Iran has disappointed its long-time ally Syria. Despite sending cash, security/intelligence specialists, weapons and other supplies, Syria feels that Iran could do more. Actually, Syria is pleading with Iran to do more, otherwise the Shia minority that has ruled Syria for decades will be no more, and Iran will lose a key ally in its effort to become the leader of the Islamic war. Syria wants Iran to create a state of war against the Gulf Arab states and coerce them to stop supplying Syrian rebels with money and weapons. Iran can’t do this without risking a real war and that would make it clear what a massive fraud Iranian military power is. Western intelligence agencies know, from satellite, electronic eavesdropping and a large number of human informants what shape the Iranian armed forces are really in. While many of the Iranian troops are first rate, their equipment is largely obsolete or shoddy locally made stuff and their commanders are appointed more for their loyalty than for their military skills.
We have to assume here that the Assad regime won’t survive. They’ve killed thousands upon thousands of civilians, and yet the people refuse to surrender. Meanwhile, the Syrian military and government continue to lose high-ranking personnel, and even entire small units. The Turks are losing patience.
Will a democratic and free Syria emerge from the ruins?
But whatever emerges won’t be ruled by Shi’ites, and certainly won’t be friendly to Tehran. The mullahs are in an unenviable position where they have to spend treasure and material to help their ally, but they can’t send enough to tip the scales. All Tehran can do is prolong the fighting and get more Syrian civilians killed. Even in a region marked by blood-feuds and millenium-old grudges, that’s going to leave a mark. Syria-Iranian relations may never recover.
And that’s good news for our friends (I think we still have some left) trying to fight against Iranian domination in Iraq. Anything which hurts the mullahs helps our allies in Iraq.
So there’s the good news. But let’s not go all Professor Pangloss just yet.
A shrunken and humiliated Iran will have just two weapons left: Terror, and its burgeoning nuclear program. Now, even if Tehran can be deterred from using nukes, the Persian Bomb would still upset an awful lot of apple carts just across the Gulf. We know the Saudis helped provide money and …things… for the Pakistani nuclear program, and they certainly got something for their money. The safe bet is the Saudis can — and would — fast-track their own nuclear weapons program.
So. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan. All with nukes. The security of the Middle East would reside in the hands of the least stable government. In a time and place where ossified old predictable governments have been falling to street rabble Islamists.
Arab Spring, nuclear winter — it’s all good, right?