Thursday, January 21, 2010

Washington's Mideast Options

Either Washington favors a Mideast balance of power or it favors Israeli hegemony.

The Mideast BOP scenario would envision the U.S. “providing advise and consent” from afar in order to help the various regional parties manage their affairs as peacefully as possible, from which it logically follows that some accommodation is made to all, no state and no major dissident movement (Hezbollah, Hamas, Houthi, Kurd) is marginalized, and the Mideast power alignment is bimodal – with Israel at one end and Iran at the other. Turkey, with help, might make it an interesting triangular set-up, introducing the stability of a regional balancer.

The Mideast Israeli hegemony scenario would continue the traditional “might makes right” path, with all its inherent violence and instability. The main lubricant would be the “threat” of what a nuclear Iran might do with the handful of primitive devices that it manages someday to assemble in the face of what one must assume would be hundreds of very deliverable Israeli weapons in the hands of an elite more than willing to start wars. The point for Washington, except for the Protestant fundamentalist crazies who foresee/desire the destruction of the world as we know it, would be control via Israel and the assumption would be that violence is the best route to that end. Much else would follow logically – bland denial of Israeli ethnic cleansing (if Americans did it to Native Americans, why can’t Israelis do it to Palestinians?), stiffing the Turks with their silly ideas of everyone being good neighbors, continuing to empower radicals in Iran by loudly insulting and threatening them (because they are too useful to be allowed to fail), and proving—over and over—bin Laden’s point.

Two questions:

  1. Which scenario would be likely to be more stable?
  2. Is there a third option?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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