Written by Frank Li
No, it will never happen! America will forever be involved in the Middle East for one simple reason: Israel! Other than that, America, or American influence to be more precise, would soon be done and gone! Why? We have blundered so much over the past two decades that there is not a single true ally left for us (other than Israel), but a bunch of hatred against us! Who then will replace America as the major influence over there? Iran as the dominant regional force, with Russia and China as the major foreign forces!
It’s a no-brainer that Iran and Russia will dominate over there from now on (e.g. The solution to Syria runs through Moscow). But China, also? Yes! Let me explain …
Less than one week after the international sanctions against Iran were lifted, Chinese President Xi Jinping showed up in Tehran. The visit was not only hugely symbolic, but also substantial in monetary terms, as Xi signed deals worth more than $600 billion (President Xi’s visit to Iran historic event: Rouhani)!
Nobody should have been surprised that the Chinese showed up in Tehran so quickly! After all, it happened in Iraq similarly a few years ago (much smaller in scale though): China Is Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraq Oil Boom!
2. China’s global strategy
China’s global strategy is very simple: trade with everybody, regardless of ideology. In case you did not know, this time President Xi visited Saudi Arabia and Egypt before landing in Tehran. For more, read: President Xi Jinping visits Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran.
More alarmingly for America, here are two excerpts from two recent articles (by Ian Bremmer):
- China is the world’s only government with a truly global foreign policy strategy. But that strategy involves solving China’s problemsâ€”not the world’s (The absence of Global Leadership Will Shape a Tumultuous 2016).
- It is the only country of scale today with a real global economic strategy (The Top 5 Geopolitical Risks for 2016).
Still wondering why China has been doing so well over the past three decades? Wonder not – The Chinese think more clearly than anyone else! If you think China is going down based on the bad news there recently (China’s stock market crash…in 2 minutes)? Think again – The Chinese economy is still growing at an impressive 6.8%!
3. America’s global strategy
America has no global strategy other than intervention, while continuing to use the world for its own self-interests, mostly short-term, not only for America (e.g. oil – acceptable), but also for its own politics (e.g. President Bush launched the Iraq War in March 2003, at least partially, for the sake of his own re-election in 2004 – totally unacceptable)!
President Obama continued President Bush’s doctrine in the Middle East: spreading democracy, or “occupying it with democracy”! When that failed to work, he chose to do nothing (e.g. Egypt – Its first democratically elected President was toppled and jailed) or resorted to an old tried-but-failed strategy: war (e.g. Iraq – He launched a new war in Iraq in September 2014). For more, read: President Obama and War.
As a result, the Middle East is a complete shambles for two main reasons:
- Its own complication (e.g. cultures, religions, and history).
- America’s brainless foreign policy, with the worst example being the reckless Iraq War!
4. China’s trade vs. America’s occupation
“Trade vs. occupation”, which strategy will work out better this time? Let’s look at one example from the past …
After the discovery of the New World in 1492, the Spanish invaded both Americas. However, before they could conquer all of North America, the French and the English showed up in what became the United States of America. The French mostly wanted to trade with the natives (aka “American Indians”), while the English wanted settlements and military occupation, as shown by one example (from The French and Indian War) below:
What a big mistake by the French! Otherwise, today Americans might be speaking French, instead of English!
Despite the above example of occupation over trade, I give trade a better chance than occupation to work in the Middle East today for two main reasons:
- Unlike military occupation, which has actually worked from time to time in human history, ideology occupation (e.g. communism) has never worked! Besides, democracy is such a bad ideology that it’s not only a proven failure throughout human history, it’s also failing in America! Exporting something that does not even work at home, by force? Crazy, if not recklessly selfish! For more, read: Democracy in America.
- Today’s Middle East is not the America of 300 years ago! For example, can any foreign force possibly wipe out the local population in the Middle East, as the Europeans did to American Indians?
The Middle East is already hopeless for America! Two informative readings:
Now, with China coming in big time as a major trading partner with everybody, the Middle East will have even less room for America! More troublesome for America, Iran, which is already dominant in the region, will inevitably become even more dominant, including gaining more and more influence in Iraq!
Of course, America has to continue its military ventures there for one main reason: defeating ISIS, which was created mostly by American policy in the first place! The problem is that America is bound to fail in this mission for one simple reason: lack of local support! Specifically, two facts:
- Syria: After spending $500M, US has trained only ‘four or five’ Syrian fighters against ISIS!
- Iraq: Defeating ISIS there simply means to strengthen the Iraqi government, which is hugely pro-Iran!
Here is a video to further illustrate how hopeless and clueless we are in dealing with ISIS:
Bottom line: our Defense Secretary, like President Obama, does not seem to have any clue about defeating ISIS, let alone any strategy! They are simply showboating now, until the next administration takes over!
In contrast, both Russia and Iran have the right strategy to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq, respectively. Specifically,
- Syria: Russia will simply support the Assad government by defeating all its enemies, including the rebel groups supported by America! It is succeeding, as evidenced by this recent news story: Russian airstrikes have transformed situation in Syria.
- Iraq: Iran will continue to use America to defeat ISIS!
Furthermore regarding China … Its influence there (and elsewhere in the world) will only grow more quickly. Why? China tries to peacefully get along with everybody, including Israel, via trade. It takes a sound strategy and a lot of work to make it happen, and China has already established a good track record.
Compared with China, what have we, Americans, been doing? For example, over the past few months, the Chinese were busily planning to do substantial new business with Iran, but we were busily trying to sabotage the Iran deal and negotiating a swap for prisoners! We think and act at a level far below the Chinese!
Now, letâ€™s see what the Europeans are doing with Iran. Read: Mega-deals awaits as Iranian President starts European trip in Italy.
No doubt, we have the most powerful military in the world. But our brain power has proven to be far less than China’s, Russia’s, Europeâ€™s, and even Iran’s!
The Middle East will never be without America because of Israel! Other than that, America would soon be out!
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