The Cold War’s Arab Spring: How the Soviets Created Today’s Middle East
Stolen Kremlin records show how the Soviets, including Gorbachev, created many of today’s Middle East conflicts
Had Desert Storm reached Baghdad, the region would be an entirely different place now. “The greatest (though open) secret of the Operation Desert Storm is that it failed to achieve its objectives,” Stroilov writes. According to National Security Directive 54, which authorized the military action, were Iraq to resort to destroying Kuwait’s oil fields, “it shall become an explicit objective of the United States to replace the current leadership of Iraq.” On Feb. 22, 1991, Saddam set Kuwait’s oil wells alight. So, why did it take 12 more years to get rid of him? Because Gorbachev and Mitterrand feared that the overthrow of his regime would leave the United States with too much influence in the region and thus defected from the coalition. “Without hesitation,” Stroilov writes, “Bush placed the new world order above everything else. The rebels were massacred, Saddam’s regime survived, U.S. forces withdrew.”
When 12 years later they returned,
Experts in the State Department concluded: what a surprise, Saddam’s regime was rather popular after all. Other experts blamed the invisible hand of Al Qaeda. Yet another school emphasized the lack of democratic traditions in the history of the Islamic World in general and Iraq in particular.
But if you repeat this experiment in any other country, the result will be exactly the same. Tell citizens to rise against tyranny, promise them support from the US forces, and when the massacre begins, withdraw quietly. Come back 12 years later and see for yourself, whether the locals would be in a pro-American or anti-American mood.
It is impossible to say whether he is right—but it is certainly a thesis worth considering.
A final note: While not discussed at length in this book, the Bukovsky archives show clearly that nuclear disarmament campaigns across Europe were largely funded by the Soviet bloc. The money was channeled through communist parties or other pro-Soviet organizations.
Baroness Catherine Ashton was the treasurer for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament from 1980 to 1982. The CND was notoriously secretive about its sources of funding and refused to submit its accounts to independent audit; when it was finally forced to do so under immense pressure, the auditors discovered that 38 percent of their annual income could not be traced back to the original donors. Will Howard, a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, was responsible for this part of the fund-raising.
Baroness Ashton is now the E.U. foreign policy chief, leading negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran.
Whatever the outcome, we may surely thank the Kremlin for that, too.
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