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; Sadrâ€™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 â€œRepublicans, judging by their colossal mistake in Iraq, must be far too stupid to govern.â€?
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 â€œfar, far less stupid then previous republicans.â€? 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.