Begging for Help in Iraq

The end of U.S supremacy in the 21st century.By Liam Bailey

When Bush announced Iran and Iraq as part of an axis of evil with N. Korea, shortly after the announcement invading Iraq, there is no doubt in my mind that Ahmadinejad and Khomeini must have believed they would be next. Because of this there is also no doubt in my mind that Iran’s leadership set about an active and major campaign to make the Iraq war as costly for coalition forces as U.S support of Saddam made theirs. In an effort to prevent invasion of Iran, at least long enough to see Bush expelled from power in favour of a less war hungry President.

Bush being elected for a second term was undoubtedly viewed by Iran as a set-back in this aim, which might well have led to their campaign in Iraq being stepped up. This would certainly account for the constantly rising violence despite the U.S’ best efforts to squash the insurgency. But I doubt even Iran could have foreseen their plan would have gone this well. As now the two leaders of the coalition, Bush and Blair are both beating a path to Iran’s door in seek of help with the massive problem in Iraq. Little wonder then that Ahmadinejad intends to make America beg.

In yet another U.S unintended consequence going to an unnecessary war in Iraq, may well have put Iran in the driving seat over its nuclear programme. Who would have thought that Iran would be putting conditions on the U.S for direct talks, drawing attention to yet another Bush mistake. I bet that Bush is wishing he had agreed to direct talks with Iran without conditions all those months ago, when the theocratic regime made such an offer over their nuclear program.

Although in a televised press conference Oct. 14 Ahmadinejad said he has “no problem” talking with Britain, because the UK and Iran have maintained relations, talks with the U.S however, mutually rejected since the 1979 Islamic revolution could only come at a price.

“We have said from the beginning that we will talk with the American government, but under conditions. The conditions concern the US attitude. If they correct their behaviour, we will talk to them like others,” Amhadinejad said, making little or no effort to conceal the confidence in his voice. Iran talking of correcting the U.S’ behaviour is a stark turn around in world affairs.

Ahmadinejad’s statement could have been in reference to many things, returning Iranian assets seized in the U.S since the 1979-81 U.S embassy siege, an end to the U.S imposed sanctions putting pressure on the Iranian regime and/or a reversal of the U.S’ refusal to accept the Tehran regime’s legitimacy. The one issue Ahmadinejad made clear his conditions would concern was Iran’s fledgling nuclear program, saying: “We are not going to withdraw from the Iranian nation’s rights,”

This declaration implied that any Iranian help in the U.S’ problem of Iraq would mean the U.S’ dropping their hard-line stance and ending their concerted efforts to have UN sanctions imposed on the Tehran regime’s fledgling nuclear program. This will be the clincher, whether the U.S can accept a nuclear Iran to save face in Iraq.

Whether Bush accepts Ahmadinejad’s conditions or not will not change Israel’s stance towards a nuclear Iran. In response to the possible shift in U.S policy over Iran’s nuclear program, there have already been yet more threats from hard-liners in Israel, like finance minister Netanyahu that Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Olmert who has also warned of the consequences should diplomacy fail to stop Iran’s nuclear aims, is in the U.S discussing the issue with Bush. Bush has assured him that the U.S resolve against Iran’s nuclear ambitions will not be weakened by the Democrats taking Congress as the pair called Oct. 15 for more support from the international community on ending Iranian enrichment.

Given the Bush administration adherence to strongly pro-Israeli foreign policy, and it maintenance of refusing to accept a nuclear Iran I find it difficult to believe that a new defence secretary and a change in Congress will change Bush’s stance on Iran’s nuclear program. Israeli doubts about American resolve however could well lead to a strike against Iran’s nuclear capabilities similar to their attack on Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981. Iran’s tendency to run their nuclear program covertly prior to their announcing it, and given Uranium enrichment facilities being easy to conceal it is doubtful Israel could take out all of Iran’s capabilities in one strike.

The consequences of such a strike, and the millions of Iranians possibly dying from radiation poisoning would undoubtedly result in a wave of terror against Israel, definitely from Iran and Hezbollah and quite possibly other militant groups. If such a strike doesn’t come from Israel, it will be interesting to see how new U.S defence secretary James Baker weighs a nuclear Iran against ending the U.S death camp of Iraq, whether he will enjoy the same influence over Bush that Rumsfeld did and how this will change the effect U.S policy has on the world.

This article was published by OhmyNews International 15/11/06

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