While President Trump seems to have sorted out his problems of interior authority - more or less - the conflict has now moved on to concern NATO. Washington is currently speaking against the manipulation of terrorism, while London has no intention of giving up such a useful tool for the extension of its influence. The Bilderberg Group, initially organised as a sounding board for the Alliance, has just been the stage for a difficult debate between the partisans and the adversaries of imperialism in the Middle East.
There exist no photographs of the meeting of the Bilderberg Group, whose work is confidential. Security for the meeting is not handled by the FBI, nor the Virginia police force, but by a private militia organised by NATO.
The Bilderberg Group was created in 1954 by the CIA and MI6 in order to support the Atlantic Alliance. It was intended to gather personalities from the economic and media sectors with political and military leaders in order to sensitize civil society to the « Red peril ». Far from being a place for decision-making, this very exclusive club has historically been a forum where the elders had to juggle with their fidelity to London and Washington, and the younger members were expected to show that they could be trusted with the opposition to the Soviets .
It was during the annual reunion of 1979 that Bernard Lewis revealed to those present the rôle of the Muslim Brotherhood in the resistance to the Afghani Communist government. This Israëli-British-US Islamologist then proposed that the « War for Freedom » (sic) should be extended to all of Central Asia.
It was in 2008, in other words two and a half years in advance, that Basma Kodmani (future spokewoman for the Syrian opposition) and Volker Perthes (future advisor to Jeffrey Feltman for the total and unconditional capitulation of Syria ) explained the interest of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in order to dominate the Middle East. They stressed the « moderation » of the Brotherhood faced with the West, and the contrast offered by the « extremist sovereignty » of Iran and Syria .
And it was in 2013 that the chairman of the German executive board, Ulrich Grillo, made a case for the organisation of a massive migration of 800,000 Syrian workers to German factories .
The Bilderberg Group has just held its 2017 meeting, from 1 to 4 June, in the United States. Contrary to habit, the 130 participants were not all defending the same project. Quite the opposite - following the speeches by Donald Trump at the Arabo-Islamic-US summit, and at NATO , the CIA and MI6 organised a first-day debate which opposed those who are partisans of the fight against Islamism and those who support it. The point was, obviously enough, either to find a compromise between the two camps, or to acknowledge the dissension without allowing it to destroy the initial objective of the Alliance – the fight against Russia .
On the anti-Islamism side (that is opposed not to the Muslim religion, but to political Islam as formulated by Sayyid Qutb), we noted the presence of General H. R. McMaster (President Trump’s National Security Advisor) and his expert Nadia Schadlow. McMaster is a recognised strategist whose theories have been verified on the battle-field. Above all, Schadlow has worked on the ways of transforming military victories into political successes. She is particularly interested in the restructuration of poltical movements in conquered countries. She should soon be publishing a new book about the struggle against Islamic radicalism.
On the pro-Islamism side, we note the presence, for the United States, of John Brennan (ex-Director of the CIA) and his ex-subordinates Avril Haines and David Cohen (financing of terrorism). For the United Kingdom, Sir John Sawers (ex-Director of MI6 and a long-time protector of the Brotherhood) and General Nicholas Houghton (ex-Chief of Staff, who prepared the land invasion of Syria). For France, General Benoît Puga (ex-Chief of Staff for the Elysée and commander of the Special Forces in Syria) and Bruno Tertrais (neo-conservative strategist for the Ministry of Defence). Finally, for the private sector, Henry Kravis (Director of the investment fund KKR, and unofficial treasurer for Daesh) and General David Petraeus (co-founder of Daesh).
And if this imbalance were not enough, the organisers had planned for the presence of experts capable of justifying the unjustifiable, like Professor Niell Fergusson (historian of British colonialism).
The possible reversal of alliances
It will take a little time before we know what was said during this meeting, and to understand the conclusions that were reached by the various attendees. However, we already know that London is pushing for a change of paradigm in the Middlde East. If the model of the « Arab Spring » (reproduction of the « Arab Revolt of 1916 » organised by Lawrence of Arabia in order to replace the Ottoman Empire by the British Empire) is abandoned, MI6 hopes to create a new agreement on the basis of political Islamism.
As a result, while Washington has renewed its alliance with Saudi Arabia, and has convinced it to break with the Brotherhood in exchange for 110 billion dollars worth of armament , London is pushing for an agreement between Iran, Qatar, Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood. If this project were to be realised, we would experience the abandon of the Sunni/Chiite conflict and the creation of a « croissant of political Islam » encompassing Teheran, Doha, Ankara, Idleb, Beyrouth and Gaza. This new distribution would enable the United Kingdom to maintain its influence in the region.
The only thing upon which the Allies seem to agree is the necessity of abandoning the principle of a jihadist state. Everyone admits that the devil has to be put back in his box. Which means getting rid of Daesh, even if some people keep working with Al-Qaïda. This is why, worried about its survival, the self-proclaimed Caliph has secretly transmitted an ultimatum to Downing Street and the Elysée.
We shall see within the next few months if Saudi Arabia’s about-face is genuine. It would be good news for the Syrians, but bad news for the Yemenites (whom the Western world would then ignore). It would offer King Salman the possibility of stimulating the evolution of Wahhabism from a fanatical cult to a normal religion. Already, the sudden conflict which opposes Riyadh to Doha on the question of Iran is doubled by an argument about the possible kinship between the founder of the cult, Mohammed ben Abdelwahhab, and the Qatari Al-Thani dynasty – a claim which has enraged the Saudi’s.
The project of « political Islam » consists of uniting the Muslim Brotherhood and the Khomeinists. It would mean that Iran, and even Hezbollah, would have to substitute this problem for the fight against anti-imperialism. If this were come to pass, it would most certainly lead to the withdrawal of Iran from Syria. The White House is taking this very seriously and is frantically preparing for it. In his speech in Riyadh, Donald Trump already designated Teheran as his new enemy, and has just nominated Michaël D’Andrea (who organised the assassination of Imad Mougniyeh in Damascus in 2008) as the representative for the Iranian section of the CIA .
Russia had already prepared for a potential new deal in the Middle East. Consequently, by supporting Syria, it pursued its ambition of gaining access to « warm waters », and by seeking rapprochement with its hereditary adversary, Turkey, of being able to navigate freely via the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus (indispensible for entering the Mediterranean). However, in the long term, political Islam could only cause it problems in the Caucasus.
As always when the players sort their cards, they all have to define their positions. The United Kingdom defends its Empire, France defends its ruling class, and the United States defends its people. In the Middle East, some people will fight for their community, others for their ideas. But things are not always so simple. Thus, Iran might follow the ideal of Imam Khomeiny, confusing the end and the means. What was in the beginning an anti-imperialist revolution led by the power of Islam could evolve into a simple affirmation of the political use of this religion.
The consequences for the rest of the world
MI6 and the CIA took a huge risk by inviting a non-Atlantist to the meeting of Bilderberg 2017. The Chinese ambassador, Cui Tiankai, who was scheduled to speak only on the fourth day of the seminar, was thus able to evaluate the positions of each member of NATO as from the first day.
On one hand, Beijing is counting on the collaboration of Donald Trump, the opening to the United States of its Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the development of all its commercial routes. On the other, it is hoping that the Brexit will lead to an economic and financial alliance with London .
Ambassador Cui, who was the Director of the Centre of Political Research for the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Affairs, might possibly be satisfied with the simple destruction of Daesh. But he is not unaware that the people who organised the Caliphate in order to cut the « Silk Road » in Iraq and Syria, and then the war in Ukraine in order to cut the « new Silk Road », are preparing, preventatively, to open a third front in the Philippines and a fourth in Venezuela in order to cut off other communiction projects.
From this point of view, China, which, like Russia, has an interest in supporting Donald Trump, if only to prevent terrorism in its own country, will be asking itself about the possible long-term consequences of British hegemony in the « croissant of political Islam ».