Once Aryan Skynet Goes Live It Doesn't Matter Who Pulled The Switch
History repeats itself in Syria. Now, as decades ago, the peoples of the Middle East find themselves the beneficiaries and the victims of a renewed theater in the Cold War between the United States and Russia. The first generation of neoconservative opinionmakers was eager to exaggerate the threat of Soviet expansionism because it provided the perfect excuse to lobby for U.S. aid to Israel to counterbalance the seeming menace of Soviet-allied Arab states. Cold War escalation also served neoconservative ends in forging military-industrial alliances and promoting the ideal of the United States as an international avenger and a global defender of abstract democratic values. “For the duration of the Cold War,” writes Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, “it had been possible for the Israel lobby to justify the transfer of extraordinary amounts of cash and hardware to Israel on the grounds that it served a US strategic interest keeping Soviet proxies at bay.”1 Aryan Skynet previously cited the examples of Kissinger’s “Judeopolitik” and faux-peacenik “Battling” Bella Abzug’s Cold War arms industry hypocrisy.
Notwithstanding tentatively amicable relations with the Soviet Union based primarily on profitable arms deals, revolutionary Libya maintained a critical realism with respect to the atheistic communist superpower, seeing it merely as a rival colonial interest competing for territory with the United States. Muammar Gaddafi, in an interview he granted to Le Monde at the time of the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, indicated that “the Soviet Union is the arch enemy of the Arab World because, for instance, it is responsible for the weapons sent by Nixon to Meir during the current war.” Gaddafi explained:
[…] had not the Russians made an uproar over their miserable arms shipments to the Arab countries, and had not their propagandists drawled about the airlift of weapons to Cairo and Damascus, America would not have supplied Israel with that amount of aid. But the Arabs and the Israelis are victims of the competition between Moscow and Washington. Nevertheless, we are unlike the Zionists because the benefit we get from our so-called ally is far less than the benefit our enemy gets from our simplicity. For instance, Nixon supplies Israel with sophisticated weapons, whereas Mr. Brezhnev sends to us the most obsolete equipment. […]
What advantage do we get from these missiles? To defend ourselves only, while we are in need of an offensive armament. Israel is attacking, shelling our towns and bombarding our ports, while the Egyptians and the Syrians are not advancing in Sinai or in the Golan. Therefore it is impossible for us to win a war as long as we are on the defensive. Thus, we are always in the middle of the road. […]
The Phantom [jet], in particular, is better than the Mig-21 aircraft possessed by the Arab armies. Why don’t they [i.e., the Russians] supply us with aircraft other than the Mig-21 which we only use in propaganda parades? The Russians have modern transport planes which were unknown to us before they were sent to Cairo by Moscow to fly the military advisers expelled by Sadat in July 1972. […]
The Algerian Oil Minister shares with me the view that the Russians are exploiting us in spreading hatred for the Americans in the Arab World. We are, of course, against the United States when we speak about it as a colonialist power, but we don’t want to serve, in such a manner, the Soviet interest in the region.
Aware that the Russians would read the interview and hoping that they would reconsider their unwillingness to provide their most advanced military hardware, Gaddafi added that “if we lose this war, the Arab World will turn to the United States of America.”2
The Soviet Union had a significant Muslim minority, but nothing to match the power and influence of American Jewry, so that Soviet involvement in the Middle East was pragmatic and always lacked the emotional component of neoconservative support for Israel. This reality, along with the inequality of Soviet and American economic resources, found reflection in the unequal outcomes in the region for the Jews and their less organized Arab enemies. Reflecting on the Middle East conflict in a 1974 interview with a Yugoslavian newspaper, Gaddafi fretted in words that could describe the present situation:
Things now appear to run in the direction of confirming secure boundaries for Israel and sacrificing the Palestinian people. In order that this is realized the United States is to dominate the area. What we witness now of the American march on the Middle East and its subsequent return after Nasser foiled this return during the past twenty years is something dangerous for the Middle East, the sovereignty of the Arab nation, peace in the Mediterranean and European security as well as it increases the confrontation chances between the two large camps since the United States takes one step forward in the area. In such a state of affairs all concerned and anti-imperialism peoples should take a firm stand to stop the American march.3
Whatever the ultimate outcome of the neoconservatives’ New Cold War, the Arabs again are positioned to be among the losers in the conflict.