The Iranian regime played a hardball game in Yemen, trying to gain an Iranian proxy power on the Arabian Peninsula, on Saudi Arabia’s southern border. To the east of Yemen is Oman, a nation which had been, at the least, not entirely hostile to the Iranians, though certainly not aligned with them. The effort depended on three factors- the US would not take action, the Saudis would be hesitant to take any military action outside of their borders, and the Omanis would be more or less not obstructive.
War Update: It would appear that while Iranian-backed Shia-Salafist forces in Yemen continue their advance, despite withering air attacks by Sunni Arab forces led by Saudi Arabia, efforts are underway to clear the areas around Yemen of Iranian forces. Continue reading War Update: Bab el-Mandab Strait
By Bill Collier- Iran is succeeding in waging war against its neighbors and regional powers by using proxy forces in multiple theaters who will do Tehran’s bidding. It is also dominating three Arab governments, including Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon in its apocalyptic vision of being a regional and then a global hegemon.
(See author’s post on Freedomist about this subject)
While Arab and Sunni powers are waking up to the ambitions of the Iranian regime, the battle lines are not simply Sunni versus Shia or Persians versus Arabs: the true fault line is between Salafist fascism on one hand and modern day Islam on the other hand. The Salafo-fascist ideology is adaptable to both Sunni (e.g. ISIS and Al Qaeda) and Shia (e.g. Iran and Hezbollah) devotees. The basis of the ideology is anti-capitalism, anti-democracy, a strongman leadership, male chauvanism, and an apacolyptic dream of world dominion. The forced practice of Islamic law, as interpreted in the Salafist (originalist/literalist) tradition and in the strictest terms is the ultimate end goal of all forms of Salafo-fascism. Salafo refers to the Salafist base, while fascism refers to its anti-capitalist, anti-democracy, and strongman governing model by which this Salafism is imposed. Continue reading The Emerging War Against Salafism
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William Collier- Salafist militants in the Middle East will face a major squeeze thanks to the election results from Isreal’s March 17 election.
This victory by a hawkish Israeli leader, who is matched for his anti-Salafist hard line by the government’s of Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, will put the squeeze on Salafist militants. It is widely known, for instance, that the Palestinian Arabs are largely led by militant Salafists. Moreover, these Pasletinian Arab Salafists have proven to be problematic in Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon and have helped fund and support nasceant, but suppressed, Salafist cells in the UAE. Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas, for instance, often sounds “reasonable” when he speaks English but his Arabic rhetoric is pro-Salafist straight down the line, just as much as Hezbollah and Hamas. Fatah is even persuing a “war crimes” indictment of Israel’s Prime Minister, which makes any notion of negotiating peace with such an entity an absurdity. Continue reading Israel Election Will Squeeze Salafists
Bill Collier- The swings in foreign policies set by elected leaders with a big ego are making geopolitical predictions more difficult, especially if normal state interests are considered to be the major factor in making such predictions.
Continue reading Ego And The Problem With Geopolitical Predictability
Bill Collier- The precipitous departure of the United States from commitments abroad, a process of unilateral disengagement, has many security experts concerned that prospects for conflict are increasing. Regardless of who wins the election in 2016, even if that person reverses the trend, the damage to America’s reputation as a reliable ally may be permanent. Continue reading World Conflict Probabilities Increase