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Mainstream, VOL XLIX, No 20, May 7, 2011

Let’s Not Forget US’ Grand Design

Saturday 14 May 2011, by Bashir Mohammad

The US efforts to bridle and tame the Arab revolutionary wave in the Middle East seems to be bearing fruit. After Washington’s failure to defend and rescue its staunchest ally in the region, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, who acted as the most effective US satellite in West Asia, it has manged to contain the open revolt in Bahrain and prevent potential uprisings springing from simmering discontent in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. By late February the Obama Administration was able to put in place and pursue a multipronged strategy in the Arab world that would brilliantly serve its vital interests there.

Thus ‘Operation Odyssey-Dawn’ was intended to put under strict American control the largest oil and natural gas reserves in Africa. At the same time by a master stroke the US diverted international attention from the mass upsurges in Bahrain and other Gulf kingdoms, emirates and sultanates.

Finally, from the American viewpoint the most valuable outcome of the intervention in Libya happened to be the evolution and fine-tuning of a new SOP (standard operational procedure) in case public movements emerge in unfriendly or loyal but obsolete regimes.

The future targets have been identified. These are Syria, Iran, Myanmar and North Korea which constitute the ‘Axis of Evil’ from the US standpoint (perhaps the present Obama Administration would like to club them under a more refined phrase).

However, it would be instructive for the autocrats keen to befriend Washington to study the fate that has befallen Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his sons: they tried their best to develop intimacy with Bush, Berlusconi and other leaders of the ‘Community of Democracies’, but in vain. They were meted out a kind of treatment for which they were least prepared.

Against this background it would not be surprising to find revolutions breaking out in Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan, which were once the constituent republics of the erstwhile Soviet Union and are now independent states. In this context one should not be oblivious of the fact that the grand design of the Greater Democratic Middle East under the US’ firm grip that Washington has worked out is to stretch from Mongolia to Morocco.

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