You are here

The Middle East: Best soap-opera wannabe ev-ah! editor: Must Read! This is a brilliant and hilarious satire. Humour with a sting: Several people have asked me recently why I always seem to be writing about the Middle East. "Why don't you ever write about anything else?"

Of course I write about other stuff -- but the Middle East is so much more interesting and entertaining than anything else! The Middle East is definitely more interesting, entertaining and even weirder than any soap opera, reality show or action flick that Hollywood could ever produce. Fascinating stuff.

I'm always amazed that so few other Americans aren't just totally fascinated by the Middle East too. Or even that there isn't at least one daytime soap opera devoted solely to the subject -- if for no other reason than that the Middle East has some of the greatest villains of all time!

Take America, for instance. Our very own Wall Street and War Street are currently starring as top-billing major actors in the Middle East, playing in prime-time roles -- as the biggest villains in the script so far too. America practically invented ISIS, for goodness sakes! You can't get more villainous than that.

(Republished from Jane Stillwater's blog at

Or can you?

According to journalist Daniel Lazare, "After years of hemming and hawing, the Obama administration has finally come clean about its goals in Syria. In the battle to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, it is siding with Al Qaeda." War Street, you've been busted as the Bad Guy -- and on national television too!

Or take Saudi Arabia -- another shining example of epic villain-a-lishious-ness at its best. That country has been playing the villain since way back in 1930 -- when it invaded the Republic of Yemen for the first time after Yemen actually dared to become a democracy. Then the Saudi regime went on to help America create Osama bin Ladin, finance the Taliban and dirty their hands with 9-11. And now the Saudi regime is financing and training ISIS. Doesn't get more juicy than that.

No, wait, yes it does. The Saudi regime is now using American-supplied cluster bombs on Yemen. Juicy soap opera at its best, better even than TMZ -- unless of course you are living in Yemen.

And then there is Syria. What is going on there right now is even better than "One Life to Live". How many Americans even know who Bashar Assad is? The poor guy has a couple of corrupt, sleazy relatives that the Saudi, American, Turkish and Israeli regimes have spent the last four years trying to put into power. Why? Because power corrupts -- so Assad's relatives are already trained to be as corrupt as their sponsors. How "Dallas" can you get?

And of course Turkey is now in the mix too -- just can't keep its hands off of ISIS, the designated "fem fatale" in this reality show. But Turkey had better watch out. ISIS is a psychopath and Turkish citizens do not like President Erdo?an cheating on them and messing around with her instead.

Or take Iraq -- the ultimate reality show. Outwit, outlast and outplay. Plus all the principle soap opera characters are there in Iraq too. You got the lying bitch (mostly America), the BFF (mostly Britain and France), the scheming scoundrel who will stop at nothing to get rich (mostly Bibi Netanyahu) and the struggling anti-hero (mostly Syrians trying to chase ISIS out of Syria) trying to thwart the Bad Guys (mostly ISIS, but with ISIS's secret suppliers Saudi Arabia, Israel, America and Turkey thrown in).

You just gotta love all that plotting, counter-plotting and backstabbing now taking place in the Middle East -- such as when General Sisi in Egypt overthrew a democratically-elected government in order to be America's date to the prom. Or when the Saudi Arabian regime, source of 9-11 and Osama bin Ladin, comes out smelling like a rose and being America's BFF. Or not.

You want action and drama? No problem there either. The Middle East has it all! America, NATO, Britain and France get together and bomb the crap out of Libya (for her own good), put Al Qaeda in charge of Libya for even more raping and pillaging fun (she asked for it) -- but then deserts fair Libya in her darkest hour of need. And even though Libya is not technically actually in the Middle East, you can still just sit back and watch the fun.

And ditto for Afghanistan. Lots of action, drama, lies and skullduggery there too -- even though it also is not technically located in the Middle East.

And now apparently ISIS (that tramp!) is also off having a hot illicit affair with the American-sponsored neo-Nazi Ukraine regime, also not in the Middle East -- but this new daytime drama may soon to be playing on European TV instead -- as ISIS slips off to gay Paree after dumping her thug boyfriend in Kiev.

Plus who wouldn't want to hear the exciting story about brave and heroic Palestinians fighting for their freedom -- only to be called angry sluts by the American media. Or how the brave and heroic Yemenis, fighting for their freedom, get bombed back to the Stone Age by the despotic Saudis who still somehow manage to come out as the Good Guys -- even after training and financing ISIS. How do they do that? How do they just keep getting away with that again and again? Will they ever get their comeuppance? Apparently not. But stay tuned.

And then there is the Israeli regime, staring as the "scheming patriarch" character, forcing America to do its dirty work so it can take over the Middle East. Bibi Netanyahu is like a Mafia don or the villain on "The Bold and the Beautiful" or "Dark Shadows" -- always scheming behind the scenes. He's like Angelique Bouchard or Sheila Carter. What's not to love about him?

Why would anybody who loves soap operas and/or reality shows, action movies or even murder-mysteries and thrillers even think of ever not keeping up with events in the Middle East? Entertainment at its best!

Too bad, however, that more than a million lives have been lost so far in these productions -- but, for Wall Street and War Street, that's just one of the costs of being in show business.

Image icon m-e-soap-tiny.jpg6.7 KB
Image icon m-e-soap.jpg44.05 KB


Unstable food security and the recent international food price spikes were certainly one of their many grievances and was likely the factor that sparked the initial unrest, yet the level of unrest greatly varied in intensity throughout the Arab region.

Behind the epidemic of global violence is a cascade of food price spikes linked to worsening resource constraints - See more at:

Of the 17 countries identified as being most at risk of food riots, 14 are Muslim-majority countries, and at least 10 are subject to ongoing US-led counterterrorism operations. "Terror" is more than a conflict of ideals, and political instability. The peer-reviewed study, published last month in the journal Sustainability, builds on growing evidence that a lack of “access to critical resources, including food, energy and water, can, in certain circumstances, lead to violent demonstrations”.

“What we know is that the countries that actually experienced food riots were very fragile and hence there were underlying conditions that escalated the crisis.”

Some of these conditions have been exacerbated by climate change and energy depletion. In Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Egypt, all of which have experienced internal violence, intensifying water scarcity due to global warming has dramatically undermined domestic agriculture, while the depletion of conventional oil and transition to more expensive unconventional fossil fuels has reduced state revenues from oil exports.

The Middle East takes $8 billion worth of Australian exports, and the Federal Government has announced it wants to grow that. The Middle East's population is forecast to grow to 430 million people by 2020. Some countries in the Gulf rely on 90 per cent imports for their food. It leaves fragile communities to rely on supply chains of food, subject to political conditions and global trade prices. So, while Australia sends troops to Iraq to fight IS terror, it's also trading with countries in the Middle East.

The Middle East and North Africa on the whole is highly vulnerable to food insecurity and its resulting unrest. The Arab Spring was primarily a protest against governments calling for more political and civil liberties, and was fueled by long-held resentment stemming from a sense of moral outrage and injustice. Afghanistan has had a long-time food security issue. The desert regions of the Middle East struggle with food production, and many of the countries of the Arab Spring are big importers of their main food staple, which made them very vulnerable to price spikes.

For Saudi Arabic, relying on desalination plants, water has become more valuable than oil. It is not economically feasible to run desalination plants and provide water for farming or even parched cities. Besides the demand for water has increased while the supply has become scarce and unreliable.