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Walid Pharis on Irans plans for Iraq...

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by vta, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    It's a bit long, but worth the read, from a man who knows the people of his own region better than we do.

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    Iran's plan for Iraq

    by Walid Phares, Ph.D.
    World Defense Review columnist



    [Part one of a series on "Freedom Lines," adapted from seminars conducted for the U.S. House of Representatives' Caucus on Counter Terrorism, summer 2007]


    In March 2003, the United States made a strategic decision to send troops into Iraq and defeat the Saddam Hussein regime militarily. This decision is still being debated nationwide and internationally as to its legitimacy and rationality.

    One camp claims Washington didn't have a right to change the regime and engage in an armed confrontation with Iraqis. Another camp says Saddam was a threat, the region is now better off without him, and Iraqis have been liberated from a bloody dictatorship.

    In reality, only historians will determine if it was the right decision at the right time for one simple reason: While U.S. military operations aimed at dismantling the regime's military power ended in April 2003 – very successfully as a matter of fact – the second much longer road for the following set of U.S. goals is now under scrutiny.

    Should American and Coalition forces withdraw immediately, begin pulling out, or staying the course, is the center of the ongoing debate. But to answer, one has to understand the goals of the adversaries in this ongoing conflict. Al Qaeda has a plan for Iraq, and U.S. forces are fighting it along with Iraqi units. But the direct geopolitical threat that is linked to the role of U.S. troops in that country is the Iranian regime and its allies in the region and inside Iraq. How does Tehran see the American presence, what are its plans for Iraq, and what will happen if U.S. forces are withdrawn abruptly?

    Prior to 2001, the Iranian regime had developed regional ambitions, including a military alliance with Syria, continuous support of Hezbollah in Lebanon and a slow-pace development of a nuclear weapon. In the 1980s, its proxies delivered blows to the U.S. in Beirut and by May 2000, its allies in Lebanon had reached international borders with Israel.

    During the decade following the first Gulf War, the Pasdaran were training and arming Iraqi militias for future mission in Iraq. The Khomeinists and Hafez Assad had an Iraq plan years before the U.S. invaded in 2003: overrun the Shia areas in the center and the south and open a land bridge between Iran and Syria.[1] But 9/11 shook off the foundations of the Iranian plan. By December of that year, U.S. and Coalition forces removed the Taliban and opened the path for a democratic government in Afghanistan.

    The regime change in Kabul was a first problem for the Mullahs in Tehran: democracy defeating a Jihadi regime wasn't a good example to watch. By April 2003, a second catastrophe hit the Islamic Republic: Saddam was removed, but worse, democratic elections were succeeding each other in Iraq. But more dramatic was the fact that U.S and NATO forces were deployed to the East and to the West of Iran.

    In strategic reading, the Khomeinist project was geographically contained: no more bridge to Syria and a greater menace was hovering over the nuclear program. Even more catastrophic was the proximity of two democratic experiments to the Iranian society. Students, women and workers have been challenging the theocratic regime since the late 1990s.

    To Khamanei's ruling elite, successes across the borders meant a condemnation to the regime inside Iran. Thus the Pasdaran were tasked with a plan to destabilize Afghanistan and crumble the political process in Iraq. Since the summer of 2003 and for the following four years, Iranian backed Terrorism against civilians, Syrian passage for the Jihadists and pressures against U.S. and Coalition forces aimed at provoking a quicker and chaotic pull out.

    If Washington withdraws catastrophically from Iraq what would the Iranian regime do? In about six to nine months, this is what would happen:

    • The pro-Iranian militias (SCIRI, Badr Brigade, Muqtada al Sadr, act.) would seize the control of two thirds of Iraq between Baghdad and Basra. The militias would create "security enclaves," perform several terror acts and assassinations leading to a crumbling of the central Government, and a pro-Khomeinist regime established.


    • Most moderate Shiite politicians and liberal elements in those areas would be eliminated, as did Khomeini with his partners in the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Within less than a year, most Shia partners of the Pro-Iranian forces would be eliminated.


    • And as it was practiced in Lebanon in 1990, the pro-Iranian future regime of Iraq will call in Iranian "brotherly" forces to assist in security and in the defense of the borders. The Pasdaran and the Iranian army will deploy in the southern Oil fields, along the borders with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan and would connect with the Syrian forces across the borders. The latter will be asked to help in the Anbar province.


    • The Sunni areas will be left to be dealt with later, along with Syrian interventions.


    • The Kurdish areas will be submitted to isolation, pressure and internal divisions, in a concerted effort with Syria and the Islamic Government of Turkey.

    This is not a theoretical scenario. This is the projected reality if U.S. forces would prematurely and abruptly withdraw from Iraq before achieving one major strategic objective in Iraq and the region: Helping the independently minded Iraqis to reform and solidify their Government, erect their Army to a regional level and along with U.S. forces establish a containment system for Iranian expansionist ambitions. Any lesser goal achieved in Iraq is a direct invitation to the Iranian regime to become the greatest threat in the 21st century against Peace and Security, in the region and worldwide.
  2. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    This guy has been living in the states for the last 17 years. He is a neo-con talking head.

    Just keep that in mind when reading his doom and gloom.
  3. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    If the object of the invasion was to counter the regional ambitions of Iran, which seems more credible than the bogus WMD argument, wouldn't the invasion be considered an even greater failure since the exact opposite has happened? The Iranian's have been outspokenly recalcitrant precisely because the threat of an all-out military attack is no longer credible. And why would you remove a regime that has been a traditional bulwark against Iran if your ultimate objective was to hold it in check?
  4. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Good post VTA


    Nice to see an article written by someone who actually knows the region and the people, instead of someone speculating about a place they have never even been.
  5. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    His predicitons actually closely match what several presidential candidates suggest we do as a solution - Split the region into three seperate states.

    That's what is going to happen regardless. It's a matter of when, not if IMO.
  6. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    anything to cite this as a failure, right? i've yet to see you ever give one ounce of possibility this could be a good thing and even when we seperate the military victory from the social aftermath, you have to mix it up to make it look like we're so bad and evil.

    geez man. let the hate go, k?
  7. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Be that as it may, and fairly noted; the word of an educated man on his own people and region is worth considering, don't you think? Or is anything remotely casting the people we're fighting in a light other than oppressed and mal-treated victims, simply open to character denigration of those putting forward the idea (Phares himself)?

    An extremists says the 'liberals' want defeat. Conversely an extremists disregards, out of hand, anything not resembling his/her own thoughts on the subject.

    I naturally keep in mind all possibilities; he's worth the consideration.
  8. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    This is precisely why I think we will be at war with Iran soon. The only reason to fight Iraq - is we are setting up a base of operations to fight Iran.

    We basically have them sandwiched right now. The only hurdle remaining is America doesn't want another war.

    Of course we didn't want WW1 and WW2 either. There are ways to change the publics mind on the matter but it takes time and time is one thing the neo-cons don't have much of at the moment.
  9. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    I don't really challenge what he is saying but you overstate his familiarity in the region.

    His predictions of what will come to pass is what will happen anyway. I don't wish to go further into debt to push back the inevitable.
  10. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    It is only inevitable if we allow it to happen.
  11. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Not really. The slight of hand nuclear squabbles are for the public to see, while the broader war which is being waged, physically and psychologically is largely unclear from the perspective of the home viewer.

    From our standpoint and according to most reporting, Bagdhad, with a few outlying areas, is Iraq, where all is in shambles. Our troops are fighting 'insurgents', in the middle of a 'civil war'. It paints an unclear picture of what's really happening.

    Phares said it himself, and you know I've said it a million times, history will tell if it is a failure or not.
  12. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Well, a guy born and raised and educated in the region does have some clout, I'd think.

    As for his predictions, I won't be as bold as to say anything definitively, I'll just be open to assertions from either angle.

    These are our opinions, so...
  13. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    American history shows we don't have the stomach to lose America Lives unless our own nation is in jeopardy.

    It is inevitable that at some point we will stop using our military to fight a political war in the region.
  14. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    This is really a form of bigotry.

    The guy lived in Lebonon - and has spent the last 17 years stateside.

    he must be an expert in the region and the issues of the people in Iraq and Iran because of why? Because he lived in Lebonon 17 years ago?

    He is the poster boy of the neo-con movement as it pertains to the mid east conflict. So I will read his take - but I wont treat it as gospel.
  15. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Chalabi anyone?
  16. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    :lmao2: Bigotry.

    'Living' in Lebabon is more than simply existing, as I'm sure you can attest from the experience you have of living in the U.S. Even more so if you had studied it and it's neighbors on the continent.

    I don't know how he's a poster boy, he just writes articles stating his assertions. Does that make Chomsky a poster boy for the left, or simply a guy with views that he put forth?

    I'm not preaching gospel here, I posted an article, relevant to current world issues.
  17. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Come on Sas, you're more articulate than that.
    What about him?
  18. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Actually I thought that same name when I was reading through the thread.

    I think you know why he said it.:cool:
  19. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    I think we all were thinking it.
  20. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Don't make assumptions, I make myself pretty plain in these discussion. I don't need to lie to anyone.

    :cool:

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