Any observer, biased or not, can clearly notice that the east was always unstable throughout history, however, what puts someone in awe is the relative stability in the west and the insusceptible regimes there.
After the Middle East’s borders were drawn relatively randomly between weird zigzags in the deserts and strange lines in mountains, the years of peace there can be counted to a number less than 10. East Europe and South East Asia are no different, with proxy wars and regime changes every now and then.
However, the thing is that these countries, from Egypt, Lebanon, and Iraq to Yugoslavia, Romania, and Ukraine, to Vietnam and such, is that they lack a national identity and common conscious causing them to shift from a camp to another with every regime change. These countries with time proved to be no more than puppet states where the supreme leader, king, or dictator can dictate the foreign policy and type of governance then get scratched and set on different grounds and political camps by the successor.
Modern Middle Eastern politics, or to be more precise and free this area from this dehumanizing phrase by calling it southwest Asia, was shaped after Egypt signed the peace treaty with Israel and Iran emerged as a counterbalance in the Arab – Israeli conflict after the 1979 revolution. During those days, the central and most agonizing political and military crisis was the ongoing tug of war between Israel, an irregular entity in the east, and the homogenous Muslim Arab nations.
With Egypt out of this war along with Jordan and Lebanon sinking deeper in its own political sectarian war, the Palestinian nation and resistance groups found themselves vulnerable to a final attack by the Israel army, IDF, strong enough to end the core of this struggle and finally integrate Gaza and the west bank into the so-called ‘state of Israel.’ And as events unfolded, the IDF triumphed through its invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and laid the foundation of the day of victory against what it called ‘terrorist Palestinian groups’ that threatened the security and well being of the citizens in the Galilee. Yet what no one expected is the emerge of non-state actors that one day with the help of a new emerging regional power to challenge Israel and not only the Galilee with few unguided and ineffective M-21OF 122mm missiles launched from southern Lebanon.
When SL Khomeini’s long fought for revolution overthrew the US assigned and backed dictator of Iran, kings of the kings “Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi”, Iran like almost every eastern nation not only shifted political camps but changed its Persian identity to an Islamic identity. Yet Khomeini did not lead an Islamic revolution to end it at the borders of Iran, his ideology was a region-wide anti-oppression anti-imperialist Islamic movement aimed to aspire the Muslims in the east.
And regardless of how the post events of the revolution happened, between unfair excluding of several political parties and the exile after intimidation of thousands connected to the murderous dictatorship of the shah, the new regime in Iran was not established by force but rather with a national referendum with a 98% turnout and 99% support. Yet for a first glance, these numbers might look odd, but their genuineness was demonstrated by the internal unity and cooperation during the Iraq – Iran war. Khomeini set the foundation of a democratic state supervised by an Islamic constitution written by the elite from Iran, Iraq and even Lebanon. Add to that anyone can argue that Iran is a dictatorship, but why bother with biased prejudiced DC-based think tanks that never studied law or understood the power limitation of each official in the republic.
The foundation of the current work of the current IRI foreign policy started in the late 1960s-1970s before the establishment of the republic itself by educating the masses and building up a conscious. It started with the work and words of the unjustly killed Shia scholars Sayid Mohamamd Baqr al-Sadr and Sayid Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim by the then supported USA president Saddam Hussein and with the work of the prominent scientific and military figure Mustafa Chimran in Lebanon. Mohammad Baqr was laying the foundation of an Iraq free from the Baathist regime who not only oppressed a whole religious sect in Iraq but rather genocided a race and forcefully created a refugee crisis in northern Iraq by Arabizing Kurdish cities.
While in Lebanon, the Lebanese Resistance movement Amal, was founded by Lebanese, born in Iran, scholar Sayid Moussa al Sadr, who arrived in Lebanon in 1959 to lead a civil revolution in the favor of the marginalized and poor Shia citizens of south and north Lebanon. Although these two causes might be different in detail, they were related in one thing: “Western-backed regimes”. Saddam enjoyed a healthy relationship with the USA, France, and the USSR who assisted him with weapons and experts from Europe to fortify his rule. Germany had its fair share of experts in Saddam’s MOD too.
Similarly in Lebanon, the USA initiated for the first time its Eisenhower Doctrine in which the U.S. announced that it would intervene to protect regimes it considered threatened by international communism on the 17th of July 1958 and later in assisting against the SSNP led coup. And thinking about it, it was the 1950’s the decade when the USA became a hated nation for Iranians when it led a coup against the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh. The USA in this decade took UK’s rule and became the new world police deciding who is fit for democracy and who is not.
Therefore, throughout the ME and Asia, several nations were being nourished on the hate of the United States of America whom they considered a force that is willing to battle every movement and government it considered unfit to its ‘standards of democracy.’ And so it was, and events started to unfold with coups orchestrated by the CIA in more than 15 nations and invasions that went deep even into the jungles of Vietnam.
However, what sets the atrocities and brutality of what the USA did from those done by China or Russia or any other regime in modern times is that they were done under the banner of democracy and free rights and free speech.
It’s the hypocrisy and lies of the West that made it impossible to feel warm-hearted toward them again. Add to that, it’s the selectivity of how Americans deals with state and non-state groups and the unjust naming of groups on the terror list that made things worse. For example, it seems that the USA is fond of the Gulf states that have a very bad human rights record, no elections, and a long list of minority persecution and murder, while it seems to be going against Iran and Syria with maximum pressure through sanctions and limited confrontations although both have elections and remarkable minority coexistence.
Moreover, the USA labels Hezb Allah on its terror list way back from 1996-1997, although Hezb Allah was formed as a reaction to the USA backed IDF invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Hezb Allah kept resisting up to the year 2000 when IDF left Lebanon on the 25th of May. Hezb Allah, unlike the IDF, never deliberately killed civilians during its wars with Israel.
On the other hand, USA labels Kataeb Hezb Allah, Asaeb Ahl Al haq, and other Iraqi groups as terrorist although they were created only as a response to USA’s invasion to Iraq in 2003. The Invasion led by USA and its allies that not only killed and injured up to a million Iraqi, but devastated Iraq and crippled the state till today. Kataeb and Asaeb, Hezb Allah, and the likes did turn to Iran for help in military aid, but does this mean that Hezb Allah, Asaeb, and the likes are Iranian proxies?
Generally speaking, a proxy is a group of pawns doing the work on the behalf of another. However, it seems that the word proxy in Middle Eastern politics has taken a more dehumanizing and mercenary vibe to it aimed to underestimate and devalue the effort and work of a certain group and shorthand it into a sectarian maniac tier groups used by Iran to spread its ‘terror’ in the middle east. Yet this term that sounds childish to use in international circles, became the dominant word used by American foreign policymakers today. Although if anyone read the 2019 American MOD report about Iran, they’d notice that the term partner is used to describe Hezb Allah and other groups in the middle east that are aligned with Iran ideologically. Thus we can conclude without any doubt that the USA has chosen to put its political interest and bias ahead of any reasonable and fair understanding of events in a show of arrogance and childish understanding of the complexity of the Middle East. USA is failing in the exact way the UK failed to understand the Middle East when it tried to shape its boundaries and future.
What happened today in Iraq and the march on the American embassy by the families of the 30 Kataeb Hezb Allah members killed by USAF ‘in retaliation’ is another example of how dangerous things can escalate to. Kataeb Hezb Allah and Asaeb Ahl Al Haq have more than 60,000 veteran soldiers who are ready to storm every single American base in Iraq and massacre the soldiers in retaliation of the unjust killing of Iraqi and PMF soldiers but chose not to. They even refrained from entering the embassy compound and chose to pressure a parliamentary resolution that forces USA forces to leave. If the USA was wiser they would have asked the Iraqi security forces to investigate the 107mm missile launches and capture the people responsible.
Not only would they have respected Iraq’s sovereignty, but rather actually knew who is really after these attacks and presented them as the criminals for attacking an Iraqi base and killing Iraqi and American soldiers.
Things kept evolving and events unfolding to a day when the USA is being challenged by Russia and China over world power, and its ally KSA in Yemen over influence, and its ally Israel by Hezb Allah over existence. The Anti-American axis today massed power and strength enough to challenge the existence of Israel and USA in the Middle East, with only time that will show how the limited attacks by both sides will lead to the war that will end one of the two combatants once and for all.