Friday, April 25, 2008

Matters of Interest

Looking at today's news, I see that the US is yet again accusing Iran of shipping weapons to Iraq. Well, fucking DUH! There's a civil war in Iraq involving parties of interest to Iran which shares a long border with that nation. Iran is one major player in the region and has been for centuries, most recently suffering heavy losses in a bloody war with Iraq. Now that the US invasion opened opportunities for Iran to create a friendly neighbor, is anyone surprised that a rational nation would seek to promote its own interests.

After all, that is exactly what the United States says it is doing in Iraq. We have a variety of rationales, from "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" to creating a "stable ally in the war against terror". Call it what you will, but we are saying we have important interests in Iraq.

Oh, but we are supporting the government. Iran is fueling the insurgency. Rubbish. Both the US and Iran are supporting factions. Iran is pretty constant in backing ISCI (used to be Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq; the new name doesn't mention revolution) which it sheltered during the Ba'athist dictatorship under the Sunnis. The government that we supported is simply the faction (also supported by Iran) controls the arms of the state that the US created after disbanding much of the previous state. Oh sure, Iraqis elected this government, well, sorta--they voted for lists--but ask most Iraqis about this government three years later and you won't hear much enthusiasm. The militias and factions are far more coherent in Iraq than the Green Zone facade of an Iraqi state.

Oh yeah, the US is shipping a arms to Iraq also. Compared to us, Iran is a piker but at least I can see where, given the circumstances in its Near Abroad, Iran's actions are completely rational.

An lest anyone think the US should stay in Iraq to "fix what we broke", Iraq has plenty of talent for organizing a government. Much like they have plenty of fighting ability. It's just that these capabilities don't always run in the direction Americans seem to believe is our natural right.