Iraq: Failure of Priority

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Iraq: Failure of Priority

Postby Amir » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:45 pm

The Bush administration correctly identified the threat to global safety and stability when it pointed to the three nations that it included as an axis of evil. However, it failed in its deeper understanding of the two that are in the middle east. It miscalculated the role of Islam and the interconnection of those two nations. Most importantly, it misidentified its highest priority and the most imminent threat.

More than three years after the invasion of Iraq, it is clearer now more than ever what a circus Iraq has become. Month after month, it seems that America is being set back further and further instead of approaching its intended goal. No one can at this point deny the mess that is Iraq. The Republicans have lost both houses, the Secretary of Defense just got fired, the President essentially admits he is in a losing strategic situation, a Committee of “Experts” has been appointed to make recommendations on how to improve the disaster, and most Americans are calling for a withdrawal in the immediate future. America is living its deja vous of Vietnam.

How could this happen to the most mighty military of the world?

As with Vietnam, America’s failure stemmed again from not having clear military goals, and from expecting the military to fill in the gap of a sound strategic agenda. America’s flaw was not its military failure, but objective failure.

To conquer a place is not a great achievement, I always say. To hold a place is the achievement. It was clear from the beginning of the invasion that America would have no problem conquering Iraq. The challenge would lie in holding and securing Iraq. To hold and secure a place comes not only from military might, but from correct planning and policy before the invasion even begins.

So what was America’s biggest strategic mistake?

Miscalculating the role of Islam and the way that Iran fit into the problem. It is evident that Bush planned initially to control Iraq and Afghanistan, and then to turn to Iran. That was a big mistake of priority. The Iraq of 2003 was small potatoes compared to the Iran of 2003 in its significance and threat. Though Saddam was a threat to the region and needed to be removed eventually, his position was too weak to pose a real danger at the time. The real danger came from Iran, and continues to come from Iran. Iran was and continues to be a clear and present danger. Iran is the one that is actively pursuing WMD’s and is the single greatest contributor to terrorism in the world, funded by the resources of the single most powerful nation of the middle east.

It was a fatal error to enter Iraq without first dealing with Iran. The first strike in any fight is usually the most decisive. It makes sense to first take out the biggest and strongest foe prior to turning attention to smaller foes. Yet, America did the opposite. It chased after the weaker Iraq while leaving Iran intact and capable of tormenting it.

The other mistake was not recognizing the importance of Islam in that region as it pertains to political power. The majority of Iraq is Shia. There is a great inter-relationship that binds Iran and Iraq that goes back millennia. What is the term “Iraq?” It means “lower Iran.” It has been a part of Iran since the time of the Achaemenids. Mesopotamia has fallen in and out of Iran’s hands throughout the millennia, and shares a great bond with Iran. Only after the arrival of Islam in the 7th century did Mesopotamia significantly separate from Iran proper. Ironically, the cultural separation that occurred back then was followed by another more sinister bond shortly thereafter: the bond of Shia Islam.

That bond was sealed with the Saffavid dynasty, which named Shia Islam as the state religion in order to better unify the empire. Prior to the Saffavids, even though the Shia sect existed it was not politically significant. Under the Saffavids, Mesopotamia’s bond with Iran was rekindled with the fire of Shia Islam, and that connection continues to this day. Incidentally, the time of the Saffavids was the last time that Mesopotamia existed within the borders of Iran. Soon thereafter it would be a part of the Ottoman Empire up until its disintegration after WWI. In the aftermath of WWI, that Empire was arbitrarily carved up into smaller regions that eventually gained independence as artificial Arabic nations, one of which was Iraq.

It is for that reason that Iraq’s sense of national identity is relatively weak. It is a nation that should have never been. Although Mesopotamia was the home of one of the earliest and brightest civilizations, that civilization died long ago. Its traces are more alive in the Iranian civilization than in Iraq. Other than that civilization itself, that region has only been a province of one Empire after the next, never again finding its own identity. The people of that nation therefore have no connection to a central government and form bonds only within tribal networks or reach out to another concept altogether: religion. Within this outreach, they become the pawns of their Iranian counterparts and Mullahs. Furthermore, Islam itself was a religion custom made for recruiting subjects for war. Islam was created for war and thrives in times of war.

The result is that via religious authority the Islamic government in Iran weighs a heavy political control in Iraq. Iran has in this way turned the tables on the Americans and has made Iraq a nightmare. It has no shortage of willing participants, and it provides them with superb training, arming and funding prior to unleashing them upon the Americans and other Iraqis. Added to this are other non-Shia terrorist organizations that target the Shias and Americans and the recipe becomes complete for the American nightmare.

Iran is really at war with the US. It has been ever since the first hostage was taken in 1979. America is just not honest enough with itself to admit it. Over and again, the current regime in Tehran has committed acts of war against the US. The scenario has become more heated since the Iraqi invasion. Iran is also at war with Israel. This was demonstrated last summer with the war in Lebanon that the Iranian Hezbollah waged upon Israel.

So long as the Islamists hold power in Tehran and control the resources of that relatively powerful and important nation, a US victory is impossible and extremely costly at best. One cannot fight a monster by engaging only its tentacles. This monster grows new tentacles very easily. It must be engaged at its head; at its source. The Mullahs can keep this up forever if their fight is carried out only in Iraq, Lebanon, or other third party nations. The US, however, will grow weary as it already has and will be forced into defeat.

The war in Iraq is un-winnable in Iraq. The US must realize this, and realize it fast before it’s too late. If it simply abandons Iraq or is defeated there, the Shia Mullahs will become even more powerful.

Had America held off on invading Iraq until the Mullah regime was dispatched first, then it could have taken its time and tried different avenues in neutralizing Iran. However, now that it has made the error of committing to Iraq first, it does not have the luxury of time when dealing with Iran. It must act, and it must act now.

Its only recourse in securing global security is to bring about the demise of this regime by any means possible before it completely loses Iraq.

There are many means to bring about such a demise, many of which are peaceful. However, unlike its prior track-record, it must be fully committed to the task. A pitiful gesture such as allocating 70 million dollars for radio / television subsidization of dissidents is laughable and will have no serious effect. The IR spends ten times as much on its propaganda, if not more. Furthermore, information propagation will only go so far. More serious steps need to be taken, and a far larger budget must be committed.

The current war in Iraq is costing about 80 billion dollars per year. What is 70 million compared to that? It is peanuts. America is spending 1000 times as much fighting the tentacles of the beast than engaging that beast in its lair. Ironically, with that humongous effort in Iraq both in dollar amount as well as human toll, America will get no-where.

If peaceful means do not prove effective almost immediately, then America must act militarily in Iran. I have for long condemned the idea of American military action against my homeland, hoping that peaceful change will occur. The events of the past year have served to nullify my prior notion that Iran can and should only be freed by the hands of Iranians. Perhaps that is possible, but seeing the direction that Iran is headed a delay in its freedom will mean a greater cost to itself as well as the rest of the world. Furthermore, the American error of creating a mess in Iraq that the Mullahs are now reaping has forced the need for the expedition of regime change in Iran.

The US has been following the avenue of nuclear proliferation in order to get at Iran. That is an important reason, but it is not its only ticket to Tehran. As previously mentioned, Iran has been at war with America for decades now. Its role in Iraq is a clear act of war against America. Should it wish, the US has the justification it needs to attack this regime in any way it wishes, including an all out invasion.

Many would view a military strike on Iran in the midst of an already unpopular war in Iraq as madness. However, when viewed with the knowledge that Iraq is what it is mostly because of Iran, that apparently insane strategy makes perfect sense. With the removal of the Mullah regime in Tehran, the Iraqi situation will be greatly pacified. With the removal of the Mullahs, more than half of the world’s terrorism will collapse, with the other half being placed on death row.

It will be a very difficult sell to the American people to attack Iran given the failure in Iraq. It will be unpopular to say the least. However, the President must follow the correct strategy, not the popular strategy. Given America’s dire situation in the middle east currently, it has little more to lose. This administration has already been deemed a failure in its middle east policy. If Bush does nothing in regard to Iran, he will still go down in history as the buffoon that lost Iraq and the middle east to Islamic terrorism. However, if he takes a chance and goes for the head of the monster, he may yet salvage the ME, Iraq, Iran, and indeed the world. He may turn defeat into an astonishing victory. He may turn his legacy from failure to reverence. More importantly, he may turn American fear into American security.

It is said that it is always darkest right before dawn. There is still a chance to turn this disaster into success. It is time to go for bust.
I am Dariush the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage

Naqshe Rostam
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Amir
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