By now, anyone with a lick of sense can see that the war in Iraq has been a dead-loss. Still, few people understand how it has disrupted the regionâ€™s strategic balance and is quickening Americaâ€™s decline as a world power.
The US is already facing fierce headwinds in the near future withthe deflating housing market,the falling dollar, and the growing prospects of a deep recession. A sudden realignment in the Middle East would be a major hit to the American economy. Even so, itâ€™s looking more and more like big changes are on the way.
The problem is that American power is waning just as Iranâ€™s is ascendant. This doesnâ€™t bode well for the â€œGreat Satanâ€ whose economy relies on dependable sources of cheap oil.
Iran is playing a clever game in Iraq using US occupation forces to crush the Baâ€™athist-led resistance while expanding their influence via the Shiite militias. This is a â€œlose-loseâ€ situation for the United States. American troops must continue to focus on one enemy while they inadvertently strengthen the other. How long will it be before the Bush administration sees that theyâ€™ve been supporting the very group which is most hostile to American interests?
Who could have imagined that US forces would be acting as security guards for Iranian-backed militias?
In fact, members of the Iranian political establishment like Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh are now openly calling â€œfor the US to REMAIN in Iraq until it has established a strong, stable central government capable of providing adequate security.â€ (Kim Murphy LA Times)
Of course, Iranians have to be discreet in their support for the ongoing occupation, but the truth is obvious; Bush is laying the groundwork for a fundamentalist regime in Baghdad by quashing the secular, Baâ€™athist-backed resistance.
Does Bush really believe he can control a Shiite-dominated government? Or does he really understand whatâ€™s going on?
Canâ€™t he see that the US-Shiite alliance is simply a â€œmarriage of convenienceâ€ that will end as soon as the Sunnis are sufficiently weakened and there is no longer a threat of them returning to power?
The Baker group was formed as a last-gasp attempt to avert the greatest foreign policy train-wreck in American history. Itâ€™s no surprise that Bush and Israeli PM Olmert decided to conduct their high-level meetings on the same day that the Iraq Study Group met in the Oval Office. It was clearly meant to subvert Bakerâ€™s impact on the news-cycle. As soon as Bush had used Baker as a prop for his public relations photo-op (showing Bushâ€™s â€œopenness to new ideasâ€) the ex-diplomats were bundled out the servantsâ€™ exit so Bush could put the final touches on the plans for bombing Iranâ€™s nuclear facilities.
The whole event was perfectly choreographed to marginalize Baker and undermine the groupâ€™s recommendations.
This just proves that Bushâ€™s throttling in the midterm elections has had no effect whatsoever. Heâ€™s still firmly in Cheneyâ€™s clutches and edging ever-closer to Armageddon. Thereâ€™s no indication that anything substantial has changed.
Cheneyâ€™s approach is fundamentally flawed. It will take more than laser-guided munitions or â€œbunker bustingâ€ bombs to beat Iran. In fact, that will only speed up Americaâ€™s inevitable withdrawal from Iraq. Even if half of Iran is buried beneath glowing-nuclear rubble, they still have the wherewithal to take out every oil tanker, every oil field, every oil depot, every oil-platform, and every oil pipeline in the entire gulf region. How long will Americaâ€™s teetering economy persist with itsMiddle Eastarteries slashed and oil futures shooting through the stratosphere.
Then, of course, Iran has the option of smuggling high-tech weaponry, anti-tank missiles and the whole array of military hardware into Iraq, where they can swiftly cut off supply-lines, wreak havoc across the country, and force an American retreat.
A war against Iran is a foolhardy scheme that has no chance of succeeding.
CommuniquÃ© connects Iran to Iraqi Militias
A chilling communiquÃ© from the Shiite-led â€œBadr Brigadeâ€ has appeared in Alliraqnews. The message warns of an agreement between the Sunnis and the â€œAnglo-American occupation forcesâ€ which threatens the continued dominance of the Shiite-led government. Leaders from the Badr Brigadeâ€ intend to intensify their attacks on all â€œpublic offices and institutionsâ€, to â€œneutralize the activities of journalists, media and intellectualsâ€, to undermine â€œany attempt to rebuild the Iraqi armyâ€, and prepare for â€œan armed confrontationâ€ with the enemy.
The message calls on all Shiites, including employees in the â€œMinistry of Defense and Interior Ministry to join the Badr Brigade, the Mahdi Army, and the Al-Dawa Party, to continue stealing weapons and equipmentâ€ to get ready for the conflagration.
The communiquÃ© adds ominously: â€œThe government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, providing us with all weapons and equipment for the battle, as well as the preparations of troops from the Revolutionary Guards for rapid intervention near the border areas.â€
The message is signed by the Secretary-General Badr Organization.
Whether the communiquÃ© is authentic or not is almost irrelevant. The blueprint is indistinguishable from the pattern of activity on the ground. The militias are using the occupation to strengthen their base and ready themselves for the inevitable confrontation with US forces. Behind the scenes, Iran is patiently waiting for Americaâ€™s hourglass to run out of sand.
Prime Minister Al-Maliki has aligned himself with the main Shiite militias. He has issued a warrant for Harith al-Dhari, the head of Iraqâ€™s prestigious Association of Muslim Scholars, on the charges of â€œinciting violence and terrorism among the Iraqi peopleâ€. It is a baseless claim intended to drive the Sunnis to out of the government and set the stage for a Shiite dominated-regime.
The Sunnis have left according to plan. There will be no coalition government and civil war is all but certain. The bloodbath has just begun.
Bush has opened Pandoraâ€™s Box and thereâ€™ll be a terrible price to pay. He has allowed Iran to take root in Baghdad and upset the regional balance of power. Now, there really are no easy solutions. The only question is whether the impending holocaust is containable or if it will consume the entire region.