Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden have played their way into the hands of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s resistance axis through sheer arrogance and miscalculated aggression.
The current reality in place throughout much of the Middle East is that three main alliances exist, or power blocks: the US umbrella of power, the ‘Axis of Resistance’ coordinated by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).
Historically, despite there being the “nuisances” of Arab Nationalists and resistors to US government regional hegemony, especially during the Cold War, the US was always the top dog in charge of Middle Eastern affairs. Following the June 1967 war, Israel was also brought into the fold as part of the seemingly invincible US-led dominators of the region. The Muslim Brotherhood, always remained active, but coordinated closely with successive American administrations, and although sometimes at loggerheads with the US, never posed a direct threat to its regional domination or that of its closest ally Israel.
Today, after several displays of US arrogance, such as its embarrassing failure to take down the Syrian government, the tables have slowly begun to turn on the United States government and its puppets in the Gulf, Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere. Everywhere that the United States has stepped in, to decimate an uprising, snuff out a dissenting group, or pose a challenge in general to its regional grip on power, Iran has filled in the gaps.
Currently, Iranian-aligned resistance to the US, Israel, and all their allies, exists in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. All of the groups backed by Iran in the region have continued to grow in power and strategic knowledge with which to inflict defeats upon their enemies.
In reaction to this, the US government under the Trump administration attempted a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran and its allies, through the brutal tactic of economic sanctions. Whilst understanding that there were no military solutions which could have played out to their benefit, the strategy was to force the populations who depend on the resistance axis to suffer, and then as a result turn on the armed groups/governments.
The recent Syrian elections worked to prove one major point, that despite devastating war and now brutal economic sanctions, the people of Syria have not broken in their resolve to support the government of Bashar al-Assad. In Iraq, all attempts to demonize, attack, and delegitimize the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) have, to this moment, been a disastrous failure. In Yemen, a war which the Saudi-led coalition thought would last a matter of months, has dragged on for over 5 years, and with time the Ansarallah forces only grow stronger.
Then we turn to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The demise of the Lebanese State which has come as a result of the sanctions and various actions taken by the West and its Gulf allies have also failed to make a dent in the armed groups support.
Then in Palestine, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been under the most brutal of blockades in the Gaza Strip for the past 15 years. Gaza is unlivable according to the United Nations, as of 2020, yet the Palestinians have not turned on their armed resistance. In fact, despite all of the attempts to divide and fragment the Palestinian people, Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s desire for power and feeling of invincibility led him to commit crimes against the Palestinians that had the opposite effect, doing away with 70+ years of Israeli groundwork to divide the Palestinian population. The Palestinians not only inflicted a military defeat on Israel, but during the latest round of tensions last month unified in a way never seen before.
Then we come to Iran, the US’s major regional foe. The Islamic Republic was tested in every way imaginable – its people made to live through years of hellish conditions due to US government sanctions – yet its leadership has come out of it largely untouched so far. Yet in a clear display of misunderstanding of the regional responses to such crimes, Donald Trump’s government, in close coordination with the Israeli government, together assassinated Qassem Soleimani on Iraqi soil. Soleimani was the most beloved general in Iran and headed the Quds Forces of the IRGC. The drone strikes which targeted him also killed leading members of the Iraqi PMU, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Instead of dealing a morale defeating blow to Iran and the Iraqi PMU, the January 2019 assassinations only helped to unify the Iranian people and also motivated Iraqis to come out in mass opposition to US government presence in their country.
Israel is now in a position where it’s once prized “deterrence capacity” has completely disappeared. In fact, it is Hamas and Hezbollah which now have their own deterrence capacities which Israel’s people and government fear. The United States has now shown that it can do little to stop blows against its military bases and assets by Iran. Saudi Arabia is consistently hit and is being utterly embarrassed in its war on Yemen. The Saudis can no longer even go ahead with their planned normalisation with Israel, for fear of the backlash it could trigger against the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
The US government is reduced to operating through contractors, small military forces which achieve nothing, bought-and-paid-for regimes worth nothing, with no real path forward against their enemies. But the Biden Administration, seeing all of this, has still refrained from the one deal – a political layup – which could have paved the way to a more constructive US role in the Middle East, the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Joe Biden will likely have to deal with a principlist Iranian President, following the elections, in Ebrahim Raisi. Biden could have gotten the JCPOA (Iran Deal) back, with the reformist President Hassan Rouhani, but has almost certainly spelt the demise of the reformist camp in Iran. Principlists in Iran (what are referred to in the West as hardliners) are much more closed off to the idea relations with the West and many were open critics of the Iran Nuclear Deal. The critiques of the JCPOA, when it was signed, were that the US was not reliable and would likely do exactly what we saw under US President Donald Trump and continued by Joe Biden.
It is completely to do with miscalculation and a lack of understanding of the region, that the US and Israel, along with their lap dogs, have failed so wonderfully lately. All the faults they make are born of arrogance and their lack of ability to anticipate their enemy. As a result, the regional resistance is now on its way to curb stomping the US government, as well as bringing its major world rivals, such as Russia and China, further into the fold.
Even the Muslim Brotherhood seems poised to get a piece of the ‘resistance axis’ pie and join in where it can in the region, and has done so through always keeping its doors open to relations with Iran. From this point on, it has to be known that the US and Israel are no longer the powerhouses of the Middle East and have been reduced to laughing stocks.