Can you trust someone's judgment if every time they talk about the Middle East they refer to it as "the Levant?" I don't think so. Sandbox author Martin Kramer is not just pretentious, but scary and Israel-centric. Here he is interviewed by fellow neocon Michael Totten arguing that the only way to achieve peace in Israel and Palestine is to take out Iran. Of course once we do that, there'll be some other threat that arises and comes first.
He rationalizes that Israel is holding on to the occupied territories, and beefing up Jerusalem, because it fears an Iranian nuclear attack. So Israel can't get rid of territory till we deal with Iran. Strangelovian.
Also note the emphasis on Israel as the U.S. colonial client state-- the stake driven into the Levant-- and the really screwy geopolitics of my headline. If Israel always comes first, of course you would say such moonbeam stuff. Who has driven this stake?
Now, the Persian Gulf has been—since the United States took over from the British—a zone that is essentially under an American security umbrella. It is as crucial to American security as Lake Michigan. The United States doesn’t use most of the oil coming out of the Gulf, but its allies do,
Iran knows it can’t wrest sole hegemony in the Gulf from the United States, but it wants to create a kind of dual hegemony shared with the United States. Nobody knows where the lines would run, but they wouldn’t run just five to ten miles off the coast Iran into the waters of the Persian Gulf....
Things they allow Americans now—such as basing rights for operations in the Persian Gulf and beyond—will become more and more difficult to negotiate if Iran opposes them. So we would see an erosion of the American position in the Persian Gulf.
I think Iran is a lot less interested in justice for the Palestinians than in establishing their command over the gulf they call Persian...
If there’s a shift of Israel’s assets from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the struggle over real estate up here becomes even more acute. There will be less leeway for Israeli concessions. Concessions are difficult to make in any case. Local security issues can be, in way or another, finessed, but once they play out in this mega arena of confrontation between nuclear states, flexibility diminishes quickly. It would create tremendous pressure on Israel to maintain its right to decide the future of different pieces of turf close to the city.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict only has a chance of being resolved if the Levant can be disconnected from the Gulf. So we have to deal with the Iranian issue first..
Israel is the stake that has been planted in the Levant. Because it’s powerful, it puts a high premium on rationality among all those who surround it. It serves as the basis for the security architecture.