Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Bringing the Arab Street to power

Patrick J. Buchanan:

Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi arrived in Baghdad. Unlike Condi Rice, Kharrazi had no need for a flak jacket or helmet and was received in Najaf by Ayatollah Sistani, who has yet to meet an American representative.

In his 2002 State of the Union, Bush had described Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an "axis of evil," a triumvirate of the world's worst dictatorships, all hell-bent on acquiring the world's worst weapons – to menace mankind.

But, in 2002, there was no Baghdad-Tehran axis, only mutual hatred between them from an 8-year war in which a million may have died on each side. But, today, a Baghdad-Tehran axis is emerging. On Kharrazi's visit, Iraq admitted to having started the 1980s war, laying full blame on Saddam. Both nations condemned terror. Both recognized their mutual sovereignty and created a joint committee to thicken economic, political and security ties.

Among issues raised was surely how Iraq will react if the United States attacks Iran when its negotiations with the European Union over its nuclear program collapse, as appears imminent.

Query: How much blood and treasure should Uncle Sam invest in a war to bring about free elections, if the result is to replace autocrats with Islamists who favor looser ties to America and closer ties to fellow Islamists? Have we spent the lives of 1,600 American soldiers and $200 billion to create a Shia axis that will dominate the Persian Gulf when we depart, as we one day must?

US is forced back into political fray

Iraq Constitution Panel Led by Shiite

Proposal to divide Iraq into semi-autonomous states gains ground

Iraq's sectarian gap

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