85946 - Transcription: The big game of the Middle East

N. Lygeros

It is certain that all eyes are focused upon the issue of the Middle East. They all understand that the confrontation between Israel and Hamas is of great importance. We ought to understand though that at a higher level things are a little different. First of all, it is, at least on one side, a proxy war. This means that the game is mostly played by Iran through Hezbollah and Hamas, with of course the support of Qatar, but in actual fact we understand that this is the game at a first level. Iran merely wants the region to be unstable so that it doesn’t develop. But what Iran doesn’t understand, because it cannot promote what it really wants because of its economy and cannot support its position at the military level, is that in any case, in a high strategy it wants to use this axis, i.e. the new silk road connecting Europe to India going through the Middle East, and this war must reach an end in a way that allows this corridor to exist. So if we think about it in this manner, then we can understand that the game in the Middle East, that is, more generally, is a huge chessboard but the players remain the same and they are not who we think they are, meaning, the neighboring countries to Israel. Therefore it is not merely a confrontation between communities or even Arab and Jewish interests. In actual fact the big battle, specifically for America, but also for Europe, is against China. The fact that we have an axis in the region that comes to counterbalance China’s projections is very important, and if the region can benefit, it will be through this axis and not through the other axis which includes China, Russia and Iran. Consequently, we understand that at the level of high strategy, the fight is not where we think it is, it is merely a local portion of the entire issue which may concern us due to current relevance, but the grand strategy, the high strategy is not concerned with this alone. The game is being played at a higher level and we may only see the visible in the Middle East, but what is “invisible” is America’s confrontation with China. It is a way therefore to utilize the region, not only Israel ought to be utilized, but also Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and of course India. On the other hand the European Union, using Cyprus and Greece simultaneously, then on Italy, and of course France and Germany, so that this axis is strong commercially and energetically. Consequently we can see that we ought to obtain the big picture and we mustn’t stop our level of analysis at the local contacts which are taking place because in any case they have to, because there is also the election campaign in America. We ought to understand that we already want a future that is different, more efficient, and for that future to be efficient, we are using a solution which is durable and not just the optimal, because the optimal over time is not durable. Consequently, when we see this, at least at three levels, we understand what is happening and things are moving fast and dynamically, and what is important for Greece, Hellenism including Cyprus, is that this big idea at a high strategic level is something very positive for us and we ought to realize it in order for us to, to be active players in both the energean and strategic fields.