By Senator Rehman Malik
The international community wants to know the background realities behind the recent episode of conflict between Iran and the USA. The question arises whether both are having the row due to their own national interests and issues or this is just an additional escalation tactic to continue a proxy war to make one another happy at the expense of human loss and pose threat to global peace?
This is a serious issue as this row will increase at the cost of human loss. The recent face savings and apologetic statements have exposed both sides. President Donald Trump considers that he has played his cards well by scooping out Iranian General Qasem Soleimani through a sting operation making many in the Middle East happy without actually executing a direct attack on Iran. I had earlier stated the same fact in my article “Eight reasons as to why USA will not directly attack Iran” on 20th June 2019, in which I had categorically stated that the USA will not make any direct attack on Iran but will continue to provoke Iran alongside and keep inflicting the Iran’s interests. President Donald Trump and his predecessors have pressure from their ally, Saudi Arabia to sort out Iran whereas Donald Trump instead of attacking continued to build constant pressure on Iran. America had carried out this attack on the soil of Iraq violating the sovereignty of Iraq and the Iraqi government has not yet protested for the killing of its guest General Qasem Soleimani on their soil.
In view of above complexed facts, USA will avoid any direct attack on Iran for the following reasons earlier published and I am upgrading my additional arguments.
1. Iran in its reactions will carry out counter-attacks on the USA interests in the Middle East; hence the USA would not like to risk their bases. Iran will not attack Middle East countries, but it might carry out air or navel surgical strikes instead.
2. Iran will try to destroy USA interests in Afghanistan which is not in favour of the USA. In fact, Iran will prefer to have surgical strikes in Israel and Afghanistan as soft targets.
3. Iran might hit the interest of Israel and also target attacks on US interests worldwide. Any attack on Israel will escalate the situation as Israel will launch a counter-attack.
4. Iran might use its naval force in the Middle East and resultantly the USA bases in Muscat will be in trouble. Iran will only go for targeted surgical strikes.
5. The USA might lose contracts of billions of dollars as a result of this war. USA will never destroy Iran as it is the key source for Middle Eastern countries to keep looking towards the USA for their defence and the USA will not make this mistake.
6. The risk of the Third World War will increase whereas China and Russia will not accept the domination of the USA in this region. Any attack on Iran means reaction from China & Russia which can trigger World War- III.
7. China has built assets to counter USA defence movements in this region as the war in the Gulf will create hurdles in the way of Chinese shipping operations. The USA created defence around the blue line by establishing 5 underground airbases & two with courtesy of India to have a check on the Gulf Sea and the South China Sea.
8. The USA is under a heavy load of debts and cannot afford war to destroy its economy. However bluff technology with the usual blend of fear will continue as business as usual by it. The USA is under a heavy burden of debts and would continue to have funds from Saudia and Qatar. It was this reason that Donald Trump made his first visit to Saudi Arabia taking his defence team along and not the economic team.
It is unfortunate that Iraq has become a punching bag in the Middle East which has been treated as a launching pad for actions around Iraq for the USA.
This is a complex situation now where the USA still claims to remain in Iraq whereas the Iraqi Parliament including the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has asked Americans to leave their country and USA—Iraq will create more complications in the region in the upcoming time. The tension between America and Iraq is growing whereas Iran’s influence on Iraq is likely to grow more in view of direct friction between the USA and Iran.
We are watching it since long how Middle Eastern countries are polarised and this polarisation has been deliberately designed by the designer of Middle Eastern – Geo-Political Map.
I stand by my assessment that the USA will not directly attack Iran as destroying Iran means to lose its influence in the region. Middle East politics is behaving like a statistical sign graph with up and down dips while the entire Middle East is suffering from uncertainty, fear syndrome and state of internal distrust. This region was destabilised with the intention to take control over Middle Eastern politics and its rich resources that’s why it always remained under the influence of the West. Its destabilisation started with the assassination of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt who was assassinated on 6 October 1981 during an Army parade in Cairo as he had fallen out of line from the world establishment and then how Muammar Gaddafi of Libya was killed and earlier how King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was got eliminated through his own nephew and now Bashar Al Assad of Syria is already under attack. Similarly, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was got assassinated in the hands of General Zia for the same reason while the disposal of Gen Zia is now part of history. The game of causing destabilisation in the Middle East started with the use of the generic name of terrorism which is, in fact, self-created and every country is destabilised with its own branded name of terrorism specific to a country. Saddam Hussain had created a well-trained army which was also disbanded after the invasion of Iraq and as a result, Iraq became defenseless and the same gap was covered by ISIS which emerged as a lethal terrorist organization.
The activities of ISIS were target based only as of the USA along with other allies, remained safe from them and everyone knows why? The world economy is being controlled through terrorist financing which is a new way to keep the international economy in control mostly through dollars and Euros. The hounding of Muslim block will continue because we Muslims are very congenial soft targets and easily fall in traps. The USA is controlling the region through fear technology which is demonstrated in different ways and styles and two of them are FATF and others are flying pirates namely drones.
I had also written in the said article that the USA will not attack Iran directly but indirect hits will continue. President Obama and President Bush did not directly attack Iran despite their commitments with HRH King Abdullah while instead of carrying out an attack, an agreement emerged between USA and Iran with the mediation of Switzerland that dismayed the then King Abdullah and it was expressed to me by King Abdullah himself that President Obama did not honor his commitment of attacking Iran.
For the reason, King Abdullah did not tend to agree in the beginning when I told him that USA and Iran are having back door channels dialogue and King Abdullah had the kind grace to appreciate the same later on in a meeting with me by believing in my information when USA – Iran agreement that was signed in Geneva and was made public later.
In 2018 on October 3rd, Donald Trump even warned the Saudi king by addressing him directly saying: “We protect you. Saudi Arabia’s king “might not be there for two weeks” without US military support, you have to pay for your military. We defend many of these nations for nothing, and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices. Not good. We want them to stop raising prices. We want them to start lowering prices and they must contribute substantially to military protection from now on.”
The USA would never like to end the conflict between the Middle East and Iran as the world will witness how it continues with this drama of waging wars through different proxies and private war contractors.
The notorious “Black Water” private military firm of the USA continued to be involved in intelligence and war activities of the USA against different countries. The founder of the company Erik Dean Prince known as “Black Prince” is an American businessman, former US. Navy Seal officer, and the founder of the government services and Security Company Blackwater USA, now called Academi. His role in Iran and Afghanistan is no more a secret as he was a part of a CIA task force created during the early years of the Bush administration’s so-called “war on terror”. Blackwater came under increasing criticism after the Nisour Square massacre in September 2007, in which Blackwater employees opened fire in a crowded square in Baghdad, killing 17 Iraqi civilians and seriously wounding 20 more. This monkey war business will continue to hound the Middle East and Iran, hence both parties must revisit their strategies.
The face savings analogy and obliging partners took away the life of General Qasem Soleimani through a sting operation. I wish this sacrifice of a Gen. Qasem Soleimani including many other victims of Iraqi invasion killed brutally by ISIS and the recent killings of innocent 176 passengers of Ukrainian Airlines bring some change in their hearts with fear of God to them and mankind. Perhaps, Donald Trump, his advisors, and partners might revisit their International Interference policy and may consider to work for international peace instead of waging wars.
America needs to pay more attention to resolving local challenges. Many like those in Indian occupied Kashmir and in Gaza are waiting for their support. May God leads them to the right path of friendship and peace with inner wisdom to leave the war syndrome to avoid WW-III. It is my third article and I have not taken the side of anyone rather I have placed the hard facts with the ground realities of this issue.
I wish PM Imran Khan had called a meeting of former PMs, presidents, foreign ministers and interior ministers for their input on the internal and external challenges before launching his foreign minister into these three countries’ grand tour without taking the mandate of Parliament.
I wish the government had made public the terms of reference of mediation( if made any) and the mode of mediation with expected targets given by the PM to be achieved which have been taken along by our FM on his grand meditation tour.
(The writer is former interior minister of Pakistan, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Chairman of Think Tank “Global Eye”. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @SenRehmanMalik)