Since the downfall of the late Shah of Iran, and the rise of
the Shia-Mullah regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, neither Iran
nor the Middle East has been the same. The entire region has suffered from
wars, invasions, massive death and suffering, mass executions, growing poverty
and homelessness, and endless numbers of refugees with no prospects other than
their situation getting worse.
The Arab Spring of 2010-11 hurt even more. This movement swept through the northern Islamic nations of Africa, and removed their leaders, increasing the woes of the people and throwing once-prosperous nations into the hands of the so-called "radical Islamist", as shown by the rise of "ISIS/ISIL".
If not for the foresight and courageous action of former Egyptian General and current President Abdel Fattah Saied Hussein Khalil el-Sisi in removing Egypt's "radical Islamic" President Mohammed Morsi--in the face of protest from U.S. President Barack Obama--Egypt and the rest of the Middle East could have been engulfed by the "radical Islamist" forces by now, leaving regional kings and presidents out of a job.
Unless prompt actions are taken, the entire Middle East could fall under the hegemony of Russia and the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is no secret that Egypt has agreed to bilateral trade with Russia accepting each other's currency and bypassing the U.S. dollar. (Whether this was by necessity or wise foresight remains to be seen).
U.S. and Saudi efforts to increase oil production and to maintain drastically lower prices, and U.S. and European economic sanctions against Russia and Iran, have encouraged this and similar bilateral trade arrangements bypassing the U.S. dollar, as is seen between Russia and China, for example. China's new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (the "everybody but America bank") is a step towards establishing the yuan as a currency for international trade, again bypassing the U.S. dollar. Before long we may see one or more alternatives to petrodollars and the weakening of the U.S. dollar's status as the reserve currency. The U.S. has invested blood and treasure to maintain the dollar's status. Two former Middle Eastern leaders (Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi) tried to establish alternatives to the petrodollar and things did not turn out well for them.
However, for the U.S. and its allies to wage war on the Islamic Republic of Iran is out of the question. The U.S. has neither the stomach nor the resources for another war even larger than the Iraq debacle, and such a war would resolve nothing. Another large-scale war in the Middle East would bring about the end of western-friendly regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan, putting the Shia-Mullah regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Russia, in control of the entire region.
The real war has already started on two fronts, with the U.S. facing Russia and Iran on one flank, and China on the other. This is the war to maintain or replace the petrodollar and control the world's reserve currency.
Control of the world's reserve currency is the ultimate power, far beyond that of controlling mere crude oil resources or nuclear weapons. Control the reserve currency, and you control the world.
Once a currency is accepted as the global reserve currency of choice, trillions of units of the currency can be created as fast as fingers can type on a computer keyboard or as fast as the printing presses can roll. You can buy anything in the world with your digital money.
The U.S. has enjoyed its economic dominance for many decades thanks to the U.S. dollar's status as the reserve currency. However, the cumulative effect of U.S. policy decisions has to create and encourage the very forces that threaten the dollar's supremacy--and America's superpower status.
So U.S. interests in the Middle East are not only oil. The situation has reached a critical stage, and it is necessary to understand the interrelationships of more factors than are recognized by most politicians and economists. Everyone claims to want peace and stability in the Middle East and North Africa. What we must realize more clearly is that peace and stability in that region are essential to America's own place in the world as well.
We need to understand and acknowledge the mistakes of the past and find a new path to peace and stability in the region. When we sweep away the cobwebs of the past, that path is revealed.