Yossie Melman highlighted an interesting development taking place in the Middle East in an article for Haaretz on August 13, 2020.
Since the failed Iraq War invasion, the balance of power in the Middle East has shifted dramatically and has effectively made Iran more powerful.
Melman notes that there is another game-changing aspect in Middle Eastern politics — the rise of China.
China is courting countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, while making sure to flex its muscles on the rest of the region.
Due to the pivot to East Asia, the Trump administration has shifted its focus away from the Middle East. Additionally, less need for oil from Arab countries means that the U.S. does not need to maintain resources there.
Now, countries such as Russia and China are beginning to fill in the vacuum that the U.S. left after its series of interventions in the region.
Back in June, Iran signed off on a draft agreement for a 25-year strategic partnership with China on economic and security issues, which totals about $600 billion. Per this agreement, Iran plans on selling oil to China at a discount. Melman notes that in exchange, Iran will “receive priority for Chinese investments in initiatives involving banking, transportation, energy, communications and technology.” Additionally, Russia is crafting a similar multi-decade treaty with Iran.
Melman added the following concerns for Israel:
What should perhaps worry Israel most of all is the Chinese-Iranian plan to form a joint commission for developing weapons and scientific collaborations, including in cyberwarfare, as part of a Chinese move to step up its intelligence and military presence in the entire Middle East, including in Israel. Further evidence of its aspirations is the military exercise it held in the Indian Ocean in late 2019 with the Russian and Iranian navies..
However, on the Saudi Arabian front, Melman believes that Israel should be worried.
Although Saudi Arabia and Israel have become partners of convenience due to the rise of Iran as a potential geopolitical hegemon in the Middle East, there is some reason to believe that Saudi Arabia may take extra measures in order to contain Iran. That is, by acquiring nuclear technology.
And it may do so through its relationship with China. With the likelihood that Israel and the U.S. won’t do enough to contain Iran, Saudi may be forced to tap into its relationship with China to provide defense against potential Iranian aggression.
A recent report from the Wall Street Journal highlighted how Saudi Arabia possesses a facility for extracting uranium yellowcake from the uranium ore mines in the territory. Furthermore, China assisted Saudi Arabia with this technology. Several years ago, Saudi Arabia declared that if Iran develops nuclear weapons, it will respond in kind.
Additionally, if the U.S, won’t build nuclear power reactors for the Saudis, Russia or China will gladly do the job. Melman also observes that as Saudi Arabia’s “oil reserves dwindle, it’s only natural for Saudi Arabia to want to diversify its energy sources and build nuclear reactors.” China has previously sold Saudi Arabia long-range missiles in the past.
China’s willingness to engage with two countries that rival each other (Iran and Saudi Arabia) demonstrates its superpower aspirations. This means that Israel, who is an ally of the U.S., will have to pick a side between either the U.S. or China. As far as the U.S. is concerned, its foreign policy will need to become smarter and less reliant on boneheaded nation-building schemes that create power vacuums and new enemies. It also must take China more seriously by decoupling trade with the country and limiting migration from China as much as possible, given the country’s use of immigration as a way to perform large-scale corporate espionage.
Not addressing the China question in a sober matter, could have negative repercussions on a global scale.
Flashback: Ann Coulter Warns Steve Bannon about Donald Trump’s Hires During 2016
Coulter tells it like it is.
Earlier this week, former White House adviser Steve Bannon reached out to President Donald Trump, in an apparent move to reconcile with the president. Bannon was one of the more renowned advisors in the Trump administration who received a lot of attention for his unconventional views. The former White House adviser is likely looking for Trump to pardon him for several federal criminal charges that he is currently facing.
Bannon was one of the strongest contrarian voices on the right who questioned traditional conservative dogma on free trade and immigration. His rise to prominence represented a raw, populist anger that was building within the Republican Party base. Bannon ended up leaving the Trump administration after the infamous Charlottesville rally. This left a massive void for populist voices within the Trump brain trust, which was never adequately filled with populist figures.
Most of the strong populist voices during the Trump era came from the outside. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter has been one of the leading figures trying to steer populist discourse in America.Although a harsh critic, Coulter did her best to hold President Trump accountable and watch his every move, especially personnel decisions that did not align with his America first vision. To the average pro-Trump individual, Coulter’s criticism may come off as abrasive, but it was and still is necessary to have a viable nationalist movement.
As a reminder to her followers about how she knew that there were subversive elements in the Trump administration who wanted to gut the president’s America First agenda and pursue more traditional Republican policies, she tweeted about email correspondence she had with Bannon dating back to December 2, 2016. In light of the rapprochement between Bannon and Trump, Coulter called attention to how she warned the former White House adviser about some of the latter’s questionable staffing decisions during the early stages of his presidency.
Coulter tweeted, “No, actually, I knew Trump was betraying us pretty early on – and that it would cost him re-election. My December 2, 2016 email to Steve Bannon:”
No, actually, I knew Trump was betraying us pretty early on – and that it would cost him re-election.
My December 2, 2016 email to Steve Bannon: pic.twitter.com/38hGPNUqqN
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 14, 2021
In an email sent on December 2, 2016 with a subject line titled “ghost of christmas future”, Coulter warned then-White House adviser Bannon about some of Trump’s hiring decisions.
She first noted that “the fact that Trump is even CONSIDERING rep. Mccaul (rubio in the house) for homeland — and is NOT considering kobach— tells me we’re not getting any major deportations, no removal of refugees, no e-verify, no end to end anchor babies… and trump will be dead.
also, “mad dog” isn’t going to build a wall.”
She was referring to Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, a known mass migration booster and a potential nominee for the head of the Department of Homeland Security. United States Marine Corps General James Matthis would be Trump’s first Secretary of Defense, who ended up turning out to be a Deep State hack. On the other hand, Kris Kobach is a nationally recognized immigration hawk, who gained fame for implementing some of the stiffest voter ID standards in the nation during his time as Secretary of State.
The Trump administration was successful in implementing several administrative changes that limited immigration and also did not get involved in any nation-building engagements like previous administrations.
Nevertheless, Coulter’s incisive suggestions still have use for future Republican administrations. The new GOP should follow Coulter’s pro-migration restriction suggestions if it wants to not only remain politically relevant, but also protect the integrity of America’s political system.
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