Everybody agrees that the USA is losing influence and clout in the Middle East. The Russians hold a conference to establish Syria’s future, and invite the Iranians and the Turks but not us, and nobody is particularly surprised. Our very own Nikki pops up and down in the Security Council, screeching like a fishwife, and nobody pays attention except for a few sleepy islanders from the South Pacific. And of course the Israelis, but everybody knows Nikki and her masters in Washington look to Israel for guidance rather than the other way around. Who gives a damn about Washington anyway, with a clown in the Oval Office keeping us mesmerized with his antics?
Out there things are beginning to fall into place, with emerging patterns becoming visible to those who care. Asad is winning the war, and pretty soon the pocket of his opponents in Damascus’ eastern parts will go under, and then the last rebels in the north will give up. A deadline will pass with Iran and we’ll slap on a sanction or two, presenting a couple of billions of dollars worth of trade to eager Europeans and Asians. People will worry less about whether they follow the Sunni mainstream or the ancient Shi’a heresy. Iran will get its land corridor to the eastern Med, and when they get some more pipelines across it , it may actually become worth fussing about.
Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran will come closer together, and not only because of that land corridor. All it will take will be a bit more rainfall in the northern parts of the desert formerly inhabited by the black tents of the bedouin, and bingo, you have a breadbasket that will feed half of Europe. Fifty years ago the capitalist class in Aleppo was raring to go but the military took over in Damascus and that was that. I remember unlucky Pierre Mamarbashi who invested in a cloud seeding program back around 1955. It rained all around him but not on his land and he went bust. The idea was sound but he got off to a bad start.
So, who needs America when the region will heal itself? As long as we act as Israel’s proxy the region is better off without us. A little help from the Russians might be helpful, but a bigger plus would accrue if someone could explain to the Turks that after several millennia of failed efforts they aren’t going to get rid of the Kurds, so how about trying coexistence for a change, eh?
We can live without the oil, we’ll survive nicely without the dates, let’s just try leaving them alone for a change. We might save a lot of money, and lives.