Our square-jawed replacement for the collapsing face of Hillary Clinton made a disastrous series of drop-by visits across the Middle East this past week. (You may remember that the once-peacenik Kerry married into the Heinz Katsup fortune and bought himself a seat in the Senate in 1984).
In Cairo, where General Sissi overthrew an elected government last year and placed the elected President Morsi in jail without trial, Kerry released an additional $572 million for military aid and approved shipment of ten Apache helicopters that had previously been withheld after Sissi’s coup. He expressed his commitment to the universal rights of Egyptians and “strongly sensed Sissi’s commitment to human rights” as well. The General currently holds 20,000 political prisoners in jail and has sentenced 2,000 political opponents to death. Just 24 hours after the Kerry drop-in, President Sissi, wiping off the Holy Water that John Kerry had so generously sprinkled upon his head, approved the 7 to 10 year sentences for three Al Jazeera journalists found guilty of “spreading false news”. Washington denounced the sentences but let the Apaches, good for crowd suppressing, to continue on their way to Cairo. After this auspicious start, Kerry slipped secretly into Baghdad for a 90 minute tete-a-tete with the embattled Prime Minister Al-Maliki. He purportedly argued for a national unity government which would “rise above sectarian divisions”, whilst just a hundred miles to the north Sunni militants had taken over Mosul and half a dozen other cities and the Kurdish militants had regained control of Kirkuk and major oil fields. Barely had Kerry’s jet cleared the runway when Maliki denounced the concept of a unity regime as “a coup against the constitution” and called for “a holy war against terror”.
Not discouraged, Kerry dropped by Erbil and spoke with the Kurdish President Massoud Barzani. Barzani did not even bother to wait for Kerry’s departure to denounce his ideas. Even before Kerry’s plane had even touched the runway he explained to the waiting press corps that it was “very difficult to imagine the country staying together” and called for full independence for all Kurdish people and their surrounding oil fields. It has become increasingly difficult to find any unifying theme behind America’s policy in the region.
We support this ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) insurgency in Syria with materiel (another $500 million just today) yet seem as if to oppose these self-same militants when they cross the border and raise havoc in Northern Iraq. We strongly supported former President Mubarak in Egypt when he jailed and suppressed the Moslem Brotherhood movement for 20 years yet acceded to their leader’s election in 2013 as President after all the rioting in Cairo had swept Mubarak from power.
When the military that we had so well fed and cared for decided to overthrow the Brotherhood dominated regime, earlier this year, we raised no objections and assured the military fat cats of their continued privileged status in our eyes. Perhaps our over-riding goal throughout the Middle East is to sow instability, to support no one individual and no group that seriously resists the United States hegemony over the entire regime. You can reduce it all to oil if you like, but that makes it difficult to explain why we want to control Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Afghanistan where there is little or no oil or gas production. Today, our advice and military muscle are no longer respected in the region, and when we put such inept spokesmen as Kerry and Clinton on planes to spread the word, we are openly denounced as at best unaware of the realities and at worst as fools.