After the shooting down of a US drone by the Iranian military, the US has placed itself in a comfortable position by throwing the ball to the Iranian court. Holding up the response and made it impending in the face of the next expected Iranian move, pins the Mullahs down and stop them from indulging in a provocative hide and seek game on the high seas.
Now they know for certain that the US has its planes “cocked and loaded” to strike as president Donald Trump said. The US patience and self-restraint thwarted the Iranian plan to depict the US as a reckless aggressor. Instead, Iranian agitation and mismanagement aggravated their errors and hostilities in full public view, making the world opinion sympathize with the US that cares about Iranian lives more than the ruling Ayatollah.
For Iran, every day passes it gets weaker and more vulnerable. Its control over its proxies loosens, their loyalty become questionable, their objections more vocal, and the divine promises of the supreme leader become less credible among his Arab supporters ( in the end not everyone related to Hizbullah has the same devotion, it’s more like a company, if the workers didn’t get payed for a long time they will eventually revolt). Its economy is in free fall and its people in big cities are growing angrier as time goes by. That’s why Iran is understandably itching for a fight with the US, before the regime collapses in due course by internal factors.
The next move:
Here Iran is going to resort to its most dangerous weapon: not its army, not its missile capability, but its henchmen in the region. Those Islamist entities which cowardly hide between civilians, and thus it’s hard to wipe them out without having the boots on the ground. Those devoted and highly indoctrinated militias trained for years by General Qassem Soleimani and his Quds Force for guerilla warfare, have acquired important experience through the Iraq war, and know exactly how to ignite a brutal sectarian conflict within Iraq in particular. The suicide explosion at a Shiite mosque in Baghdad that killed several people last Friday was a calculated move intended to create tensions between Sunnis and Shiites, and throughout that environment of reciprocal acts of revenge that will lead eventually to total chaos, Iran can start its favorite game of targeting the US forces in the region under false flag operations.
It is not up to the US to engage or not in a war with Iran. it is not going to calme the rage of the cash-starved Ayatollahs to declare repeatedly that the US doesn’t seek regime change. Iran now doesn’t have other options but forcing the US into a conflict.
As a theocratic state with an Islamist expansionist ideology, Iran can’t relequinsh it’s revolutionary ideals which we can summarize them in three points: exporting its Islamist anti-secular mode of governance, convert Sunnis into Shiites to fix a historical doctrinal malaise dating back to the Umayyad dynasty, and waging a holy war to annihilate the Jewish state. That’s the source of its appeal to Shiite minorities in the Sunni Arab lands, and the spirit behind its capability to recruit the Shiite Arab population in the Arab World along with pan-Arab anti-Israel groups, otherwise, a secular Persian Iran have nothing that can attract the intrest of the Sunni and Shiite Arabs. Iran will never negotiate like Kim Jong-un whose main objective is to secure his autocratic rule over his doomed people. He is not seeking to export his state ideology abroad. Communism has long gone. By contrast, islamism is alive and in its prime, and every state and political movement (Shiite or Sunni, Arab or non-Arab) is investing in it in the region.
The clash between Iran and the West is going to happen sooner or later, Trump has just accelerated the pace before Iran gets much stronger and acquire more weapons, or even succeed to transform itself into a nuclear power. Any delay in dealing with that cancerous regime is only going to make its ability to inflict fatal damages on innocent people and their cities bigger.
The second phase, if the Iraq sectarian scheme didn’t work (mainly because the situation today is different from 2003 when US troops were ambushed in a hostile and unknown territory which made them vulnerable to Shiite and Sunni militia attacks alike, while the focus today is on Iran not Iraq, and mainly from air and sea), would be the activation of its major wild card—Hizbullah along with terror groups in Gaza. In that case Israel will be the state which will bear the most costs of the whole ordeal. Israel could soon find itself once again fighting in multiple fronts at the same time (which brings to memory the Arab-israeli wars).
The third phase is the easiest one, that is, the war with Iran itself which the US Air Force might not give its military enough time to launch ruinous attacks against UAE’s most prestigious cities, and Saudi Arabia’s heartlands.
Revolutionaries of Washington:
The Iranian voices in Washington are loud and harsh, and somehow they manage to reach out to the American public throughout the most prominent newspapers in the US. Partisanship, identity politics and sometimes blatant disregard of US interests are strongly present in the US political scene, playing a devisive role in society and breaching the national unity much needed in time of war.
Some of those voices are anti-Semitic who try to whitewash the bloody Iranian regime, and funnel their bigotry through political opinions that relate US-Iranian ongoing tensions to an Israeli influence over the Trump administration, and often join the interests of a brutal theocratic monarchy like Saudi Arabia; which relies on US bravery to protect its own soil, with a strategic and democratic ally of the US like israel which defends itself by the blood of its own soldiers.
However, the decision is in the hand of the president, and at those crucial moments in history, where brazen generals shake, and determined men hesitate, where emerges the distinguished man who makes history. Is Trump going to deal with Iran threat once and for all, or is he going, in order to save his presidency, to leave it, too, as a political mine for his successor?