by Ali Salim
They probably believe that if they put off a war in this administration -- possibly to have the world thrown into an even more deadly and costly war down the line -- at least no one will be able to say it happened on their watch. They are wrong. If and when Iran becomes a nuclear power, as with North Korea, the event will go down in history as the fault of the Americans -- and above all the crowning legacy of the current administration -- in their retreat and flight.
Countries such as China and Russia easily identified a historic opportunity when America abandoned sensitive strongholds of great geopolitical value such as Saudi Arabian oil; the Suez Canal; the Arabian Gulf markets for arms, technology and merchandise, and spheres of geostrategic influence.
America's policy of strategic disengagement in the Middle East becomes, every day, more apparent. Many countries in the region, which for years have enjoyed American protection and resources, are being pushed aside: the Arabian Gulf states, Egypt, Israel, even Turkey. This policy may well, in the long run, domino into Europe, leaving the countries there to the tender mercies of Iranian missiles tipped with nuclear warheads.
America, apparently no longer interested in the Middle East's oil reserves, and focusing more on the far east and domestic issues, seems to be rushing to sign hasty but effectively meaningless agreements with the emissaries of the Ayatollahs. The concept of a Sunni Muslim alliance stretching from Saudi Arabia to Turkey appears to have been replaced with a naive and irresponsible gamble, especially considering Iranian president Hassan Rouhani's admitted record. The U.S. administration seems to believe that the Iranians, who invented the Shi'ite religious technique of targeted dissimulation (takia), could be trusted, just this once, to tell the truth.
America's disengagement, reminiscent of its isolationism before the Second World War, cost not only the United States dearly, but the entire world as well. Every vacuum, including those in the realms of power and statesmanship, is always filled, and not always with correct or appropriate material: sometimes the resulting explosion is deadly. The international political vacuum of the 1930s was filled by the Axis powers and joined by other new revisionists, who threatened to enslave the world and divide it among themselves. Only the attack on Pearl Harbor forced America, at a very late date, to join the Allied war effort, by which time the forces of darkness had not only inflicted incalculable damage on Western and Eastern Europe, but were also six months into the invasion of Russia.
Today's forces of darkness speak in languages different from those of the 1930s, but the underlying motives are the same -- namely the hunger for power and dominance -- and they seek to expand their influence in the Middle East. Countries such as China and Russia easily identified a historic opportunity when America abandoned sensitive strongholds of great geopolitical value such as Saudi Arabian oil; the Suez Canal; the Arabian Gulf markets for arms, technology and merchandise; and spheres of geostrategic influence with critical military importance and regional and global influence.
Somewhere in Sunni Pakistan, the centrifuges whirl night and day to increase the stock of atomic bombs paid for by Saudi Arabia, presumably to be used after the the current American exodus. Sunnis and Shi'ites are already slaughtering one another in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and Lebanon. Thousands of people throughout the Middle East are being killed in related religious and ethnic conflicts.
The marginal, exhausting saga of Israel and the Palestinians appears to be a deliberate international ruse led by the United States to sweep the real regional issues under the rug. Before the so-called Arab Spring, we mistakenly thought that the Palestinian problem was what prevented the Americans from forming a united front with the Sunni Arab states, along with the myth that if that problem were solved, other problems would be easier to solve. It is now obvious that Palestine is a secondary issue with virtually no importance, especially for us Arabs. Thus it is unclear why the current U.S. government is so obsessed and determined to ignore the chaos in the Arab states and the massacre in Syria, trying to force Israel and the Palestinians into unrealistic, unprepared-for solutions instead of dealing with the genuine potential flashpoints that endanger world peace -- foremost, the Iranian race for a nuclear arsenal.
It is clear that the United States is leaning towards violating its commitments and obligations to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. We have seen American fatigue and fawning before, reminiscent of its previous failure to keep North Korea from joining the nuclear club, and sad evidence that Americans have apparently learned nothing in the past fifty years.
So far, it is only the French, whom we have become accustomed to regarding as generally opportunistic, utilitarian and egoistical, who have stood in the breach and made an effort to expose and curb Iran's fraud, while the representatives of the Western powers have subscribed to "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil."
America has abandoned and betrayed its Middle Eastern allies. The Sunni Islamists say with immense satisfaction that Israel's fate will be like that of the Crusaders' "Palestine." Just as Europe sent the Crusaders to liberate Jerusalem and then left them to the swords of Saladin's army, so is the United States turning its back on Israel, while Europe is turning its back on itself.
In the great wheel of history, the ancient powers rise from their ashes and, like the Roman Empire, America and its Western allies, exhausted and having lost all motivation, will find themselves beneath the wheel -- like the Crusader states in the 12th century, as shown in the vision of the 14th century Arab historian Ibn Khaldun, who regarded history as cyclical.
Without a doubt, the final American withdrawal from the Middle East will light the fires in the piles of enriched uranium deep within the Muslim mountains, and abandon the region to its fate. America and its Western allies are making a misplaced and immensely costly effort to ignore their responsibility regarding Iran's growing nuclear capabilities as they fool themselves into thinking that lifting the sanctions is "a good deal." They probably believe that if they put off a war in this administration -- possibly for the world to be thrown into an even more deadly and costly war down the line -- at least no one will be able to say it happened on their watch. They are wrong: If and when Iran becomes a nuclear power, as with North Korea, the event will go down in history as the fault of the Americans -- and above all the crowning legacy of the current administration -- in their retreat and flight.
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