Rather ironically, this rain of death is precisely the reason why this "axis of convenience' is gradually but surely losing influence in the region, including for the US' traditional allies, as the events of the past few years clearly show:
- Iran continues to grow in influence and stature , resisting all sanctions and other machinations;
- Saudi citizens are increasingly demanding reforms and uneasy about their country's subservient and destructive role in the region;
- Israel has lost all control of events in its neighbourhood, and is laden with a bomb-cartoonist Prime Minister who was publicly forced to apologize to Turkey by the US recently (unprecedented in Israel's short history);
- Yemen has been plunged into long-term chaos;
- Bahrain's oppressive regime has been exposed to the world;
- Jordan's monarch has become a source of embarrassment to all of his own allies and paymasters, and looks increasingly weaker against Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood;
- Egypt has drifted toward a more independent role with a Muslim Brotherhood government that is clearly at odds with the Persian Gulf's Arab monarchies as well as Salafi Jihadists;
- Tunisia and Morocco too have moved toward greater independence;
- Turkey has lost a great deal of its credibility on the Arab Street through its warmongering actions against Libya and Syria; and
- Libya has plunged into chaos following the 2011 NATO bombing campaign that ousted Qaddafi.
The fall in US credibility and influence is clearly tangible at a time of economic troubles for the not-so-super power today, as shown in the latest Arab public opinion polls .
In the longer-term, the US and its allies will have to contend with a growing band of Salafi Jihadists looking for more wars against their stated enemies, namely USA and Israel, as well as the Shia. By the time they finish with Syria, they will be even more battle-hardened and perhaps even emboldened. And their numbers may grow larger, as repeated cycles of war, economic stagnation and growing poverty in the region will provide them with yet more fodder.