“Yemen”, the new Waterloo.
The War in Yemen has ended! The protracted conflict that began in 2014, was opposing the Houthi rebels supported by Iran due to their “Shi’a” religious ties, versus a Saudi-led coalition of the “Sunni” confession.
Briefly, the difference between the two branches of Islam is that the “Sunni” believe that Prophet Mohamed, peace be upon his Soul, did not explicitly declare a successor and accept Abu Bakr, the Prophet’s companion, and father-in-law as the elected heir, while the Shia believe the prophet designated Ali, his cousin and son-in-law. The dispute opposing followers of Ali and Abu Bakr might appear trivial to non-Muslims; it has however claimed the lives of millions of innocent people on the planet and weakened the Ummah (Muslim nation) for centuries: (An extensive piece on the Iran – Saudi Arabia conflict is our next issue.)
In Yemen only, the war is believed to have killed more than 150,000 people, to date, until the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wang Yi, brought the two belligerents to the negotiating table and showed them how pointless their conflict was. “Can’t you see that you are both losers in this war and that you are unwittingly serving the interests of somebody else”? reportedly asked the Chinese diplomat. Indeed for its self-preservation and that of Israel, the West has instrumentalised one side against the other for decades. That ends now.
For all his troubles, Mr. Wang Yi, the new Kissinger, is unlikely to receive a Nobel Prize from the very people who are set to lose big from the Iranian and Saudi rapprochement. Once peace was finally brokered between the Saudis and Iranians their local factions in Yemen followed suit, and the two energy giants proceeded to jointly apply to the BRICS+, a new China-led bloc of emerging nations, set to redefine the global order.
Who knew that the tiny poor country at the far end of the Arab peninsula, bordering the horn of Africa, could be remembered in history as the last battlefield where Western global hegemony was defeated and global Islam unified?
The end of Western Totalitarianism.
Only months after the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, an American author, Francis Fukuyama published an essay and immodestly titled it: “The End of History and the Last Man”. To him, history had ended, and America and the West had permanently won! Western Liberal democracy was to be the final form of government for all nations until the end of times, sublime to all others. He claimed that further thinking was futile, that there could be no progression from Western genius, and ordered us all to simply toe the line. Thus began an era of “Western totalitarianism”, whose hubris as hallmarked by the likes of Fukuyama meant it could only be short-lived.
As America exits the scene, Europe is at war again, the Arab world is in tatters, Palestinians are stateless, the Sahel is ungovernable, Cuba is still embargoed and Africa is still poor. As the latest of America’s eternal presidential aspirants, Robert Kennedy Jr. puts it: “Over the past decade(s), America has spent trillions bombing roads, ports, bridges, and airports, while China spent the equivalent building the same across the developing world. He proceeds: China has displaced the American empire by projecting economic power instead of military power. And concludes: The Ukraine war is the final collapse of the short-lived ‘American Century.’”
The good man is generous with himself; there was no such thing as America’s generation, let alone century. US hegemony starts in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the second superpower, and lasted for about 20 years at best, the shortest world’s regency in the history of mankind, which was characterized by genocides, wars, and the destruction of the planet.
Since 2010 it has been an era of “China’s containment” which is ending with the marginalization of the US dollar on the global market and a war in Europe. With the accession of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, BRICS+ now controls half of oil and gas reserves on the planet, which is set be traded in local currencies.…
Furthermore, China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” now links Shenzhen, the farthest point of the South China Sea, to Madrid and Lisbon, the farthest points in Europe on the banks of both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and to the oil and gas-rich Persian Gulf. With a tiny effort, the rail line will soon cross through to Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, down across Africa to the Cape of Good Hope, and through to South America where China has been making huge investments to connect the emerging continent that has suffered all possible calamities at the hand of their northern hegemonic neighbour.
The End of the Petrodollar.
In February last year, Saudi Arabia ignored America’s request to increase oil production to reduce global market prices and chose to honor a previous agreement with Russia and fellow OPEC members. For all of us, the Kingdom’s move, a first since the oil crisis of the seventies, signalled “interesting times” ahead for the fate of the American dollar.
At the end of WW-II, Franklin D. Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, aboard the American cruiser, the USS Quincy, docked in the Suez Canal, reached a historic agreement for America to provide aid and military protection to the House of Saud, and in exchange, the Kingdom would price their oil exports in US dollars. In the 1970s, that system expanded to other oil-producing countries, leading to unparalleled strengthening of the American dollar – and conceivably the source of Fukuyama’s fancies.
Recently, prompted by Western embargoes imposed upon Iran for its nuclear ambitions and Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the Russians and Iranians started selling oil to China in their respective currencies. This new mode of trade is set to expand to other “BRICS+” members, including the six fresh admits, namely Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, UAE and Argentina, all set to join in January next year.
BRICS are fine, BRICS+ is the game-changer
Although it wasn’t effectively reported upon, the expansion of BRICS+ is without a doubt the single most salient geopolitical shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The “BRICS”; acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa started as an informal five-member coalition to counter the influence of the G-7, a Western-dominated forum that is based on nothing else than America’s mood swings, and the United Nations Security Council which too is an outdated outfit bringing together the victors of WW-2.
For years, Africans had been calling for a reform of the UNSC, demanding a permanent sit, in vain. And for years, the UNSC has sanctioned military invasions and total destruction of African and Arab nations, killing hundreds of thousands of black and brown people and leaving the invaded nations in total shambles, with disastrous lasting impacts on entire regions. Today, three African nations are going to be represented in the BRICS+, with one being its founding member. Late Robert Mugabe would be proud…
In West Africa, heads of state who are suspected to be Western cronies are being forcefully removed, France’s grip on Uranium, oil and other natural resources from former colonies is being contested while French puppets on the African continent are living their last days in power.
An otherwise unsophisticated political rabble-rouser named Ousmane Sonko, drove multiple thousands of Senegalese youth on the streets of Dakar to compel incumbent Macky Sall to abandon plans to run for an extra term with one simple message: “This man is a French puppet”. Only yesterday, the coup leaders in Niger gave 48 hours to the French Ambassador to leave the country while the French troops based in Mali have started departing. People of the Sahel are seen burning the French flag and replacing it with the Russian flag, America’s trademark “condemn” and “warn” threats are now falling on deaf ears, with threatened juntas hastily inviting Russian mercenaries of Wagner to protect them against possible NATO invasion.
An avoidable, precipitated collapse.
If it sounds as though I am celebrating, I am not. We are all humans and inhabitants of this planet. In that sense, we are all connected; a clarity that America might finally accede to, from its uncomfortable second place.
You see, people of the world are hurting. As far as I am concerned, I cannot fail to mention that my people suffered genocide; and that my continent suffered wars and exploitation, all in the name of “Democracy”; a Western product.
I believe that under America’s leadership, the West has contributed vital scientific and technological advances to mankind, only they used them to exploit rather than promote the rest of the world. When they aided a poor nation, they cried out to the world about it. They missed no opportunity to remind the recipients of aid that he had no say in his own affairs.
The West plundered Africa’s resources and created miseries on the cradle of mankind. When Africans turned up on their shores in flight of the misery, they let them drown in the mediterranean sea. Malaria and AIDS are still killing people in the southern hemisphere, but they have been defunded for being “tropical diseases”. During COVID-19, a recent global pandemic, Western nations hoarded vaccines, refused to release patents for African nations to manufacture their own, and their papers complained daily, that Africans aren’t dying enough.
If successful, the BRICS+ will be a moderating force. Like the USSR protected Cuba from certain annihilation by America and helped African nations to gain independence, BRICS+ might bring a vital balance in the world and temper the bully.
To clinch the historical pact with King Ibn Saud, FDR acted with vision and personal sacrifice. The man was gravely ill, his blood pressure up at 260 over 150, with only a few days to live. In his condition, he had travelled halfway across the world and was returning from the famous Yalta summit, where he had met Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin to discuss the post-war reorganization of Germany and Europe. But in true statesman, he was convinced that Saudi Arabia’s oil would be crucial to America’s post-war reconstruction of Europe. History proved him right and the only four terms’ American president is fondly remembered as one of the greatest global leaders of our time. After his demise, on April 12th, 1945, his successor, Harry Truman ordered, four months later, the atomic bombing of two Japanese cities, killing thousands of innocent citizens…
I believe America will come back on top. The country possesses a critical mass of wise men, like FDR and Kissinger in their time, who have been marginalized by opulence and replaced by idiots such as Fukuyama, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and John Bolton, whispering in the ear of bellicists like the Bushes, Obama and Biden. History has shown that in times of stress, sanity prevails in America. Strong statesmen will emerge, grab the till of the drifting nation, and stir America in the right direction, all over again. However, I hope it will have had time to meditate on the David and Goliath tale, that even Yemen or Afghanistan, two poor countries, can destroy a world superpower.
This article was published by Liban Mugabo and Gatete Nyiringabo, founders of Future Logics, a Strategic Advisory Firm based in Kigali, Rwanda.