That 1918 Feeling

by Jack Ross


Though it may well be too soon to assume any real significance to the withdrawal of Hezbollah from the Lebanese government, it is nevertheless suggestive of what I have argued for a while – that we are on the brink of an uprising across the Arab world to cast off the yoke of the American empire akin to the wave of uprisings that finally freed Eastern Europe from the Soviets.  Helena Cobban writes:

My sense from afar is that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and his friends and backers in Tehran are sending a fairly blunt message to the west (whose leaders often like to describe themselves as the “international community”) that regime change is indeed a game that more than one side can play.

Where is Saudi King Abdullah? He has had several serious medical procedures recently. Who has PM Saad Hariri been listening to as he has made his decisions of recent weeks?

If Nasrallah and his friends in Tehran (especially Supreme Leader Khamenei) indeed think the time has come to give the western house of cards in the Middle East a little nudge in Beirut to see what happens, the fallout from this could well end up extending far beyond Lebanon’s tiny confines.

Cobban believes that Saudi Arabia is indeed as ripe for revolution as Egypt, with King Abdullah as near death as Mubarak.  There is apparently even some shit going down in Tunisia, of all places.  The neocons, in their moral outrage at the comparison to 1989 (or is it 1919?) will now doubt insist that this would only be the conquest of the Middle East by Iran.  But it is certainly no more so than the fall of Communism meant that Eastern Europe was absorbed by the American empire.  Indeed, who can imagine the Iranians constructing an apparatus to compare to NATO?

Speaking of Iran, in a possibly related matter we have seen the dramatic shift in the party line about the Iranian nuclear program, in what can only be interpreted as the desperation of the war party to buy time, for reasons as yet unclear.  The official consensus mouthpiece itself, the Washington Post, is typical:

The challenge for the Obama administration, Israel and other allies will be to make use of that window to force a definitive end to the Iranian bomb program. The administration still hopes negotiations, set to resume Jan. 20, will achieve that end, but most likely it will require a fundamental change in Iran’s hard-line regime. From that point of view, five years is certainly not much time.

Perhaps Barack Milhous Obama really is about to actually reach out to Iran and end the madness.  But it may also be that the neocons and Israel lobby have decided all they can do now is go for broke and do all the moral chest-beating they can muster, and perhaps try to put across the big lie that America is legally bound to use its military to prevent “crimes against the Jewish people”.  The apparent strategic retreat may also be a sign that America has already lost the war – like Russia before the revolution, like France before the Americans came in, and like Germany thereafter.

But the liberation of Lebanon, and perhaps also Tunisia, if they spread to Egypt and Saudi Arabia could create a revolutionary wave that not even the most U.S. garrisoned Gulf sheikhdoms could withstand.  Let the Arab Spring commence!!!!

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