Soon to be revealed Trump peace plan for the Middle East and the thaw in Israeli – Arab relations on the Arabian Peninsula may force Iran’s hand
As American media was reporting on a fake actor who faked his own assault and a fake border security bill that will not secure the border, something actually quite interesting was happening in Warsaw in the presence of such minor American functionaries as Secretary of State Pompeo and Vice President Pence. The Warsaw conference on peace and security in the Middle East dealt primarily with the Iranian threat to that region and its highlights were undoubtedly the unprecedented signs of continued thaw in relations between Israel, represented at the highest level by prime minister Netanyahu, and the states of the Arabian Peninsula, represented at the foreign minister level.
It was not very long ago that the foreign ministers of such countries as Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia went out of their way to not find themselves in the same room with an Israeli government official, let alone shake his hand. In the last few days, these same people had dinner with Netanyahu, the Omani foreign minister met him privately in his hotel room, and the Yemeni offered him his mic at a press conference when Netanyahu’s mic failed. If this is what these most calculating of men allowed to break the surface, we can only imagine what was taking place under wraps.
What is the cause for these developments that are as unprecedented as they are unreported by the American media? One word: Trump. Trump did three things that forever changed the political makeup of the Middle East. First, he swapped out the plaque on the American Consulate in Jerusalem for one that said EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. With this move Trump signaled to the Arabs that the US had no more tolerance for scenarios in which Israel was not a permanent presence in the region, scenarios in which Israel is singled out for treatment that is somehow less than that awarded any other sovereign nation, all of which are free to name their own capitals. Second, Trump allowed the full might of American technological innovation to be brought to bear in extracting marginal oil deposits, whether it was via fracking or via directional drilling, a highly complex process that allows for the guidance of the drill tip underground in three dimensions like a guided missile until it hits its target: a pocket of hydrocarbons. Finally, Trump withdrew from the so-called Iran deal, making it clear that in the holy war between the medieval Shia and the slightly more modern Sunna, the US was going to help the forces of sanity rather than the forces of eschatological craziness.
The oil play in particular bears further elaboration. The Sunni states of the Arabian Peninsula used their vast oil wealth rather prudently, hoarding much of it until such time as oil slipped in status from a high value add essential resource to a mere commodity. After all, oil is not immune to the famous S-curve of any product or natural resource, it simply has a rather longer time scale. The low-growth initial phase lasted a full fifty years, spanning the last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th. The high-growth phase lasted fifty more, taking us to the last quarter of the 20th century and culminating with the oil embargo of the 1970’s. Since then, growth has been flattening out as oil enters into its long twilight zone, one that is likely to take up the rest of our 21st century.
Of course, nothing can beat the mass-normalized energy density of refined oil products like gasoline and diesel. Fifty kilos of gas or diesel fuel will take a small modern sedan a distance of a thousand kilometers, while the same mass lithium-ion battery will be good for two hundred at most. This is a factor of five, an insurmountable obstacle for utilization in all but passenger cars. No matter how much Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her cohort of educationally challenged colleagues and supporters may wish it, electrically powered trucks, buses, and airplanes are nowhere on our horizon. It would be advisable for these folks to educate themselves on the difference between the energy that powers vehicles or heats their homes and the “energy” they feel from their adoring crowds of sycophants. They won’t.
That being said, the technology of fully electric or plug-in hybrid motors is sufficiently advanced that they will start to displace gas and later diesel engines in cars and light trucks at an exponential rate. This alone is enough to make quite a dent in oil demand. Discovery of vast natural gas reserves and the preference for the use of that particular form of fossil fuel for electricity generation is another factor in the commoditization of oil.
Unlike the states of the Arabian Peninsula, Iran has spent its oil riches on useless and perishable arsenal of missiles, outdated tanks, and other weaponry. Of course, the nuclear arms development program didn’t come cheap either. Because of this shortsighted and reckless behavior, Iran finds itself in the unenviable position of an heir to a great fortune, a fortune that he proceeded to waste on frivolous and vainglorious pursuits of no lasting value.
The kingdoms of the Gulf had always intended to use their vast cash reserves to transition their economies from natural resource base to human resource base; from oil to hi-tech. And who can best help them do that? Who but the start-up nation, the technological powerhouse located right on their doorstep, Israel. Israel with its $40,000 GDP per capita and zero natural resources. Israel, whose GDP per capita more than quadrupled from the 1970’s as did its population. In contrast, Saudi Arabia, with its vast oil reserves has seen stagnating GDP that peaked in the 1970’s at $20,000 per capita and only just now reached that number again. Iran is much worse, with stagnating GDP per capita of only $5,000. Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, are all stagnating at the $20,000 number or below, and only the United Arab Emirates with its minuscule population is reaching the Israeli-like $40,000 number.
But there is a catch. If the Sunni Arab states of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula wish to avail themselves of Israeli help in developing their high technology economies of the future, they need to allow into their countries Israeli Jewish engineers and managers and university professors. This would be unprecedented. In some of these countries, like in Saudi Arabia, Jews have not been present since they were ethnically cleansed by Mohammad in early 7th century. The open presence of Israelis on the peninsula that gave rise to Islam would change the course of history, no less. It requires a total about face from the harsh Islamic intolerance that emanated from the Saudi clerics with full government support. It requires careful preparation of public opinion, and it requires peace agreements and diplomatic relations.
The fact that the Sunnis are even considering such a course of action shows above all how much they loath and fear Shia Islam and its flag bearer, Iran. Iranian dominance in the Middle East is interpreted as an extinction-level event by the Saudis, as the utter ruin of all their carefully laid plans, plans that they have been working on for a full century. And it is all but inevitable. The Iranian regime of lunatic clerics is committed to avenging their Imam Ali, who, they believe, was appointed by Mohammad as his replacement (Khalifa), but was spurned by the ancestors of the Sunnis. Shia is the smaller faction of Islam and has always lost its battles against the Sunna. “Modern” Iran intends to change that.
An all-out war on the Arabian Peninsula, even if won by the Sunnis, which is far from being a foregone conclusion, is unthinkable in terms of the damage it would cause to the oil production and other infrastructure, infrastructure that took many decades and hundreds of billions of dollars to build. No, Iran must be contained, it must be put in a place where military adventurism is simply unthinkable. And who can accomplish this goal? The only Middle Eastern country with a fully functional nuclear arsenal equipped with second strike capability via its fleet of nuclear armed submarines (all according to various foreign sources). So what the Saudis and their smaller neighbors on the peninsula want from Israel is not just the hoisting of their technological base into the 21st century, but also the extension of its nuclear deterrence umbrella over the holiest of holies of the Islamic faith.
A deal that would fully and openly ally Israel and the guardians of the Islamic holy places in Mecca an Medina would be an event that would change word history. It would be an event that leads to stability and prosperity not only in the Middle East, but around the Globe and most importantly, it would inevitably spell the end of the Mullah rule in Iran, finally allowing that large and important country to rejoin the family of civilized nations. Unfortunately, this deal would also end the hope, no matter how unrealistic, that many “Palestinian” Arabs still entertain to remove the Jewish presence from the Middle East. It would also put an end to the megalomaniacal aspirations of Turkey’s dictator Tayyip Erdogan to reestablish Turkey as the leader of Sunni Islam. Western European governments oppose any moves to isolate Iran because of sheer Jew hatred and envy of the success of Israel as a modern successful state. In this they are fully supported by the leadership and the rank and file of the American Democratic Party. Putin’s Russia, run as it is by a coven of kleptomaniacal oligarchs, has no choice but ally itself with other pariahs of the world, including Iran.
And so the battle lines are drawn, the battle of Gog and Magog, of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness, as the Dead Sea Scrolls have prophesied, is just about ready to commence. On the side of light we have an unlikely coalition of Sunni Arabs, Israel, and the newly minted American nationalist movement under the leadership of president Trump. On the side of darkness, there is the Shia Persians and their auxiliaries in Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, the neo-Ottoman Turks, the corrupt and criminal “Palestinian” leadership, be it the PLO or the Hamas, neo-Imperial Russia under the leadership of its cohort of kleptomaniacs, the anti-Semitic Western Europeans, and the neo-communist and equally anti-Semitic American progressives represented by the Democratic Party.
Only three-quarters of a century after the last battle for the soul of mankind was fought and won by the Sons of Light, albeit with tremendous sacrifice and near world-wide destruction, a new battle of similar proportions is brewing. Not much time remains. The Mullahs are no doubt more than aware of the rapprochement between Israel and their Sunni enemies in the Gulf. They also keenly aware that Trump will not allow oil prices to rise and is deadly serious about making countries, companies, and even individuals choose who they want to deal with: Iran or the USA. Just recently, a Norwegian passenger jet that had to land in Iran due to an emergency was stranded there for six months, because other countries, fearing American reprisals, would not allow it to use their territory as the first port of call after it left Iranian soil.
Iran realizes that the thousands of rockets trained on Israel by its lapdogs in South Lebanon, Gaza, and Syria will not be fired once serious peace talks, talks that enjoy the full support of Saudi Arabia are finally underway as the Trump plan for ending the Arab-Israeli conflict is revealed. For Iran, this may very well be the “use it or lose it” moment. The fate of the world hangs in the balance. Last time around, the Jews were the big losers of the battle of good vs. evil, even though they were too weak to take an active part. A full third of a nation that never did anyone any harm went up in the greasy smoke of German crematoria and was trampled into the thick Eastern European mud. No matter what happens this time around, one thing is certain: Jews will not pay the ultimate price for anyone anymore.