posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 04:44 PM
I was watching CNN today and saw an interesting interview by
Wolf Blitzer of the Iranian Ambassador. Among the questions
put to the ambassador were concerns about Iran's nuclear
program and Iranian interference in Iraq, expressly their
efforts to stir up trouble within the Shiite community.
Along this line, CNN also aired a clip of Dick Cheney making
a speech with the words, "The US cannot allow Iran to develop
nuclear weapons", and these words were accompanied with
strong emphasis. This brought to mind some of the recent
leaked items of the US planning surgical strikes against
Iranian nuclear sites. It also brought to mind the development
of a nuclear bunker buster weapon that is under development
in the US.
What is more current though is a recent report out of Stratfor
about a major turning point having been reached in the war
in Iraq, and just what this turning point was which has
brought about very little attention.
Here is my much shortened synopsis of that report on 3/21/2006.
This represents my understanding of the main points of the
report, as reported by George Friedman. Anyone wanting to see
the actual report, which is much longer and more detailed
should get the report from Stratfor. Stratfor is a great
source of information coming out of Iraq. See www.stratfor.com
for information on themselves.
Synopsis of the 3/21/2006 report:
Things have got the most bleak for president Bush last week
since the US invaded Iraq. Among the many things being
thrown around in the news were:
(1) Much talk of civil war in Iraq.
(2) Talk of American airstrike in Iran on nuclear sites.
(3) Iranians showing defiance in every way possible.
Bush appeared to be getting hammered from all sides, even from
many republicans and then suddenly last week 2 items emerged.
(1) Iran offered to hold talks on Iraq with the US.
(2) US accepted the proposal.
To understand this, George says you must understand that "Iran
and the United States have been holding quiet, secret, back-channel
and off-the-record discussions for years"
Also pointed out is that each side, tries to hide the facts of the
talks from public view and to illustrate this point, made note
of such as the Geneva discussions over Afghanistan prior to 9/11.
So what is new is the fact the two main real players
in Iraq are now meeting face to face to reach decisions about
Iraq's future. Iran and the US are entering into this without
the presence of the Iraqis. It appears that both sides have
decided that it is time to make a deal, " not in a quiet Georgetown
restaurant, but in full view of the world" as George says.
Going further on this he points out that "The offer of public talks
actually was not made by Iran. The first public proposal for talks came
from U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, who several months ago
reported that he had been authorized by Bush to open two lines of
discussion" The two lines were with
(1) non-jihadist Sunni leadership in Iraq.
What you saw last week, the Iranians finally gave a yes answer to
Some background information given is this view of the situation from
Iran's viewpoint. The view:
Iran and Iraq have centuries of conflict, going back to even bible
accounts of Babylon and Persia in war. More recently in the
8 year war between the two, Iran lost about 300,000 people, and
about a million more wounded and captured. If you consider those
figures as a percent of population it would be like the US loosing
a million dead, and an additional 4 million wounded and captured.
You have to understand the severity of these Iranian losses to
gauge the hatred of the Saddam Hussein regime.
As noted here previously Iran undertook a program to help induce
the US to take out this hated regime. Behind this program were
several factors. Some of them were:
(1) Iranians had viewed themselves as the leadership of revolutionary
(2) They resented Al Qaeda and other Islamic factions trying to over
shadow their leadership. The other factions were the Saudi Wahabis
who composed the core of Al Qaeda.
(3) For the above reasons Iran used its influence in Afghanistan
to get the western and northern Afghanis to aid the US effort
and take out the hated Taliban in Afghanistan.
(4) Iran also used its influence to make easier any US decision
to go into Iraq.
(5) They foresaw the US neutralizing the Sunni regions of Iraq
and that the US would withdraw after the Sunnis were pacified.
(6) They saw this as meaning that a Shiite government would be
left in place.
(7) What they did not see was American flexibility. From the
beginning in Iraq the US engaged in negotiations with the
Sunni leadership. This was because the US had the intention
of using Sunni presence in a new Iraqi government to put up
a wedge against Iranian ambitions. They also wanted to be sure
and split the Sunnis off from the jihadists. It has to be
remembered that any surviving Iraq government must contain
no success of Al Qaeda expansion or growth because the stopping
of Al Qaeda aspirations is at the core of US involvement
from the very beginning of Al Qaeda invasion into NY and
the WTC, so it was important to split the Sunnis away from any
(8) The elections of December 2005 indicated that the US was
making its point as the Iraqi Shia moved away from the Iranians
somewhat and most important caused the jihadists to launch an
anti-Shiite campaign. The jihadists' wanted a civil war in Iraq
that might drive the Sunnis into an alliance with them.
If this civil war succeeded it would favor the jihadists and
would not favor the United States or Iran.
With jihadists winning any success in a civil war it
would work against both US and Iranian interests. Still the
US and Iranian interests were opposing and it brought on
the jockeying for position between the two as they tried
some arm twisting on each other to gain more cooperation
to each ones goals.
The Iranians feared that their former Baathist enemies might
emerge once again and since Iran could not rely on the Iraqi
Shiia, Iran could once again see the possibilty of an Iraqi
coalition of Sunnis, Kurds and Americans that might dominate
As each side (US, Iran) danced for position we saw the following
two step emerge:
(1) Iran suddenly restarted their nuclear program and gave it
a lot of public fanfare. This was designed to induce the Americans
to back off. The motivating factor was that a nuclear Iran would
be much more scary than a Shiite led Iraq.
(2) After a short time the US began letting it be known that
airstrikes on Iran were not only possible, but that they were
being planned and deadlines were being drawn up.
This has brought us to the present situation. As George Friedman
says, the cards were on the table, Iran bluffed nukes, the US called
the bluff and raised strikes on Iran.
With all this considered, Iran has decided to take to the negotiating
table. With Bush's enemies in the US erroding his power, Iran
sees that they can possibly get more from the negotiating table
than a US attack on their nuclear capabilities will give them. They
also see that the US is unpredictable, and that even the Iraqi
Shiites are not playing their game. So both sides (US, Iran) need a
The Iranians wanted an Iraq that was largely influenced by Tehran,
but have now decided to settle for an Iraq keeping the worst of
the Baathists out of the government.
These new negotiations are completely upon Iraq, and each side
is motivated to settle it and they will no longer cloud the Iraq
issue with the nuclear issue.
Added to this above synopsis is the fact that US casualities are
hitting new lows, with over a week passing recently with no new US
casualties and it is appears that Iraq has quietly hit a turning point.
If so, troop reductions could start very soon.