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Western Asia

Demystifying Iran And The ‘Resistance Axis’

Israel’s genocide in Gaza has unleashed a low-grade regional war that is gradually escalating towards what could become an all-out conflict. The central players in this simmering showdown are the members of the informal Resistance Axis, which include Hezbollah in Lebanon, a number of armed Palestinian groups including Hamas, the Syrian and Iranian governments, the Houthis or Ansarallah in Yemen, and Iraq’s armed Popular Mobilization Forces. Numerous strikes against Israeli and US military and commercial targets have already been carried out by these groups across the region, from US military bases in Iraq to Israel-linked commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

This Is Not Another ‘Phoney War’

Amid the tit-for-tats along Israel’s border with Lebanon over the past few weeks, the Houthis’ shelling of Red Sea traffic and repeated assertions that the U.S. does not want to widen the Gaza crisis into a regional war, I started thinking of that twilit interim in 1939–1940 known in history as “the phony war.” Has the world entered another such passage—another war we do not want to think is a war but is a war we do not want to see? That question seems far away now, an intellectual flinch. America, mindlessly loyal to the frothing dog known as Israel, has wandered into another war the way our president wanders away from podiums and off television news programs while the cameras are still rolling.

What Abandoning Fossil Fuels Could Look Like In The Arab World

For the second year in a row, world leaders met in the Arab world to negotiate the future of the planet. As a backdrop to the United Nations climate conference in Dubai, it’s a fitting venue for a planet-wide shift that scientists say needs to happen: The region has extensive deposits of oil and gas, but also immense, untapped potential for renewable energy. Over the past several years, European governments and corporations have made moves to capitalize off this potential, investing in sprawling mega-projects to capture the sun’s energy from the region’s vast deserts and export the electricity north.

Yemen’s Armed Forces Resume Attacks Against Israel

The Yemeni Armed Forces announced that it had launched two direct attacks on Israeli ships in the Bab Al-Mandab Strait off Yemen’s coast on December 3. The spokesperson for the Forces, Brigadier-General Yahya Saree confirmed the operation on Sunday, stating that it was in response to the demands of the Yemeni people and the “free people of our Arab and Islamic nation, to stand fully with the choices of the Palestinian people and their steadfast resistance”. Saree added that Yemen’s naval forces had carried out a targeted attack on the Unity Explorer and Ship No.9 vessels, the first with a naval missile and the second with a naval drone.

Israeli War On Gaza Raising Regional Tensions For US

While U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has been frantically shuttling around the Middle East trying to stop the Israeli conflict in Gaza from exploding into a regional war, the United States has also sent two aircraft carrier strike groups, a Marine Expeditionary Unit, and 1,200 extra troops to the Middle East as a “deterrent.” In plain language, the United States is threatening to attack any forces that come to the defense of the Palestinians from other countries in the region, reassuring Israel that it can keep killing with impunity in Gaza. But if Israel persists in this genocidal war, U.S. threats may be impotent to prevent others from intervening. From Lebanon to Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Iran, the possibilities of the conflict spreading are enormous.

Resistance Regionalizes As Yemeni Navy Seizes Israeli-Linked Vessel

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken among other high level White House officials have repeatedly stated since October 7 that one of their major objectives is to prevent the regionalization of the upsurge of resistance to the State of Israel in Gaza. However, it is Washington which has laid the groundwork for an already broad area of conflict throughout West Asia from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. In the specific case of Yemen, the Pentagon, under successive administrations, has engaged in occupations, bombing operations and proxy wars. Between 2015 and 2022, the U.S., backing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), coordinated a genocidal war against the people of Yemen resulting in one of the worst humanitarian crises on a global scale.

US Embarks On Proxy War Against Iran

A massive US naval deployment in a wide arc of the so-called Greater West Asia is under way — stretching from Crete in the Eastern Mediterranean, into the Red Sea and the Bab el Mandeb and into the Gulf of Aden and all the way into the Gulf of Oman. This deterrent display may transform as large-scale offensive operations and aims to rework the geopolitical alignments and bring them back to the traditional grooves of intra-regional rivalries in the Gulf region. Ship spotters first said that as of Thursday, the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and its escorts were sailing just outside the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf of Oman, and were approaching the Persian Gulf.

Why Does The United States Support Israel?

Geopolitical Economy Report editor Ben Norton interviewed economist Michael Hudson to explore the reasons why Israel is such an important part of U.S. foreign policy and Washington’s attempt to dominate not only the region of the Middle East, but really the entire world. It is crucial to stress that Israel is an extension of U.S. geopolitical power in one of the most critically important regions of the world. In fact, it was current U.S. President Joe Biden, back in 1986, when he was a senator, who famously said that, if Israel didn’t exist, the United States would have to invent it: If we look at the Middle East, I think it’s about time we stop, those of us who support, as most of us do, Israel in this body, for apologizing for our support for Israel. There is no apology to be made. None. It is the best $3 billion investment we make.

‘Turning Gaza Into Ashes’: Israeli Hasbara Vs The World

Gaza has changed the political equation in Palestine. Moreover, the repercussions of this devastating war are likely to alter the political equation in the entire Middle East and to re-center Palestine as the world’s most urgent political crisis for years to come. Since the establishment of Israel, facilitated by Britain and protected by the United States and other Western countries, the priorities have been entirely Israeli. ‘Israeli security,’ Israel’s ‘military edge,’ ‘Israel’s right to defend itself,’ and much more have defined the West’s political discourse on the Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine.

Israel’s Genocide In Gaza Provokes Region-Wide Responses

Ever since the beginning of the current round of Israeli bombardments inside Gaza, the US has maintained that it is necessary to restrict the violence inside the Palestinian territories. The US fears that any regional escalation will harm its geo-political interests including its presence there and may kill all prospects of the normalization of Arab-Israel relations. The point was repeated during the repeated visits of the top US officials in the region including the US President Joe Biden.  In the very first week of Israeli bombing, the US deployed its warships in the region openly warning the Lebanese resistance force, Hezbollah, to not interfere.

The Chances Of A Regional War

The population of Gaza is simply defenceless. Only international intervention can stop Israel from doing whatever it wishes, and those countries which have influence with Israel are actively abetting and encouraging the genocide. The question is, what is Israel’s aim? Do they intend to reduce the Gaza Strip still further, annexing half or more of it? Will starvation and horror enable the international community to force Egypt to accept the expulsion of the population of Gaza into the Sinai Desert as a “humanitarian” move? That appears to be the end game: expulsion of population and territorial expansion into Gaza. That would require a ground invasion, but probably not until after even more intense aerial bombardment to eliminate all resistance.

West Asia Says Goodbye To US And Hello To China

As the countries of West Asia have been turning more and more frequently to China for geopolitical concerns, the United States has been losing its foothold of influence in the region; a loss which is felt to be its own problem and responsibility by many. “In an attempt to salvage his country’s waning influence in the Middle East, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will embark this week on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia,” said Al Jazeera’s senior US political analyst Marwan Bishara in a post this Tuesday, June 6, while arguing that advancing “strategic cooperation” with his Saudi and Gulf counterparts may prove to be an uphill battle.

Europe’s Fate

If Emmanuel Macron got one thing done above all others during his recent summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, it was to put the question of Europe’s place in the global order before a lot of people who would rather not think about it. The French president, as is his habit, once again questioned Europe’s status in the Atlantic alliance, notably in his now-famous protest that Europeans cannot allow themselves to be “vassals” of the United States. “Strategic autonomy” must be the Continent’s aspiration, Macron asserted for the umpteenth time. Suddenly, the future of the Continent is squarely on the table.

Left Parties And Trade Unions In West Asia And North Africa Mark May Day

International Workers’ Day celebrations were held in different countries of the West Asia and North Africa region on Monday, May 1, with trade unions and left parties organizing mass demonstrations. Marking the day, workers raised slogans of unity and revolution against capitalist exploitation. Paying homage to the martyrs of Chicago, Tunisia’s largest trade union movement, the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), issued a statement on behalf of its general secretary Noureddine Al-Tabouni. It said that the UGTT was founded “on the principles of labour solidarity and victory of the interests of the workers and general public in all parts of the world regardless of race, gender, color and belief.”

West Asia Mistrusts Washington’s ‘Commitment’ To Democracy

An overwhelming majority of citizens in 13 countries across West Asia and North Africa say they do not trust US claims about “encouraging the development of democracy” or about “improving the economic lot of people,” according to a poll released on 7 April by US analytics and advisory company Gallup. Respondents in Iran, Tunisia, Palestine, and Afghanistan were the most distrustful about Washington’s ‘democratic’ intentions. Only in Kuwait and Morocco did the negative perception of Washington drop below 50 percent of respondents. Washington’s commitment to self-determination also faces great skepticism among adults in the nations surveyed, as 35 to 80 percent of respondents agree that the US does not allow people in their region to fashion their own political future.
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