Axis of Evil Again (or is it "still"?), And The Specter of Revolution

Obama’s getting kicked around from Lebanon to China, but nobody seems to notice the pattern. Why shouldn’t we think that the near-simultaneous attacks — China’s humiliation of Defense Secretary Bob Gates, and Hezbollah’s (that is to say, Iran’s) takedown of the Lebanese government — were coordinated? Or do you believe that the remarkable simultaneity of the events is sheer happenstance?

The two key bad actors — Iran and the People’s Republic of China — are known to be in cahoots. And Syria is one of Iran's closest allies (some might say it's a virtual Iranian colony). All three have strong reasons to demonstrate that the United States has opted out of the geopolitical game, or has been effectively stymied by the three. That message is a lot stronger when it's sent in two separate theaters at the same time than if it has to be inferred from events spread out over weeks and months. It's like the terrorist strategy of blowing up two targets in separate countries at the same hour, as they did to American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 or on occasion during the fighting in Iraq.

There is every reason to believe that we're looking at the return of the axis of evil. These are not random events; they're part of a global pattern aimed at our domination and ultimate destruction. If you read the articles linked above, you'll find the same "message to the world" in both cases.


Iran is signaling to the Obama administration, and to the West as a whole, that the main political developments in Lebanon are being decided today in Tehran and not in Washington. Failure to respond to this Iranian-sponsored provocation will only invite further adventurism on the part of the regime in Tehran elsewhere in the region, as it seeks to further establish its hegemony in the Middle East.

Iran, of course, with their unparalleled capacity for the big lie, blamed the United States and Israel for the Lebanese crisis.But they don't fool anyone, with the possible exception of themselves....

And China:

As the Chinese like to say it was a "win-win" (or a win-win-win): embarrass the secretary of Defense, show the allies America’s impotence, and still have a summit that makes your president look good.

The authors are specialists, but if you asked them whether the two events look like peas in the global geopolitical pod, they would certainly say, "Hell, yes!"

That pod includes other menaces, from Russia to Venezuela, and the stern advice about Lebanon -- "if you don't do something to stop Iran in Lebanon, there'll be hell to pay in the Middle East" -- applies to the whole scene.  Evil is globalized, you know.

Meanwhile, life being full of surprises, we have an unexpected event in Tunisia, where one of the presumably most stable tyrannies in the region was overthrown by a popular insurrection.  As Josh Sharyar notes, this is a first in the Arab Middle East, and not at all what the "Arab street" was supposed to be about (that is, demanding the demolition of Israel). The overthrow of Ben Ali -- who suggestively took refuge in Saudi Arabia -- will likely have an immediate effect on the Iranian people, who will reason  that"if the Tunisians can do it, why can't we?" And there are also very visible ripple effects in Jordan, Egypt, and Libya.  Authoritarian leaders don't like it when others are deposed, because they fear these ripple effects. Just ask comrade Gorbachev.