Persian Designs In Mesopotamia

War and diplomacy is filled with role reversals, ironies, contrasts that are fit for Sophocles and Shakespeare, for the social and political impact of war is always unmanageable.  When the American’s established a Shia power grab after the fall of Iraq, after decades if not centuries of Sunni rule, most officials discounted the social and political consequences of a rising Shi’ite block in the region.  Iran is now benefiting from Executive American political mismanagement.

Five months before the planned withdrawal, Iranian proxies in Iraq and throughout the Near Eastern region are putting the squeeze on the U.S. and our allies.  Iran is funding, arming, training Shi’ite militias.  Even the Pakistani’s are not excluded from meddling from Teheran.

It is clarifying to know that Iran has regional ambitions that were ironically fostered by American counter-insurgency in Mesopotamia, but we need a coherent plan of action to thwart such ambitions.  We have a near decade long investment in this region, not to mention the geo-strategic value of oil.

Let’s face it, the small yet measurable gains of Iranian adventure throughout the region are reversible, IF AN AMERICAN EXECUTIVE HAS THE POLITICAL AND TACTICAL FORTITUDE!

The political gamble is for the Iraqi Sunni’s to disarm the Iranian Shi’ite militias.  If Nouri al-Maliki has the political capital to pull this off, Iranian ambitions in Iraq are forestalled. Maliki has proved himself a hardened politician given the hand he played and held out during 2007, but his nationalist political goals, especially related to recent Iranian proxies has limited his range.

As the December troop withdraw arrives, political leaders in Washington need to reexamine the consequences of such a draw-down.  al-Qaeda and Iran want to rekindle sectarian tensions and undermine all Democratic success in Iraq.  Their model is Lebanon.  Only by having a firm policy of countering the Persians throughout Iraq and possibly Mesopotamia will we consolidate the gains of the American Imperium.

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About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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