Sunday, July 13, 2008

Iran’s Missiles and the coming Mid-East War

Lead news story July 9, 2008, was Iran’s test firing of several missiles capable of hitting about any target in the Middle East. Displaying its tin ear for news, the targets the MSM most often mention are Israel, U.S. troops in Iraq, and Europe. The ones that should take note of Iran’s missiles are the Sunni Arabs or almost all of the Middle East.

Diplomats and other talking head pundits have looked at the missile launches through context to what is happening now. The importance of the second Iraqi war has not been fully realized. The U.S. overthrow of Saddam and installation of the Iran friendly Shia in Iraq has drastically changed a Middle East balance of power that had been in effect for hundreds of years. The consequence of this reshuffling of lethal age-old rivalries is yet to be known, but a Mid-East conflagration the likes of which we have never seen could erupted.

The Shia have been considered and treated as the bastard stepchild of Islam since shortly after Muhammad death in 632 − that’s over a thousand years of hatred, mistreatment, and persecutions. There was a time when the Shia were not allow holy pilgrimages to Mecca, and many Sunnis still believe that holy ground is defiled by their presents.

And now Bush has handed Iraq over to the Shia, and they will no doubt fully exercise their new position within the Islamic world. The hatred of Israel is new. It has only been around for some 50 years. For hundreds of years, Jews could live freely in the Arab world while they were being persecuted Europe.

The struggle against the Israelis and a solution to the Palestinian problem has paved over age-old rivalries that are still bubbling and brewing below the surface. Our bungled overthrow of Saddam proves that. Sunni and Shia had lived together in Saddam’s Iraq, but neighborhoods are being cleansed and huge migrations are occurring as the old factions separate themselves. Bush’s Neocons never even saw this coming.

A solution to the Israel/Arab conflict is within our reach and solvable. However, the hatred between Sunnis and Shia is hundreds of years old and the rebalance of power Bush brought about in the Middle East may very well lead to catastrophic consequences.

As soon as Iran and its pro-Iran factions in Iraq have consolidated their power, the U.S. will be invited to leave. In the coming struggle between Sunnis and Shia over the soul of Islam, oil supplies will be threatened. The world’s economy will be held hostage.

9/11 has been compared to Pear Harbor but the better comparison may be the start of WWI. Just as a terrorist attack began a conflict that eventually included all the major nations and the dismantling of the old European order, so too, 9/11 and the change of government in Iraq could lead to a war within Islam that we cannot allow to happen but cannot stop.
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Blogger John Maszka said...

I wish that Bush would agree to meet with Ahmadinejad. Sadly, however, it's doubtful that Bush will seriously give negotiations a chance.

Experts have been predicting that Bush would authorize a strike on Iran for years:

“I believe President Bush is going to order air strikes (on Iran) before he leaves office”
-Norman Podhoretz (Lyons, 2007).

Bush and his cronies say they want peace and diplomacy, but the problem with the members of Bush administration is that you can't trust them. You can't take what they at face value.

The administration secretly planned and prepared for war with Iraq without disclosing it to the general public.

Yet, when asked about Iraq, Bush’s favorite response was “I have no war plans on my desk.” At one point or another after the planning began, nearly every member of the administration publicly denied any plans to go to war with Iraq.

The question remains: Why would we expect the Bush administration to start being honest and up front about its intentions now?

A better approach to Iran would be negotiations. We need to give Iran an honorable path of retreat. While Fareed Zakaria agrees that there is no reason not to use sanctions and embargoes against states such as Iran, he suggests that we also need to “allow a viable way out.” That is to say, we need to negotiate and not merely mandate.

I think we should more concerned about acquainting ourselves with the realities of Iran's foreign policy initiatives, and intelligently determining our most reasonable course of action.

7/13/2008 6:13 PM  

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