Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora. The following is an expanded version of the answer.
This question reflects the utter refusal of Western msm to share the slightest bit of sensitive information about the US and its relations with its readers. And of course, it reflects the hesitancy of Westerners to go beyond the msm. The best sites to save Westerners from absolute darkness about the happenings and situations in the Middle East and other war zones are:
Even the Israeli site Haaretz provides honest information on the plight of the Palestinians. Editor in chief Gideon Levy is a renegade journalist who deplores the atrocities suffered by the Palestinians. The only catch is most articles are pay to read. However, some, especially those aimed at American audiences, are free.
Some of you are already using RT and Sputnik, which provide details you’ll be hard put to find anywhere in Western media. But the Western Establishment declares that these sites are filling you full of lies and are trying to pull you into Russia’s orbit.
So let’s look at the facts. Not Russian facts, not American facts, not Democrat or Republican or Trump facts, just facts. And the fact is, the image of the US in most countries has virtually plummeted in recent years.
In the Middle East, the Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth poll shows that, in a dramatic reversal from the year before, the US had become the least trusted non-Arab nation while Russia had become the most trusted. The reasons should be obvious to you but the msm have, again, shed nothing but darkness on news consumers. Here is a previous Quora post of mine that provides vital details you are being denied: https://www.quora.com/Are-there-any-sources-for-American-involvement-in-the-Middle-East-since-9-11-It-s-for-a-paper/answer/Vince-Dhimos
Even Israel has begun to see the US in a different light here of late, as evident from the Israeli press. The Israeli government has been pushing hard for years to persuade the US to attack Iran or at least pick up after an Israeli attack. The Saudis might be pleased as well if the US waged such a fight. But they’ve both been disappointed here of late. The first sign of a change in US behaviour was the US non-response to the missile assault on the Saudi Aramco oil refining facility. The only response was a threat and an accusation, targeting Iran, without evidence as usual. Then while the US tripped all over itself to organize an international “freedom of shipping” initiative, European allies—alienated by US bullying, and never having fallen for the US narrative of Iran as a villain – pulled a no-show. And the show-stopper was a Russian-Chinese-Iranian 3-way naval drill in the Gulf of Oman, where the trio warned that any ship or aircraft that horned in would be hit! This fits in with my assessment of the slow but steady decline in the US military policy.
This provocation was answered by an aerial attack on the Iran-allied Kata’ib Hezbollah brigade in Iraq on the flimsy pretext of avenging an attack on a US base. As usual, there was no evidence whatsoever that this brigade was in any way responsible for that attack. Further, it did not claim responsibility. The US attack on Kata’ib Hezbollah was very unconsidered because, though the US was taking pains to avoid hitting the official Iraqi armed forces, this brigade belongs to the Iraqi al-Ḥashd ash-Shaʿbī, ie, the Popular Mobilization Forces, which are now regarded as an official force with similar rights as those of the regular army. In other words, probably unaware of this, the US was in fact perceived by Iraq as attacking government forces – the ones it claims to be supporting. Further, the assaulted brigade was tasked with fighting ISIS, which, if the US really were interested in fighting terror, well, you can finish that sentence... In all fairness, it is hard to expect US high command to know much about the countries they invade and occupy. They are too busy bombing civilians (so far, according to the Watson-Brown study, 182,000 civilians died by violence since the war started) and destroying vital infrastructure. The upshot of this latest incompetence has been a days-long violent protest by friends and family of the slain Iraqi warriors. In general, Iraq has long been clamouring for the US troops to leave. The US response? 750 more US troops will be sent for the stated purpose of “protecting” the US troops already very much unwanted in Iraq.
In Europe, the US has been making waves with rude statements about European leaders ever since 2016, and has been trying to intervene unfairly in trade. The most egregious example, and one that has strained relations the most, is the attempt by the US to force Germany and its neighbours to buy the extremely costly US LNG (liguid natural gas) by forbidding the country to buy Russian gas, on the obviously phony pretext that buying Russian gas will make Europe energy-dependent on Russia (which is not perceived as an enemy by Europe). The US Congress has gone so far as to sanction companies involved in the laying of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is almost completed. The hardest hit was the Dutch-Swiss company Allseas, 2 specialized ships of which were laying the pipes. None of the sanctioned companies was violating any international or European laws. Allseas was forced to stop operations as a result and will forfeit profits just because the US said so. Europe, which desperately needs the cheap gas for its economy, is furious! Germany has accused the US of unfair trade practices and has refused to be moved by the sanctions. Europe is talking about imposing sanctions of its own.
As for Israel and Saudi, the Israelis have been goading the US goading the US to either give it the green light for an attack on Iran or even wage war itself on that country. For dramatic effect, Israel has been claiming for over a decade that an Iranian attack on Israel was imminent. The emblematic signs of US failure in this endeavour are: the attack on Saudi Aramco, which the State Department immediately blamed on Iran with no evidence, but was helpless to respond to militarily. And the joint Russia-China-Iran naval drills in the Gulf of Oman (where the US hoped to send a coalition on a “freedom of shipping” initiative). The US was impotent to respond to these 3-way drills with Russia and China, which also may well spell the end to Israeli threats of an attack on Iran. There is little benefit in blaming everything on Iran and then doing nothing. The aforementioned attack on Iraq was no doubt a show of force for Israel’s benefit.
Turkey has, for its part, thumbed its nose at US demands not to buy the Russian S-400 air defences. The S-400 is now up and running in defiance of the US demand, and a second system may soon be set up. Further, since the US foolishly refused to sell 100 F-35s to this “ally,” turning down many billions in profits, Turkey is now eyeing purchase of the less expensive but comparable Russian Su-35s. This is not the only example of the US turning down lucrative offers and driving business partners into the arms of Russian and Chinese sellers.
In Asia, the traditional US partners and allies are maintaining decent relations with the US despite tensions, but thanks to perennial US sanctions, provocative NATO drills and the trade war with China, Russia and China — which the US had until recently tried to drive apart — have, ironically, been driven closer together than ever.
Military cooperation between China and Russia is increasing, and in terms of economy, the most emblematic event was the completion of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China, which just started operation last month. This is really a blow to the US because on his first visit to Beijing, Trump came back with the hyped report that China had signed on to buy a large amount of US LNG. Of course, when major newspapers looked at the paperwork, they discovered that the deal was a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which is by definition non-binding. China is no one’s fool. They made the agreement non-binding dependent on US behaviour toward China. We all know how that turned out. As a result, Russia is selling some of the gas that China may have bought from the US.