Iraq Policy Opened The Door For Iran
There’s one big, primary reason why we should have had doubts about the Bush administration’s Iraq policy from the start and that is Iran. Iran’s increasingly belligerent and aggressive disposition (from pursuing nuclear weapons to shutting out diplomatic requests by Brazillian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to release a woman sentenced to death for adultery) shows a sense of confidence on the part of the state that reflects a sense of purpose. Surely to have such a powerful regional player so intensely confident reflects a flaw in our strategy.
One student also pursuing a Political Science degree with me here in California was originally from Iran. An obvious Iranian Nationalist, he would make wild claims about the capabilities of the Iranian government that often got shot down by other students from the area. (I haven’t been, so I can’t attest, though I hope to visit much of the Muslim world soon.)
One thing he did loudly shout often was his support for Bush’s Iraq policy. “I love George W. Bush! He got rid of Saddam for us!” I literally heard him say. With Iran seemingly aiming to turn Iraq into a proxy of their regional empire, with the United States preparing to leave, one can’t help but wonder the wisdom of our policies.
Iran’s resurgence seems born out by the news eminating from the region:
BAGHDAD — Iran more than any other foreign state is meddling to fill a void in Iraqi politics five months after a general election left the war-wracked nation without a new government, a poll said Saturday.
Asked about the present political hiatus which appears to show no immediate prospect of resolution, 41.2 percent of 12,000 people questioned said Tehran was hindering Iraq’s chances of establishing a new government in Baghdad.
As an American, the knowledge that the United States has done little more than play a referee role for the Middle East’s ancient sectarian conflicts, which is what Weekly Standard writer Lee Smith does suggest in his book The Strong Horse, is a bitter pill to swallow. What’s even bitter to swallow is the very real possibility that, despite the increasing tide of isolation among Americans (justified by the economic conditions of this country), the United States is likely to be called back into the region in the future.