By Robert Wenzel
Past US presidents have puled the Axis of Evil label out to tag various disparate countries that are not favored by the US government . The links have been dubious.
But there really is an Axis of Evil now emerging. Events developing in recent days suggest that the Axis is gaining in cohesion. This suggests trouble for the immediate focus of their attention, Iran.
Iran is a regional rival of Saudi Arabia and Israel.
At the same time, Iran is no threat to the United States. But the US government under the leadership of President Donald Trump considers Iran a problem. He is expected to soon tear up the nuclear agreement made with Iran that President Barack Obama signed. From the start, Trump filled key administration positions with Iran-haters, including Michael Flynn, Nikki Haley and General John Mattis.
Although Flynn is gone, the situation got worse this past week when Trump announced that he has chosen the bloodthirsty war hawk John Bolton as his national security adviser.
Thus, assuming the confirmation of Michael Pompeo as Secretary of State, Trump will have three Iran-haters as his top foreign policy advisers in Pompeo, Bolton and Haley.
This is a war team.
It should be noted that just prior to the announcement of Bolton to be Trump's top national security adviser, Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of the month.
Netanyahu asserted in the Oval Office the day of the meeting that the nuclear agreement with Iran had “emboldened” and “enriched” Tehran.
"If I had to say what is our greatest challenge in the Middle East to both our countries, to our Arab neighbors, it’s encapsulated in one word: Iran,” he said.
Just a couple of weeks after the meeting with Netanyahu, Trump met in the White House with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Trump crowed, with MbS next to him, of the arm sales Trump had negotiated with Saudi Arabia.
Beyond doubt, MBS and most Saudis like Trump's anti-Iranian rhetoric. For them, he is an American President who is much more in tune with their interests than President Obama was.
Both leaders read Iran's actions in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and beyond as a threat to regional stability. Both have talked openly about curbing Iran's growing military clout.
Trump's dislike for the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran aligns neatly with MBS's views...
MBS and his brother may be getting closer to what they want on Iran. This week Trump fired his Secretary of State, who had become a brake on the President's impulse to exit the Iran deal.Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also close to Netanyahu, has made a number of originally undisclosed trips to Saudi Arabia to meet privately with MbS. Reportedly, they talked and plotted well into the night.
And so after meetings with Netnayahu and MbS, Trump is rid of the moderate Tillerson at State and he has replaced him with the war hawk Pompeo and the war hawk on steroids John Bolton has been named national security adviser.
But here is the real tell as to the coalescing of the anti-Iran Axis.
Saudi Arabia has opened its airspace for the first time to commercial flights to Israel.
Saudi Arabia – birthplace of Islam and home to its holiest shrines – does not recognize Israel.
Reports the Independent:
[The first flight] Flight 139 landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport after a seven-and-a-half hour journey [from India], marking a diplomatic shift for Riyadh that Israel says was fuelled by shared concern over Iranian influence in the region.
The bloodthirsty Axis is coalescing. Can war be far away?