The Architect of the Iraqi Insurgency
| An honest look at who America’s real enemy is—and why America won’t fight it.|
As debate swirls in Washington over the timetable by which American troops will leave Iraq, it is worth reminding ourselves of the well-established identity of one of the primary architects of the insurgency that has turned that nation into such a nightmare—the power that anticipates taking over once the U.S. finally leaves.
Let there be no doubt: Iraqi anarchy—on the scale we see today—is a project of Iran.
Tehran’s inroads into Iraq, including its heavy influence over Iraqi Shiite armed groups, trace back to well before allied forces deposed Saddam Hussein in 2003. Through logistical support to Shiite militias, funding for Shiite social programs, and backing for pro-Iranian Iraqi politicians, Tehran has created a Shiite stronghold—the Saudis call it a “state within a state”—in southern Iraq. It has planted thousands of intelligence agents from its special command forces—agents whose mission is to establish Shiite death squads. With these, Iran can keep turning on the tap of violence.
As you read this article, American soldiers are being killed with Iranian weapons. Coalition forces in Iraq have seized brand-new Iranian-made arms, including advanced armor-piercing and antitank munitions, from Iraqi terrorists. These weapons could not move from Iranian factories to Iraqi Shiite militias so quickly through black-market routes. “There is no way this could be done without [Iranian] government approval,” a senior U.S. official told abc News (Nov. 30, 2006; emphasis ours throughout).
A Dec. 27, 2006, New York Times article, “U.S. Says Captured Iranians Can Be Linked to Attacks,” revealed that American forces arrested two Iranians during a raid on the compound of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, one of the most powerful Shiite political leaders in Iraq. Maryam Rajavi, who leads the political arm of mek, a rebel group within Iran, said that at least two of those captured by U.S. forces were members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. She claimed that they had been helping coordinate attacks on American forces. The January 3 New York Sun quoted one American official “who has seen the summaries of the reporting affiliated with the arrests” as saying, “We found plans for attacks, phone numbers affiliated with Sunni bad guys, a lot of things that filled in the blanks on what these guys are up to.” This shows that Iran is working both sides of the battle against coalition forces—not only supporting militant Shiites, something it has been doing for years, but also funneling resources to Sunni militant groups.
This reports adds to the mountain of evidence showing Iran’s true intentions in the Iraqi theater. With deliberate intent, Iran supplies and stokes the chaos in Iraq in order to break what the U.S. is trying to fix, all in an effort to chase the U.S. out of town so it can have what remains for itself.
Amir Taheri, in an ArabNews article, quoted an Iraqi tribal chief, “Once the British leave, the Iranians will come out of the woodworks to seize control. … We know they are there ….”
From the beginning of the Iraq war, Iran has used its power and influence to punish the U.S.-backed political project whenever it appears to be settling on insufficiently pro-Iranian solutions.
In the summer of last year, for example, just as it appeared a Sunni-Shiite-Kurd political compromise might succeed, the agreement crumpled. George Friedman traced the collapse back to a sudden eruption of fighting among Shiites around Basra. After some trips to Tehran by influential Shiite Iraqis, Shiite militias attacked Sunni populations, prompting retaliation and a descent into more chaos. “From nearly having a political accommodation, the situation in Iraq fell completely apart,” Dr. Friedman wrote. “The key was Iran.” In other words, Iran made a calculated choice for chaos.
Why? Simply because, in Tehran’s eyes, the new government would not have been sufficiently subservient. “The Iranians had always wanted an Iraqi satellite state, as protection against another Iraq-Iran war,” Friedman explained. “In order to have this, the Iranians needed an overwhelmingly Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad, and to have overwhelming control of the Shia” (Sept. 5, 2006). When the new Iraq government started shaping up differently, the mullahs dropped the hammer. “In other words,” Friedman wrote, “the Iranians didn’t like the deal they had been offered, they felt that they could do better, and they felt that the time had come to strike.”
As we wrote nearly three years ago, “Iran is the number-one obstacle to stability in Iraq.” Yet more and more people in the U.S. say the opposite: that Iran is the number-one key to stability in Iraq.
Why doesn’t the U.S. hold Iran accountable? The answer is, the U.S. fears Iran.
The serious discussion occurring at high levels—such as the recommendations of the congressionally appointed Iraq Study Group—advising the U.S. to solve Iraq by negotiating with Iran is extraordinarily revealing. At the very least, this proposal openly acknowledges Iran’s penetrating influence in the situation, if not its blame in causing the problem. It concedes the fact that Iran could stop the violence if it chose to.
Over the past few years, the White House has issued occasional muted threats to Tehran, telling it to knock off its support of violence in Iraq, but these harmless statements have gone nowhere. Even tough talk is apparently too dangerous to risk, let alone open confrontation of Iran’s mullahs. America’s silence reveals the extent of Iran’s power.
The fact is, the Islamic Republic’s penetration into Iraq has been profound enough that the mullahs can credibly threaten orchestrating a full-scale Shiite uprising that would turn Iraq—even those areas that are presently stable—into a bloody nightmare.
“Iran’s negotiating options continue to improve,” Stratfor analysts wrote on Dec. 7, 2006. “For the United States, Tehran’s stake and influence in Iraq’s future are decisive; Iraq can no longer be resolved without Iran. Diplomacy is no longer an option—it is a necessity. The United States knows this and has already started down this path.”
The irony is painful. America went into Iraq to wage a “war on terrorism,” perhaps, in part, to gain a beachhead from which to pressure Iran. In doing so, however, it eliminated Iran’s worst enemy in the region. Tehran seized the opportunity, leveraging its influence to ensure U.S. forces would fail. Now it appears the U.S. feels it can’t succeed without asking for the mullahs’ help.
Iran couldn’t have scripted it any better.
For the time being, Iran has absolutely no reason to dial down the violence in Iraq. The bloodshed is turning the American public against the American president, exhausting America’s manpower and will, and increasing the likelihood of Washington trying to strike some kind of deal.
When the time is right, however, Iran will most likely prove willing to talk with the U.S. in order to achieve its goals.
Barring a dramatic, unforeseen repentance by the U.S., the decline of American power and the rise of Iranian power—so plainly, painfully evident in today’s headlines—is destined to continue, climaxing in horrifying fashion.
This end was prophesied in the pages of the Bible millennia ago. The fact that America would possess unprecedented power, but that its pride in that power would be broken—the fact that American influence in the Middle East and around the world would be eclipsed—the fact that Iran, a radical, aggressive power, would in fact emerge as king of the Persian Gulf—the fact that Iraq would succumb to Iran’s power and align with it—even the end that awaits this alliance—all these events were prophesied long in advance. These prophecies are thoroughly explained in our booklets The United States and Britain in Prophecy and The King of the South, both of which are yours free upon request
Monday, January 08, 2007
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