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US-Israel Nexus: Danger to Peace

09 March, 2012

By Ishaal Zehra


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The headlines of nearly all colossal newspapers carried the same tag line on that particular day, they said "President Barack Obama had a clear message in his speech to the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) On March 4, 2012: It's war." Critiques say by addressing this powerful pro-Israel lobby, Obama actually delivered messages to multiple political audiences: Israel, Iran, Jewish voters, a restless Congress, a wary international community and the three Republican presidential contenders in line.

For Iran, President Barack Obama says that he would not hesitate to attack Iran to keep it from getting a nuclear bomb. And for Israel, it's just a mere hope that his forceful assurance will discourage Israel from launching a unilateral strike that could ignite the Middle East and drag the U.S. into war.

Interestingly, Obama offered the lines Israel wanted to hear, framing the Iranian threat as a problem for the entire world, and asserting Israel's right to defend itself how it sees fit. Alternatively, this tough note can be considered as a whip up to the Republican criticisms that he has been too tough on Israel and too soft on the Islamic republic which according to him has had crossed a red line. But his summing up of speech said the other way, "America's national security is too important. Israel's security is too important," he said, to sustained applause by the crowd. Closing tag of his speech was a line from a predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, which said: "Speak softly, but carry a big stick."

Earlier, talking to The Atlantic magazine, the American president cautioned that 'when the US says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say'

In his vociferous remarks on nuclear Iran, Obama told the magazine that Iran and Israel both understand that "a military component" is one of a mix of options for dealing with Iran, along with sanctions and diplomacy. Probably, Pakistan has been warned in harsh words and shown strong displeasure for the IPI pipeline Project just incase Iran does not have any other support in the region. What so ever, at the core it is always United States's bullish assertion that the United States will never settle for containing a nuclear-armed Iran or fail to defend Israel.

To understand American interests in the region, I would rather mention Mr. M. Hossein Bor's believe that America has a greater appeal in the region even beyond one can judge. (http://asiapacificreporting.blogspot.com/2012/02/no-peace-in-balochistan-without.html) Pakistan, Iran and China all are connected in this great game. Bor, being the one with deep subject matter expertise in foreign trade and investment in Southwest Asia, perfectly accounts for foreign hands in Balochistan activism. According to Bor, "there are many interrelated issues at play. When one discusses Balochistan, you are discussing a way to contain China. You are also discussing economic relationships between Iran and Pakistan. And, you are talking about energy security for the U.S. and its allies."

With respect to China, Bor says that the strategic and economic importance of Baluchistan cannot be underestimated: "If (the Chinese) build their port in Gwadar, they will have a land route from Western China to the Indian Ocean. This is of strategic interest to the United States because Chinese ships would have a direct route to China and no longer have to transit past the Indian and American navies. Whereas, talking about Iran: "Iran is an empire and they are using Baloch lands to try to become the dominant regional player. The Iranians are using the Strait of Hormuz as a chokepoint for a huge percentage of the world's oil. They also are building a pipeline to Pakistan which violates U.N. sanctions. Such growing Iran-Pakistan cooperation is a major concern." In his mind, an independent Balochistan extending from Karachi to the Strait of Hormuz would not only contain an emerging Iran but also provide a long-term security guarantee against China, Iran, and Pakistan emerging as revisionist maritime powers in the region.

Relating all this together, Iran, Pakistan, China & Afghanistan all are the victims of this game. For Iran, Obama clearly stated that he understood that Israel cannot "tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map, and sponsors terrorist groups committed to Israel's destruction." where, Israelian PM Netanyahu, before heading to Washington for a meeting with American President, distinctly underlined that Obama had refused to rule out military action, while emphasizing that Israel had the right to "defend itself by itself."

For the troubled Pakistan, America has lately been holding a big rigid stick with a proper order chart in hand which she insists to be appropriately followed or else the consequences are severe. The all messed up Afghanistan has already given up in front of United States, whereas China alone is so far the only one playing safe, but stakes are high for China too if considered levelheadedly. At this time the only viable preference would be a likeminded block to oppose America's supremacy in our region. While Pakistan, China & Iran should collectively craft future plans for energy sharing and economical advancement for the three. Afghanistan may join the team if she wishes too. This would be beneficial for them as well the region as a whole.

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