"Russia is big and so is China", and so now is Iran

Akber Choudhry

“Russia’s big and so is China”, the US president made this remark while the microphone was on. The rest of the overheard conversation showed how pitifully foolish and out of touch Bush is. It also shows, sadly, that the US has no clout left.

Well, you are going to read it here first: the US is not intervening in the Israel-Lebanon war because it cannot. As simple as that. Iran has skillfully played its hand and the Arabs, the Americans and the Israelis are not happy that Iran is now the ‘other power’ in the Middle East.

  1. The US has alienated almost every party in the Middle East except Israel. No US-aligned Arab government is willing to work with the US.

  2. US does not talk to Iran, Hizbullah or Syria.

  3. As US squeezed Iran, Iran turned up its anti-Israel rhetoric, clearly throwing the gauntlet.

  4. Iran skillfully bogged down the US in Iraq and US is dependent on Iran now even to extricate itself from Iraq.

  5. Iran signed a defense pact with Syria and Israel went out of its way to say that its aggression will not be directed against Syria – yet.

  6. Iran trained and armed Hizbullah for last 5 years.

  7. Despite Saudi and other Gulf Arab rhetoric, Hizbullah’s goal was to win a few quick points which it has done. It is extremely popular in the Arab street, Sunni and Shi’a – especially after crippling Israel’s warship and targeting Haifa.

US is insisting that Israel dismantle Hizbullah, disregarding the fact that it is supported by a population of 1.4 million Shi’ites and is a very strong organization in non-military means.

What we are seeing unfold is the utter failure of US foreign policy in the Middle East and the emergence of Iran as an untouchable regional power. The Arabs may grumble, but they will learn to live with Iran until they can get their act together. With Pakistan and Turkey as the peri-Arab pro-US powers, Iran needs to play a few more cards the right way to gain the trust of the dictatorial Arab regimes.

The failure of US policy in the Middle East is the direct cause of its blind support for Israel’s delaying tactics. Israel’s current ferocity is a sign of a waning reliance on bombs. Bombs don’t do much with Islamist militias now – they’ve learned to live with them – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Lebanon. Mano-a-mano casualties and captures Israel or US cannot take. Sanctions are laughed away. Nukes are still an option.

In other words, the US and the attendant Zionist media have dumbed themselves and come to believe their own rhetoric. Ahmedinejad has called the bluff and US and Israel have to sit down with him to negotiate. If not, Israel’s inbound immigration and tourist trade suffers. US will continue to give cash to keep Israel afloat, but US media has spun up the pro-Zionist rhetoric to such feverish pitch that the spin may boomerang at any moment.

War is the ultimate settler of scores and roll of the dice. No one knows the outcome but one thing is certain: a defanged and helpless US is rolling along with the punches, with no plan, no strategy and no clout in the Middle East. Will the other side be brave enough to rub its face in the dust, or will the US finally come to its senses? That is the only question.

Lesson: War is a means to a political end and not an end to surplus arms and arrogance