The Empty Space Between Hammer and Nail
The desire to impress others and gain approval is a natural human inclination. But when a nation seeks to do the same, when a nation endeavors to impress and widen its sphere of influence, it becomes a very complex project fraught with dangers great and small; pregnant with the possibilities of war.
To create influence, nations have a choice between the use of soft power or the imposition of hard power. Obviously, the use of soft power barely contains complications and does not normally lead to war or to the material destruction of another nation and its population.
Yet in the Middle East, the nations of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have all relentlessly chosen direct use of hard power to assert and further spread their influence; further highlighting their fundamental opposition to the very principles of the UN Charter and civilization; further spotlighting their deeply pernicious intentions towards their neighbors and beyond.
When this behavior is observed through a geopolitical lens, one discovers that these grotesque nations continue to pursue this criminal path unabated because they are guaranteed diplomatic immunity and military protection by larger powers, namely the USA and major Western governments.
But these ever reliable guarantees are presently in a very delicate place: right there in the empty space between hammer and nail.
With the arrival of mass Middle Eastern war refugees to the shores of Europe this past year, the price for supporting Middle Eastern rogue states that have created these wars has become too great and too disturbing for European populations. European governments are now trapped between their colonialist mindset and projects that support Middle Eastern rogue nations, and the fast growing wrath of their own people. An increased xenophobic Islamophobia is now very palpable in the cities and towns of Europe, currently disturbing the historic socio-political fabric and pressing politicians to review their foreign policies in the middle east, albeit on the sidelines or behind closed doors. Whether these reviews create fundamental changes or not is yet to be seen. But the longer they are shelved, postponed or unimplemented, the wider and more turbulent the social discontent in European territories will become. With European economies in shambles to boot, time is not on the side of European governments that support rogue Middle Eastern nations in order to exploit the regions’ massive natural resources. They must now consider either cutting their support to nations that create wars that consequently drive refugees to their shores and unsettle their populations, or else their societies risk becoming extremist, eventually voting thus for fascistic leaders instead of the traditional centrist left or right variety. A regressive slide backwards into the politically dark World War Two era.
America too is currently suspended between the hammer and the nail. There is currently a new anti-Saudi sentiment spreading across the United States, as well as an already established and virulent form of Islamophobia, more widespread than at any other time since 9/11, influencing the very fabric of our political arena: changing and effecting the sky and earth of our current election season. This is a first for modern America. And it seems that the White House is unsure of what to do about it.
The current boiling tensions between the House of Saud and Iran, exacerbated willfully by the House of Saud through their sectarian project, puts a great weight of concern on Obama’s policies in the Middle East.
Certainly, keeping the Iran Deal intact and protected is a major consideration for the White House, but so is preserving the enduring USA-Saudi alliance. Obama has been in silent labor: weighing out which file best serves the immediate interests of our nation: the Iran Deal or our friendship with the House of Saud. Long-term Empire considerations are also being taken into account.
What we are glimpsing now are hints of what Obama has chosen behind closed doors, and it appears that he has chosen to protect the Iran Deal while creating minimal fallout. He has blown ripples with mouth on the surface of the water instead of casting stones in an attempt to hold onto both the Saudi alliance and the Iran Deal. He recently remained relatively neutral on the provocative execution of Sheikh Al-Nimr, as well as on the mob ransacking and burning of the Saudi embassy in Tehran in response to this execution – treading very carefully not to criticize nor support either country in a vociferous and dramatic manner. Had the Iran deal not been concluded already, we can be sure that the White House would have taken up our traditional vitriolic tone in criticizing Tehran and siding with Saudi Arabia, especially that the mob attack on the Saudi embassy last week so resembled our very own emotional hostage crisis in Tehran back in 1979.
But this didn’t happen – the White House did not cry foul and sanction or declare war on Iran on behalf of the Saudis – and this tells us volumes about the vital importance of the Iran Deal to Empire, and the carefully calculated small changes in our Saudi file that the White House has just quietly initiated.
But, for the enemies of the Iran Deal, this subtle maneuver by Obama rang deafeningly loud and clear: the USA does not currently wish for regional Sunni-Shia sectarian warfare to engulf the Middle East. Not now during election season; not now during the country’s continuing economic struggles. A regional war right now would backfire on the Democrat Party as Americans tend to vote Republicans into office during times of war. And a sudden eruption of war between two major oil producing countries would also send the price of oil into an uncontrollable tailspin and with it our national and global economies.
Here, the declared enemies of Iran being Israel, Saudi Arabia and its usual pack of Gulf Chihuahua nations, plus Turkey in tow – all have publicly, even stridently declared their anti Iran positions – and all are hard at work to create the right environment to launch a war of aggression against Iran, despite the USA’s resistance for this to happen at this stage in time. The enemies of Iran are ignoring our interests as they plan to start a regional, sectarian war whose timing is designed to suit them and them only; a war that will have us dragged into yet another Mideast quagmire.
Needless to say, willingly or not, soon as we step into a war against Iran, China and Russia will then be forced to step in too, in order to protect their Iranian and other Mideast material and geopolitical interests. NATO here would also be dragged in, transforming what began as a local war fought for geopolitical domination into a massive world war that’s fought over prized superpowerdom titles, benefits and trophies. The possible use of nukes by both sides is certainly on the table.
Even though Empire wants an eventual war with China and Russia, a war it is already preparing for, the Middle East is not its strategically preferred location for this war. Empire wants this war to take place in the China Seas where it thinks the Chinese and Russians would be at a disadvantage: mass conventional warfare being at their own doorstep and threatening therefore the day to day normal activities and security of their vast populations and resources. A war with America in the heart of the Middle East would be more auspicious and advantageous to the Chines and the Russians who would also stand to make mega global resource-gains if they win and the Middle East lands right under their mutual umbrella of power… Whosoever controls the Middle East controls the world, as has been the case since 1967.
It is undeniable by now that a solid military pact has already been established between Netanyahu’s Israel, Saudi Arabia (with most Emirates in tow), plus Erdogan’s Turkey (with eagle eye on Syrian land). Each of these nations has their own different ideological and geopolitical reasons for wanting the destruction of Iran. In fact, this is their highest foreign policy priority for 2016. Right now, a battle of wills between members of this warmongering pact on one side and the White House on the other is taking place. Whoever wins this battle will decide if an immediate or a near future war will take place in the middle east or not.
Needless to say, there are many in congress, from both sides of the isle, who are ardently working against Obama and in support of igniting mass sectarian warfare in the middle east: in the insane delusion that Iran and all other enemies of Israel will be destroyed in the process while Tel Aviv remains intact. In the dangerous hope that a fresh new war raging in the Middle East will dramatically increase their chances of recapturing the White House in November 2016.
A war within and a war without – indeed, nobody should envy the complex political predicament that president Obama is in today.
A war between America’s traditional allies against Iran would highly likely lead to the breaking of the historic deal so soon after its implementation and before the full economic rewards have been savored by the involved parties.
No doubt, Obama will strive hard not to lose his Iran legacy at the eleventh hour of his presidency. He will endeavor therefore to avoid a massive unpredictable war in the Middle East as he exits office. But today he is standing in the empty space between the hammer and the nail as the hammer is randomly dropping little by little.
A balanced use of soft power and hard power is necessary here: one to cajole our so-called traditional allies away from the precipice of war, and the other to assert our power over other nations, friend and foe alike.
Literally, in order for historians to render the Obama presidency a modem of foreign policy success, Obama must quickly find a way to maneuver out of the empty space and back into the hand that holds the hammer.
Back to Empire’s default position before his presidency expires and he is seen as a failed president of the republic, and a failed guardian of Empire.