These are unprecedented developments, veering so far from the norm and happening so fast that consequences are piling up faster than they can be comprehended. Alliances built over decades are shattered in a relative flash, inviting aggression and endless conflict. The toxic brew of Islamic fanaticism and nuclear proliferation could ignite a world conflagration.
These are grim thoughts, expressed because it is impossible to imagine any other outcome of Iran’s rise. It remains the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism and supports Hezbollah and Hamas and now the Houthis in Yemen. As for Iranian influence in Iraq, one analyst is calling Suleimani, the Revolutionary Guard commander, Iraq’s new “viceroy.”
Remember, too, Iran muscle and munitions are keeping Bashar Assad still standing in Syria. The wholesale death and destruction there — an estimated 200,000 people killed and millions displaced within the country and out of it — could be a prototype of its new empire.
While there are many dark and complex forces in play and blame to spread around, the most important catalyst of the violent disorder has been the reversal of America’s policies. Under Obama, we have switched sides, an abomination that ensures a legacy of infamy.