The Obama administration’s most scandalous appointment has been predictably delayed. The Republicans are blocking Chuck Hagel’s confirmation as secretary of defense.
Based purely on procedure, it is virtually certain that Hagel’s confirmation will happen: The Democrats need a qualified majority in the Senate — 60 votes out of 100 — and they have it. The Republicans are merely dragging out the process.
Yet the ferocity with which the future secretary of defense is being criticized shows that a portion of the American elite bitterly disapproves of his rejection of Israel as a key ally and his belief in a peaceful resolution to the Iran issue. Obama will have to take that opinion into consideration. Therefore, despite noticeable changes in relations with these two countries, certain steps will likely be taken periodically to calm the bloodthirsty imperialists.
Essentially, the point of contention between Obama and the Republicans is very simple. The Republicans believe that the United States should be directly involved in all world events, and if it comes to war then it must unfold at the initiative of the U.S. The U.S. must be present in any war. Obama is much more pragmatic and believes that the U.S. has the capacity and brains to achieve the same end, but without directly participating in these processes.
Perhaps the whole course of the Arab Spring is a demonstration that the U.S. can reduce an entire region to rubble without wasting the lives of its soldiers, and in fact saving 90 percent of them. The end result will be the same, perhaps even better. This approach is not without some problems, as was shown in the case of Ambassador Stevens. But only those who do not do anything do not make any mistakes.
The U.S. is clearly shifting the situation in the Middle East and North and West Africa from revolutions to a big war. America’s slowing economy needs a war. War is also needed to securely close off streams of raw materials going to China. It is needed to slow down the development and financial capacity of the majority of world creditors, thus creating problems for Chinese exports and combating China’s threatening dynamics. However, the U.S. does not want to pay for this war. On the contrary, it wants to profit from it.
This is possible, but only on the condition that the U.S. does not fight and the war is fought with American weapons. This is why the U.S. has been steadily and gently pumping lethal pieces into the region, signing contracts in recent years for the fantastic sum of $100 billion. The U.S. did not even prevent Russia from being involved in this process. For instance, take Iraq and the $4.2 billion contract Maliki made last year in Moscow. The problems that occurred later in regard to the contract did not cancel it. Those problems most likely showed us some sort of internal struggle in Iraq, whether they involved someone not sharing resources or some other local troubles that are incomprehensible to the uninitiated.
Iran is being prepped for the role of a villain. Actually, it is not necessary to fabricate anything for Iran to fit this role. The outlines of two opposing coalitions have already been formed. After Pakistan's president stated that Pakistan is ready to defend Iran in case of aggression against it, it is safe to say that one coalition has taken shape: four Shiite countries — Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran — as well as Pakistan, which has joined them.
The second coalition is clearly Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. This coalition has its own problems: combustible material in the form of millions of dispossessed people, who urgently need something to occupy them. In the Soviet Union, these types of people were occupied with public construction projects under communism; their energy was channeled into these activities for 30 years. It is impossible to recreate this unique experience in the Middle East because the countries are too different, and in the most troubled of these countries the government has collapsed. These people desperately need to be stopped before it comes to war, or they will destroy the whole region. Then the Sunni coalition would bury itself without any Iranian participation.
Additionally, even in blockade conditions Iran has demonstrated economic miracles. It is actually becoming a nuclear and space power. For now, the accomplishments are modest: nuclear fuel and a monkey’s 120-kilometer space flight. But this happened during a blockade. What will Iran do once the blockade is lifted? For this reason alone the anxiety of the Arab monarchies is quite obvious. Such an opponent should be knocked down on its way up.
There are more than enough reasons for a war in the region; the intelligent Obama is deciding how the U.S. will take part in it, and how the U.S. will take advantage of the war’s outcome. For this he needs a foreign affairs unit headed by equally clever people who see things his way. That is why John Kerry, Chuck Hagel and John Brennan fully match Obama’s views on this issue. The Republicans, on the other hand, are dinosaurs of the bygone Cold War era. That era is over. The era of World War III is starting, though for now, it is a regional version. The Republicans’ time has passed.