فوزى فراج في الأحد 10 ديسمبر 2006
Iran, a win, win situation
The diplomatic relationship between Washington and Tehran had been severed since the Islamic revolution and the taking of the American hostages by the so-called Iranian students, an event that played a key role in the defeat of president carter in 1980 to President Reagan, and while many could argue that Carter’s loss was due to many other factors as well, including a very sluggish economy and high ) interest rates; inflation and unemployment(, something the Republicans referred to at the time as the “ misery index”, yet there is no denial that the taking of the hostages, followed by the disastrous military attempt to free them were in the forefront as the reasons behind a landslide victory for Mr. Reagan.
For about three decades these two countries had not been speaking to each other, that is formally of course, however, it is well known that backdoor talks and negotiations takes place either through third party or in secret by low level officials. Example, it is well known that the Iranian cooperated with the US in it’s war in Afghanistan against the Taliban, the motives for that cooperation appeared to be the animosity between Iran and the Taliban regime, most likely due the differences between the Shiia and Sunni beliefs and convictions, even recently, as Mr. James Baker indicated before the a Senate committee that he had contacts with the Iranians, with the knowledge and approval of the Bush administration to cooperate in Iraq, but they turned his proposals down.
The US policy, following the hostages crises was to punish Iran, and what could have been a better way than to encourage a neighbor state to invade it, and to provide them with all the help they need, without being so obvious on the international arena, so as not to invite the other super power at the time to step in. The American embargo against the Islamic Republic on all military equipments and spare parts, for an army that was equipped with mainly American weapons during the Shah’s years in power, had a significant impact on the outcome of that war that lasted for eight years, and was referred to by many as the longest war in the twenty’s century. That war ended in a stalemate with no clear winner in the conflict. An estimated 1.19 trillion dollars were lost on both sides and approximately one million deaths, and countless number of injuries as a result of a stupid decision on Saddam’s part to invade Iran. Can any one imagine what 1.19 trillion dollars could have done for the economy and development of both countries!
Iran survived that war, which in a way, directly or indirectly, was a slap to the US policy and prestige in the region, as it gave the Iranians more confidence in themselves to challenge the US. The US saw some positive results despite that, a weaker Iran after that war as well as a weaker and vulnerable Iraq, so let the war games begins.
The US having studied Saddam psyche during all that time, and turned a blind eye on all his follies, set him up for another war game with a long term consequences , all what had been said about the misunderstanding of the U S ambassador to Iraq April Glaspy when she told him (it was not out concern) if he invaded Kuwait, in my opinion was never a misunderstanding but rather a very well and carefully calculated plan to set him up to take the bait, and he took it, he invaded Kuwait.
The US, aware of Saddam’s standing in the Arab world, furthered his isolation and improved its image with most of the Arabs when it came to the rescue. A coalition of many countries worldwide, lead by the US including several of the Arab countries, gave Saddam an ultimatum to withdraw his forces from Kuwait or else, and ended up destroying a great part of his invading forces and liberated Kuwait at the end.
The US still focused on Iraq, and under this Bush leadership, was set to remove the dictator even before the 9/11 attack as many books, reports and memos revealed the new-con lead by the right wingers in this administration such as VP Cheney and Rumsfeld et al, were all discussing a move to change the middle east, so the 9/11 provided them a needed cover and excuse, not that they could not have been able to fabricate one, and the WMS was one such an excuse that gained the support of the American people widely following the 9/11 attack. In all fairness, there were many Americans who were very weary and did not trust their own government and did not support that war, but the majority believed all the allegations and the reasons given by this government and believed that their own safety and security were threatened by Saddam’s WMD. The myth of his WMD was not only invented by the Americans, but in fact it was widely perpetrated by Saddam himself in order to scare his neighbors and to gain political power in the Arab world as the one and only leader.
While all this was talking place, Iran in the meantime, was developing and building its own arsenal of weapons with the cooperation of North Korea and China. They developed their own surface to surface missiles, both short and medium, range, Iran also acquired both Chemical and Biological weapons during the eight years of war with Iraq.
Iran has been in a collision course with the west as it reveals that for many years they have a secret nuclear program, and while they insisted it is for peaceful purpose, the west suspect that Iran is developing a nuclear bomb.
This ill conceived and unjustified war on Iraq, had served the Iranians who are one of the so-called axis of evil, it had given Iran a lot of advantages, it got rid of Saddam who was a sworn enemy to Iran, it had destroyed the Iraqi armed forces that was a threat to Iran, it had brought a majority Shiias to the government in Iraq, with many of them elected as leaders and who are loyal to Iran, and regardless of the outcome in Iraq, whither it stay united as before or it falls apart and gets divided in three mini states, or becomes a federation of three independent states, Iran will come a winner, it is a win win situation for the Iranians, as they spread their influence and control in the middle east, through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. It is a gift on a silver platter, as a result to the most foolish decision by an American president that any one can remember.