Tuesday, December 06, 2005
On how US topples Saddam and Iran wins in Iraq
The Bush administration naively believed that Iraq was a blank slate on which it could inscribe its vision for a remake of the Arab world...Shiite religious leaders and parties, in particular, have crucially shaped the new Iraq in each of its three political phases. The first was during the period of direct American rule, largely by Paul Bremer. The second comprised the months of interim government, when Iyad Allawi was prime minister. The third stretches from the formation of an elected government, with Ibrahim Jaafari as prime minister, to today...(These quotes are only picking out one thread of the article to hilite. There is much more in the whole article.)
The oldest of these was the Dawa Party, founded in the late 1950s...Dawa means the call, as in the imperative to spread the faith...Thousands of activist Shiites from Iraq fled to Iran, and the leadership congregated in Tehran. In 1982, with the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran,...Dawa was also active there. Among its leaders was a physician from the Shiite holy city of Karbala named Ibrahim Jaafari.
In the run-up to the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq...the Dawa Party...engaged in consultations with Washington. When Saddam fell...Ibrahim Jaafari came from London with his colleagues and sought to organize the Dawa Party as a populist political force in the Shiite south.
Bremer intended initially to rule Iraq single-handedly...it became clear to him that he could not hope to rule Iraq by himself, and he appointed a governing council of 25 members. Ibrahim Jaafari of Dawa [was] appointed...
The real winners of the January 2005 elections were the Shiite religious parties. This was bad news for Bush...they formed a government that brought Ibrahim Jaafari of Dawa to power as prime minister...The new Jaafari government quickly established warm relations with Iran, receiving a pledge of $1 billion in aid, the use of Iranian port facilities and help with refining Iraqi petroleum.
Mr Jaafari seems to have carefully taken advantage of key opportunities along the way to find himself and Iraq where any Islamic Theocrat would want to end up. All the while Bush and the US take all the damage and blame for the miserable state of affairs that Iraq is on a daily basis. I seem to recall the Deufler report pointing out Saddam's number one concern was keeping Iran at bay. That concern is mote today; Iran and Iraq appear destined to a greater Islamic Theocratic power. I am sure, though, Saudi Arabia and its oil have nothing to worry. It is not like there is anything on the Arabian peninsula (Mecca, Medina) that would interest the clerics of Iran and Iraq.
[Update, further thoughts on the matter] The question is not can we win in Iraq, because the war in Iraq is over and Iran and the theocrats won. We just haven't figured it out and come to understand it is time to withdraw. No, the real question is can we keep Saudi Arabia and its oil.
I easily imagine the Iraq/Iran rulers must want control of the Arabian penisula, and not for the oil. The oil will be a nice benefit, with the world power it will bring. The thought of a new Islamic age must dance in their heads day and night. And can they imagine such a new age and empire without Mecca and Medina as part of it? Forget part of it, as the heart of it.
No my friends, I get the feeling we may find ourselves truly screwed at this point. Neo-con visions of a western democratic Iraq becoming a seed of change in the mideast are long gone. Undersold and understaffed, it is too late to hope for. Instead, we have been manipulated all along by Islamic theocrats to the point of letting them get a big piece in the larger puzzle they are assembling. And the final piece they want lies in the middle of the oil we need. And we seem to be running out means to counter their efforts.
I hope I am all wrong in my thinking.