Dubya's Real Mideast Agenda

[New York Post] Amir Taheri - Over the last three decades, U.S. dependence on Middle East oil has dropped steadily, even as U.S. imports of crude have almost doubled. The Cold War's end spelled the finish of the Middle East as a big prize in the race between the Free World and the Soviet bloc. Instead, the Middle East emerged as the chief source of threats to U.S. national security in the context of a new global struggle between the established order and its challengers, who often act in the name of a version of Islam. But it took the 9/11 attacks to shake America out of its illusions about the region. America removed two of the region's most vicious regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the U.S. hasn't been the sole beneficiary. The prime beneficiary has been the Islamic Republic in Iran. In 2001, it was in a pincer between the Taliban regime in Kabul and the Ba'athist regime in Baghdad. The Afghan mullahs challenged the Iranian mullahs on religious grounds; the Ba'athists tried to mobilize pan-Arab nationalism against Khomeinism. Those regimes' fall has enabled the Khomeinists to revive their ambitions of regional supremacy as never before. Arab states from Algeria to Yemen to Egypt have also benefited from the fact that Afghanistan and Iraq have become magnets for terrorists who'd otherwise have targeted them.

2008-01-09 01:00:00

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