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Posted by on Aug 15, 2006 in At TMV | 12 comments

Guest Voice: A Second Iran

NOTE: The Moderate Voice occasionally runs a Guest Voice column by a reader who has some serious thoughts but may not have a blog or has a blog or website and wants to raise an issue here. Guest Voice columns do not necessarily reflect the view of The Moderate Voice or this site’s co-bloggers. Here’s the latest, by reader Jim Oliver.

A Second Iran

By Jim Oliver

Iraq war supporters love to point out the progress made by the United States and the Iraqis in their attempts to stabilize the country. Detractors like to mention that there is not enough progress to justify our continued investment of American lives and tax dollars in this long and costly war, and that Iraq can now shoulder the burden alone. Both sides are ignoring the true calamity that awaits us in Iraq and those who support the war.

Every day Iraq is changing, very slowly but very surely, into a carbon copy of Iran. Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki’s recent comments blaming Israel in its war with Hezbollah are just the first steps in Iraq’s drive to become a Shiite state.

This is just a taste of the real nature of the Shiites in Iraq. Obviously few Iraqi Shiites are willing to show their true stripes while they still hope to milk every dollar they can get from us before we leave. But stripes they have, and they are begging to show them.

Unfortunately for us (the American taxpayers), we have been put in a very nasty position indeed. Once we stop paying off the Shiites (and at this point that is what our presence amounts to,) they will have free reign to start their civil war. Yes, it will be the Shiites that do it, notwithstanding the current aggression by the Sunnis; in fact, they will use the Sunni attacks as the excuse to begin.

The republican plan to “stay the course” really means “keep paying off the Shiites forever so they don’t start a civil war and make us look bad.” Some leadership. Unfortunately for the Republicans, eventually we are going to run out of money. Then the Repubs (if they still have even a shred of political power) will declare “Mission Accomplished” and get out, thus signifying the start of the Shiite-backed purge.

The only current difference between the “cut and runners” and the “stay the coursers” is that the “stay the coursers” want to spend trillions of dollars strengthening the Shiites before we go. Again, where is the leadership in that?

The civil war that is about to take place is bad not only because of the Iraqi civilian casualties, the casualties of the Americans caught in the middle, the rising oil prices and our loss of prestige in the world (although all these things will happen), but that it will allow the radical Shiites to take over their party in the name of “security”, while simultaneously wiping out the Sunnis. What will remain will be a radical government with lasting ties to Iran and the fervent, Ahmadinejad-style lust for the destruction of Israel and the United States.

Of course, this new government will strive to create weapons of mass destruction, and advocate using them against us. The hapless war supporters in this country will get the blame for creating a second Iran.

Nobody argues that Saddam Hussein was a “bad guy” and that the world is better off without him. But who in their right mind thinks that Al-Sadr is better? Republicans? Conservatives? Al-Sadr is alive and kicking, biding his political time until the right moment when he (or one of his ilk) can assert power in Iraq and cause far greater havoc to the United States than Saddam ever did. Saddam’s primary focus (regardless of what you read on the Internet) was to build palaces for himself; Sadr’s, on the other hand, is terrorism and the destruction of us and Israel.

And we will see in fairly short order that our little war in Iraq will be handing him power on a silver platter. And eventually we will be compelled by necessity to start some kind of war in Iraq to remove this guy, and to remove the weapons of mass destruction that he will create. Gee, where have I heard that before?

So my question to the war supporters: Why is this good?

The answer is that it is not good, and when the inevitable war with Iran comes, we could have exploited the Sunni/Kurd/Shiite schism to great advantage and largely negated Iraq as an enemy. But now we have to deal with the Shiite Iraq as well; we will have to tackle Iran and Iraq together. This will be much harder to do, and may as well doom the entire upcoming Iran war (a.k.a. world war III–we are not there yet.) And the current war supporters will get the blame.

The Bush plan to create a hegemony of democracy centered in the Middle East is an absolute failure. What were they expecting to create, a second Kuwait? It did not happen, and the conventional wisdom that will amount from this will read something like “Republicans, judging by their colossal mistake in Iraq, must be far too stupid to govern.�

This moniker will stick with the republicans like glue for the next half century at least. At that time, perhaps the GOP will be able to re-invent itself with the somewhat embarrassing slogan of “far, far less stupid then previous republicans.� And no doubt they will find some success with this, but not for a few decades at least, and certainly not until the conclusion of world war III.

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  • Salmenio

    Exactly what I have been saying since even before our invasion. In essence the Shia will sort out the sunni and that will be that. Whether or not the shia get along with the Kurds is irrelevant. The “Jew” angle you point out is totally irrelevant. Iraq became a shia state the day we stepped into it by virtue of an overwhelming population.

    The stupid and arrogant idea that we are
    “liberating” Iraq is only American ego stroking fluff. The conservatives eat up this crap like candy however obvious and false it may be. Its like a “war movie” to them. I think they consider it entertainment that they believe they have justifiably purchased with their tax money.

    In reality, Bush and his neo-con ugly Americans screwed up big time. We should be cuddling up to the Shia and the Iranians. After invading, the Iraqi shia could have been the perfect catalyst for improving relations with Iran. We did it with the Vietnamese, why not the Iranians?

    As far as the Israeli “survival” complex, screw’em. They are of no use to us. They are only a drain. Our friends SHOULD BE the Iranians. Unfortunately Bush opened his stupid mouth with the “axis of evilâ€? remark making relations difficult with the Iranians.

  • Sarum

    Those who in the past said that Israel is a good example on how to handle terrorisum must now concede that Israel along with the Bush/Neocons do not have the foggiest idea of what needs to be done. Both have found you can not invade another country without turning the cicizens against you. If Bushco wants another try to prove they are right, I would say try Cuba; they will find the same thing there, but without spending trillions like in the ME.

    The Cuba thing was tounge in cheek, I do not advocate that because we would lose again.

    Spend the diplomacy and money on creating a middle class in the countries that are spawning terrorist because, except for a number far less then we have now, people will not blow themselves up for any religion.

  • Spot on.

  • Kim Ritter

    Terrorism is really pent-up anger built-up over many decades in response to tyrannical governments supported by the U.S. Bush took the radical step of removing a tyrant (Saddam) and encouraging free elections througout the ME. His fatal flaw lay in not realizing that this pent-up anger would not just disappear once tyranny disappeared, and that repressed populations would no longer re-elect candidates that had either repressed them or wallowed in corruption, but might choose those who voiced their anger at the U.S. To deal with what he has released, he has chosen the brute force and repressive tactics that created all that anger in the first place. The Bush Doctrine has been a massive failure.

    Creation of a middle class would help stabilize democracies in the ME, but financing our military adventures and paying for sky-rocketing energy costs is decimating the middle class in this country!

  • Daniel Redys

    I think we should revisit that removing Saddam was a good thing. Looking at it any which way removing Saddam has made things significantly worse then droping the sanctions and just letting him alone in 2001 would of been. I know that he was pricing oil in euro’s and that was damaging the dollar…. but doing what we did has probably caused more long term damage to our economey they any other course we could of chosen.

    Things that would of been better with Saddam in power:

    1 : Oil production -> Higher with lower gas prices because the middle east would be more stable then it is now.

    2 : Civillian Deaths -> Most of these deaths during the Saddam era were caused as result of revolts that we encorged. The death rate during his time was a lot less then what we have accomplished since then. And far fewer civillians would of died if we had also not chosen to destablize Iraq over the last 20 years.

    3 : Terrorism -> Yep, we managed to make Iraq a Terrorist hotbed something it was not before our arrival.

    4 : US Treasury -> The National debt would be less then what it is now.

    5 : We would of finished the job in Afaganstain without this fisico in Iraq.

    Really what more needs to be said, removing Saddam from power has been a vast negative to the Iraqi people…. they would of been better off if we just left well enough alone.

    Maybe, just maybe we should return Iraq to Saddam, it would be cheaper then what we are doing now and Iraq will actually be better off then being run by in the future by IRAN.

  • Pyst

    Sal, in effect you are right. I would make an amendment to the Israel part thought. If we (the US) has worked with the Shites/Iran we might have been able to also curb, then stop the desires to destroy Israel in time. The deradicalization of Islam could have been achievable if we had a more measured way of going about this. Respect, and friendship with the Shites would have given us this ability in time. But this country lacks patience, and long term thinking because of one thing, elections. We get a new “leader” every 4-8 years and these guys want to make short term impacts for political ammo to use. This is NOT in the best interest of our country, and a large part of whats wrong about the neo-con view of the world. They intend to use the world as a handy wipe for election season, a new war here, a new war there kind of “diplomacy” and we the american public get the shaft. Diplomactic goals used to be passed on from president to president, but they threw that all out the window with the axis of evil speech.

  • AR

    There is a factual error in this article. Mahmoud al-Mashhadani is not shiite, he is speaker of Iraq’s parliament and is sunni. He is a prominent member of the Arab Sunni Party. If you google his name, you can get facts about him.

  • Kim Ritter

    I just started reading “Fiasco”, and the roots of this really do go back to Bush I. After driving Saddam out of Kuwait we dropped leaflets to the Shia and Kurds-encouraging them to rise up and overthrow Saddam. They did, and thousands were slaughtered because there was no back-up from American forces who were still in the region. Iraqi helicopters were allowed to fly in the “no-fly” zone by the American commanders. They mowed down the opposition to Saddam.

    Not wanting to ruin our easy victory by getting bogged down in Iraq, we withdrew. Some of those who opposed our withdrawel in 1991, like Paul Wolfowitz, encouraged and planned the second invasion. Interestingly enough, Dick Cheney was a realist then-not a neo-con, and sided with those who wanted to withdraw.

    When we came back the second time, our forces were met with great distrust by the Iraqis. No surprise there.

  • Jim Oliver

    AR: You are right…I thought he was a Shiite. I will ask Joe to make a correction.

    -Jim Oliver

  • Shahram

    You forgot this : Iranian people
    755 of iranians are against Iran government and situation in Iran is diffrent.In Iraq sunnies was supporting saddam and ppl really was not hate saddam sooooo much.
    but here in Iran(i am an Iranian) we want mulla’s to go…
    and iranian ppl happines on regime change will be a big signal for irqi ppl.

  • Shahram

    Sorry 755 i mean 75%

  • Jim Oliver


    Let’s hope so. It always seemed to me that there should be a moderate voice in Iran and elsewhere where fundamentalists dominate the government. If moderates were to rule in both countries (yours and mine) then maybe we can avoid the destruction that I fear is to come.

    In Iraq, however, a moderate goverment seems highly unlikely, as the radicals can use the excuse of civil war to gain power. We shall see.

    TITLE: Will Iraq become “a second Iran”?
    BLOG NAME: The Glittering Eye
    I’d like to draw your attention to a guest post by a commenter at The Moderate Voice.  The post is a lament of the continuing presence of the United States in Iraq, largely on the grounds that it will inevitably become a second Iran.  I’m…

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