As Iran ever more boldly seeks to both fan the flames and exploit the winds of change sweeping the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and our other so-called “allies” in the region feel increasingly threatened by its unrelenting efforts to establish a radical Islamic Caliphate from the Indian to the Atlantic oceans and beyond. Greatly compounding this threat are Iran’s fast-approaching nuclear weapons capabilities and the terrifying shadow of the nuclear doomsday it will soon cast over the western world and, in particular, our own country. Doubtless this prospect causes our allies in the region to even more seriously question our reliability as their friend and protector.
At the same time, however, the fear Iran is evoking among its neighbors presents an extraordinary opportunity for us to craft a grand bargain that would reshape the Middle East to our all-important advantage – securing vital oil supplies while both preventing a radical Islamic takeover of the region and a nuclear doomsday here at home.
Although recognizing our present leadership paralysis, I’m nevertheless proposing that we invite our Middle East allies and possibly NATO to join us in forging a new “Middle East Security Alliance” (MESA). In exchange for our indispensable help in destroying Iran’s nuclear weapons program, taking essential steps to displace its regime, liberate Syria, crush Hezbollah and Hamas and provide ongoing protection and substantial economic and technical assistance, MESA members would agree to:
1. Fully cooperate in facilitating the above.
2. Contribute troops to a new 250,000 to 500,000-man or larger regional security force under U.S. command that would help achieve MESA objectives and maintain the peace thereafter.
3. Levy an ongoing, approximate $20 surcharge on all their oil exports to help support MESA’s military and developmental initiatives.
4. Stop any and all assistance to radical Islamic countries and causes everywhere in the world, including the support of madrassa schools. Also ban the preaching of hate in mosques and elsewhere.
5. Adopt free and open market economies and reforms to allow businesses to blossom and prosper.
6. Officially accept Israel’s right to exist and establish normal relations with it.
7. Approve and honor a “Declaration of Human Rights.”