The Middle East is on fire these days or at least it seems to be from the perspective of a westerner living in the cool waters of perpetual peace. It has of course been that way for all of my lifetime but it seems as if many strategies are finally coming to fruition or collapse. In this sandy region the proxies of the world plot and scheme their way into superior position while at the same time placing themselves above the indigenous races by virtue of the painful reality of attrition. Generations of children have now been raised in a reality of broken down neighbourhoods, dead and injured relations, uncertainty, bitterness, and the religious extremism that is sure to follow.
World War I created a whole Lost Generation in just four short years of mechanized barbarity. We see short glimpses of what the multiple lost generations in the Middle East are capable of; lives devoted to guerrilla warfare, suicide bombers, brutal ceremonies such as stoning the unclean and even government sanctioned beheading, to say nothing of common-place torture with various power tools. The shape of the Middle East in our future is uncertain but what seems clear enough is that no matter who wins, these everyday people have lost. They’ve been through too much, they’ve suffered for too long, and I doubt they will properly heal enough to help facilitate lasting peace. Is that part of the master plan? Is bombing, and policing, and sanctioning, and isolating in the name of peace really a ruse to grind a people down so they can never rise up to fight you fairly and openly should they bristle against your injustice?
One never knows…
It seems that what Israel bombed in Syria was a nuclear facility under construction. Apparently it was being built with North Korean know-how and the strike echoes the Osirak bombing of 1991. Look back over just this past year and count the little skirmishes between the regional would-be power of Iran and western trident of the U.S. the U.K. and Israel. The Shahab missile tests, British troops seized in open water, Iranian officials detained in Iraq, carrier battle groups in the Gulf of Hormuz – all of it pushing and prodding and the presentation of resolve.
This is just another upping of the ante, Israel wants Iran to take notice and come to understand the threat. Instead Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has declared that all Middle Eastern countries should boycott an upcoming American sponsored peace process for Palestine.
What’s funny is that despite government rhetoric and position the Industrial Military Complex is uncaring of the politics of these lesser civilian forces. Iran requires F-14 parts for their air force and one way or another Americans are sending them the hardware they need!
Elsewhere it seems Turkey is prepared to toss aside their relationship with America by invading Kurdish Iraq in search of separatists who have killed some 30 soldiers in recent times. They cite that the U.S. should have made more efforts to pacify the Kurdish attackers so that they wouldn’t have to. We could be seeing a new war front boil over.
This whole situation is made more complicated by the fact that the Kurdish Authority, heedless of Iraq’s oil sharing stalls, has gone ahead and made regional agreements that may or may not be legally binding. Conceivably Turkish soldiers could be invading a place where American oil concerns are operating. It’s a potential Bush nightmare.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is however reported to be crippled, down to only 30% to 40% capacity. I report this in fairness of seeing a problem from all sides but I think there is much salt to be taken with this. First of all, Al-Qaeda is constantly being reported as a minor player in Iraq. Second, the Sunnis tolerated the extremists when there were Shiites to intimidate and now that the country is mostly segregated they have started putting down the rabid dogs lest they get bitten. Third, have we ever heard of Al-Qaeda getting spanked but then coming back better than ever? Oh yeah! Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda isn’t a military force to be vanquished but the result of a discontented population, in this case the whole of the aforementioned Middle East.