Vincde Dhimos answered a question at the German language forum of Quora.
The following is a translation of my initial version, but the German version is somewhat expanded. I figured my NSS readers already know the economic aspects so I am posting this with these omitted.
Thierry Meyssan is one of the very few analysts with a broad enough view of the vast geopolitical canvas to be able to sum up the trends of our time, particularly with regard to the spectacular loss of prestige of the US and the simultaneous increase in prestige of Russia. The difficulty of presenting an accurate and detailed analysis is that one must master a plethora of details in two dimensions, ie, time and space (geography). This is like playing 3-D chess. Yet someone must do it. Otherwise, the world sinks into darkness.
What Meyssan says in this short summary is the product of years of study and reflection, and fortunately, he is not alone in his interpretation of the world. https://www.voltairenet.org/article208020.html
"Thierry Meyssan underlines the extreme gravity, not of the US withdrawal from Syria, but of the collapse of the world’s current landmarks. According to him, we are entering a short transition period, during which the current masters of the game, the "financial capitalists" - and those he refers to here have nothing to do with either original capitalism or the original bank - will be rejected in favour of the rules of law laid down by Russia in 1899."
But since he has chosen not to flesh out his findings in the above-linked essage, let us see if we can provide some missing details.
The Middle East since September 2015 is the most important element in this analysis because it was in this brief period that this region transitioned from trusting mostly the US to resolve its conflicts to trusting Russia and mistrusting the US. While trust was the most important factor, most Western eyes were focused on military aspects and Western ears were heeding grandiose but empty words from the White House and the State Department.
The Fianancial Times of May 2017 told the whole story of the dramatic turn-around in a headline: Arab youth turns to Russia as US influence wanes. The author draws his data from the Arab Youth Survey by Burson-Marsteller.
A breakdown of the actual survey results from 2017 can be found here. We see from this that in only one year, the perception of Russia as an ally had surged from 9% in 2016 to 21% in 2017, while the perception of the US as an ally had dropped from 25% in 2016 to 17% in 2017.
The perception of the US as an enemy shifted from 32% in 2016 to 49% in 2017.
By 2019, 59% were saying the US was an enemy, up from 49% in 2017.
All this in spite of the fact that the results were influenced by mostly Sunnis, and very heavily by GCC countries, as shown by the fact that most considered Iran an enemy. Syria and Qatar were completely left out of the survey on the pretext that Syria was too unstable. Yet Syria would have shifted the results even more in favour of Russia and against the US. As for Qatar, it is partnering with Iran in its oil and gas business, so if it had been included, we could have expected the Qataris to shift the overall results in favour of Russia and away from the US. It is remarkable that the US is increasingly seen as an adversary despite Trump’s strong anti-Iran rhetoric
We can also rest assured that the abrupt US pull-out leaving the Kurds at the mercy of Turkey would also have a major effect on the results. We must also take into account that Turkey, one of the most important Muslim players in the Middle East, was not included the survey, which included only Arab countries in the Middle East.
However, the attitudes of Arabs is not the only factor to consider in evaluating the trends in the Middle East.
Another astute observer regarding the power balance between the US and Russia is The Saker, who writes at the Unz Review:
“Yes, Trump did the right thing when he declared that he wanted the US forces out of Syria, but let’s not be naive about that either: he did not order that because he is some great humanitarian, but because if the Turks, the Kurds, the Syrians or anybody else had taken a hard shot at the US forces in the region, this would have resulted in a bigger war which would certainly cost Trump his presidency.”
This analysis shows that the Russia-Syria-Iran axis dominates the US-Israel-Saudi axis in the Middle East for the very simple reason that the US has none of its own boots on the ground in the Middle East and relies solely on proxies, who are not reliable and who likewise consider the US unreliable, and the US knows that if it launches a military operation against any aggressor, eg, Iran, it stands to lose both personnel and assets, and the loss of either would entail an unaffordable political loss. Specifically, Trump would likely lose the election. This is precisely why the US, while blaming Iran for the attack on the Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities (even though the Yemeni Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack), could not retaliate militarily and wound up looking like weaklings.
Likewise, despite grave warnings and threats of military attacks on Venezuela, the US could not actually carry through on these statements and wound up looking foolish and weak.
Ditto for N. Korea, which Trump had threatened to destroy totally, that is, before rushing to a photo-op to hug Kim Jong-Un.
And before that, after his second Tomahawk attack on Syria, Trump threatened once again to attack Syrian military installations, but the Russian Ministry of Defence warned him that if he should harm a hair on the head of a Russian military person or damage Russian equipment, Russia retained the right to destroy the ship from which the offending missile came. There were, of course, no further attacks.
Thus the handwriting is on the wall. There is no indication that the US can continue to play the bully in the Middle East or elsewhere.
Russia is the world’s new sheriff. And unlike the previous sheriff, he knows exactly what he is doing.