Interview 1322 – Sharmine Narwani on the Changing Face of the Middle East

by | Nov 11, 2017 | Interviews | 12 comments

Today James talks to political analyst and commentator Sharmine Narwani on the explosive events in the Gulf this week and what they tell us about the changing power relations in the Middle East. From the wind down of the Syrian terrorist insurgency to the shock resignation of the Lebanese PM and the Game of Thrones in the House of Saud, a new regional picture is emerging, one in which two power blocs are competing for the upper hand in the new Middle East. Narwani breaks down this new dynamic and paints the picture of where things are heading in this dynamic region.

Sharmine Narwani’s website (

Sharmine Narwani’s twitter

The Geopolitics of the Syrian War – Sharmine Narwani on GRTV


  1. Sorry for the incorrect Syrian flag and Hamas flag at 6:55. Too late to pull the video down and correct it now, so I’ll just point it out here.

    • I am laughing.

  2. All the shifts that are going on are taking place within global plutocratic, neoliberal capitalism.

    This is not mentioned in the report.

  3. The last part of this interview with Sharmine Narwani was profoundly insightful and hopeful. She mentions the common purpose which unites the Russia, China, Iran, etc. alliance. Bingo!

    The U.S., Saudi, Israel, etc. alliance doesn’t share a true common purpose…and they are all bullies on the world stage.

    I am beginning to think that perhaps we currently are in World War 3, but it is being played on a different level than a conventional war.
    Continuously, I am reminded of Corbett’s talk Episode 320 – Echoes of WWI: China, the US, and the Next “Great” War

  4. Pablito, Thanks for the article.

    What is interesting to note is that Saudi Arabia has often “played musical chairs” with power positions and some Royals getting the boot or worse. The history of this is astounding, as is the corruption by the Royalty.

    Number of Descendants
    There are thousands of descendants in the Royal Family. Estimates range widely, from 10,000 to perhaps 20,000 or 30,000 to Robert Baer’s statement of possibly 60,000. The official Saudi website states: “The entire House of Saud is comprised of around 15,000 members, with around 2,000 in the inner circle.” Wikipedia places the number of Princes at 7,000, but the top 200 wield the most power.
    Monthly Stipends
    Monthly stipends are given to those in the Royal Family.
    Examples – “…the royal stipends in the mid-1990s ran from about $800 a month for “the lowliest member of the most remote branch of the family” to $200,000-$270,000 a month for one of the surviving sons of Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia…”
    “…Grandchildren received around $27,000 a month… …Great-grandchildren received about $13,000 and great-great- grandchildren $8,000 a month….”

    And of note “…Then there was the apparently common practice for royals to borrow money from commercial banks and simply not repay their loans….”

    Saudi Arabia has a population of about 20 million, with an additional large migrant workforce of around 9 million.

    Saudi nationals are employed by the state at above-market “reservation” wages. Roughly 3.4 million Saudis currently work in public administration and the security forces, at wages 2-4 times those in the private sector. The private sector is reluctant to hire nationals.

    • I should note that the monthly stipends and other practices might have changed within the past few years during the rise of power by MbS.

      • Pablito,
        After you learn to roll tobacco leaf, smuggle some of those Cuban cigars up towards Texas for me.
        Cuba sounds so inviting, and so “un-infected” by Western corporatism.
        And the women are hot!
        Pablo, you sure like spicy things… topics, conversations, foods, women, ….

      • I am amazed… great-great- grandchildren get $8,000 a month….”
        How come my great, great, grandpappy didn’t set me up with Oklahoma and Texas oil checks at 8k a month?

  5. Let us not forget that around 80% of Saudi population are “pre-ISIS”… by that, I mean they are loaded with all the “ISIS software” and waiting to be enabled/activated. Out of that 80%… 70% are below the age of 30 years. This will effect everyone in the world……

    I forgot about that. The majority of the population is under age 35, and have grown up with the religious doctrine/ mindset of the country.

  6. Hello James.
    Nice interview with Sharmine.
    On a slightly different note, would you consider doing a podcast/interview on how the Kurdish people fit into this paradigm?
    There are about 20 million Kurds in the region and they were left without their own country as the Sykes-Picot agreement was signed after World war 1 ended.

  7. Stop saying US governemnt, it is Israel’s government in Washington.

    Kushner, as well as Trump are Zionists.

    I am always amazed how low key Israel is presented here, even though they run US foreign policy, Congress and the white house.

  8. badgerdad,
    We all have been there.
    I am so glad you are here, part of the Corbetteer community which also focuses on solutions (such as spreading this information to others).

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