Everything on display last week in the Strait of Hormuz was pure theater. There were tough words, risky posturing, well-acted one-person pieces and even a taste the risqué, but not much in terms of a plot.
Or at least that’s how it was on the stage of the fifth Fujairah International Monodrama Festival (FIMF).
“The world passes through here,” the festival’s director said during the opening ceremony on Jan. 22. With that, he was hardly referring to the flotilla of warships approaching the small emirate of Fujairah at that very moment, made up of the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, a guided missile cruiser, two destroyers, the British frigate HMS Argyll and the French frigate La Motte-Picquet. All of them were sailing west through the Strait of Hormuz toward the Persian Gulf. The US military already refers to this zone as a “theater,” a possible scene of combat.
The Persian Gulf hasn’t seen this kind of display of naval power since the final campaign against Saddam Hussein. Indeed, its size has prompted many to wonder whether it is merely posturing and bluffing or, rather, a sign of an upcoming fourth war in the Gulf.