Hartono says she had to fight for every point to get past Watson as Tikhonova waltzed past Abduraimova in the second semifinal
With the latter predictably sticking to its original stance and the US now more than ever needing a breakthrough in this regard, an analysis of what could follow puts forth interesting scenarios that a changing Middle East might soon be confronted with.
The might of the American navy extends well beyond the immediate waters hosting their massive warships and aircraft carriers. Since this is the largest Gulf-deployment since the Kuwait war, it is effectively a show of extreme seriousness, signalling that preparations can go to any extreme to secure US interests.
However, the cross-currents of the political transition which is underway with a considerable force within the greater Middle East run counter to an extension of US hardware anywhere in the region. Fed up with the Iraq aftermath and the West's limp attempts to address it, even the Saudi leadership is wary of further foreign presence in the Arab heartland, openly describing the occupation as illegal. Now, time has come for the head-on-crash between the irresistible force and the immovable object. ElBaradi's couple-of-years-till-the-bomb warning has already prompted calls for sterner sanctions and a new approach that could mean anything from regime change to aerial strikes on enrichment installments. For the second to materialise, the ships just a few miles down the coast will play a very significant role. But stiff opposition from the length and breadth of a united Arab world will mean both approaches will border on the irresponsible considering America's own long term interests. On the other hand, failure to make Iran budge from its stand will only add to the speed of its waning global, particularly Middle East-specific, significance.Years ago, George Bush brought his armies to a Middle East where his nemesis Iran was a cornered player. Half a decade of his cleansing created numerous loopholes that Teheran quickly exploited to influence insurgencies in Iraq, control politics in Lebanon, drive a wedge in Israel, raise concerns in Saudi Arabia and dominate the region's politics. All this while, America just comes across as a player desperate for the day's play to end. Caution is needed to avoid further use of force.
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