Friday, June 01, 2007

Circling Armageddon today

Stratfor, the private premium military and intelligence site, is seeing the recent reappearance of Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr as evidence of a broad deal involving Iran and the United States that could lessen the violence. Their assumption is that Iran and the United States are working on a deal with the broad outlines known. A Shiite dominated unified Iraq without an offensive army that is secure enough to crack down on international terrorist organizations and that is not engaged in a civil war seems to be the mutual objective. Iran also wants recognition by the United States as a strong regional power even if not an active partner with Iraq. The jihadists in Iraq are stepping up their violence to prevent this deal believing that those who would accept it are not true Muslims. A more complete statement of the outlines of a deal:
1. The creation of an Iraqi government that is dominated by Shia, neutral to Iran, hostile to jihadists but accommodating to some Sunni groups.
2. Guarantees for Iran's commercial interests in southern Iraqi oil fields, with some transfers to the Sunnis (who have no oil in their own territory) from fields in both the northern (Kurdish) and southern (Shiite) regions.
3. Guarantees for U.S. commercial interests in the Kurdish regions.
4. An Iraqi military without offensive capabilities, but substantial domestic power. This means limited armor and air power, but substantial light infantry.
5. An Iraqi army operated on a "confessional" basis -- each militia and insurgent group retained as units and controlling its own regions.
6. Guarantee of a multiyear U.S. presence, without security responsibility for Iraq, at about 40,000 troops.
7. A U.S.-Iranian "commission" to manage political conflict in Iraq.
8. U.S. commercial relations with Iran.
9. The definition of the Russian role, without its exclusion.
10. A meaningless but symbolic commitment to a new Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Such an agreement would not be expected to last very long. It might last, but the primary purpose would be to allow each side to quietly fold its busted flushes in the game for Iraq.
Cheney and the neocons are furious about any deal with Iran and are working on ways to derail it, with the most obvious methods being hyping up the fears of a nuclear Iran again and encouraging Israel to attack Iran where the repercussions would shortly have the U.S. in a much wider, deadlier war.

This war was about control of oil, the neo-cons are willing to approach Armageddon to prevent Iran from receiving any benefits from their plans. They seem to see that a Middle East in flames with a destroyed Iran would leave the United States in a better relative position than anyone else. Bush, only slightly less insane, is also jeopardizing any chance of a more stable Iraq by his authorization of a destabilization campaign against Iran.

Joe Klein at Time: Cheney's Iran fantasy.
IAEA chief warns of "crazies" seeking Iran war.
The terrorists the United States funds.

Bush: 50 more years of troops in Iraq.

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