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Middle East is Proving to be a New Playground for the Axis

Opinion: The following article is commentary and its views are solely those of the author. This article was first published the 4th of July with an addendum on the 5th via The Angry Demagogue.

Blinken Gets Pushed to the Back of the Line

While the Biden-Blinken Administration is obsessing on “non-escalation” and telling allies they are on their own if they attack an Axis member that attacks the ally,  or that they will help the ally “defend itself” but not take the offensive (how you do that is a mystery) the Axis itself is establishing itself all over the Middle East. 

Middle East politics and appeasement may cause long-term problems.

Let’s start with a statement, quoted in Israel, by Alexander Dugin who is Putin’s ideological advisor advising the Russian leadership to arm Hezbollah and the Houthis in their fight against Israel. Earlier this week, Newsweek reported that Russia is considering arming the Houthis with cruise missiles. These could be used against Israel and against Saudi Arabia – or maybe U.S bases in the area. As Russia seeks to cement its ties with anti-Western countries and forces around the world, it seems to be partnering with Iran so as to increase the potency of Iran’s proxies and press their goal to rid the region of U.S forces. Toward this goal Iran and even Russia are manufacturing tanks together in Iran.

The Houthis themselves, under with the guidance of Iran, are attempting to expand their sea blockade from Bab al Mandab straits connecting the Gulf of Aden with the Red Sea, to the east African coast by cooperating with the Sunni and al-Qaeda based Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab al-Mujahadin. Reports in Israel quoting U.S intelligence sources claim that the two groups are cooperating and that the Houthis will supply weapons to al-Shabaab in order to interdict global shipping off the Somali coast and in order to harass U.S forces stationed in the area.

The anti-U.S alliance seem to be able to cross religious and ideological boundaries in ways that western intelligence thought impossible. That is because western (and Israeli) intelligence mis-categorize all of these groups and countries. The issue is not who is Sunni and who is Shiite, who is Russian Orthodox and who is Communist, but rather, who is for keeping the international status-quo and who's for, to use a phrase meant for different times - a “new global order”.  

The Houthis, feeling confident in having defeated the U.S Navy in the Red Sea are now threatening Saudi Arabia for saying no to a Russian negotiated deal (under the auspices of the U.N and opposed by the U.S) which would bring an end to the embargo against the Houthis including their export of oil as well as Saudi financing of the Houthi civil government in the part of Yemen they occupy (they learned from Hamas and Qatar/PA/Israel that you really can have your enemies pay your salaries) amongst other goodies. They blame Saudi Arabia for allowing U.S jets to bomb Houthi sites from airbases inside Saudi Arabia – with no U.S carriers in the Red Sea that certainly could be true. In their threat they included videos of their bombing of Saudi oil fields in 2019 just in case the Saudis forgot. 

The Houthis, with their experience stopping shipping, have, according to a JCPA report been the point men for Iran’s plan to extend the sea embargo against Israel to the Mediterranean. This would not only hurt Israeli shipping but also the ability of its Air Force to operate properly. We wrote recently about Iran’s possible plans for Cyprus, including Hezbollah’s open threat to them, and this fits nicely with their plan to ring Israel with fire on all sides. We already know that Russian intelligence vessels are in the Mediterranean tracking Israeli submarines and that the Russian naval base in Syria is a safe haven for Iranian shipping. 

Just this week an Iranian vessel filled with arms for Hezbollah anchored in the Syrian port of Latakia (why did Israel not sink this??!!) which is 100kms (60 miles) north of the Russian naval base in Tartus, Syria – was it escorted in by the Russian Navy? Is that why?  

The U.S now has three main allies in the Middle East – Israel, Saudi Arabia and UAE, and with the exception that the UAE administration has a habit of criticizing and threatening these allies. 

It boggles the mind that Blinken does not see what the entire world sees – a so far successful effort rid the Middle East of the U.S and its allies. For Israel that means annihilation and for Saudi Arabia it means probably surrender to the Iranians while its royal family is allowed to enjoy their money (best case scenario). For the UAE it means it will be used even more than it currently is as an Axis financial center. For the U.S it means a withdrawal, not to the Western Hemisphere – but to the northern half of it. 

The Middle East is slowly becoming the playground of the Axis and it is just a matter of time before the West won’t be able to get a turn on the swings.

Addendum: A short follow regarding the Houthi ultimatum to Saudi Arabia

The Houthi's gave the Saudis 72 hours to respond and respond they did. The Saudis have agreed to all the demands of the Houthis as they realized that the United States will not defend them from attack and are unwilling or unable to deter, let alone to destroy the Houthis offensive capabilities.

Amongst the Houthi demands that the Saudis agreed to are:

1. The re-opening of the airport in Sana’a, Yemen.  They will allow direct flights to bring pilgrims to Mecca, flights to Jordan and soon flights to everywhere. This will allow the Houthis to be re-armed by the Iranians via air transport.

2. Payment, by Saudi Arabia of Houthi government employees.

3. Allowing the Houthis to sell oil – ending the embargo.

This is a plan, as stated, sponsored by Russia and not opposed by the United States. It is a further move by the Axis into pushing the U.S out of the region. It is not clear if part of this agreement is for the Saudis to disallow U.S use of the Prince Sultan Ari Base for attacks on the Houthis.  

As an aside, the UAE has suggested that the U.S setup a base in Somaliland – a breakaway country in the horn of Africa on the coast of the Gulf of Aden and bordered by Djibouti and Ethiopia (and of course Somalia). This seems to be an attempt to rid the Gulf States of the responsibility to host U.S forces that attack Iranian proxies.  Could Biden’s “you are on your own if you attack Iran” (back in April after the 300 projectile attack on Israel) have influenced their decision?

Russia and Iran are on the rise in the region as the U.S administration preaches de-escalation and appeasement. 

Disclaimer: the views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of the author, and not necessarily the opinions reflected by or its associated parties.

You can follow Ira Slomowitz via The Angry Demagogue on Substack 


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