War with No Space for Mediation
Of the 361 rockets fired by the “Islamic Jihad” movement at Israeli settlements in the so-called “Gaza envelope” (in first two days of the ongoing war), only about half of them were intercepted by the (Israeli) Iron Dome systems. This is a great achievement at the military and psychological levels. Such conflicts do not give just lessons about the number of deaths or wounded in the ranks of the enemy, but also firing of these rockets and their continuation leave serious implications for Israeli society and make it anxious, torn apart and panicked. These attacks make the Israeli society feel that it does not enjoy safety and security anymore, and their time to leave is drifting closer.
The “Islamic Jihad” movement managed the first chapter of this battle very cleverly. The battle is still in its beginning. In its first two days, it was limited to the “Islamic Jihad” movement, which stood in the face of the mighty Israeli military machine. But the arrival of other factions to the battlefield, particularly the “Hamas” movement, is still not ruled out.
We are facing a fighting which may have started from the Gaza Strip but may turn into a regional war involving many other players, particularly at the Hamas moment when Western colonialism is facing two world wars in Ukraine and East Asia. The wait of millions for the appearance of “Abu Obeida” in his red keffiyeh may not be long.
[by Abdul Bari Al-Atwan in Rai Al-Youm]
Did Iran Really Withdraw from Iraq?
It is difficult to envisage the regional implications of the recent development in Iraq that Iran is avoiding interference in this neighbouring country. But there are a set of questions that need to be addressed regarding the crucial transformation in the region that is why Iran does not want to play any role in Iraq anymore.
It cannot be ignored that the Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada Al-Sadr aborted an Iranian coup attempt led by former Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki which had direct support from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
This was an attempt to grab the position of the Prime Minister in Iraq by making the House of Representatives name Muhammad Shayya Al-Sudani, a face for Nuri Al-Maliki, charged with forming a new government.
What is remarkable now is that Iran is not only retreating in Iraq, but also ready to return to indirect negotiations with the US regarding its nuclear programme in Vienna. This is also seen as evidence of a noticeable change in its position. This change reflects in its readiness to negotiate, even though it is well aware of the fact that Revolutionary Guards have not been removed from the US terrorism list. America still adheres to this position. This was not acceptable to Iran until a short time ago.
Iran is no longer what it was in Iraq. Iraq was a major source of its power in the entire region. Only the coming few days and weeks will tell us how much Iran has given up its expansionist project in the region.
[by Khairallah Khairallah in Al-Arab, London]
Compiled and translated by Faizul Haque