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Statesmanship not brinkmanship needed in middle east now

Statesmanship not brinkmanship needed in middle east now
April 15
23:04 2024

At the weekend news filtered through that the Islamic Republic of Iran had launched hundreds of missiles and drones in the direction of Israel apparently in retaliation of the earlier bombing of the Iranian Consulate in Damascus in which several Iranian military personnel were killed and injured by Israeli Defence Forces IDF.

This marked the first time that Iran had directly attacked Israel since hostilities ramped up between Israel and the Palestinian resistance organisation Hamas in the Gaza strip.

For long Israel has taken it upon itself to routinely bomb targets in Syria with impunity as Nd in violation of International laws. Indeed as far it’s concerned Israel allows itself the liberty to determine when and where to attack targets in Syria without any recourse to any consideration. And Israel is not only encouraged to do this, it is even given a carte blanche in terms of arms supplies of any specifications and quantity by the United States of America and it’s western allies namely Britain, France, Germany and the European Union. Appeals for restraint from Russia , China the United Nations and other moderate countries are almost always brushed aside with contempt and disdain by both Israel and it’s western backers.

This is what has constituted the cornerstone of American and western policy; unconditional support for Israeli aggression against its Arab neighbours and brutal occupation and suppression of the Palestinian population by the state of Israel.


As far as America and it’s western allies are concerned Israel can never be wrong in the middle east even if it’s actions result in death and of women, children, babies and the most vulnerable in societies.

This has been the situation ever since the proclamation of the state of Israel in 1948. The Arabs and Palestinians have had to bear the brunt of Israeli policies since then. In the process the Arabs have had their lands seized and millions expelled from their ancestral lands.

We have seen this template repeated several time over the decades, the latest being in Gaza where the Israelis have let lose their bestial instincts in a bid to enact what is akin to ” the final solution” of Adolf Hitler ironically against the very Jews who are now perpetrating the same action on the Palestinians.


The Iranian revolution of 1979 and the tenor of that government which has been decidedly against the policies of the US and its allies in the region has alarmed the latter. The west tried to kill the Iranian revolution at birth by sponsoring Iraq to wage wa against Iran in which millions died on both sides. This was in addition to the numerous sanctions imposed on Iran across the board all intended to crush the Iranian revolution. Having failed in the bid to overthrow the Iranian revolution, the US sponsored a brutal internal terrorist campaign using the Mijaheddeen e Khalq to bomb buildings and security infrastructure and prominent individuals of the Iranian revolution.

Iran also has had to endure up to 800 sanctions and seizure of its critical assets located abroad by the west.

But despite all these hostile actions Iran has shown a remarkable resilience to grow its economic, military and strategic capabilities in order to defend itself. Iran has not only develop capacities in every field of endeavour to protect itself, it has demonstrated an ability to acquire the ability to be a game changer in the geopolitics of the region.

Today Iran cannot only defend itself from outside threats and aggression it can also reach out to project itself credibly using its own resources and those of its allies and proxies in the region.


Despite provocations by Israel and it’s western allies Iran has refrained from responding to the bait. Even when Israel has repeatedly bombed it’s interests and those of its allies in the region Iran has remained steadfast to its policy of restraint in the middle East region.

The Israeli war on Gaza has provided an excuse for Israel not just to bomb the Palestinians but also to do same to Iranian targets with impunity.

But although the US and it’s western allies have been making threats at Iranians they all know for sure that Iran’s has the strategic edge in the middle East geopolitical terrain. Although Israel is a nuclear power and possesses the means to deliver a punch to Iran, it however does not have the critical element of surprise to deliver the first strike devastating blow on Iran that will change the game. No Israeli strike planes can strike Iran without detection. The distance is far enough to render this impossible. It is simply impossible for Israel to launch the kind of strike that Isreal did on the Iraqi nuclear facility in Osirak in 1982. Not only would the planes be detected and neutralised by the capable Iranian air defences, it is almost certain that the planes will be destroyed on the way back.

It is only the deployment of aircraft carriers by the US and its allies that the Iranian air defences can be overwhelmed. But even at that it will not be a walk in the park. It will certainly be a costly misadventure for the US and its allies in the theatre of war. Iran can also go assymetrical by launching missiles and drones on US assets in the region including military bases and oilfields turning the entire region into one giant burning cauldron of devastating incendiary conflagration. Iran can also Close up the straits of Hormuz through about one third of the world oil shipping passes through. And Isreal itself knows that any attempt to go alone against Iran will be a catastrophic mistake. The entire territory of the state of Israel as demonstrated in the weekend attack is within striking range of the dangerous missiles that Iran possesses in their thousands. In the event of a sizeable number of these missiles striking deep into Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Herzliyya, Haifa etc the devastation and destruction arising from these strikes will be unimaginable. Israel’s possession and use of nuclear weapons will turn out to be suicidal for itself and the region and possibly the world because other countries in the region and even outside it will certainly join the conflict.


It will not be a tea party either to invade Iran from the ground. It will require thousands if not millions of forces backed by a compliment of air, naval and ground forces. And such an action will almost certainly bring the Russians into the war. Iran is too close to its near abroad. Azerbaijan and the Caucasus are just nearby and in its present state of war with Ukraine Russia will certainly view the insertion of American and western boots in Iran as a move to encircle it. They will meet this with devastating counter poise and will be ready to deploy everything in the war including nuclear weapons. And meanwhile Turkey another strategic power in the region will not stand idly by while all this is going. Turkiye will certainly join the fray one way or the other because their will be no room for neutrality.

If the statesmen in the world are aware of this scenario which might play out this way or something close to it, then it helps no one if they continue to act on like people who have the power of life and death in their hands. All of us can be potential victims to the irresponsible display of dangerous brinkmanship going on in the middle east. We have had devastating results of the recourse to brinkmanship instead of statesmanship in similar situations in the past. Countries in the world who feel that their interests and their existence in the world is much more important than the well being of the inhabitants of the world should bear in mind that it is the entire existence of the world that is at stake. There will be no advantages for anybody who holds the view that they have a better window of surviving any conflict in the middle east because of notions of their superiority over others. It behoves on the leaders of the world to tone down their rhetoric and dispel any hubris in their minds over the issues at play in the middle east. Before we all lose it all it is better for the world to sit down and discuss constructively the issues at stake and arrive at an amicable resolution.


Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.

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