by Pepe Escobar at thecradle.co
The idea that History has an endpoint, as promoted by clueless neoconservatives in the unipolar 1990s, is flawed, as it is in an endless process of renewal. The recent official meeting between Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Beijing marks a territory that was previously deemed unthinkable and which has undoubtedly caused grief for the War Inc. machine.
This single handshake signifies the burial of trillions of dollars that were spent on dividing and ruling West Asia for over four decades. Additionally, the Global War on Terror (GWOT), the fabricated reality of the new millennium, featured as prime collateral damage in Beijing.
Beijing’s optics as the capital of peace have been imprinted throughout the Global South, as evidenced by a subsequent sideshow where a couple of European leaders, a president, and a Eurocrat, arrived as supplicants to Xi Jinping, asking him to join the NATO line on the war in Ukraine. They were politely dismissed.
Still, the optics were sealed: Beijing had presented a 12-point peace plan for Ukraine that was branded “irrational” by the Washington beltway neocons. The Europeans – hostages of a proxy war imposed by Washington – at least understood that anyone remotely interested in peace needs to go through the ritual of bowing to the new boss in Beijing.
The irrelevance of the
Tehran-Riyadh relations, of course, will have a long, rocky way ahead – from activating previous cooperation deals signed in 1998 and 2001 to respecting, in practice, their mutual sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
Everything is far from solved – from the Saudi-led war on Yemen to the frontal clash of Persian Gulf Arab monarchies with Hezbollah and other resistance movements in the Levant. Yet that handshake is the first step leading, for instance, to the Saudi foreign minister’s upcoming trip to Damascus to formally invite President Bashar al-Assad to the Arab League summit in Riyadh next month.
It’s crucial to stress that this Chinese diplomatic coup started way back with Moscow brokering negotiations in Baghdad and Oman; that was a natural development of Russia stepping in to help Iran save Syria from a crossover NATO-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) coalition of vultures.
Then the baton was passed to Beijing, in total diplomatic sync. The drive to permanently bury GWOT and the myriad, nasty ramifications of the US war of terror was an essential part of the calculation; but even more pressing was the necessity to demonstrate how the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, had become irrelevant.