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    Iran and Iraq moving closer together

    Attempts at dividing Shia Muslims have failed.

    http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breakin...5541-7294r.htm

    Analysis: Bad week in Iraq

    Top generals have admitted to the U.S. Congress the renewed seriousness of the Sunni Muslim insurgency there and the failure to adequately create Iraqi security forces so far. They have also openly acknowledged what Pentagon planners have quietly known for at least a year: The United States will have to maintain current troop levels, or close to them, in Iraq for years to come. Even more ominous, Iran's foreign minister was welcomed by the new Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad -- the strongest sign yet that Iraq won't stay in Washington's pocket. This also signals the danger of a huge Iraqi Shiite reaction against U.S. forces if the United States ever clashes with Iran over its nuclear program. Top-level U.S. generals in Washington and Baghdad Wednesday gave briefings both on the record and on background acknowledging that U.S. force levels in Iraq would at the very least have to remain at or close to their current levels of 138,000 troops for years to come. CENTCOM commander Gen. John Abizaid, who directs all U.S. military forces in the Middle East, admitted in a Washington briefing that progress in training the new Iraqi security forces and making them an effective element in fighting the insurgency had been "disappointing," the New York Times reported Thursday. The paper also noted the admission of a senior U.S. officer in Baghdad that there had been almost as many car-bomb attacks in the city in the past month -- 21 -- than in the whole of 2004, when they totaled 25. These statements certainly came as no surprise to uniformed Army planners in the Pentagon who have already drawn up detailed plans and projections factoring in this inevitability. However, the somber public acknowledgement by senior Army officers this week is likely to come as a cold shock to the U.S. public and to hawkish media commentators who had assumed national parliamentary elections in Iraq Jan. 30, the election of a national assembly and the eventual creation of a coalition government from the Shiite and Kurdish parties who dominate it would isolate the Sunni Muslim insurgency in central Iraq and undermine its support. Instead, the opposite has happened. The wave of terror bombings that have killed more than 400 people over the past month indicates the insurgents remain more formidable and implacable than ever, and there is no significant sign of their support eroding in the Sunni community.

    But there was another, from the U.S. point of view, potentially far more ominous development this week. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazzi paid a visit to Baghdad, the first by any senior Iranian political leader since the toppling of Saddam Hussein, and held talks with the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government. Both governments then confirmed their determination to strengthen bilateral ties. "We have been working with Iran to open a new page in the bilateral relationship," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar al-Zebari told a news conference in Baghdad, where he appeared with Kharazzi Tuesday. Kharazzi also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and President Jalal Talabani. He promised to cooperate with them on security, against al-Qaida and on joint monitoring of the Iraq-Iran border. Kharazzi's visit came only two days after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Baghdad and at a time when the United States continues to take a tough line against Iran's nuclear program and when the prospect of an eventual confrontation between the United States and Iran that could turn violent appears more, not less, likely.

    Most of the U.S. media coverage of Kharazzi's visit to Baghdad restricted itself to the fact that he was there at all. But the readiness of the new Iraqi government to welcome him by itself sent a loud message to the Bush administration that has up to now never factored into their strategic planning. That message is that the new government is not going to remain at Washington's beck and call for much longer, let alone forever. And, far from making the new government more dependent on U.S. support, the continuing fierce Sunni insurgency may instead be nudging it toward its fellow Shiites of neighboring Iran. In fact, Iran's political influence and ties to Iraq's majority Shiites, who make up 60 percent of the population, have always been far wider and deeper than just supporting firebrand young cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the spiritual guide and mentor of the dominant Shiite coalition in the Iraqi parliament, has refused to personally meet with any U.S. officials in the more than two years the U.S. Army has been in Baghdad. And Sistani, strikingly, has not yet taken out an Iraqi or any other passport. He still holds the Iranian citizenship he has never revoked. The military news from Iraq is by no means entirely bad. U.S. casualties remain far, far below most of the levels of last year. U.S. search-and-destroy missions near the Syrian border have disrupted and inflicted significant damage on insurgency supply and communications lines, and U.S. forces, especially in and around Baghdad itself, continue to rack up significant tactical successes in destroying guerrilla cells and capturing useful suspects. U.S. officers in Iraq believe tactical intelligence on the insurgents is steadily improving. Some 1,100 suspects have been held in U.S. drives against the bombing offensive. However, growing political ties between the Shiite political leadership in Iraq and the neighboring Islamic Republic of Iran could transform what is currently at worst a holding situation in Iraq and make it dire. For they open the possibility that if the U.S. confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program escalates into pre-emptive U.S. or U.S.-approved Israeli air strikes against Iranian nuclear installations, or if, even worse, U.S.-backed insurgents try and topple the Islamic Republic, then the mainstream Shiites in Iraq could rapidly be radicalized against U.S. forces in their country. In that case, the security challenges facing U.S. and allied forces would vastly become exponentially worse than they are now. And even if a U.S. clash with Iran is averted, the continuing failure of U.S. forces in Iraq to either defeat the insurgency or produce effective Iraqi security forces could further propel the country's Shiite leaders, fearful of their vengeful Sunni minority, further into Tehran's arms. Those developments would make even the current dilemmas facing U.S. forces in Iraq look like child's play.

    #2
    Re: Iran and Iraq moving closer together

    A little bit of head in the sand mixed with mis-placed hope and a whole shed load of stupidity on the US' side.

    Well you reap what you sow, there's a harvest of shiites coming your way

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Iran and Iraq moving closer together

      ^ Why not? Does US have more to fear than from the harvest of sunnis that have dominated the Muslim world?

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Iran and Iraq moving closer together

        prob yup. One hopes anyway.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Iran and Iraq moving closer together

          Originally posted by Seminole
          ^ Why not? Does US have more to fear than from the harvest of sunnis that have dominated the Muslim world?
          Iran and Shia Muslims have suffered under the hands of many enemies, and you should not be fearful of it's plans to aquire a nuclear deterent.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Iran and Iraq moving closer together

            US has as much to fear from Iran as they do your attempt to hurt them in WA.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Iran and Iraq moving closer together

              Go post in cafe then coz you're obviously so not taking the bait?

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Iran and Iraq moving closer together

                Originally posted by Seminole
                US has as much to fear from Iran as they do your attempt to hurt them in WA.
                I can hardly hurt you over an online forum, or are you that sensitive to opposing opinions? My point is that America and Israel have thousands of nuclear bombs, so why does it fear Iran getting a few? You say Shia's have suffered under Sunni domination, then surely they have the right to protect themselves?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Iran and Iraq moving closer together

                  And youy can get a lot of protection with a few nukes ask little kim.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Iran and Iraq moving closer together

                    Israel-United States-Iran Trifecta, watch out *****es the dream team is coming.


                    (let's thrown in pakistan and make it a quad just for popular support)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Iran and Iraq moving closer together

                      Originally posted by underthedome
                      Israel-United States-Iran Trifecta, watch out *****es the dream team is coming.


                      (let's thrown in pakistan and make it a quad just for popular support)
                      As fanciful, as some of the stories you post, without a link, that is.

                      Comment

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