Tuesday, May 20, 2008


M K Bhadrakumar takes a look at US policy in the Middle East following Feckless Leader's victory tour, and finds it 'in tatters'.

Bush and the neo-cons, both American and Israeli, wanted a 'new' Middle East, and it looks like they're going to get it. But it is hardly what they envisioned, which was basically the same structure, but with uncontested domination by the US. Instead, the structure itself may be on the way out.

The new technologies of warfare that are proving most effective are those used to make occupation, if not impossible, then too expensive to be used by a country in economic difficulty even without the cost of interminable wars of occupation. That is the lesson for all to see from the invasion of Iraq, and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

So what policy tools remain for the US? Destroying the nation states created after the fall of the Turks just means opening up the region to other political realities. Cajoling the kings and dictators to do its bidding is not working any more, they realize that in order to remain in power they need to adapt to the situation on the ground, not the fantasies of an ex-cheerleader. Diplomacy, assuming that an outbreak of sanity occurs in the US, might help, but it would be a reversal that would take years to implement, the poisons stirred up by the neo-cons will not settle anytime soon.

As Bhadrakumar says:
The point is, the historic failure of the Iraq war is yet to be fully grasped. On a regional plane, as the Iraq war interminably rolls on, the situation is fraught with the immense consequence of the unraveling of the entire system of states that was created in the Anglo-French settlement after the fall of Ottoman Empire in 1918. The Iraq war has triggered Shi'ite empowerment and unleashed historical forces that lay chained for centuries. Its geopolitical significance is yet to sink in as winds of change sweep across the entire region.
What boggles the mind is that a presidential candidate would willingly choose to identify himself with these failed policies. McCain's running as Feckless Leader II reveals the deeps crisis of US politics, another legacy of the neo-con madness.


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