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By Kam Zarrabi, Intellectual Discourse

Looking back at my July 7th article, Iran, the Designated Enemy, But For How Much Longer?, it was hard to justify redressing the same issues all over again within just a few weeks. In reality, nothing substantial has changed since then to warrant restating the obvious, at least for those whose appetite for world news is not satiated by the info-garbage that saturates the American mass media.

The only change that is causing toxic salivation, a la rabid dogs, among our warmongers and blind supporters of the American Zionist mafia and the protagonists of Israel's Thug-in-Chief, Netanyahu, is the latter's recent more explicit threats of attacking Iran even before the American presidential elections this November. All this happening just before the OIC and NAM conference under way in Iran.  Iran has already discounted and dismissed this Israeli threat as yet another ploy by the renowned Israeli extortion artist whose tactics, much to his credit, have proven successful in swaying America's public sentiments, and thus the over-eager support of the United States Congress to grant the Jewish state all it demands - and more.

That said, and repeated ad nauseam - and not just by this writer, let us rise above the war-torn, dusty and polluted Middle East and try to gain a more realistic perspective not readily visible while wallowing  inside that morass.

What is America doing in the Middle East?

With now more than seven-thousand dead and tens of thousands injured and a couple of trillion dollars spent on this side, and deaths and destruction many degrees of magnitude larger on the other side, where do we stand? Let us not get into what factors have brought us to this uncomfortable and seemingly unmanageable point, although that topic will certainly be addressed by historians and political scientists for the next couple of generations.

There are a few competing theories as to what the United States has been doing, is doing and intends to be doing in the Middle East. So let us begin by the most ridiculous and the mundane rationalization, and proceed to the more sophisticated.

A- The United States has always had the most noble of intentions for the humanity as a whole, and for the peoples and nations in the Middle East in particular. Promoting the concepts of freedom, human dignity and democracy among the backward nations of that region, and eradicating tyranny and terror, have been very costly for the American people in terms of lives lost and the financial burden that the taxpayers have had to bear. In a true spirit of Christian morality, America has accepted this sacrifice as its global duty and responsibility.

B- America's campaigns and involvements in the Middle East, as costly and globally unpopular as they have been, were absolutely necessary to stem the roots of international terrorism and to keep America safe against evil forces that aim to attack and destroy America and its allies. In other words, it is better to fight evil where it is rooted, than to fight it on our own shores.

C- America's and America's allies' economic stability and well being depends to a great degree on the management and control of the rich hydrocarbon resources of the Middle East. Left to their own devices, the oil-rich Moslem countries of the region would not hesitate to use that valuable resource to blackmail the West and hold us over the proverbial barrel.

D- To ensure the patronage of the oil-rich nations of the Middle East, and to protect the leaders of these states against internal uprisings that might threaten their regimes, and to preserve the needed stability that is a prerequisite to continued control over the region's developments, the United States has had to maintain a strong presence in the region and establish special relationships with the leaders of those nations.  This usually entails supporting dictatorships and preventing democratic movements from taking root to threaten our interests.

E- Having an enemy, at least some  pseudo-enemy or a "designated" enemy", which could be sold convincingly to the American public as a real threat to the security and strategic interests of the United States, has been an essential part of American foreign policy in the Middle East. This policy serves many purposes:

  1. It justifies America's military presence in and around the Middle East.
  2. It strengthens America's influence on the "designated" allies and friends to remain compliant and  obedient.
  3. It helps boost military expenditures and energized the Military/Industrial Complex.
  4. It generates substantial amounts of income from the forced sale of mostly outdated military hardware  to the hapless oil rich Arab states, over 66 billion dollars last year alone, with more to come, to defend themselves against the fictitious enemy.
  5. Last but certainly most importantly, it serves to "secure the realm" for America's illegitimate child in    the region, Israel, a parasitic "passionate attachment" to America's body politics that has been the main force steering America's policies in that region to serve Israel's agendas, totally disregarding, and at the expense of, the best interests of  the American people, regional tranquility and world peace.

It doesn't take much of a brain to figure out who or what segments of our population favors which of the theories enumerated above.

As anyone familiar with my writings could guess, I personally blame items D and E, especially E, for the horrible state of affairs we are facing in the Middle East. America's need to have a believable enemy in the region to continue its course until a better path could be found is undeniable. At the same time, any new path must also serve Israel's motivations and agendas behind its superficial theatrics performed by the con artist, Netanyahu. That is why I have been predicting a shift from Iran to Pakistan as the most believable and even a more realistic source of threat and danger in the region. 

Kam Zarrabi is the author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion.He has conducted lectures and seminars on international affairs, particularly in relation to Iran, with focus on US/Iran issues. Zarrabi's latest book is Iran, Back in Context.
More information about Mr. Zarrabi and his work is available at:

Should we start getting ready to "batten down the hatches", as Ray McGovern seems to suggest, fearing Israel's definite intentions of striking at Iran's nuclear facilities sooner rather than later? Or should we be more sensibly, yet cautiously, optimistic that reason "might" prevail, as Stephen M. Walt maintains in his analysis?

Having just returned from a three months' visit to Iran, I didn't see anyone "battening down the hatches", from the big cities to the remote villages I visited. Let's just wait until after the November elections before counting our chickens! Barring some truly accidental mishap (as they say, shit can happen!), we will hopefully be seeing goal posts move further back as usual, while all parties continue to find face-saving ways to relieve the tensions and reach a sustainable detente in the region, as I have been forecasting, perhaps before the end of 2013.

Other recent articles by Kam Zarrabi:

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