By Myles Hoenig 

The tables are turning against the U.S. presence in West Asia 

September 27, 2021 - 0:40

TEHRAN- It’s always gratifying to see the bully being beaten, getting his comeuppance, or stood up to by those he has been harassing, humiliating, hurting, intimidating for so long. Sometimes that’s all it takes. The most aggressive bully in West Asia and much of the world is the United States. It goes where it wants and does what it pleases.

It never does it in isolation as it needs its gang members to back him up, with muscle and encouragement to massage his ego. 

The gang here is its standing army and its compliant European allies in the form of NATO. But even a gang and its leader need a purpose, other than exercising simple aggression and chest-beating. For the U.S. and its European allies, a major purpose in Afghanistan was to rake in trillions of dollars for the war industry, as those profits went to perpetuate its very presence in the region. If the goal was simply to punish the Taliban, that was accomplished very early on in its occupation. If it was to take out Osama Bin Laden, that allegedly occurred in 2011.

So, all that has been occurring in the past 10 + years was simply the rape of a land, and the fulfillment of Wall Street’s dream of never-ending wealth for its military-industrial complex. Incidentally, when President Eisenhower coined this term, he wanted to include ‘congressional’ in it but balked. It would have been so fitting as our Congress works for hand in hand with the Raytheon’s, KBRs, and Blackwaters of the world.

If General Soleimani’s revenge was to see the U.S. leave West Asia then it has yet to occur. President Biden and his military command made it known that they’re here to stay. Maybe not boots on the ground but drones in the air, and likely the secretive Special Ops on assignments. The U.S. didn’t leave just with its tail between its legs but on a murderous exit, with the ‘accidental’ droning of 10 civilians, including children. Because of the political showmanship of many who want to see political blood for the poorly executed exit, all operations, including the continuing illegal occupation of Syria, will just go on quietly. 

The Iraqi government has called for the end of its occupation. In January of 2020 after the drone assassination of General Soleimani, the Iraqi Parliament called for the expulsion of U.S. troops. The tables are turning against the U.S. presence in the area but the U.S. has too much at stake to abide by this vote. Even though the U.S. sentiment against our never-ending war is growing, the political leadership is deaf to the call for an end to U.S. engagements abroad. Also, now that President Biden ‘lost’ Afghanistan, with the 24/7 news coverage of the Fall of Kabul, it will be difficult for him, or any president, to show such “weaknesses” again. 

The only hope for the U.S. war machine is to quickly pivot to the Far East, notably against China, as its next theater of war in order to maintain its military and economic empire. With America’s short attention span, what happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, etc., will be distant history.

As there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics, there are near-permanent interests. Yesterday’s foes are likely tomorrow’s newfound friends. The rapprochement between Israel and some in the Arab world attests to this. They are uniting their political, and likely military muscle directed at their common enemy, Iran, but it is Iran that has recently had the upper hand. Its economic ties to China and the apparent loss of the U.S. military in its region and its close ties to Iraq gives it some leeway in reestablishing the Iranian nuclear deal on more favorable terms. The US’s most recent ‘betrayal’ of France with its nuclear deal with Australia shows once again that the U.S. acts on its own, and not always in concert with its European allies. As President Trump stood alone on this deal, Biden is just a continuation of U.S. foreign policy. 

The upcoming Arbaeen Pilgrimage, September 27, would be another show of political force for the Axis of Resistance, as Shia from Arab and non-Arab lands take part. We in the West may be very unfamiliar with this annual event, but to the people of the Far West, it is quite notable, as it was a motivating factor for the Iraqi Parliament to expel the U.S. occupation forces.

The 20th Century was the American century. The U.S. dominated in nearly everything: military and economic power, science and technology, and overall public relations. That period is coming to an end. China is now seen as the dominating power for the foreseeable future. Countries in Africa, Iran, and the Pacific nations are seeing that an alliance with China is in their interests. The U.S. is stoking animosity towards China among those nations still subservient to its whims and demands, notably Australia and to a degree, Japan. Whether the U.S. proves to be the ‘paper tiger’ that Mao Zedong proclaimed has yet to be seen. Iran being closer to China may be its best hope for protection against U.S. imperialism.

Myles Hoenig is an American political analyst. He was a 2016 Green Party candidate who sought election to the U.S. House to represent the 7th Congressional District of Maryland.


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