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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Arc of crisis « Previous | |Next »
May 28, 2003

This article from the New York Times offers a state of play in the Middle East situation for the Bush administration.

Of course, it does not mention the key American strategy in the Middle East-----the emergence of the US as the dominant power in the Middle East, the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. But it raises lots of questions.

A key problem for the US is that Iran is the leading regional power. Is it Iran that represents Arab interest in the region? With Saddam Hussein long gone, which state is actively seeking to live up to a self-declared role as protector of Arab regional interests? Does that role require a confrontation with the US?

So can there be an accord between the US and Iran? Say a pragmatic co-existence under American hegemony. Or is it to be confrontation between both sides. I reckon its confrontation.

Thats what Alexander Downer, the boy from the Adelaide Hills, has been saying. And he would know wouldn't he?

Now is that why Sharon has jumped onto the road map? He is positioning himself for the US crack at the Iranians? Does Sharon recognize, or even foster, a new round of brinkmanship in the Middle East?

The Iranians support such terrorist gangs as Al Qaeda, Hizballah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. So for the Americans the Iranian Government must undergo radical change, and on no account be in possession of nuclear weapons in any shape or form.

So is the US planning direct action: military action to wipe out Iran's rogue nuclear program? Is this a serious option in their strategic calculation? They have a free hand to whip a rogue state to make them more pliant. Direct action would fit in with their new unilateralist and pre-emptive policies. By the way the Bush Administration is currently talking, Iran poses a threat to the US. Is sufficent to warrant regime change? Does it warrant a pre-emptive strike at the Iranian nuclear plant?

It is what the Israeli's did with Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor near Baghdad in 1981.

Could it be more than this?Aggressively engaging anti-American forces to ensure fundamental transformation of Middle East.

Lots of questions here but few answers.

But we should note how the intellectual justifications have changed re global progress. It was not so long ago that the US pundits were going about the 'end of history'; then it was the 'end of the nation state' and with the rise of free markets, free trade and ever more freedom. Now its the 'end of national sovereignty' and the blossoming of Empire. The White House has its own military philosophers expounding on the theme of national security, civilization and barbarism and the clash of civilizations.

Is it all atmospherics? Or a fundamental change in international relations? A redrawing the geopolitical map of the region. Is this what Sharon is positioning himself for?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:21 AM | | Comments (1)


You may be correct, Gary, but it's a little too early yet to tell. It is interesting, however, to note the rampup in rhetoric from washington on iran over the past week.