They say History repeats. Only the actors change. Time changes; and powerful actors act little longer. And these main actors need support actors for their respective acts to be played on the global stage. 

Last time the actors were Bush, Blair and Saddam. The theme of the play was Iraq. Blair was only too happy to beat the drums that Bush wanted him to play. 

Saddam is now gone. The music directed by Bush and played by Blair to get rid of one single man is well accepted now to be a very costly mistake. Many hundreds of thousands lives were lost, many more became refugees, many billions dollar were wasted, and eventually it destroyed the balance that was maintained in the sectarian power equation in the fragile Middle-East. Smarter historians may have already seen the next series of the same act getting developed in Iran as well, though for the public the ongoing act in Iraq is played still in the center stage. Mistakes lead to more mistakes, gigantic mistakes lead to catastrophic destructions followed by even more fatal mistakes, and it takes a gigantic leader of stature to accept a gigantic mistake and refrain from repeating that. 

Alan Greenspan is his unique style of short powerful utterances finally declared that Iraq war was all about oil. A little logical extension of the same theory may state that Iraq war was all about retaining and extending the control over the oil assets by the West. People familiar with the history and style of rule by major OPEC players in the Middle-East know most of those rulers to be effectively the puppet governments of the US and the broader west, barring Iran.   

Many theories on how Iran can be handled come in the forefront from time to time. The most critical question that needs to be addressed by the remaining one-year-or-so rule by the Bush-administration is: Would it keep the Iran-nuclear issue open by the time it leaves office; or would it close it? Conclusively or chaotically?  

Obelix no doubt would have tapped his head and uttered those well-known words: ‘This Bush-administration is crazy.’ However increasingly it looks that Sarkozy’s France don’t think so. 

French Foreign Minister, Mr. Bernard Kouchner, after months of weaker signals, again sent a strong signal this week that France is too eager to be the US flag bearer to protect West’s interest in global oil assets that matter. And why not? If Iraq war still could be justified by the perpetrators of this catastrophic mistake by merely playing with words, Iran should naturally be a logical target. Situations have only worsened since the Iraq-war for the West, Russia have started making some noises again, China is making less of noise but making its impact felt in matters of defense to economies to background politics, and Iran is again playing with words about its nuclear ambitions. Israel is not comfortable either.  

And what more can Bush potentially lose? Republican Presidential candidates would play it safe if the early signs are good; and would distance away from President Bush if it gets bad. Whatever outcome happens in the case Bush-administration decides to deal with Iran issue; one-year would be too short a period to judge the prudence of the decision. That’s what Iraq taught us. 

Blair became the political martyr to protect west’s controlling interest in oil assets. Bush is also dispensable, barring constitutional hiccups. Anyway he will be dispensablein a year or so. Sarkozy may still ride the popularity wave in home for some more time as Blair did. And then developments would decide what path his career takes him.  

What’s not dispensable is west’s controlling influence in global oil asset. And the same tune, played so well earlier in the hit Iraq-war propaganda before, by Bush-Blair era can again be heard. The answer of the only critical question of importance for remaining Bush-administration rests with Sarkozy’s France, because it probably takes two to tango in the global drama, and more importantly in the UN Security Council. 

Is the stage for Iran getting ready? Depends on whether Sarkozy has already been cast to play the role in Iran as Britain’s Blair played in Iraq. 

And if yes, who will play the role that Iran played in the 2nd half of Iraq war? 

 

Al Qaeda can’t be ruled out. And then there are many vying to challenge the present uni-polar world. Or else back to square one.
 

The series ends there for the time…the next act begins.

Ranjit Goswami is a research scholar with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India; and is the author of the book “Wondering Man, Money & Go(l)d”. 

 

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