The Middle East is on tenterhooks, anticipating what comes next after a series of shock moves by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. His sudden purge imprisoned high ranking Saudi princes and businessmen, and blew one out of the air while trying to escape by helicopter. He appears to have forced the Lebanon PM to resign on a specious excuse, it is thought as a way of moving against Lebanon-based Hezbollah who are funded by Iran. He is cosying up to Israel’s Netanyahu as an unlikely ally, possibly with an eye to getting Israel to fight a Lebanon war for him. Macron has shot across to Riyadh to argue support for Lebanon, since the French were formerly the colonial overlords.
His reckless and failed war in the Yemen, seen as a proxy dispute with Iran, has cost Saudi Arabia many billions and is not only unwinnable it has been inhumanely destructive, resulting in the worst outbreak of cholera in modern history, with a million cases expected by the end of the year and at least 600,000 children likely to be affected. Now he has blocked access to airports, seaports and land crossings into Yemen, which could bring millions of people closer to “starvation and death.” At the moment about two-thirds of Yemen’s population relies on imported supplies. 20 million people need humanitarian assistance, including seven million facing “famine-like” conditions.
And Bin Salman is best buddies with Jared Kushner with Trump as his cheer leader, who supported his earlier moves against Qatar and Al Jazeera.
Both Iran country charts, 1906 and 1979 look in for an uncertain, undermining two to three years ahead. With 2019 showing up for them, and on many of the regional relationship charts, as the key stress point, when the warlike tr Saturn Pluto conjunction is in place.
The détente between MbS and Netanyahu may not survive 2018, but that could be because of political changes in Israel. Israel and Saudi Arabia are not natural allies with a composite Sun opposition Uranus and a power-playing Pluto opposition Jupiter in their relationship chart. That link will be undergoing radical changes through 2018/19; with later 2018 and 2019 especially looking hugely unsettled and less than enamoured as time wears on.
Add on: Hezbollah has strengthened in recent years through the Syria War, backed by Iran, and improved its weaponry. Founded 16 February 1985, a few months before MbS, it has the same confidently-pushy Jupiter in Aquarius square Pluto in Scorpio, with Pluto trine a late Aquarius Sun, sextiling onto Neptune – a force to be reckoned with. The Sun Mercury are on the focal point of a Fixed T Square to Saturn in obsessive Scorpio opposition a Taurus North Node – strong self-belief and not inclined to give way. Plus a pro-active, excitable Venus Mars in Aries in a high-adrenaline trine to Uranus.
That chart will have an uptick at times through 2018, though moments of deep uncertainty at the start and finish of the year. But looks completely floored in 2019 with Solar Arc Saturn conjunct Neptune and Solar Arc Sun square Neptune; and a total-disruption tr Uranus opposition Pluto.
The relationship chart with Saudi Arabia look bumpy now and early 2018; with more obvious pressures and differences in 2019/2020.
The Hezbollah/MbS relationship chart gets more panicked from April 2018 onwards; with a sharp deterioration in 2019.
The Yemen is one proxy war; Syria was another with Russia pitching in its tuppence worth along with the Iranians for Bashar Assad. So the real risk is that the rest of the world will get drawn into yet another Middle East maelstrom which purports to be about the Sunni/Shia split but is in reality about territorial power plays.