By Pepe Escobar
January 20, 2012
Asia Times Online

There’s no way to understand the larger-than-life United States-Iran psychodrama, the Western push for regime change in both Syria and Iran, and the trials and tribulations of the Arab Spring(s) – now mired in perpetual winter – without a close look at the fatal attraction between Washington and the GCC. [1]

GCC stands for Gulf Cooperation Council, the club of six wealthy Persian Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates – UAE), founded in 1981 and which in no time configured as the prime strategic US backyard for the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, for the long-drawn battle in the New Great Game in Eurasia, and also as the headquarters for “containing” Iran.

The US Fifth Fleet is stationed in Bahrain and Central Command’s forward headquarters is based in Qatar; Centcom polices no less than 27 countries from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia – what
the Pentagon until recently defined as “the arc of instability”. In sum: the GCC is like a US aircraft carrier in the Gulf magnified to Star Trek proportions.

I prefer to refer to the GCC as the Gulf Counter-revolution Club – due to its sterling performance in suppressing democracy in the Arab world, even before Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia over a year ago.

Cueing to Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, the Rosebud inside the GCC is that the House of Saud sells its oil only in US dollars – thus the pre-eminence of the petrodollar – and in exchange benefits from massive, unconditional US military and political support. Moreover the Saudis prevent the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – after all they’re the world’s largest oil producer – to price and sell oil in a basket of currencies. These rivers of petrodollars then flow into US equities and Treasury bonds.

For decades virtually the whole planet has been held hostage to this fatal attraction. Until now.

Gimme all your toys
The GCC, essentially, is the core of the empire in the Arab world. Yes, it’s essentially about oil; the GCC will be responsible for over 25% of global oil production within the next few decades. Their tiny ruling classes – from monarchies to business associates – function as a crucial annex to the mighty projection of US power all across the Middle East and beyond.

Link to the rest of the article The US-GCC fatal attraction