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Eureka: A few notes on the Middle East
by Joseph Gatt
2018-07-28 07:42:01
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Notes on Middle Eastern politics, in no particular order.

-The pillar of Middle Eastern politics is its army and intelligence services, its business elite and its political elite. Up until the 1990s the three were interchangeable, that is you had people who went from the army to business to politics, but since the 1990s businessmen have tended to specialize in business, the military has specialized in the military and politicians have made careers out of politics.

mideas001_400-The business elite earns its bread from financial aid and imports of foreign goods that are sold in the market, and in some cases from exporting raw materials to foreign countries. The business elite has also invested in real estate, restaurants, night clubs, pubs, entertainment venues and other easy sources of income in Europe and elsewhere. In some cases agricultural and industrial investments have also been made in Europe and elsewhere.

-The political elite makes its bread from financial aid and exports which are converted into ministerial budgets and salaries. Public servants in most ministries get their pay late if they get paid at all, often have computers that don't work and are treated like interchangeable heads. Only ministers and top ministerial officers get large paychecks and afford to live comfortable lives in luxurious houses with domestic servants and drivers.

-The military elite makes its bread from exports and financial aid which is then used for buying weapons and for salaries. Low-ranking officials get low pay, high ranking officials are paid considerable amounts. Military officials also tend to have pacts with business officials where they get commissions in exchange for making trade easier for businessmen.

-Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq failed as states after the 2008 recession when European countries could no longer provide financial aid and could no longer export materials from Middle Eastern countries. As the military, businesses and politicians were no longer getting paychecks, they either fled abroad, defected or in some cases remained loyal to the leaders.

-Middle Eastern countries have two types of views on failed states. One, the majority opinion, is that each country should find their own ways to peaceful solutions. The other, which is the Iranian view, is that as Muslim brothers failed states should get military, financial and political help from Iran.

-Palestine tends to get a lot of Muslim solidarity from its Muslim brothers. In most cases, most Middle Eastern countries express their solidarity with Palestine with token gestures, such as a few comforting words or perhaps the donation of food or clothing items. Iran wants to be the more zealous nation  when it comes to Muslim solidarity, and wants to arm and politicize its Muslim brothers who are in trouble.

-In principle, Muslims tend to side with Muslims in conflicts, and against Jews, Christians and any other religion in conflicts. Attacks on Christians or Jews tend to be viewed with a great deal of schadenfreude, and there is a prevalent belief that Christians and Jews suffer because they reject the Muslim faith. This is how Muslims have always preached through the ages, as in embrace our religion or you will get the apocalypse.

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