The observer may say that the attacks launched yesterday by Iran’s Yemeni militias on Saudi lands were, in general, expected for a number of reasons, including:
The global confusion in the oil market due to the Ukrainian war, which began to take on greater and more dangerous political, strategic and economic dimensions than was calculated.
The countdown to the “negotiating” track on Iran’s nuclear file, in the Austrian capital Vienna, has reached a sensitive point.
– The accumulation of political entitlements in the entities of the Arab region, which Iran is now dealing with as satellites in its orbit, and therefore, it has the absolute right to control its choices and destinies.
– Regional confusion regarding the successive developments in the Arab region and its environs, while the positions of the major powers fluctuate, and they re-evaluate their readings and commitments towards them.
For these and other reasons, I think that the criminal orgies carried out by the Iranian regime yesterday from Yemen, do not surprise and should not surprise anyone. The glaring fact is that from Iraq to Lebanon, and from Syria to Yemen, Iran has never sought to hide its strategic goals, at least since 2006. This year… in which the Iraqi militias of Tehran imposed Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister in Baghdad, and its Lebanese militias occupied the center Beirut and besieged the seat of the government in order to remove its president, Fouad Siniora.
In addition to the foregoing, the major Western countries have their own diplomatic missions in Baghdad and Beirut, which means that they were reporting the detailed facts to their capitals on a timely basis. Therefore, it is unreasonable that these major capitals are not ignorant of the reality of the matter and the identity of the forces controlling the political and security decisions in the two “occupied” capitals. Then, starting in the spring of 2011, Iran’s Lebanese militia – i.e. “Hezbollah” – ended in the field the gelatinous border between the two countries when it was mandated to intervene to protect Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the face of the Syrian people’s uprising against it. Then, in the fall of 2014, the sides of the Iranian “square” were completed with the Houthi coup in Yemen, in preparation for Tehran’s imposition of its presence in the Bab al-Mandab strait, the southern gateway to the Red Sea, which is essentially controlling the Strait of Hormuz at the gateway to the Arabian Gulf.
This tape of events – as we recall – did not fail some Arab leaders who became aware of Tehran’s plan early on and spoke about it once as an allusion, and again as a statement, albeit in a warning tone of the type of the “Shiite crescent” and “the loyalty of some Arabs to Iran, not to their homelands.” However, the international reaction – especially the American and European – to all these developments started with verbal denunciation, followed by a timid warning… Then it reached imaginary “red lines” that convinced everyone with insight that Americans and Europeans are at best indifferent to what is happening in the region. At worst, they are completely satisfied with what is happening.
Meanwhile, inside Washington, the contradiction “with an ideological undertone” imposed on the politics of the Democratic and Republican parties, both internally and externally, is unusual in the history of American politics. Externally, the two parties adopted two completely contradictory policies, unlike previous periods of remarkable consensus between the two parties, and the contradiction was quite prominent in two files: the first, the Middle East file, and the second, the file of relations with Russia and China.
As for the Middle East, Democrats under Barack Obama, and later under his successor and former Vice President Joe Biden, adopted a policy of reducing Washington’s traditional Arab alliances and rehabilitating Iran as a reliable ally for the first time since 1979. That is why Obama initially encouraged the “Arab Spring” ’, before emptying it of its content and blowing it up from the inside under the pretext of the existence of ISIS and its “extremist Sunniness”… as an excuse to bet on the Iranian alternative and its “moderate Shiites.” On the other hand, the Republicans, under the leadership of Donald Trump, and with the support of the evangelical extreme Christian right, adopted all the proposals of the Israeli Likud right regarding Israel’s expansionist and security ambitions without reservation, leading to the violation of United Nations resolutions regarding the future of Jerusalem, settlements, and the annexation of the Golan.
As for the relationship with Russia and China, the Democrats stood warily and aggressively from Moscow, with reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin preferred Trump’s victory over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, and the American media accused the Russian agencies and oligarchs of fueling the Republican campaign. In this regard, much has been and still is rumored about Moscow’s support for the extremists of the right and the left in Europe in order to further create an atmosphere of social dissonance, weaken the role of the state, and inflame separatist, racist, anarchist and street sentiments. Indeed, after the November 2020 elections, which Trump refused to admit losing, legal cases were opened about alleged Russian interference in the elections and attempts to cover it up by various means.
As for China, Trump has taken a hard stance against Beijing, saying that China, not Russia, is the source of the danger to America’s global leadership. This is in contrast to the priorities of the Democrats, who are in some reservation with the rise of China, but with their seasonal raising of the files of Beijing’s violation of human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and its violation of intellectual property rights, and of course its continuous threat to Taiwan independence.
In this atmosphere, after Washington betrayed the Syrian uprising and left it prey to Moscow and Tehran, and the West was silent about the Kremlin’s annexation of the Crimea (which Russia has long considered a part of) and its support for the secession of the Donbas region from Ukraine, and then the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and leaving it to the Taliban, the Kremlin was convinced that the international climate It has changed, and Washington has no capacity for confrontation anymore… Thus, the decision to invade Ukraine was taken.
Today, there is no doubt that many postulates fell with the Russian army crossing the border line.
Many beliefs may have changed. Perhaps a new age was written for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), after it seemed that time had passed and forgotten. The page of coexistence with Moscow under the principles of good-neighbourliness may be closed… and neutrality becomes impossible.
In our region, we now find ourselves in front of more serious question marks, more urgent answers, and more complex options and alternatives… following the fall of axioms, changing priorities and differing interests.
I believe, with all humility, that our interest is to play a more influential role in the calculations of “the big ones”, because we are satisfied with trusting others with unsafe consequences, and being satisfied with the role of a useless observer.