--This is an old post that didn't travel over into this blog: originally posted 4 Dec. 2006--
A read of these two articles, one by a Ã¢â‚¬Å“senior security adviserÃ¢â‚¬Â (Sherwell) to the Saudi government
, and another from the Sunday Telegraph
has suddenly given me a glimpse into a possible, hellish and bleak, future of the Middle East.
As Iran says, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The kind of service that the Americans, with all their hatred, have done us Ã¢â‚¬â€œ no superpower has ever done anything similarÃ¢â‚¬Â (Sherwell). The Americans got rid of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, and have placed the Iraqi Shiites on the throne of Iraq; now Iran is well placed to extend its influence all the way to Syria, which is an ally by convenience, and into Lebanon Ã¢â‚¬â€œ where the Shiites are in the ascendance too.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important to remember that Al-Qaeda and their ilk hate Shiites almost as much as the Americans, which is why they get on so well with the Sunni/ex-Baathist insurgents in Iraq. Also: letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not forget that the Wahhabism of the Saudi state is also resolutely opposed to Shiism.
Ironically, if the neo-con plans laid out in the infamous PNAC
are to be believed, Iran was actually one of the main targets of the whole exerciseÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Now: we see that America is going to have to pull out sooner or later and leave the mess they made of Iraq behind them. They will try to find some face-saving device, but it will happen.
If the articles are correct in their analysis, they will find themselves choosing between Saudi Arabia and Iran. They will probably choose Saudi Arabia because: it is an ally, they buy lots of oil from it, and it is less belligerent towards Israel.
So, expect covert funding of Sunni groups, etc. etc. And further strengthening of Al-Qaeda/Wahhabi groups. There will have to be a Ã¢â‚¬ËœrebrandingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ exercise of Ã¢â‚¬ËœterroristsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ to cast the shadow over Hezbollah etc., as Ã¢â‚¬ËœterroristsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ who attack Israel. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m curious as to how long it will take before they manage to take the spotlight off Al-Qaeda somehowÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ OK IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m probably being too cynical there, but there will have to be some glossing over of the fundamental differences between these two strands of radical Islam; and the same Ã¢â‚¬Ëœterrorist strongholdsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ the Americans have been attempting to pound into submission will suddenly become victims of brutal aggression by Shiite Ã¢â‚¬Ëœterror groupsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â¦
Obaid, Nawaf. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Stepping Into IraqÃ¢â‚¬Â. Washington Post. 29 Nov. 2006. 4 Dec. 2006 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15768.htm.
PNAC. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rebuilding AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Defenses. Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New CenturyÃ¢â‚¬Â. 2000. 14 June 2006 http://www.newamericancentury.org/publicationsreports.htm.
Sherwell, Philip. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Saudis and Iran prepare to do battle over corpse of IraqÃ¢â‚¬Â. Sunday Telegraph. 2 Dec. 2006. 4 Dec. 2006 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15797.htm.