Sunday, October 07, 2007

You'd think Iran would at least send Bush a "Thank You" card

If you take read of the various bits and pieces at the PNAC site you may come to notice a missing thread amongst the so-called research - a lack of reference to history. This group, which served as the foundry for the Bush administration's disastrous foreign policy, is largely responsible for ignoring the realities of the regions they promote as targets for American invasion and eventual domination.

The picture which forms from reading the very short list of PNAC publications is very clear: the centerpiece think-tank of the American neo-conservative movement, aside from possessing a fanatical desire to control the world, has not studied the people, the politics or the cultures of places like Iraq, Iran, Syria etc. with anything close to a reasonable historical depth.

In short, PNAC, along with most other conservative think-tanks and virtually all "movement conservatives", view the residents of the Middle-East as stupid, uneducated, hot-tempered and emotionally wed to medieval religious beliefs and tribalism.

In adopting this shallow perception of the people of the Middle-East, the community of conservative foreign policy experts, including those actually serving in the Bush administration, assume a position blessed of rational thinking against an irrational population; a population easily conquered and dominated by simply offering something more appealing than the religious and tribal control that neo-cons presume to be the prevailing factors in the lives of Middle-Eastern populations.

By ignoring the histories of the peoples of the Middle-East, by failing to acknowledge the political depth of those countries and by disparaging populations which they have not studied, the current American political leadership (and its advisory bodies) have overlooked centuries of astute political acumen, adept military strategy, well-educated populations and a long record of out-thinking and out-maneuvering an opponent.

While Bush drags his sword across the cobblestones with statements like this: “For all those who ask whether the fight in Iraq is worth it, imagine an Iraq where militia groups backed by Iran control large parts of the country,” he, and his supporters and promoters, don't see that they have already been had. They have given Iran something Iran could not accomplish against an Arab Saddam.

Peter Galbraith:
When US forces ousted Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, the Badr organisation infiltrated the south from Iran. In the months that followed, the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) appointed Badr leaders to key positions in Iraq’s army and police.

At the same time the CPA appointed party officials from the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) to be governors and serve on governorate councils throughout southern Iraq. SCIRI was founded at Ayatollah Khomeini’s direction in Tehran in 1982. Badr is the militia associated with it.

In the January 2005 elections, SCIRI became the most important component of Iraq’s ruling Shi’ite coalition. In exchange for not taking the prime minister’s slot, it won the right to name key ministers, including the minister of the interior. From that ministry, SCIRI placed Badr militiamen throughout Iraq’s national police.

In short, Bush has from the first facilitated the very event that he warned would be a disastrous consequence of a US withdrawal from Iraq: the takeover of a large part of the country by an Iranian-backed militia.

Iran was engaged in a horrific war with Iraq for eight years in an attempt to gain control of the Shi'ite populated lands across the border established by the 1639 Treaty of Qasr-i Shirin. They couldn't do it, in large part because the Reagan administration provided material support to Saddam to prevent Iran gaining control of large parts of Iraq.

The United States cannot now undo Bush’s strategic gift to Iran. But, importantly, the most pro-Iranian Shi’ite political party is the one least hostile to the United States.

In the battle now under way between SCIRI (recently renamed the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, or SIIC) and al-Sadr for control of southern Iraq and of the central government in Baghdad, the United States and Iran are on the same side.

The United States has good reason to worry about Iran’s activities in Iraq. But, contrary to the Bush administration’s allegations, Iran does not oppose Iraq’s new political order. In fact, it is the chief beneficiary of the US-induced changes in Iraq since 2003.

Of all the unintended consequences of the Iraq war, Iran’s strategic victory is the most far-reaching, as the history of the region illustrates.


The 2003 US invasion of Iraq accomplished what Khomeini’s army could not. Today, Shi’ite-controlled lands extend to the borders of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Iran and its Iraqi allies control the Middle East’s third and second largest oil reserves. Iran’s influence now extends to the borders of the Saudi province that holds the world’s largest oil reserves.
If that doesn't highlight the incompetence, lack of forward thinking and a failure to acknowledge the shrewd strategic thinking employed against him by what his advisers call an irrational theocracy, Bush has allowed this semi-educated crowd to lead him into a corner surrounded by paint that will never dry.
With so much of the US military tied up in Iraq, the Iranians do not believe that America has the resources to attack them and then deal with the consequences. They know that a US attack would have little support in America and none internationally. Not even the British would go along. So Bush’s warnings count for little with Tehran. As long as the Iranians believe the United States has no military option, they have limited incentives to reach an agreement, especially with the Europeans.

Halting Iran’s nuclear programme is also incompatible with Bush’s other long-term objective: changing its regime. Iran is highly unlikely to agree to a nuclear solution while America is trying to overthrow its government. Furthermore, airstrikes might destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities but they would rally popular support for the regime and give it a further pretext to crack down on the opposition. The rest of the world would condemn the attacks and there would likely be a virulent antiUS reaction in the Islamic world. In retaliation, Iran could wreak havoc by withholding oil from the global market and by closing the Gulf shipping lanes.

Faced with choosing between the United States or an Iran under attack, Iraq’s government may not choose its liberator. Even if the Iraqi government did not openly cooperate with the Iranians, pro-Iranian elements in the US-armed military and police would almost certainly facilitate attacks on US troops by pro-Iranian Iraqi militia or Iranian infiltrators.

A bunch of short-sighted, self-absorbed, egotistical rich-kids pump out a moronic, inarticulate, "C-average" frat-boy who expounds upon the virtues of his mediocrities, has a history of failure, bad business sense and string of poor personal life decisions and present him as a world leader.

So, who are the tribal, stupid and uneducated ones now?

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