Wed Jul 11, 2018, 08:33 AM

Chinas silky charming of Arabia, Four US demands to new Iraqi regime

Under the radar, away from World Cup frenzy and the merger and acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo Inc. and Fiat, the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), established in 2004, sailed on in Beijing, hosted by President Xi Jinping.

Amid the torrential pledge of loans and aid, China committed to invest right across the Arab world in transportation infrastructure, oil and gas, finance, digital economy and artificial intelligence (AI).

Significantly, Beijing will offer $15 million in aid for Palestinian economic development, as well as $91 million distributed among Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.


Four US demands to new Iraqi regime

Now compare the Chinese approach to the US strategy in Iraq – 15 years after Shock and Awe.

The US Ambassador in Baghdad, Douglas Silliman, met with all the leaders of the winning Shi’ite bloc and parties in the latest elections – from Haider al-Abadi to Ammar al-Hakim. Silliman delivered a unanimous package of demands to all of them, in an “offer you can’t refuse” style.

These are Washington’s four demands to recognize the next Iraqi Prime Minister:

1. 30% of all the oil in Iraq should be American-controlled – and it’s up to the US do what it wants with it.

2. Washington must have full access and control of Iraqi banks.

3. All business and trade with Iran must cease right now.

4. The Hashd al-Shaabi, known as People Mobilization Units (PMUs), instrumental in the victorious fight against Daesh (Islamic State), must be immediately disbanded.

This comes from a top Iraqi official present at all the meetings who told Asia Times sources what happened in these exact same words.

Virtually no political factions in Iraq trust the US – be they Shi’ite, Sunni, Yazidis and even most Kurdish factions. But the problem is the overwhelming majority of Iraqi politicians are involved in massive corruption, and a substantial number believe they need American “protection”.

If the Iraqi population, for all their divisions, was entitled to have a say about these demands, there’s no evidence any would be approved.

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