What drives American Foreign Policy seems to be a mix of its citizenry’s gullibility, a reluctance to cede its status as “Global Number one” and a belief that money and hard power will achieve its goals of global hegemony.
The gullibility of American citizens is interesting in that American citizens are harshly critical, questioning and skeptical of their government with respect to domestic issues. whereas, when it comes to foreign policy they can be manipulated to follow the government willy-nilly into most any foreign misadventure. Just as they accepted the premise that Iraq possessed WMD and that those same fictitious WMD posed a direct threat to the US, so they now accept without questioning that Iran poses a threat to the US national security. As example, a recent poll showed that 9 of 10 Americans favour attacking Iran to prevent it developing nuclear weapons. I cannot think of a single domestic issue that would garner that much support by Americans.
It is ironic then that in Israel support and opposition is almost evenly divided amongst the Israeli citizens and the cabinet, yet in America 4000 miles at remove there is unqualified support. Even the US General, Dempsey, has warned that attacking Iran is a bad idea.
What lies behind the fear and war mongering by the US is not the threat to the US but rather the threat to Israel and israel’s nuclear exclusivity in the region. The American people favouring an attack never question these arguments, or consider that Iran, by attacking Israel, would be inviting its destruction by an overwhelmingly larger and nuclear armed US, Israel’s self designated protector.
Nor do the Americans consider the broader consequences of an attack on Iran by the US and/or Israel. Iran and its Shia brethren would not sit idly by without seeking redress in the form of expanded terrorist attacks both on the US and Israel. Saudi Arabia, almost literally a stone’s throw from Iran, now supplies 20% of america’s oil needs. What if the conflict were to spread to the Arabian peninsula where 15-20% of the population is Shia and largely in the same area as the largest Saudi refinery? Then there are the Bahrein and Yemen Shia primed to make mischief.Too, as I have written before, the Iraqi Shia led government is sympathetic to fellow Shia in Syria and, above all, Iran.
I believe an attack is inevitable and is now only a question of when, before or after the coming US elections in November. Once it happens, Americans, as in Iraq, will be asking how they were misled, and the answer, once again, lies with them, and their ignorance of and lack of attention to international affairs until they have become a major crisis.