Days or even weeks are necessary to break down a massive propaganda assault released by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. While the renewed emphasis on Kuwait's U.S. base has stolen the current headlines, a full reading of the document is certain to jolt anyone concerned with America's ongoing military complex in the Middle East. On a fundamental level, the report offers the latest evidence that U.S. policy in the region is irreversibly counterrevolutionary.
A few points of observation on the Senate's Gulf Security Architecture with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC):
- The Senate's report is openly framed as pro-GCC, anti-Iranian. This priority automatically skews U.S. policy along Sunni-Shia divisions and flips the recommendation to leverage America's "strategic position to be a steady force for moderation, stability, and nonsectarianism" on its head.
- Numerous highlights of Israel's qualitative edge contrast sharply with the total absence of the Palestinian cause.
- Washington's unconditional support for Nouri al-Maliki (paralleled by Tehran) and the subsequent collapse of U.S. diplomacy in Iraq is masked by a "recommendation" to bring the country "into the Arab fold."
- Several of the identified "challenges" have already manifested in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, starting with Challenge 1: "While the United States has significant economic and security interests in the Gulf, it should not be seen as opposed to popular reform efforts."
- Challenge 3 belatedly warns, "The United States must carefully shape its military presence so as not to create a popular backlash, while retaining the capability to protect the free flow of critical natural resources and to provide a counterbalance to Iran."
- One recommendation: instead of limiting or suspending military aid in response to human rights abuses, use these incentives to reduce abuses. The Senate also "recommends" that U.S. equipment not be deployed against peaceful protesters, when this violation persists in Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain (tear gas in particular).
- Conversely, the Senate heaps praise on the Obama administration and GCC's response to Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Syria. Although the GCC provides Washington with an expanding outlet to address the Arab revolutions, Saudi Arabia's all-encompassing influence has played a key counterrevolutionary role in Egypt and Yemen. Both Washington and GCC's advances against Bashar al-Assad and his Shia regime have been stained by this double-standard. After being caught off guard by the first revolutionary fires, Washington and Riyadh have rallied to exploit the revolutions and pursue their own interests above democratic movements.
- The Senate's light warning on Bahrain is drowned out by Manama's 5th Fleet and its centerpiece relation to Washington's "lily-pad” deployments. Recommending a "dialogue" between "moderates" punts the issue down field, to be covered up again at a later date.
Despite its redundant nature and plentiful disinformation, the Senate's report deserves an attentive read and a comprehensive search. Inside lies the blueprint of U.S. talking points that the Obama administration is using to veil a systematic counterrevolutionary offensive. The GCC has been labeled as the Gulf Counterrevolutionary Club for good reason, and Washington is proudly financing its investment into the future.