One of my favourite books and one that opened my eyes as a teen, and in recent years has come back to haunt me as I discern the evil hidden hand that is trying to take over this world was “1984” by George Orwell. One of the intriguing snippets from the book, long ago etched in my mind, concerns a “dumbed” down population controlled by the Big Brother state. They had been led to believe they were in a state of perpetual warfare but with the added twist that the stated enemy can change at a virtual drop of a hat.
It got me thinking about Iran and Saudi who, despite both being Muslim, really do not like one another and are intent on doing down (and even destroying) the other. One (Iran) is Shia and the other (Saudi) is Sunni. Not that we should read so much into the Shia Sunni conflict, given under Islam all true Muslims are brothers, and while the reasons are deep and historic, for less informed western minds it is a starting point to understanding what is going on in the region. Also, significantly, Sunnis are more liable to engage in jihad and are responsible for groups like Isis, with its huge ramifications.
One of the (many) interesting things I have seen under the Trump (US) Presidency is his whirlwind tour of the Middle East, especially that which took in the centres of the world’s three great religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam and, until I could figure out what was going on, the adulation bestowed upon him by the Saudi establishment. One of the reasons, I suspect, is the hostile stance Trump appeared to have taken regarding Iran, adopting maybe the notion that my enemy’s enemy is my friend. I have no doubt that Trump is right that America in order to deter Iran from is nuclear aspirations etc. brought them off at a huge price by his predecessor, Barrack Obama, with little it seems by way of return (just as Bill Clinton did with the North Koreans and we are now seeing the consequences). Two other aspects that can’t be ignored is that pro-Israel Trump sees keeping the Saudi’s sweet to be an important aim when it comes to safe-guarding US interests in the Middle East and that the lucrative arms deal that he helped to broker with the Saudis is in line with his America First ideology that got him elected. One might salutary reflect unholy alliances remain the way of the world!
With all this and more in mind (including having watched a video by David Icke criticizing this switch of US support from Iran to Saudi), I came across an article titled: “Spectator: Iran is our natural ally, not Saudi Arabia”. The article is not long but it is pretty intense. It concedes that neither Iran nor Saudi are particularly agreeable allies, but Iran is the best option, and in arguing its case points to a whole string of bad things Saudi has done, largely ignored here because it would conflict with British commercial interests. I confess, I still struggle to come to a clear view of what is going on in the region and deciding what the best options should be, and those who are wise on this matter are far and few between.
Yet these questions are important, just as it is concerning the latest crisis on the world stage – our being on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe concerning North Korean activities (who have the capability of wiping out its neighbour, South Korea, in less than an hour). Just as in Orwell’s 1984, the population seems to be sufficiently dumbed down to do little more than acquiesce to what their leaders tell them or at very least what a discredited mainstream media decides to report. I doubt my entreating will achieve much regarding Trump’s Middle East policy (any more than it would with his North Korean one), with the UK government likely sheepishly following suit, but I can (and will) watch (realising how little I actually know) and entreat the Lord at the Throne of Grace.