US-Israel Nexus: Danger to Peace

26 Mar

by Ishaal Zehra

The headlines of nearly all colossal newspapers carried the same tag line on that particular day, they said “President Barack Obama had a clear message in his speech to the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) On March 4, 2012: It’s war.” Critiques say by addressing this powerful pro-Israel lobby, Obama actually delivered messages to multiple political audiences:Israel,Iran, Jewish voters, a restless Congress, a wary international community and the three Republican presidential contenders in line.

 ForIran, President Barack Obama says that he would not hesitate to attackIranto keep it from getting a nuclear bomb. And forIsrael, it’s just a mere hope that his forceful assurance will discourageIsraelfrom launching a unilateral strike that could ignite the Middle East and drag theU.S.into war.

 Interestingly, Obama offered the linesIsraelwanted to hear, framing the Iranian threat as a problem for the entire world, and assertingIsrael’s right to defend itself how it sees fit. Alternatively, this tough note can be considered as a whip up to the Republican criticisms that he has been too tough on Israel and too soft on the Islamic republic which according to him has had crossed a red line. But his summing up of speech said the other way, “America’s national security is too important.Israel’s security is too important,” he said, to sustained applause by the crowd. Closing tag of his speech was a line from a predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, which said: “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.”

 Earlier, talking to The Atlantic magazine, the American president cautioned that ‘when theUSsays it is unacceptable forIranto have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say’

In his vociferous remarks on nuclearIran, Obama told the magazine thatIranandIsraelboth understand that “a military component” is one of a mix of options for dealing withIran, along with sanctions and diplomacy. Probably,Pakistanhas been warned in harsh words and shown strong displeasure for the IPI pipeline Project just incaseIrandoes not have any other support in the region. What so ever, at the core it is alwaysUnited States’s bullish assertion that theUnited Stateswill never settle for containing a nuclear-armedIranor fail to defendIsrael.

 To understand American interests in the region, I would rather mention Mr. M. Hossein Bor’s believe that Americahas a greater appeal in the region even beyond one can judge. ( Pakistan,Iran andChina all are connected in this great game. Bor, being the one with deep subject matter expertise in foreign trade and investment inSouthwest Asia, perfectly accounts for foreign hands in Balochistan activism. According to Bor, “there are many interrelated issues at play. When one discusses Balochistan, you are discussing a way to containChina. You are also discussing economic relationships betweenIran andPakistan. And, you are talking about energy security for theU.S. and its allies.”

 With respect toChina, Bor says that the strategic and economic importance of Baluchistan cannot be underestimated: “If (the Chinese) build their port in Gwadar, they will have a land route from Western China to theIndian Ocean. This is of strategic interest to theUnited Statesbecause Chinese ships would have a direct route toChinaand no longer have to transit past the Indian and American navies. Whereas, talking aboutIran: “Iranis an empire and they are using Baloch lands to try to become the dominant regional player. The Iranians are using theStrait of Hormuzas a chokepoint for a huge percentage of the world’s oil. They also are building a pipeline toPakistanwhich violates U.N. sanctions. Such growing Iran-Pakistan cooperation is a major concern.” In his mind, an independent Balochistan extending fromKarachito the Strait of Hormuz would not only contain an emergingIranbut also provide a long-term security guarantee againstChina,Iran, andPakistanemerging as revisionist maritime powers in the region.

 Relating all this together,Iran,Pakistan,China&Afghanistanall are the victims of this game. ForIran, Obama clearly stated that he understood thatIsraelcannot “tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipeIsraeloff the map, and sponsors terrorist groups committed toIsrael’s destruction.” where, Israelian PM Netanyahu, before heading to Washington for a meeting with American President, distinctly underlined that Obama had refused to rule out military action, while emphasizing that Israel had the right to “defend itself by itself.” For the troubledPakistan,Americahas lately been holding a big rigid stick with a proper order chart in hand which she insists to be appropriately followed or else the consequences are severe. The all messed up Afghanistan has already given up in front of United States, whereas China alone is so far the only one playing safe, but stakes are high for China too if considered levelheadedly. At this time the only viable preference would be a likeminded block to opposeAmerica’s supremacy in our region. WhilePakistan,China&Iranshould collectively craft future plans for energy sharing and economical advancement for the three.Afghanistanmay join the team if she wishes too. This would be beneficial for them as well the region as a whole.


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