By Mike Whitney
"Iran is playing a clever game in Iraq using US occupation forces to crush the Ba’athist-led resistance while expanding their influence via the Shiite militias. This is a “lose-lose” situation for the United States. American troops must continue to focus on one enemy while they inadvertently strengthen the other. How long will it be before the Bush administration sees that they’ve been supporting the very group which is most hostile to American interests?
Al-Maliki has clearly cast his lot with his Shiite base.
While the militias do not take their orders directly from Tehran, it’s clear that there’s a tacit agreement between the two and their objectives are nearly identical. Both are determined to defeat the Sunni-led resistance so that the Ba’ath Party can never return to power. The mass abductions show that they are moving as quickly as possible to execute their strategy.
Who could have imagined that US forces would be acting as security guards for Iranian-backed militias?
Of course, Iranians have to be discreet in their support for the ongoing occupation, but the truth is obvious; Bush is laying the groundwork for a fundamentalist regime in Baghdad by quashing the secular, Ba’athist-backed resistance.
The Baker group was formed as a last-gasp attempt to avert the greatest foreign policy train-wreck in American history. It’s no surprise that Bush and Israeli PM Olmert decided to conduct their high-level meetings on the same day that the Iraq Study Group met in the Oval Office. It was clearly meant to subvert Baker’s impact on the news-cycle. As soon as Bush had used Baker as a prop for his public relations photo-op (showing Bush’s “openness to new ideas”) the ex-diplomats were bundled out the servants’ exit so Bush could put the final touches on the plans for bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Bush has opened Pandora’s Box and there’ll be a terrible price to pay. He has allowed Iran to take root in Baghdad and upset the regional balance of power. Now, there really are no easy solutions. The only question is whether the impending holocaust is containable or if it will consume the entire region."