Of Geopolitics & Communal Identity

"Syria is our strategic province," said Mehdi Taeb, the cleric in charge of the Revolutionary Guards' Cyber Warfare Unit in February 2014.
“Syria is our strategic province,” said Mehdi Taeb, the cleric in charge of the Revolutionary Guards’ Cyber Warfare Unit in February 2014.

Conflict in the Middle East will have consequences far beyond its borders, especially in Europe.

This is a very important article by Nicholas Blanford and can help us predict the future patterns of conflict in the region. The key quote in it for me, the one that explains how “geopolitical concerns” are understood by Iran’s leaders at this stage and, consequently, how other players are bound to understand them as swell, is this:

In February 2014, Mehdi Taeb, a senior Iranian cleric, underlined the importance of Syria to Iran in stark terms, saying it is a “strategic province for us.”  “If the enemy attacks us and wants to take either Syria or [the Iranian province of] Khuzestan, the priority is to keep Syria,” he said. “If we keep Syria, we can get Khuzestan back too, but if we lose Syria, we cannot keep Tehran.”

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On current developments in Iraq

Iraqi families leaving Mosul following Sunni rebels takeover.
Iraqi families leaving Mosul following Sunni rebels takeover.

Sunni-majority towns in Iraq are falling to a broad Sunni alliance that includes ISIS as a major player. Only Iran and Maliki want us to believe that ISIS is solely responsible for the current offensive.

On the other hand, the idea that Iran is orchestrating this development in order to convince America and the international community to allow her to intervene directly in Iraq is naive. Such intervention would be too costly and Iran is already knee-deep in the Iraqi quagmire anyway, not to mention the Syrian one, and does not need to do so more overtly. Should Iran’s decide to embark on such a course, it would be a massive miscalculation on their part.

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Syrian genocide needs justice

Opinion: Syrian genocide needs justice – CNN.com.

(CNN) — The debate over what is happening inside Syria should now end. A new report by three veteran war crimes prosecutors, released exclusively by CNN and The Guardian, offers what appears to be irrefutable evidence of systemic war crimes by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Power Vacuum in Middle East Lifts Militants

Power Vacuum in Middle East Lifts Militants – NYTimes.com.

“It’s not in America’s interests to have troops in the middle of every conflict in the Middle East, or to be permanently involved in open-ended wars in the Middle East,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, a White House deputy national security adviser, said in an email on Saturday……

Comment: Tell Obama, not to worry too much, Ben, the holy warriors will soon bring their battle to your living-rooms, and not via TV. These things just have a nasty habit of festering, and you’re already knee-deep in this, no matter what you say or think. It’s all part of the open-endedness of our political geography these days.