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Iraq, Iran, and the Sunni insurgency
by Dale Brown, [IMAGE]2014


[MEGAFORTRESS.COM image] I have been thinking a lot about the recent Sunni Moslem insurgency spreading from Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad, the Iraqi and Iraninan response, and the possible American options. I have also been studying the American commentators and media responses to this development.

My response: let the insurgents come.

My message to the Iraqis: you get the government and the political enviroment you wished for. You voted Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite-Iranian puppet, into office. The United States was ready to support you, but you rejected the U.S., the country that made it possible for you to take office, and then you proceeded to kick out all coalition groups from your government and make it virtually a Shiite-only government. Now we're out, and now the whole world sees how you're doing on your own: a handful of foreign fighters take several of your largest cities and threaten your capital. Iran has pledged to send al-Quds irregular paramilitary forces, but the insurgents have already stolen billions of cash, weapons, vehicles, and supplies--many of them American--and they are more than a match for Iranian militants.

To President Obama: You never liked anything to do with Iraq and wanted to find the quickest and cleanest way out. Now we're out--which by the way you took complete credit for--and Iraq is descending into hell. In desperation, you are actually considering collaborating with the Iranians to attack the Sunni insurgents with air strikes. SAY WHAT?!

So why am I encouraging the Sunni insurgents to proceed?

United States foreign policy since the Mexican-American War has always been about one thing: the balance of power in a region of the world. Whether it is Mexico, Spain, France, England, Germany, the Soviet Union, Japan, China, Iran, or even Israel, the U.S. cannot allow any nation to dominate a region if it might possibly adversely affect American power. The U.S. will stay out of regional conflicts until it is apparent that some nation or power will begin to assert dominance, and then the U.S. will--no, MUST--act.

The U.S. saw the rise of Spain in the world in the early 1900s and acted to remove Spanish influence from the Caribbean and the Philippines. The U.S. stood aside in Europe and Asia in both World War One and Two until it was apparent that Germany and Japan might dominate Europe and Asia, and only then did we act. NATO was a counterweight to the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. Supporting Israel was a counterweight to the rise of Gamel Abdel Nasser and the rise of pan-Arabism that was threatening access to the new oil wealth of the Middle East.

The Sunni insurgents in Iraq can do the same to Iran, and that's why we need to stand back and let the play continue.

Iran has dealt with Arab nations in general and Iraqi nations in particular for years. Iran fought a bloody war with Iraq in the 1980s that killed millions, and Iran wants nothing more to have its western border secure from future attacks. Iran scored big by convincing the U.S. to invade Iraq in 2003 and destroy the Sunni government led by Saddam Hussein. Iran scored big again by influencing voting to install Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister.

Now, the Sunni uprising from Syria is a major threat to not just Iraq, but to Iran. Iraq is no longer an Iranian-friendly place. Iran must expend resources to counter this threat and attempt to keep the insurgents inside Iraq, or risk it spilling into Iran. I like plenty of distractions on Iran.

To me, any distraction for regimes such as the one in Iran is a good thing. Why would I want to stop it? Further, why would I support an adversary country in such a conflict? I want Iran to LOSE, NOT WIN. If the Sunni insurgents threaten Iranian interests, I'm all for it.

I've heard the reports of the rise of a "caliphate," of strict Islamist laws imposed in captured areas, of oppressed women, and beheadings and slaughters of captured Iraqi soldiers. I'm not sure if I believe all these reports. That will remain to be seen. But what I like to see is a challenge to Iranian influence in Iraq and the greater Middle East.

In the meantime, the notion of Pres. Obama starting airstrikes against Sunni insurgents to defend pro-Iranian forces is just plain loco. Is the U.S. Air Force going to become Iran's air force? Are we going to start getting targeting info from Iranian Revolutionary Guards? That's nutzo.

Let's step back and let events unfold in Iraq. There is a revolution unfolding before us: let it do so. I hope Pres. Obama will not choose to act simply because he feels he must. Let's see the White House's plan before we start shooting.

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