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In a week where Donald Trump’s Trade war sent global markets tanking, our readers would be entitled to expect us to focus primarily on the Trade War and its consequences.
We have written about it at length and do expect some kind of settlement after this week’s latest show of muscle by both parties, the most interesting of all being North Korea Kim sending a few missiles in the Pacific Ocean.
Last week was full of events, on the military front, on the macro-economic front and on the earnings front.
We are exploring their implications below.
Incoherent Western Policies ?
Last Friday’s harmless missile attack on Syria following Bashar El-Assad’s use of Chemical weapons in Douma on April 7th 2018 created a lot of volatility in the financial markets but did not achieve much, apart from demonstrating Russia’s hold of the Middle Eastern Scene and the unwillingness of the West to confront Russia, Iran and Bashar El Assad.
If anything, it has re-inforced the standing of Bashar El-Assad with its own people.
What is striking is that the West’s policies in the Middle East have been truly incoherent !
In 2003, and for no other reasons than an ego trip of G.W.Bush, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was toppled on the basis of fake Weapons of Mass Destructions, leading to the destruction of Iraq and the encroachment of Iran in this Shia majority country.
Granted, Saddam was a dictator and a tyrant, but apart from that common feature of most leaders in the Arab world, he had no international agenda and his country was largely at peace.
In 2011, Moammar Gaddafi was toppled by a French-British coalition justified by the Lockerbie airplane bomb, more than a decade earlier. There again, Gaddafi was a dictator and a tyrant, but he had no international agenda and his people were actually leaving peacefully, if not comfortably.
Today, faced with one of the worst war criminal of the past 60 years, the remaining in power of which has led to a 7-years civil war, 300’000 deaths and the displacement of millions of refugees, the complete destruction of entire cities such as Homs and Hama and of multi-secular historical sites, the freeing of thousands of Islamic radicals who then created DAESCH and attacked the West and the systematic bombing of its own population using his air force and chemical weapons,
the USA, France and the UK just sent a few missiles and warned the Russians and the Syrians of where they were going to land…
We argued several times that the episode was nothing more than China asserting its geo-political leadership over Western Asia and that the US had no choice but to pass the leadership baton on to the Empire of the Middle.
The opening of talks between the two Koreas during the current PyeongChang Olympic games confirm that China has taken the lead and that the Korean crisis will be solved in a peaceful manner through direct talks between the two Koreas.
The agreement of China to the deployment of US THAAD missile defense system in South Korea was nothing more than China giving South Korea the guarantees that its sovereignty and political system would not be harmed, in exchange for a more cooperative handling of the North Korean needed evolution.
The Korean crisis is probably a thing of the past, despite the lip service of the US towards more economic sanctions, and the most likely outcome is a gradual evolution of the North Korean regime and economy in cooperation with South Korea.
But the real issue at hand, and one that could make 2018 a significant milestone in history, is the increasing likelihood of an all-out war in the Middle East.