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Opinion: The Truth about “America’s Project” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the 25th death anniversary of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, in Tehran June 4, 2014. (REUTERS/leader.ir/Handout via Reuters)

With every day that passes, Operation Decisive Storm proves just how necessary, and hence, justifiable it is.

The conspirators inside Yemen have made huge investments over the past few years in funding sectarian infrastructures, organizations, logistics, as well as tribal and interest-based relations woven with ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s “family-run militia.” The militia that has fought under his banner defends his interests and the interests of those he chooses to befriend today, only to turn on them tomorrow.

These investments have been huge and long term. The investors are now well known and for a time this looked like nothing more than a small sectarian insurgency limited to a remote mountainous area in northern Yemen. However, today, its domestic, regional and international dimensions have become clear for all to see.

The Houthi movement is nothing more than the tip of an iceberg. Indeed, it is nothing more than the “Yemeni part” of a wider strategy of hegemony which is now unearthing fairly ugly truths ranging from maneuvering and lobbying within UN corridors to openly expressed international stances supportive of the Houthis’ Iranian incubator. However, as ugly as these truths may be, they must be considered as positives in the final analysis. This is the exposure of the insidious objectives of destroying the Arab world, partitioning it, and placing these parts of the Arab Mashreq under various spheres of foreign influence.

The fact that Operation Decisive Storm has revealed the truth about Iran’s strategy of hegemony has sparked a tirade of denunciation, fabrications and threats through the regional propaganda machine created, oiled and ruthlessly run by Tehran. But, with this in mind, it must be said that Iran has been benefiting—for a long time—from the negativity, confusion and disorientation of the Arab media.

They have not only benefited from the current dire standards in Arab media, but also from Arab political divisions and disagreements. This has been responsible for our failure to notice what has been taking place in the region throughout the recent period. For a long time, Arab governments have been preoccupied with exchanging niceties and expressions of “brotherly” support, while hiding their true feelings and papering over their real differences. This situation was bound to prevent political, diplomatic, media, and even military, long-term strategic planning. In fact, if the Syrian debacle turned out to be a painful reminder of Arab hypocrisy in its worst form, the Houthi–Saleh conspiracy has confirmed this fact and even added other dimensions to it.

When over the past few days certain figures and “puppets”—with Arabic names and Iranian affinities—launched their tirade of denunciation and fabrications, they resorted to their favorite tune of “confronting Israel” and accusing anyone who opposes Iranian regional hegemony of being a servant of “America’s Project.” However, the problem with this lot is two-fold: firstly, they clearly do not respect the intelligence of their listeners; and, secondly, they clearly have weak or selective memories.

Only a few hours separated Operation Decisive Storm from the tentative US–Iran agreement in Lausanne on Tehran’s nuclear program. This agreement is regarded by President Barack Obama as his crowning achievement, and to gain the trust of the Tehran leadership the US president has been willing to confront the powerful Israeli lobby. Ironically, the “Iranian–American lobby”—which is nurtured by current Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif—has been working overtime to reassure Israel’s friends in America that Iran poses and intends no threat to Israel, while the Arabs—namely the Gulf Arabs—are the source of all evil and the sponsors of terrorism and extremism.

This has also been Tehran’s message to the Obama administration, which unfortunately has found plenty who accept and believe it. This can clearly be seen in Washington’s actions on the ground throughout the Arab Mashreq over the last four years.

Through its strong support for the current Iraqi government, Washington is today consolidating Iran’s “gains” following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, which was planned and endorsed by the pro-Israel “neocons” during George W. Bush’s presidency. At the time, Tehran welcomed the “Zionist–American” action—as its henchmen in the camp of “resistance” and “rejectionism” would call it today. In Syria, however, neither Israel nor America have been keen to get rid of the “rejectionist” Assad regime that has displaced half its own population and killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians after more than four years of massive popular uprising. Indeed, the Assad regime and its backers continue to accuse its opponents of being agents of Israel and America!

Even Russia, which is now looking like being the third side of the “triangle of conspirators” against Middle East unity, stood by the Houthis and their sponsors at the UN. Its position was strange, as it had justified using its three vetoes in defense of Assad by claiming it was “supporting an existing government against an armed extremist and sectarian opposition.” However, what Russia did with regards to Yemen was just the opposite. How can it be that what applies to Yemen does not apply to Syria? How can we understand such attitudes, other than as being part of an international conspiracy to abort any courageous and effective Arab and Islamic initiative aiming to put an end to the ongoing tragedies and the region’s sectarian tensions, and prevent the redrawing of regional maps?

Arab political impotence needs no proof given the ongoing situation in Syria, but we may also be facing Islamic impotence in Yemen, particularly if major Muslim countries are bluffed by the lie of “Islamic brotherhood” as promoted by Tehran, and “diplomatic solutions” as pursued by Washington.

The rulers of Iran have been successful in disabling the Arab intellectual ability to analyze the situation, by raising the slogans of “liberating Palestine” and “death to Israel”; now it is the turn of Islamic countries to be bluffed.

Today we must realize that the term “resistance,” when used by the “Houthis of the whole region”—from Yemen to Iraq and Lebanon—means nothing more than “Iran’s hegemony.” As for “rejectionism,” it really means “disabling pan-Arab cooperation” in order to facilitate this creeping hegemony.

Given all this, how can they still shout about “America’s Project?”