Once again, the Western news media has failed to report a story of utmost importance.
Two weeks ago, Iran and Iraq announced a military agreement, and the American press hardly paid attention. This week, in Iran’s holiest city, Mashhad, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari for a “lovefest.”
During the meeting, Khamenei called al-Jaafari a “virtuous, religious and intellectual figure,” and the Iraqi nation “a real brother of Iranians.” Essentially, this is the #2 and #3 oil powers of the world uniting in friendship with the potential of a future lasting alliance. More than that, it’s a potential sign that Iraq will also turn theocratic. In fact, Khamenei stated:
“The Iraqi people have shown that they seek a constitution based on Islam and hopefully their representatives in the National Assembly will revive Iraq’s high position in the Islamic world by drafting such a constitution.”
Personally, I find it rather funny. Our president thought we could go over there, occupy the nation, seize the oil, and spread democracy (or so he said), and here we have Iraq moving in the direction of closer ties with Iran, a nation that also has a popular Shi’a majority!
Now, I don’t want to start “talking Shi’a,” but this really is just what we deserve. We went over there based on lies, and in the end, we cleared the way for Iran to finally marry the Iraqi Shi’ia majority. In essence, we gave Iran what they failed to gain in 10 years of war with Iraq– broader Middle East foothold and the emboldening of Islamic theocracy.
And what can we really do about it? Nothing. Our country isn’t willing to support a US-led attack on Iran (thank the Lord!). Iran has been keenly playing the nuclear card against us, and yet at the same time, Iran has opened up its borders to foreign private investment. Essentially, Iran has played the “carrot and stick” game to perfection. While Germany and France have invested in Iran and reaped the rewards of a 7% GDP growth, the United States is spending $40 billion dollars a month occupying Iraq and alienating itself further from Iran’s burgeoning economy with haphazard threats that it knows it cannot seriously back up.
But don’t we deserve this failure? Isn’t this exactly what should happen to an imperial power that intends on using force to gain wealth? Perhaps we may actually learn a lesson from all of this. Perhaps we may actually become a more humble nation. Or perhaps, more likely, our government, along with the angry and fearful people who support it, will likely do something even more stupid to try to save face.
It was John Bolton who stated back in September of 2003: “Everyone wants to go to Baghdad, but real men want to go to Tehran.”