Like the best of conjurers, he distracts you with one hand (or in his case, his mouth!) whilst fixing the cards with his other hand. Or at least, that is how Mr. John R. Bradley sees it in this week's 'Speccie'. According to him, there has been a major stitch-up in the Middle East with all sorts of 'enemies' now becoming 'friends'. Well, not exactly "friends" perhaps but at least 'working partners'! You only need look at the list of ingredients that has gone into this melting pot to be amazed that the oven didn't explode! Russia, the USA, Israel, Assad's Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Saudi and the Gulf States have all quietly agreed to a new (sort of) settlement which gives everyone something.
First of all, America, up to its chin in fracked oil, now has the chance to pull out of the Middle East in which it no longer has the slightest interest. Russia gets to keep its naval facility in the Med but given the parlous state of the Russian navy, a fat lot of good it will do them! 'Vlad' will continue to sleep with Assad and we hope they will both be very happy together! The Israelis have gained their main objective of keeping all hostile forces well clear of their frontiers. The Iranians have been promised 'loads'a dosh' from Vlad for their 'petro' industry but I would advise them to clear the cheque fast!
That, as you would expect from this, er, distinguished blog, is a very rough summary of a complex analysis by Mr. Bradley and I would urge you all to read the original article for a full understanding of the myriad details. The most important factor is that the USA under 'The Don' is intent on pulling out of the Middle East. He has already indicated his irritation with NATO so one wonders how long (or short!) it will be before we all stand on the seashore waving goodbye to American military power?
Suffice to say, I think, that "the times they are a-changin'!" and very, er, 'bigly', too!