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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Potential Armageddon In The Middle East

Life is ever changing, and this is its real beauty. Who would have known, hardly a few months back, that Egypt and Tunisia would lose their iconic dictatorial leaders. Morocco, Oman and Yemen would head for some major changes.

Till these lines are being written, Libya is the battleground central. If Qaddafi thinks that crushing the rebellion will be the end of his woes, then he is sadly mistaken. The spark of change, will ignite again and Qaddafi will depart or meet his fate as a "martyr", as he said so, in one of his passionate addresses. The change is only thing that remains constant.

On the same note, where it all began was Iran. The country which brutally silenced its dissent, a couple of years back. All of a sudden, has objected to the Saudis entering the causeway and heading to Bahrain, to save the "Khalifahood" of Bahrain. This is to say the least, the sheer hypocrisy of the Iranian regime. Saudis, on the other hand, have jumped in to demonstrate their "superiority", in the neighbourhood, to control the "pro-democracy" movement in the neighbouring country, which is a direct threat to Saudis.

Bahrain is a predominantly Shia country, where the Sunni Khalifas are trying to save their weakening grip. This of course is compelling Iran, to at least start the "war of words", with the Saudis Royals and Bahraini Khalifas. The sign of a conflict between the Saudis and Iranians is alarming. One does not have to be a major Political Analyst to determine, that days ahead are very crucial and critical. If and when Iran, the major Shite Power in the Middle East, gets directly involved in this conflict, this will be a major disaster. Iran has a history of provoking Israel, and there you have it, a recipe for perhaps a Third World War.

Should the Iranians jump in and the battle ensues between the arch rivals (Saudis vs Iranians, or Iranians vs Israelis), we are looking at a major turmoil in the Middle East. The oil markets will be very jittery and it is quite understandable, that Obama Administration, does not want a full blown war in the Middle East.

The usual conspiracy theorist are pegging this one in the column of the US as usual. Their take is, that US is instigating this, so the Muslims destroy each other. When all is said and done, no more breeding ground will be left for the Al Qaedas of the world. The democracy would take root, and inequities would disappear in the Middle East.

The crux of the Al Qaeda grievance, is the American presence in the region. When most of the Muslim countries will be embroiled in the sectarian conflicts and wars, it will eventually be to the detriment of Al Qaeda like organisations as well. The focus of the Arabs will shift towards their own problems and US will be not on their immediate "vent list."

The fact is that US will try to protect its interest to its fullest extent, however it is not probable that it will jump in with any direct involvement. The policy makers in Washington are perhaps sweating bullets with these unprecedented developments. There is growing pressure on the US to intervene in the Libyan crisis and remove Qaddafi. Then the potential Saudi- Iranian or Iranian- Saudi conflict can potentially turn into an armageddon of sorts. All this means a lot of upheaval in various economies including US and needless to say sky high gasoline prices (read Petrol my Asian friends).

Where all of this will head, no one knows. But if I had my way, all the Kings, Amirs, Generals, Colonels and Khalifas would retire (of course voluntarily) in no time, and would check themselves in at a local Motel 6. Jokes aside, the entire Persian Gulf will change, sooner or later. The days of the so called monarchs around the globe are over. It is crystal clear to me at least, don't know how many others feel that way.

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