I have previously postulated that Iran my be getting too stretched.
The Saudis are also in trouble.
Is this good or bad for our interests ?
One might argue that president Obama really played a deep game from his first day in office, perhaps intending all along to single-handedly destroy the Islamic world by withdrawing from the region. But the refutation for this hypothesis surely lies in his single-minded determination to let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon. What sense does it make to trap Iran in a corner then give them a bomb? Especially since the Saudis have made noises about buying their own nuke in turn?
More probably there was no deep calculation behind the events unleashed by administration. They simply blundered into the position they find themselves in now. As Daniel Halper notes, president Obama formally greeted the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia by the wrong name, getting the names of his ancestors wrong too. Hillary couldn’t even remember the name of the US ambassador on the night of the attack on the Benghazi consulate.
Incompetence, rather than deep genius, may be more important in history than we would like to admit.
Obama is a community organizer with all the talent that implies. What is going to happen now?
A more vivid description of BOP (Balance of Power) was provided by Michael Scheuer, former CIA head of the Bin Laden team in an interview with Britain’s Channel 4.
I think we should back away from the whole thing. The thing was ideal when IS was advancing on Baghdad because Sunnis were killing Shias. That’s exactly what we need. We’ve proven that we’re just militarily incompetent or that the military is so shackled by its political leaders, that it can’t defeat these people. But our best hope right now is to get the Sunnis and Shias fighting each other and let them bleed each other white. …
Mr Cameron and Mr Obama and most Western leaders seem to love the idea of us being bled to death by them, rather than the other way round. And we have the problems that have been created by multiculturalism and diversity in our own countries, in Europe more severely than ours but it’s coming our way too.
This is reminiscent of the Iran-Iraq War when Henry Kissinger famously said, “It is too bad both can’t lose.”
Of course, that is 4,000 American lives ago.
What now ? Why in the world is Obama proposing to let the Iranians have nuclear weapons ?
If Assad falls, China and Russia “lose” along with Iran.
The Russians and Chinese clearly understood that if this [Iranian expansion] had happened, the United States would have had an intense interest in undermining the Iranian sphere of influence — and would have had to devote massive resources to doing so. Russia and China benefitted greatly in the post-9/11 world, when the United States was obsessed with the Islamic world and had little interest or resources to devote to China and Russia. With the end of the Afghanistan war looming, this respite seemed likely to end. Underwriting Iranian hegemony over a region that would inevitably draw the United States’ attention was a low-cost, high-return strategy.
The Chinese primarily provided political cover, keeping the Russians from having to operate alone diplomatically. They devoted no resources to the Syrian conflict but did continue to oppose sanctions against Iran and provided trade opportunities for Iran. The Russians made a much larger commitment, providing material and political support to the al Assad regime.
But as Assad began to fold the wily Russians decided to cut their losses, leaving the Iranians holding the bag.
Again, why nuclear weapons ? And, of course, it is our fault Arabs are killing each other.