9 Mar 2015

The Mother of All Middle East Conspiracy Theories

The Middle East is, to coin a phrase, a complex place. All is not what it seems. Appearances can be deceptive. The truth is hard to come by. It is also a place where journalistic conventions necessitate the use of lots of proverbs strike a neat balance between the mystical and the fatalistic. Nevertheless, truth is concealed under layers of misinformation and deception, like an ancient oasis buried underneath the desert sand.

Yet, as the ancient Arab proverb says: ‘When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’ This impeccable line of reasoning has led over the decades to the discovery of many a concealed truth or a secret plot, much like the unearthing of the buried oasis in the metaphor above, purely by this simple process of deductive reasoning.


Every Middle Eastern country has teams of researchers working away to uncover those elusive secrets, usually while puffing away at their hookahs. This, coincidentally, explains both the popularity of the hookah and Western attempts to ban it, a blunt attempt at preventing people from seeing the truth if ever there was one.

For, truth be told, if there is one thing the West hates it’s the people of the Middle East seeing the light and discovering its secret plots in the region. This is why Western media tries to discredit those great revelations made by Middle Eastern analysts by describing them as ‘conspiracy theories’. In fact there is strong evidence on the internet to suggest that the term ‘conspiracy theory’ was itself created by the CIA during the Cold War.

This takes us to the latest discovery to be made by Arab researchers during the past few months, amounting to, in the words of one observer, ‘the mother of all conspiracies’. The centrepiece of this conspiracy, as in most things these days, is the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and increasingly in Libya and other places. (ISISILOP). Acute observes noted that the sudden appearance of ISISILOP seemed to benefit the US hugely by appearing to be undermining its influence in the region, a sign that it’s trying to hide something.

Observers have also noted that tendency of Iran to benefit from US intervention in the region. As one wag put it: ‘every time America intervenes in the region, Iran moves over one country to the West. One more intervention and Iran will be in Cyprus.’ This amounts to clear evidence that the US is secretly in cahoots with Iran, particularly when one observes the rapprochement between the two countries and Obama’s eagerness to conclude a nuclear deal with Iran. What better way to dispel the notion of a secret agreement more than the two countries dealing openly with each other?

The outlines of the devious conspiracy begin to take shape. The US is secretly working with Iran to weaken the other states in the region, and it is using ISISILOP to advance its aims. Now you might ask at this juncture: ‘but Iran is fighting ISISILOP in Iraq while the US is bombing it, how can they all be working together?’ Clearly you don’t know the first thing about misinformation.

But what about Israel? Wouldn’t strengthening Iran threaten Israel, the US’s traditional ally and best friend in the region? (It’s beyond friendship if you ask me, something fishy is going on there, but I’m not one to gossip. ) After all, Netanyahu seems to be intent on destroying the prospects of any deal between the US and Iran and has clearly made this his priority.

You’re so na├»ve. Do you think someone like Netanyahu would reveal his real intentions to the whole world? Netanyahu is clearly using reverse psychology to disguise the secret plot between the US, Israel and Iran. Much like when you say to someone ‘don’t tell me, I don’t want to know’, in hope that this would fool them and they would actually tell you.

However, this still leaves the question of the US’s other allies in the region and the threat to their interests as a result of Iranian ascendancy. Saudi Arabia for example is clearly unhappy about the prospects of an Iranian deal with the US and further Iranian gains in the region. Why would the US abandon its traditional strong ally to pursue a fling with Iran, which it has confronted since the Islamic revolution in 1979?

Because the US is not interested in alliances, it is interested in instability. (Something about shale oil might be appropriate here, but we don’t know quite what. No conspiracy is complete without oil. Much like a Middle Eastern salad without, er, oil.) The US obviously wants to play all the countries in the region against each other to remain in control, much like a fat, bald, rich, middle-aged man plays off his mistresses against each other. The bastard.

So, to put it simply, the US created ISISILOP to create a threat to Saudi Arabia and give an excuse to Iran to intervene in Iraq, to disguise its secret aim of protecting the interests of its ally Israel which are served by continuing infighting between Sunni and Shias and Arabs and Iranians thus preventing them from uniting against Israel and in the process driving down oil prices which it doesn’t need any more because of fracking, thus weakening Qatar’s ability to intervene in the region impacting on its link with the US’s other traditional ally, and Nato member, Turkey to prevent it from playing a bigger regional role which explains why the US is supporting Kurdish aspirations which are in turn kept in check by the rise of ISISILOP. And there you see how the circle is complete.

It is not called the mother of all conspiracies for nothing.

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Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

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