those who want a regional war in the Middle East and those who want peace.
Member states of the war party happen to have one thing in common. They are
supplied, supported or otherwise aligned with Moscow, Beijing, or both.

During the Cold War, which supposedly ended a decade ago, the Soviet
Union’s chief allies in the Middle East were Syria and Iraq. Of all the Arab
powers at the summit last week, these were the most warlike in their
pronouncements.

Last Tuesday Syrian President Bashar Assad told his fellow Arabs that
“Israelis are all Nazis.” He suggested that negotiating for peace had been
wrong, and that Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat needed to be
forgiven for negotiating with Israel in the first place. “It is the Israeli
public and not just the leaders who are like the Nazis,” Assad explained.

The international press reported that foreign diplomats were shocked by
Assad’s remarks. But they should not have been. Syria itself is a national
socialist dictatorship led by hair-trigger psychopaths and murderers. Only a
childishly naive person could believe in Syria’s peaceful intentions,
especially since Syria has spent many years building weapons of mass
destruction — a buildup with Russian connivance. Syria’s creation of
missile brigades and chemical weapons units signifies military intentions,
not readiness for peace. In this regard the death of the elder Assad did not
so much herald the end of a violent era as it heralded a reinvigoration of
warlike resolve through the person of Assad’s son (Bashar).

The Syrian leader’s anti-Jewish remarks were seconded by Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein’s statements. These were delivered by an Iraqi
official named Izzet Eddin Ibrahim. Addressing representatives of 22 Arab
states, the Iraqi representative called for a mass mobilization of troops to
liberate the Palestinians. Saddam wants the Arab world to “build an army of
men as concerned to sacrifice themselves as the Zionists are concerned for
their lives.” He said there was no place for the Jewish people between
Jordan and the sea. “We do not agree to any deals on Palestine,” said
Hussein’s messenger, Ibrahim.

The Syrian and Iraqi venom against Israel, and their eagerness for war,
was countered by Egypt’s behind-the-scenes diplomacy. According to Arab
diplomatic sources, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak secretly warned the
Palestinians against the Syrians and Iraqis. Mubarak told the Palestinians
that cooperation with the likes of Bashar Assad and Saddam Hussein will lead
to regional war, with grave global consequences. Determined to stop this war
before it starts, Mubarak threatened that financial and political support
would be withdrawn from the Palestinians if they continued down the path of
alliance with Syria and Iraq. Mubarak also warned the Palestinians against
involvement with Iran, which recently signed a far-reaching arms pact with
Moscow.

Despite these warnings from Egypt, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat met
with Syrian President Assad for 45 minutes during a break at the Arab League
summit. Reports indicate that he has been eager for a face-to-face meeting
with the Syrian leader, and was gratified by the chance to get better
acquainted. Arafat also voiced support for Saddam Hussein, recently setting
up his reserve headquarters in the Iraqi capital. This has triggered anger
in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which are at odds with the Iraqi regime. At the
same time, Jordan’s King Abdullah is being politically outflanked by Arafat’s
new alignment, which sidelines the moderate king by directly appealing to
Palestinian and pro-Iraqi forces within Jordan. The Hashemite king must now
be afraid of an obvious internal menace.

As anyone can see, the struggle in the Middle East is multi-dimensional. First, there is the conflict between Israel and the Arab world. Second, there is a split within the Arab world. It is a split between genuinely conservative regimes and revolutionary regimes. It does
not seem to matter what the revolutionary theory is, whether it is the
Arabist socialism of the Ba’athist Party of Syria and Iraq, or the Islamist
revolutionism of Iran and Sudan. Revolution is a violent and destructive
creed, which invariably finds support and sympathy in Moscow and Beijing. It
is well known that China is a revolutionary communist state, a long-time
champion of Third World revolutionaries. For many decades Russia also
supported what it called the “national liberation movements” of the
underdeveloped world.

It is most curious that today, as the Arab and Islamist revolutionary
regimes draw together, Russia and China should also be drawing together. At
a time of American unreadiness and false optimism, it is equally curious that
Russia, having supposedly rejected its communist past, should not only align
itself with the leading communist regime on the planet, but continue to
support national liberation movements and communist forces across the globe
– in Angola, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere. If Syria and Iraq
were once referred to as “the extended Warsaw Pact,” one must conclude that
for some strange reason the pact continues under Moscow’s guidance.

Egyptian President Mubarak wisely regards Russia’s Middle East
“friends” as dangerous to the entire region. As Syria, Iraq and Iran pound
the table for war, as they push the Palestinians forward into the bloody
breach, it is clear that they are attempting to incite a war. It is
difficult to imagine that a violent push of this kind has not been approved
by Moscow and Beijing.

But why would Russia and China want a war in the Middle East at this
time?

First, such a war would result in an oil embargo against the United
States which Russia would profit from. Secondly, as the U.S. economy
declines into recession, an oil hit could have devastating impact. It could
turn a recession into a depression that could destabilize Western
institutions and cause conservative politicians and free market advocates to
be discredited.

There is also the possibility that if America becomes fixated on a
Middle East war, the time would be ripe for the North Korean communists to
launch an assault on South Korea. It might also be the ideal moment for
China to blockade Taiwan. At the same time, Serbia could assert itself in
the Balkans.

Could America cope with four regional wars at once?

With a failing economy caused by restricted energy supplies, unready
armed forces and angry citizens, the U.S. might suffer a domestic implosion
in the wake of a Middle East meltdown. Since America is now held together by
wealth and comfort, the evaporation of that same wealth and comfort might
signal a violent internal breakup. We should not ignore the fact that our
country is deeply divided, ideologically and racially, and that peace is
maintained only because the discontents have been bought off with cash. In
light of this, we must consider the possibility that the push for war in the
Middle East may ultimately be aimed at destabilizing the United States. We
should also consider the possibility that Russia’s military preparations,
taking place over the past three years, are part of a larger plan in which
the Middle East serves as a trigger mechanism.

Consider Russia’s recent deployment of nuclear weapons into the
Kaliningrad enclave. Moscow denies the move, but U.S. intelligence has
proof. Could it be, in this context, that Russian is planning to assert its
dominance over Europe while China makes similar moves in Asia?

Taking everything into account, it is entirely possible that the Middle
East is being used to foster a whole train of calamitous events. Egyptian
President Mubarak is therefore wise to warn the Palestinians against
collaboration with Moscow’s Middle East surrogates — Syria, Iraq and Iran.
Once a war is ignited and oil is cut off the whole world might come unglued,
starting with America.

There is a curious logic to the timing of Syria and Iraq’s aggressive
talk at the Arab League summit. There is also something logical, even
strategic, in Moscow’s support for the Middle East’s leading warmongers.

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