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the power equation in Iraq « Previous | |Next »
September 24, 2006

As the Bush administration swings between bombing or engaging in diplomacy to deal with the crisis over Tehran's nuclear program and to contain Iran as a regional power Gareth Porter argues in Asia Times Online that US troops in Iraq are Tehran's 'hostages' . He says:

The underlying reality in Iraq, which the Bush administration does not appear to grasp fully, is that the United States is now dependent on the sufferance of Iran and its Iraqi Shi'ite political-military allies to continue the occupation.Three and a half years after the occupation began, the US military is no longer the real power in Iraq. the main threat to the occupation comes not from the Sunni insurgents but from the militant Iraqi Shi'ite forces aligned with Iran, led by Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army. The armed Shi'ite militias are now powerful enough to make it impossible for the US occupation to continue.

Now that's an inconvenient truth isn't it.

Clay Bennett, Now Playing, 2006

Muqtada has the strongest political-military force in the country. The Americans are not really in charge. What now? That's where Iran enters the picture.

Porter says that:

If Muqtada and his followers are already preparing for a showdown with the US occupation forces, the only factor that appears to be restraining the Mehdi Army now is Iran. After all, Tehran's interest lies not in forcing an immediate withdrawal of US forces, but in keeping them in Iraq as virtual hostages. The potential threat to US forces in Iraq in retaliation for an attack on Iran is probably Tehran's most effective deterrent to such an attack.

Will that give the Bush administration second thoughts about attacking Iran? Will the Bush administration put the reassuring lies to one side?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:18 PM | | Comments (2)


I doubt it. I actually think these loons would be quite happy about Iran causing casualties in Iraq.

The perfect exceuse to escalate this into a good old fashioned war - something to rouse the US public's support.

Unfortunately, the way this lot works, it would be another total screwup - with casualty figures hard to think about.

the reassurring lies are looking a little threadbare these days. President Bush in speeches marking the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks has been saying. In a speech this month to the Military Officers Association of America Bush said

Together with our coalition partners we've removed terrorist sanctuaries, disrupted their finances, killed and captured key operatives, broken up terrorist cells in America and other nations, and stopped new attacks before they're carried out. We're on the offence against the terrorists on every battle front, and we'll accept nothing less than complete victory.

The 30-page national intelligence estimate cites the "centrality" of the invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda. Moreover, the numbers of extremists are increasing faster than the US and its allies are eliminating the threat.

So much for the reassuring lies being spun by the Bush Administration.