When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the very same year marked the beginning of vicious ethnic civil wars of independence in most eastern European states.
In 1991, the Soviet Union lost 15 of its republics while the Serbs, Croats and Bosnians were equally eager to declare their independence and become part of the democratic Europe at the expense of hundreds of thousands of civilian victims. Czechoslovakia turned into two states and eastern Germany joined its western part. However, countries including Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland remained relatively in one piece.
European strategic studies showed that at times of economic or political upheaval, countries created or naturally united, or remained intact while countries that were created or federally unified on ethnic or a religious basis like Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, had to be divided. Applying this argument to countries worldwide means that the entire world is vulnerable to dissection once in a crisis. Yet, division was the rule in Eastern Europe during the nineties except in the western regions which have been going through a tough economic slowdown for years. It is not also the rule in the United States which prides itself in its multi-ethnic population of immigrants.
The fact is that both the US and Europe of the 20th century are immune to disintegration simply because of the tight grip of the nation state which was established in those countries decades ago. What happened in the ‘former’ eastern bloc is that as socialist economies began to stagnate, as major reforms were discussed if not introduced, and as the centre began to weaken to the point of abandoning the republics and their leaders, the earlier conflicts of ethnicity moved quickly and easily to the even more combustible issues of redefining the regime, the nation and the state. This also means that once an outside factor plays the tune of religion or ethnicity or the rights of the minorities, at times of a weakened nation state, that country is in danger of dissection.
Such lessons have been well-studied by US strategists. The crescendo that reached its highest and filled Europeans and the Americans minds after the victory of capitalism over communism was not exactly over the collapse of the Soviet Union but about the breakup of its eastern satellite states. Such a division that was carefully planned and tuned on ethnic, economic, or the illusions of democratic rule, guaranteed the supremacy of the US which became the world’s uni-polar system.
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
That lesson is currently being applied in the Middle East. The only difference is that the region will be divided on religious rather than ethnic lines. Washington has been trying to get rid of its reliance on the oil and gas of the Middle East since 1973 when Saudi Arabia blocked its oil supplies to the West during the war which erupted between Egypt and Israel. Despite the fact that the US has already managed to reach self-sufficiency as far as oil supplies, its allies in Europe are still dependent on the region’s gas and oil, not to mention Russian gas.
More importantly, the Chinese giant is also dependent on the region’s oil supplies and the yet to be discovered oil reserves. In the case of China, cutting, delaying or making oil supplies extremely expensive is the key word. Putting an end to China’s Silk Road project in favour of the EU-US Silk Road scheme is the plan of action. The American silk road is meant to get oil and gas of the former Soviet republics into pipelines that go through the Middle Eastern ports to reach Europe safe and sound and cheap. Every single country — in Asia or the Middle East — that was turned into a civil war zone is doted on the pipelines’ map of the American Silk Road. The US would not have dreamt about that project would not the Soviet republics have ceased being part of the Soviet empire.
Therefore, the US found in a stable Middle East a rock in the way of pursuing its economic plans to block China’s development and to control the power supplies to Europe and of course maintain its role as the world’s thug. The US should thus re-plan the Middle East into smaller states that could easily serve the interests of this global bully. Luckily for US strategists most countries in the region were not only created after World War II, on ethnic and religious lines, but suffered long time political and economic stagnation. The old client leaders in the region, though, have been loyal; the US administration found them outdated. The imposed sanctions over Iraq and the alleged war on terror were not enough for the US military industrial complex or the deep state to maintain its economic interest and for the US administration to achieve regime change in the region. Within this context, the decision to invade Iraq was meant to accelerate the process of breaking up major countries in the region under the slogan of fighting against terror. Currently, Iraq is a de facto three states as planned: one for the Kurds, the second for Sunnis and the third for Shiites.
Invasion of Iraq (photo: sasapost)
However, the regime change in Iraq proved terribly expensive. The US army was stretched out for years in Iraq and could not prove that a direct US invasion of undemocratic Middle Eastern states is an easy task. A war by proxy was found to be extremely helpful and manageable, especially when heated up by the doctrine ‘creative chaos’ as promoted by former US secretaries of state. Based on the lessons learned from former Eastern Europe this doctrine proved powerful and successful.
The need for change in the region, though authentic, was also orchestrated by the West. For decades, leaders like Mubarak, Ben Ali, Ali Saleh and Saddam Hussein were powerful and credible allies who carefully planned their careers according to American guidelines. But they have their own limitations. The young population of the Middle East has been looking for a better future, a more democratic political sphere and economic developments. In short they have been looking for a better life. Thus, instead of accepting them as immigrants or receiving their dead bodies along European shores, some of them were welcomed as activists. Thus when the tidal waves of the Arab Spring swept through the region it was not surprising to see that many Arab activists were trained in Europe and adopted the very same means used to overthrow leaderships in Eastern Europe.