This is certainly a different viewpoint from most I should think. Sullivan is correct that allowing some democracy in Iraq gave the Shias a lot more clout in Iraq and Iran as well since some have close relations with Iran. This was no doubt a non-intended and problematic result of US policy in Iraq. As for the Kurds being great allies of the Iranians that is news to me. Of course they are willing to ally with Iraq Shias in order to have a joint policy that will assure Kurds control of oil in the Kurdish sector.
Eventually the US may pursue a three mini state policy but I doubt that is happening as yet. The US hopes that there will be a compromise on the oil bill that will assure control and revenue sharing that will include the Sunnis, for otherwise the insurgency is bound to continue.
Anyway it should be clear given the present buildup against Iran and the aggressive stance against Iranians in Iraq that to speak of appeasement is just a bit odd. Hakkim's own compound was raided and Iranians arrested.
by Scott Sullivan
Bush Appeases Iran in Iraq
January 31, 2007 12:00 PM EST
The Bush Administration, with its push for Middle East "democratization," opened the way for Iran's takeover of the Palestinian Authority via Hamas, Lebanon via Hezbollah, and Iraq via the pro-Iran militias. Thanks to these Bush policies, long criticized by the Arab states, Iran fast is becoming the dominant power in the Middle East.
Now, after delivering the Middle East to Iran, President Bush says he wants to stop Iran. Bush is shameless. This week, Bush is talking tough, even to the point where his officials are leaking press stories about US military strikes against the training camps for Iraqi insurgents in Iran.
Is President Bush serious about stopping Iran in Iraq? No. Bush is posturing in order to placate the conservative base of the Republican Party. Bushs loss of this political base would collapse what remains of public support for his Iraq policy.
President Bush is in a delicate position. Bush must appear to confront Iran in Iraq while his true policy is to hand over Iraqi political power to Iran. Hence, Bush issues his shoot to kill policy against Iranian agents in Iraq while giving way to Iran and its Iraqi Kurdish allies on the following issues.
First, Iran is pushing for Iraq's political partition into mini-states so that Ian can annex Basra and its oil reserves (whereas the Kurds want to annex Kirkuk and its oil). This predatory Iranian policy on Basra has US support. This week, the top Iraqi politician aligned with the US, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, again called for Iraqs partition into Kurdish, Shia, and Sunni mini-states.
Second, Iran and its Kurdish allies are blocking final agreement on Iraqs national petroleum law, which would bring Iraqs oil industry under Baghdads control. Without agreement on a national petroleum law, Iraq will subdivide into mini-states. In fact, Hakim's high-profile statements this week in favor of Iraq's partition, accepted by the US, were intended to help bury Iraqs petroleum law. The Iranians and the Kurds want the three emerging mini-states to set policy on oil.
Third, the US wants the monopoly of force in Iraq to belong to the pro-Iran groups. Such groups would include the Kurdish peshmerga militia, the Hakim-controlled Badr Brigades, and those elements of the Iraqi army and police under Badr Brigade/Hakim control. The anti-Iran militias such as Muqtada al-Sadrs Mahdi Army and the Sunni groups are being disarmed and disbanded.
Fourth, the US does not object to the arrival of a large number of Iranian colonizers and Iranian investment in Iraq. Iran is preparing to annex southern Iraq and Basra, while leaving embattled Baghdad to the US.
In short, under President Bush's policy, Iraq - at least southern Iraq and Basra - now belongs to Iran, while the Kurds, Irans ally, will take Kirkuk and northern Iraq. The US will be stuck with the Sunni province of al-Anbar, impoverished and radicalized by the loss of oil revenues, and with a large al-Qaeda presence. What President Bush opposes is that Iran would resort to force to push the US out of southern Iraq. For President Bush, the US will withdraw from Iraq on its own timetable, not one set by Iran.