The West, so to speak, wants to have its cake and eat it in the same time. It wishes to subdue Iran but without giving up its hegemonic posture over the entire Middle Eastern area. Thus the various attempts to find a way to meet some of Iran’s expectations so far are lacking any beef, long on rhetoric and short on tangible substance. These attempts pivot on one idea with two prongs: 1- Flattering the Iranians and their civilization; and, 2- Exaggerating the threat of the Iranian nuclear ambitions and its consequences on the stability of the chronically unstable and fractious Arab World.
While there’s merit to flattering in reaching deeper into emotions, triggering effects that can go beyond any rational calculations among the multitude, however, the state is something completely different and supposed to have no emotions and to be immune to such hampering sentiments. Institutions, designed structurally to stand mood swings, to overcome individuals’ weaknesses, and to act as a counterpart to the boiling emotions and thus temper the sentimental and schmaltzy effects of the crowd. Hence, no matter how attractive or seductive the ticklings may be, the institutions’ deliberation would make such attempts unlikely to be sufficient for the job of rapprochement to be done. Playing on cultural pride may be the cheapest way to boost up some morale of a nation so long suffering from historical indignities, humiliations, and with a great deal of still lurking inferiority complexes, but it can only go only that far. There’s no cost-free turnaround of a humiliated antagonist.
As to the blowing up of the dangers of an Iranian nuclearization! It plays on the usual long pent up fears of the Arab World. Arabs, with long history of blaming others for their travails, are thus prone the use by other powers to justify their geopolitical objectives. The Arabs are so weak, so fractious, and in such a mess that the idea of a collective, so called, ‘national security’ is beyond their imagination and grasp. They barely register on the radar screen as states. Most of them have reverted to what they knew best: protectorate status! Moreover, the Mideast was already nuclearized. Surrounded on all sides by states which were already in possession of nukes on all sides: Israel on one side, Pakistan on the other, and Russia on the North, not to talk of foreign military bases, vessels, and what they contain? The problem with exaggerating Iran’s nuclear ambitions, if anything, casts more light on the exaggerator’s intentions than on the real and potential dangers residing in the nuclear weapons themselves. Arabs were already some defeated people. Exploiting their fears and raising the scare few notches up wouldn’t add anything to the existing conditions. Furthermore, treating Iran’s nuclear enrichment as if an already de facto and full-blown arms race, smacks once again of using proxies to play the old game of nations, more than any security concerns for the area.
The Arab fear is so far psychological, based on more hypothetical projections, and mistrusting of Iranian intentions. But still even an outrageous contention, such as Iranian nukes may be, could stick due mainly to the sad conditions among the Arab states. The conditions of near-collapse and the fragility of their regimes made them fear their own shadows. The failures of these states in mishandling both their internal obligations and their national securities drove them give up, one after another, not only their sovereignties but more importantly their local as well as national causes and burdens to the extent to becoming toothless, clawless names without any trappings for confronting predators. 22-states are waiting for the West and USA in particular to come up with solutions to their historical and current challenges. In other words, Arab statelets, are basically failures personified, mere seating ducks, ready to concede any concessions as long as these guarantee the survival of their regimes.
Fear engenders irrational behaviors. Otherwise, why believe in fantasies. Iran, is a petro-dollar-theocracy, with a rentier-state economy, and an enormous population load, etc. Such a state is far from being a power -or soon to be -in anything except in its own dreams. And with its deeply-rooted political, economic and military weaknesses, hell will freeze before Iran becomes a threat to anyone in particular beyond the midget Sheikhdoms of the Gulf. The prospects of an oil-producing country with a theocratic regime to be an incubator for hatching great ideas to get out of its predicament and overcome its backwardness is nigh nil. Hence the Iranian-theocratic power base, the political, economic, military, etc., or the pillars on which to project its power beyond its own borders are missing. Even if Iran gets the bomb, it will not be in many ways much different from the other Islamic Republic that already possesses the bomb, Pakistan -the sole nuclear banana state in contemporary world! Thus, if the bomb hasn’t saved Pakistan yet from tearing itself apart, why would Iran’s uranium enriching program be enough to solve the country’s many intractable development challenges? In a worst case scenario, it’s good to bear in ind that in this world there are already plenty of countries which have the capacity to enrich uranium without being danger to anyone in particular. If there’s any danger from Iran’s enrichment program, it must reside in the fear and ignorance of those naively enough and gullible enough to make a mountain out of a molehill. Fear is a psychological state of mind once it gets hold of its victim makes him/her behaves no differently than the victims of coercive tools. Fear mostly is to coax, if not coopt, the Arab lackeys to become victims to their own pathological frenzies. For such folks, it’d be wise to keep in mind what Pakistan’s bomb represents today, if it’s any danger, it must to Pakistan itself!
The second consequence of misplaced, if not bogus, fear, was Arabs have lost or given up their voices. They have become mere objects to be handled in total silence, as participants, to their own nothingness and oblivion. It’s true Arabs were used to not have a say in what concerned their fates. While Arab voices have been missing for a long time, but their absence now, from 22-states, at the dawn of 21st century, portend of more tragic consequences. The failure to slough the still unruly tribal-Beduin culture, for all practical purposes, have absconded Arabs from the contemporary scene. The culture of honor-and-shame has misplaced priorities and folded itself in utmost silence to hide its inability to grow with life’s needs and change according to its demands. Thus the humiliation, shame, and embarrassments of 300+ million, of not being able to raise their voices at least in protesting the abject conditions in which they live, are a tangible proof to the sclerosis of the Arab body politic. Once again events are heating up to repeat what took place back in the aftermath of WWI, when the potentates met to divvy up the spoils of their wars, at the Paris Conference of 1919. As if time had stood still, today sadly there are plenty of striking similarities between then and now in Arabs’ conditions. The differences between then and now was merely a matter of appearances dues of a good neighbor.