I was seated beside someone who personally knew one of the men who was there on the roof in Benghazi. This person was excited to share with me the “ground truth” of what happened September 11, 2012.
My seat mate drew schematics to orient me to the “time and spacing” and the direction of the attack. I learned about the repeated orders to the men at the CIA annex to stand down and do nothing — thank God two of them, Glenn Doherty and Ty Woods, lived up to their code of honor and ran to the sound of the guns, resulting in their loss of life — but the preservation of life for others, their fellow Americans. Continue reading
Nation by nation, Iran is extending its reach in a bid to rein over the Middle East. If allowed to continue taking control of the world’s strategic chokepoints, Iran can affect the world as it sees fit.
On Tuesday, Iran’s Fars News Agency, citing a spokesman for Yemen’s Revolutionary Forces, reported that “the Yemeni people are deeply interested to establish stronger and very intimate relations with Iran.” According to Fars, the spokesman “reiterated that once the Yemeni people take back power from the Saudi-U.S. pivot, Tehran and Sanaa would certainly develop their ties” (emphasis added).
So, what does Iran expect to gain by establishing a strong presence in Yemen?
Take a look at the accompanying map. Basically, Iran wants Yemen for the same reason it wants Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt: to control the Red Sea!
(See full story for map)
Yemen is adjacent to both the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. It sits on the north side of the Bab el-Mandab passageway. Every ship that passes through this passage—and there are thousands every year—would travel within easy range of Islamist missiles stationed in Yemen. Consider the global ramifications: Nearly 30 percent of global oil supplies, more than 2 million barrels per day, pass through the Suez and the Red Sea. Roughly 20,000 ships, an average of 55 per day, pass through the Suez Canal and Red Sea each year. About 15 percent of global maritime trade travels through the Red Sea.
Talk about power and leverage!
Few see it, but ultimately, this is Iran’s grand strategy for endorsing and promoting the Islamification of Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea, and to a lesser extent, Yemen and Djibouti!
Think about the leverage Iran is gaining. It already effectively controls the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. Now, in the 18 months since the Arab Spring touched off the rise of Islamist forces throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Tehran has made enormous strides in gaining influence over the Gulf of Aden, the Bab el-Mandab passageway, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. If Egypt takes control of the Sinai, which appears imminent, Iran will also gain a foothold in the Gulf of Aqaba. It’s startling, when you really think about it, the way Iran is quietly, steadily—without hardly anyone noticing—locking down the Red Sea!
Full article: Why You Should Pay Attention to Yemen (The Trumpet)
As was discussed in a previous post, the plan was to whittle away at Iran, one country after another until it is isolated.
BERLIN/WASHINGTON/DAMASCUS (Own report) – German-US-American plans for Syria’s transformation along the lines of the Western model are already meeting resistance, even before the possible overthrow of the Assad regime. For months, German government advisors from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) have been working on measures to be immediately implemented following an overthrow of the government in Damascus. These plans are being forged in the German capital in collaboration with the state financed United States Institute for Peace (USIP) and about 45 Syrian opponents, with the objective of installing a pro-western regime in Damascus as soon as possible. Inside Syria, however, it is becoming more and more apparent that influential insurgent militias will not submit to the West and will insist on their independence, according to a study, focused on the example of one military rebel unit near Aleppo. The Islamist oriented forces among the militias would have to be given more influence in Syria’s transformation. An enhanced role of Islamist forces in Syria is also among the plans developed by SWP and USIP in Berlin, which, if successful, could end Syria’s alliance with Iran for the foreseeable future, further isolating Teheran.
Serious consequences loom on the horizon, given the fact that Islamist forces are playing a prominent role, both locally and in German-US-American concepts, in spite of the obvious unwillingness of influential militias to accept having a western agenda imposed on their post-Assad Syria. Syria’s Islamists will shift the equilibrium in the Arab world – further away from secular milieus, toward a religious conservative order that can get along well with the current leading political role played by the Gulf dictatorships in the Arab League. In addition, under Sunnite Islamist influence, Syria will abandon its alliance with Shiite-Islamist Iran, thereby, leaving Iran without any governmental allies in the Arab world. This exposes the background of the West’s policy toward Syria, which is dependent upon the support of Islamist forces, to achieve its primary objective of a total isolation of Teheran, to block its geopolitical development at the Persian Gulf for a long time to come.
Full article: The Day After (German Foreign Policy)