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8 reasons for Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s dispute

It isn’t about ideology, it’s about commercial matters which underpin a long history.

George Oprisko

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The peoples of Asia, in particular those of the Persian Gulf, carry within them, cultural norms, and identities that span millenia.  Persia and China have dominated the scene, with footnotes from Portugal and Britain.  Persia’s influence began with Elam in the bronze age at ~ 2700 BCE, succeeded by the Assyrians 900-700 BCE, the Medes 700-500 BCE, the Achaemenids which extended control to the south coast of the Persian Gulf by 490 BCE, and from what is now Tunisia to Xingjang Province in the PRC, southward from today’s Kzahstan to the sea, the kingdom of Alexander conquered this space, and extended their control to what is now Pakistan between 324-200 BCE.

However, it was the Parthians who incorporated the littoral territories of the southern coast of the Persian Gulf into their domain between 200-100 BCE. The Sassanides added what is now Yemen, Oman, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbijan, consolidating their control between  226-650 AD.

The arrival of Muhammad 570-632 AD, brought new energies to the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula, giving rise to Islam.   Wars of conquest, beginning about 610 AD,  built the Arabian Empire, which morphed into the Caliphate , eventually encompassing all territories from the Iberian Peninsula to China, including the north coast of africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Turkey, Mesopotamia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan  by 725 AD.

By 1000AD the Caliphate fractured, with the Buwayhid state controlling the territory of what became Persia, founding the Seljuq empire by 1194 AD.  The Seljuqs were succeeded by the Timurids in 1405 AD. The arrival of Ismail in 1501 ended their reign.  Ismail and his successors converted their domain from Sunni to Shia, establishing the Safavid empire, in the process laying the foundations of modern Persia by 1726 AD, including competition with the Uzbeks and Ottomans.  This period saw a profound change in trading patterns, with the Portugese conquering Hormuz by 1507, demanding tribute, and establishing a fortified trading station there.  The Portuguese were followed by european firms such as the British East India Company which established a residency in 1763 at Busher on the Persian Coast.

The Safavids were followed by the Qajars between 1794 and 1905.  Seeking to modernize their domain, they gave territorial and business concessions to various european powers. The arrival of the French in 1807 galvanized the English into ratifying a treaty with Persia in 1809, which was the foundation of Anglo-Persian relations until the arrival of Khomeni, despite Persian attempts at independence during the constitutional periods of 1905-1925 and Mossadegh in 1953.

Prior to the arrival of the  Portuguese, the trade route from Calicut in India to Tyre in Lebanon was dominated by the Chinese  beginning with the Yuan Dynasty in 1271 and expanded by the Ming dynasty after they came to power in 1368.  In 1273 Kublai Khan created the world’s first bank notes (paper money), giving rise to letters of credit and other international banking arrangements facilitating trade.  Under Chinese tutelage, Hormuz became a major trading center for goods bound westward via the Persian Gulf-Euphrates River- Syrian Desert route to Tyre on the Mediterranean Sea.  Hormuz remained the gateway to this route until the Portuguese were replaced by the Safavids who shifted the station to Bandar Abbas.   Zhung He in particular led 7 expeditions to the region for the purpose of solidifying Chinese hegemony between 1405-1433.

The Chinese concept of tribute, however, differed markedly from that practiced by the european powers.   To the Chinese, tribute signified respect, not subservience, and the Chinese reciprocated via offering their silks, teas, jade, ceramics, and technologies in exhange for goods sourced from the tributary state.  The Chinese did not interfere in the domestic affairs of tributary states, preferring to gain influence through marriage between tributary elites and concubines sent to them for that purpose.   Following completion of the grand canal and the death of Emperor Zhu Di, his successor, Zhu Zhanji, the Zhengtong Emperor commissioned a seventh and final voyage.  Confucian scholars convinced  Zhu Zhanji to scrap the navy, and to abandon international trade, just prior to the arrival of the Portuguese at Macau in 1557.  Absence of the Chinese Navy on the trade routes left them open to usurpation by the European powers, led by Portugal, followed soon thereafter by the Spanish and Dutch, with the English arriving by the late 1700s.

This situation prevailed in China until president Nixon opened china 5 centuries later in 1972, giving rise to Deng Xiaopeng,  Hu Jintao, and the One Belt One Road initiative.  In the process, China has opened itself to the world, modernized and expanded it’s economy, and become a trading center around which states array themselves.

Russia’s influence on the nations bordering the Persian Gulf began in the 19th century when a resurgent Russia found itself in conflict with Persia for lands and resources abutting the Caspian Sea.  Russia took Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbijan from Persian influence and control, together with Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  Russia competed with Britain for control of the mineral resources of Persia/Iran, going so far as to divide control of Persia with Britain during WWII.  This generated the great animosities held by the Pahlavi dynasty, Khomeini, and his successsors.  The Soviet Union added further fuel to this fire via alliances with Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Libya, most of whom disliked Iran.  Iraq relied primarily on Soviet weapons during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988, while Iran had to make do with whatever american weapons remained after the Shah was deposed.

Collapse of the Soviet Union was followed by experimentation with neo-classical macro-economic ideas promulgated by american schooled economists, primarily from Harvard and Yale.  These proved a disaster.  When Putin came to  power, Russia’s economy had shrunk to 40% of it Soviet Maximum, middle aged male suicide was at epidemic proportions, much of the populace was starving, critical infrastructure was crumbling, and NATO came closer and closer each year.  The arrival of Hu Jintao as premier of the PRC in 2002 gave rise to a personal friendship between Hu and Putin which led to profound changes in Russian macro-economics, and in the way Russia interacts with neighboring states.  Always a non-agressor state preferring diplomacy, Putin’s engagement with Hu leavened these policies with ancient Chinese policies toward tributary states.

Where the Soviet Union always sought advantage over dependent states, we now see Russia forming symbiotic relationships to mutual advantage.  This was evinced by Russia and China jointly creating the SCO.  From humble beginnings, the SCO has grown to encompass China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, India,  and Kyrgyzstan.  Mongolia and Iran are observers, with Iran slated to join next year.  Furthermore Russia and China guided the nuclear 5+1 agreement which normalized Iran’s relationship with the UN and ended UN sanctions against her.  We now see Russia forming a deep pragmatic relationship with Iran, to the point they are allies in the Proxy war between the US-Israeli-Qatari-Saudi alliance and Syria.

Chinese influence runs deep in Asia.  Originating with Ghengis Khan, spread throughout the mongol empire, the Chinese way of win-win tributary relationships, has spread from the Baltic to the Bering, from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean, and across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.   Diametrically different from the winner take all policies of the European powers and their successors, Chinese pragmatism, confounds Anglo-Zionist observers.  The Chinese are back.  Their navy is conducting exercises in the Straits of Hormuz now.  Their goods can be found in every nation on earth.  Their nationals ditto.  It is the Chinese who found a way to implement the Iran-Pakistan freedom pipeline regardless of stringent US objections.  It is they who built a gas pipeline from Gwadar Port to western china across the hindu-kush, ostensibly for LNG, routing it within 20 miles of the Iranian border where the iranian portion terminates, thence completing the missing link surreptitiously, bringing Iranian gas to market after nearly 30 years of US obstructionism.

It is probably the Chinese who suggested Iran offer Qatar access to Asian markets and the EU via Iranian pipelines after clearing it with Gazprom.  It is probably the Chinese who suggested offering some of this gas to Turkey to power it’s economy.  No less an observer than Pepe Escobar hints at this in his latest report.

 8 Key POINTS:

  1. The south coast Gulf Littoral states were part of Persia for centuries, were converted to Shia Islam by the Safavids in the 16th century, and their peoples have great cultural affinity towards Iran.
  2. Bahrain in particular was taken from Iran at the initiative of the Shah via UN resolution in
    1970, via a UN mission which was supposed to grant them independence. Following this the Al Khalifa clan assumed the throne, with Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa the current monarch.
  3. Oman in particular has had a long friendly relationship with Iran.
  4. The UAE has a grudge against Iran because the Shah took Abu Musa, and the Greater and Lesser Tumbs from her, together with vast petroleum deposits once held by Armand Hammer in what previously was the Sultanate of Sharjah
  5. For the past 6 years Qatar has been allied with KSA in their battle to market their petroleum products to the EU, via dis-memberment of Syria. It is now apparent that Syria will not be dismembered.
  6. For quite some time, Russia, Iran, and China have engaged in diplomacy with all the GCC states, the specifics of which are not known.
  7. Recently, information has leaked regarding a pipeline deal offered by Iran to Qatar,
    permitting Qatar to market it’s gas to Pakistan/India and to the EU via Iranian pipelines.
    Such an arrangement, should it exist, would leave KSA and the UAE out in the cold.
    Most likely Turkey has been offered some of this gas to run it’s economy.
  8. Though Whabbist, Qatar does not mandate the chador, and is actually quite modernist.

SUMMARY:

The row between Qatar and KSA/GCC is most likely due to capitulation by Qatar in their contest with Iran/Iraq/Syria for a route to market their petroleum products.

Capitulation to Iran’s offer of transit via Iranian pipelines to both asia and europe.

The offer to market to the EU has the blessing of Gazprom/Russia.

This offer is a pragmatic means to divide the forces funding ISIS and the other terrorist groups.

If this is indeed the case, we should see disarray among the various terrorist groups with those sponsored by KSA fighting the others, and the groups formerly sponsored by Qatar suddenly left in the lurch.

The consequence of this should be a much weakened proxy force for the R+6 to deal with.

 

 

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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