Thursday, July 19, 2007

Iraq is a proxy war for Iran (Omedia)

Great analysis that is sorely lacking in the West:
On July 9, 2007 it was reported that the Iraqi government of Dr. Nouri Kamal al-Maliki had failed to meet many of the benchmarks set for it.[1] Although there are mixed reports about the success of the “surge”—significant successes in bringing Sunnis to battle against al-Qaéda[2]versus horrific daily casualty rates from suicide car-bombings[3]—it should not come as a major surprise that the current Iraqi government is not fulfilling its duty to produce a greater success rate and to foster reconciliation among the three major Iraqi ethnic/religious groups.

Why? Why shouldn’t we be surprised at al-Maliki’s failure to meet fully even one US benchmark?

First, let’s review a little bit of background information. Iraq’s multi-party political system seems to be difficult for many Westerners to understand. It is essential to overcome this failure of comprehension and come to a realization that within Iraq’s three major ethnic/religious communities there are many, many different political parties and groups.[4] However, one major dividing line within Iraqi society is not that between ethnic/religious communities (Shi‘ite, Sunni, and Kurd) but rather between fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist interpretations of the Islam that is the common religion of the bulk of Iraqis.

Although the political groupings and coalitions remain complicated, one basically may say that the non-fundamentalists are willing to build a united independent Iraq; the radical fundamentalists desire to resurrect the Muslim caliphate. As such, these fundamentalists[5]—be they Sunnis tied to al-Qaéda, Kurdish members of Ansar al- Islam/Ansar al-Sunna, or Shi‘ites supporters of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim’s SCIRI/SIIC (Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, aka Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council) or Moqtada al-Sadr’s Jaish al-Mahdi (the al-Mahdi Army, which is the militia of the al-Daawa Party, and not coincidently also Nouri al-Maliki’s political party)—these Iraqi radical fundamentalists are supported by[6] and beholden to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Put simply: al-Maliki is not independent; he receives support and is subservient to the mullahs of Tehran. As long as al-Maliki and his radical fundamentalist Shi‘ite coalition lead the Iraqi government, Tehran will be calling the shots.[7] It doesn’t matter that Dr al-Maliki and his colleagues wear ties and western suits—they are still Islamist radicals nonetheless and allies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.[8]

Given the overwhelming evidence of Iranian support[9] for both the extremist militias of the Sunni al-Qaéda and the Shi‘ite Badr and Wolf Brigades and al-Mahdi Army[10] that have caused so much chaos and destruction to Iraqi society[11], it should be a clear sign that Iran is in control when both Iraqi President Jalal Talabani[12] and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki[13] make frequent visits to Tehran to consult with Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It should not come as a great surprise that the al-Maliki government is not meeting its commitments to the US. Ayatollah Khamenei doesn’t want to see America help create a real democracy in Iraq,[14] and al-Maliki is following Khamenei’s orders to prevent the rise of an independent, secular Iraq.[15] Although subservient to Iran, al-Maliki’s radical Shi‘ite government currently holds the reins of power and is content with such an arrangement in which the Sunnis remain odd-man out. No wonder that there has not yet been any success in enacting a law for equitable distribution of the oil wealth among the three ethnic/religious communities.

Read the whole thing, including what can be done to fix this.