The Persian Gulf monarchies and sheikdoms, mostly small and vulnerable, have long relied on the United States to protect them. The United States Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain; the United States Central Command is based in nearby Qatar; and the Navy has long relied on docking facilities in the United Arab Emirates, which has one of the region’s deepest water ports at Jebel Ali.From whom, exactly, have the "small and vulnerable" "Persian Gulf monarchies and sheikdoms" "relied on the United States to protect them?" What is an "accidental" confrontation? When has Iran attacked any nation? Why is the United States, self-nominated liberator and purported proponent of "democracy" as the nec plus ultra of sociopolitical development--end of history, last man, and all the rest of that congratulatory lip-smacking--spending piles of money and provoking what we're supposed to call, with great foreboding and dramatic crashes of thunder and lighting, "a wider regional war," in defense of "monarchies and sheikdoms?"
The expansion has helped calm fears among gulf governments that the United States could pull out of the region in the future, even as it has raised concerns about a potential American confrontation with Iran, accidental or intentional.
As tensions with Iran rise, many gulf countries have come to see themselves as the likely first targets of an Iranian attack.
"Arab States, Wary of Iran, Add to Their Arsenals but Still Lean on the U.S."
We're "protecting" our vulnerable friends from themselves. Had we not been so bone-crackingly stupid when it came to the communiss (that's J.K. Toole's memorable dialect), we might find ourselves today with a Middle East in which pseudo-socialist, broadly secular pan-Arabism was comin' around to Capital faster than you can build a skyscraper in Shanghai. Instead, we propped up any millio-barrel autocrat who'd say mean things about the Soviets, and our autocrats, in turn, bribed their tiny domestic populations with oil money, imported a lot of indentured servants, and gave 'em all a big helping of that (state-subsidized) good, old-time religion, figuring that a happy soul is a hardy worker, and more to the point, that a people sated on fire, brimstone, and the various moral depredations at work in this fallen world would be less inclined to political revolution. This proved to be something of a miscalculation. Our friendly autocrats are stuck with a gajillion guest-workers, a declining capacity to pay off their chronically under-employed males and, oh yes, everyone is just drooling to grab a stone or a Stinger and go absolutely ape-shit for Islam. The sheiks and monarchs, it turns out, like to yacht off for gambling and pussy in Europe, and, as the above-linked article makes so clear, they like and need to rent out their real estate to America, a convenient target, as we've seen, for preacherly wrath and pious indignation about barbarians in the lands of the Prophet.
Meanwhile: Iran. Here's a nation that suffered under the yolk of an American-backed autocrat of its own, an especially nasty bastard with a secret police so vicious that Dick Cheney can cum without touching himself at the slimmest daydream of them, who came to power in a CIA coup. Here's a nation that threw off its dictator on its own, without having to give up a single rose or peppermint to thank a single American liberator, and created for itself a goofy religious republic that, though not quite a model of Jeffersonian democracy, was in fact freer politically than any other Gulf State, the preponderance of which are, as I may have mentioned, ruled by sheiks and hereditary monarchs. The Iranian revolutionaries overwhelmed the American Embassy in Tehran and took hostages. Americans, in their inimitable style, view this event, like all others ever and anywhere, in a hermetic historical bubble, a vacuum in which all things occur sui generis, a pocket universe free of all causality. The hostage-taking, therefore, was an act of perfidy and aggression--of "terrorism," as the buzzword goes, of a collection of fanatics staging what amounted to an invasion. To Iranians, though, there was a backstory: the American embassy was to them as much a legitimate target of the revolution as the palaces of the Shah--the man, recall, that Schwartkopf père put into power twenty-five years before. I am no advocate of hostage-taking, but let's not pretend that the Iranians captured a bunch of innocent paper-pushers for no good reason but pique and madness. The hostages were all eventually released, and none of them was tortured, which is more than you can say for Guantanamo, and shortly thereafter Iran was invaded by another American proxy, and fought an eight-year war of attrition that cost a million-and-a-half Iranian lives.
This is all to say: Iran has never invaded anyone and is in no position to invade anyone. It's to say that there is no such thing as an accidental war. It's to say that we aren't arming our clients in the Gulf to defend against Iranian aggression; we are preparing them as staging grounds for American aggression. It's to say that this is all hew, cry, and bullshit. And it's to say to all the pansy-ass Donkle do-gooders who wring their hands over our warmaking but won't say empire, who look embarrassed and say, "I'm not actually comparing the United States to Nazi Germany"--stand the fuck up and ask it with me: What is the putative difference between what is now occuring vis-à-vis Iran and what once occured vis-à-vis Poland? Fuck the Gulf of Tonkin. The word of the day is Gleiwitz.
Accidental fucking war indeed.