by Waseem Shehzad (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 48, No. 1, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1440)
Donald Trump’s anti-Iran hate fest in drab Warsaw in the middle of winter (February 13–14) degenerated into total farce. While attended by representatives from some 60 countries, none of them was a major world player. Billed as a “ministerial summit” to discuss the “Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East,” it quickly degenerated into spewing hatred against Islamic Iran. Not surprisingly, Russia, China, the European Union (EU), Germany, and France were all absent. Only low-level bureaucrats represented them at the conference, if at all.
The EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini pointedly refused to attend saying the Warsaw gathering would undermine EU efforts to keep Iran in the nuclear deal. Other no shows included NATO member Turkey, Syria, Qatar, the Ansarallah of Yemen, Lebanon, and the Palestinians. Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan went to Sochi instead on February 14 to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Ruhani to discuss the future of Syria. Turkey also announced that it would continue to buy Iranian oil under the normal process and would not abide by unilateral US sanctions.
So who attended the Warsaw conference? The US delegation comprised Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (in the words of Simon Tisdall of the Guardian (February 15), “Whatever else he is, Pompeo is plainly no diplomat”), National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Apart from Kushner who is Jewish, the others are Bible-thumping Evangelicals who passionately believe that all Jews will roast in Hell. Their job is to assemble them in Palestine as quickly as possible to pave the way for the second coming of Jesus!
The medieval Arabian potentates — dinosaurs heading for extinction — were also there to pledge subservience to the Zionist colonizers of Palestine. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rubbed shoulders with and glad-handed the Arabian potentates all huddled around him like frightened mice. But Netanyahu is nothing if not arrogant. On February 15, his office released a secretly recorded video in which Arabian foreign ministers meeting in Warsaw (February 14) discussed distancing their regimes from the Palestinian issue and focusing instead on the “threat from Iran.” They emphasized that they needed US-Israeli help to confront the “greater danger” from Iran. The video was quickly withdrawn but it showed two things: the treacherous nature of the Arabian rulers, and Zionist arrogance.
Apart from long-winded speeches, the conference did not produce a joint declaration. If it was billed to reassert the US’ pre-eminent position in the Middle East, it pointedly failed. And it had nothing to do with “peace and security in the Middle East.” America is not a force for “moderation and good” in the world, as Pompeo pompously claimed.
Rudy Giuliani, who acts as Trump’s personal lawyer, was also in Warsaw and attended the meeting of the terrorist outfit, the Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization (MKO, better known as the munafiqin). The MKO terrorists applauded the terrorist attack on a bus carrying Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Sistan-Baluchistan province on February 13, the opening day of the Warsaw conference. Giuliani was there when the MKO terrorists hailed fellow terrorists of an outfit calling itself Jaish al-Adl that carried out the attack, claiming the lives of 27 Revolutionary Guards and injuring 27 others. Iranian leaders blamed the “intelligence services of some neighboring countries.” Giuliani again openly called for regime change in Iran, as did the thick-moustached Bolton.
When the conference was first announced last November, Pompeo said it would ramp up pressure on Iran and isolate it further. The conference call was made in the wake of new sanctions against Iran that the Trump regime illegally imposed on Tehran. The first round of sanctions was announced when Trump walked out of the deal last May.
Reaction to the Warsaw conference was swift and negative. The Europeans were especially appalled at Trump’s brazen disregard for an international treaty that had been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council as well. Alarmed by the intensity of the reaction, the Americans backpedaled and renamed the conference, “Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East.” They rightly feared that few would attend, especially America’s European allies if the focus was too narrow. Despite the change of title, most saw through the ruse and refused to attend.
If the purpose of the conference was to talk about the future of peace and security in the Middle East, it was strange to note that Syria, Yemen’s Ansarallah, and Lebanon or Iran were not invited. True, some of them would not have attended even if they were invited but the malevolent intent of the Americans was clear.
Far from affirming America’s role as the preeminent global power, the conference exposed deep fissures in the US-European alliance. These became even more glaring at the Munich security conference held on February 16 at which the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the de facto leader of Europe, took aim at Trump’s go-it-alone policy. She rebuked Trump’s approach to treating allies as adversaries.
Merkel was blunt: the US-led global order “has collapsed into many tiny parts.” She said multilateralism, with all its complications, was better than isolationism. “Now that we see great pressure on the classic order we are used to, the question is: do we fall apart into pieces of a puzzle and think everyone can solve the question best for himself alone?” she said.
While the US has imposed new sanctions on Russia, Merkel defended the EU’s expansion of ties with Moscow, including plans for a new natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. She insisted Russia’s participation was needed to tackle global issues, and exclusion from talks was wrong. Merkel got an extended standing ovation for her forthright speech much to the chagrin of American officials including Ivanka Trump (the US president’s daughter), and a top advisor.
Mike Pence followed Merkel to the podium. The American vice president was given only tepid applause and greeted with gasps of disbelief and some incredulous looks when he proclaimed Trump “the leader of the free world.”
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics best summed up the mood at Munich when he said, “It’s getting crazier and crazier. I don’t know what next year’s Munich will bring.”
Pence reiterated the US demand for European allies to follow Washington out of the Iran nuclear deal. Merkel retorted that she found the dispute between Europe and the United States on Iran “depressing.”
That just about sums it up.