Texan Poker Bluff and Persian Chess Moves
"The president is living in a dream world,'' US Sen. Barbara Boxer.
On Iran, US Administration has reached the pre-Iraq invasion rhetoric level of 2003, when against the UN Charter and world opinion, President George Bush decided to invade
But after 4 years of blunders and stupidity, the situation is unlike March, 2003, with an isolated Bush administration now under siege having become unpopular and discredited at home and with ally's abroad .In
Even the new Chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee , John D. Rockefeller (D) took umbrage at the Bush administration's increasingly hostile barrage against Iran .The efforts to portray it as a growing threat were uncomfortably reminiscent of the rhetoric about Iraq. "To be quite honest, I'm a little concerned that it's
On how President Bush has dealt with the threat of Islamic fundamentalism since 119 attacks, Rockefeller believed that the campaign against international terrorism was "still a mystery" to the President. "I don't think he understands the world," he said. "I don't think he's particularly curious about the world. I don't think he reads like he says he does." He added, "Every time he's read something he tells you about it, I think."
Over Bush's policy of 'Surge ' i.e. sending additional 21,500 troops to Iraq ,hot words are being exchanged between Democrat party ,resurgent after Bush's Republican party debacle in November elections and the White House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats are backing a nonbinding Senate Democratic resolution declaring that "It is not in the national interest of the
Pelosi warned that President Bush was wading too deeply into
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat front runner for party's Presidential nomination during her recent visit to
The arrival of new US reinforcements has met with increased attacks against occupation troops. On 20 January, at least 19 American troops were killed, the deadliest day for US forces in two years, including 12 brought down in a helicopter crash claimed by the resistance and 5 in an attack by militia fighters in Shia holy city of Karbala A British soldier was killed by a roadside bomb and 4 other soldiers were wounded in the attack in Basra and south Iraq.
Bush raises the stakes;
It was the prospect of "hot pursuit" raids into
US accusations of
Having flouted most international rules, regulations , treaties and conventions since Bush was crowned by a judicial sleight of hand in 2000, tarnishing USA's electoral and legal credibility , Washington has now initiated clearly illegal and aggressive actions like the abduction of accredited Iranian personnel in Irbil in north Iraqi Kurdistan .Even the Kurdish leaders , beholden to Washington and thriving under US protection since the end of 1991 Gulf War ,have demurred and protested as have the Iraqi leaders and government 'elected' or selected by US Viceroys since the occupation.
Senior Iraqi Shia politicians , now in power, and beholden to Tehran since decades are now required to implement Bush's policy of 'Surge' ,by adding over 21,500 troops to help fight militias , provide security and reconstruction .They are naturally reluctant in striking against Shia militias and their leaders on whose support they survive , politically and militarily . In spite of public bon homie and some token measures .there are clear signs of a growing rift between the White House and the Iraqi leadership resident in Baghdad's Green Zone fortress , on policies at home or vis a vis Tehran.
A tour of the Middle East by the US Congress harassed Secretary of State Condi Rice, after her August trip last year when she described the destruction of civilian infrastructure and deaths in Lebanon by Israel as the birth pangs of a new Middle East, evoked little enthusiasm or real support from USA's Sunni allies in the region, who are in panic over Tehran's expanding influence in the region, Muslim Ummah and the world.
After the Lebanese Hezbollah gave a bloody nose to Israel's famed commandos in July-August war last year, its leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, both Shias were voted the most popular Muslim leaders even in the Sunni bastion of Egypt and elsewhere much to the discomfiture of regional Sunni leaders, who had lambasted the Hezbollah after Tel Aviv used the abduction of its two soldiers to launch a full scale war it had prepared for. The continued ramification of Israeli defeat ended in the recent resignation of Israeli Military chief Lt.Gen Dan Halutz. "Since the end of the war we had been expecting Halutz to resign and [Defence Minister Amir] Perez and [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert to follow him," gloated Sheikh Nasrallah .
Iraq's other neighbor- Turkey's position ;
There is little common ground on Iraq between USA and its NATO ally Turkey with a million armed men and a key regional player .Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a US TV channel last month that with the dead in sectarian violence having exceeded 650,000 ... it could only be explained as a civil war. He added that
As for the 'Surge ' in US troops, Erdogan felt that it was time for a phased reduction of
Thousands of rebels from PKK (Turkish Workers Party ) are now sheltered in north
Policy differences between Washington and Iraqi leaders;
The acrimonious exchanges between US Administration and Prime Minister, al-Maliki on implementation of Bush's policy of 'Surge "have become public. To counter
Al Maliki claimed if Iraqi security forces were given sufficient training and equipment, which were denied,
Regarding action to eliminate all militias, al Maliki announced that 400 members, including some commanders of the Mahdi Army loyal to the highly popular and powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr were arrested. One Mahdi commander told the AP, "Our top leadership has told us to lay low and not confront the Americans. But if
The six-member Moqtda al-Sadr bloc which boycotted the Iraqi Parliament would rejoin on 21 January, in spite of the arrest of Sheikh Abdel Hadi Al-Diraji, a close aide of Moqtda , who has ordered his men to avoid armed confrontation with the government. The Parliament boycott was enforced when Al Maliki met with Bush in
In an interview out on 19 January in Rome's La Republica, Moqtada stated that he never trusted Prime Minister al-Maliki or his predecessor Iyad Allawi. He accused them of being in cahoots with the
Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a former Iraqi Prime Minister, when asked if an increase in US troops would be a threat to
The Iraqi Government and the Mahdi Army could employ the tactics used by Washington's major non-NAO strategic ally in the war against terrorism, Pakistan and its all purpose powerful tool ,Inter-Services Intelligence agency ( ISI ). When pressed by Washington,
Iraq leaders criticize US action in Irbil;
Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim of SCIRI , leader of the 130-member Shia bloc in the Parliament and thus one of Iraq's most powerful politicians and who was hosted at the White House in early December criticised the US action in Irbil .He described the detention of the Iranians an attack on Iraq's sovereignty. "Regardless of the Iranian position, we consider these actions as incorrect," Hakim, told the BBC. "They represent a kind of attack on
In a statement Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, expressed "disturbance and condemnation" of the predawn operation and urged the
Iranians have played it cool and not made such a big issue of the raid .Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Husseini condemned the raid. "The activity of all those people at our office in
In ratcheting up tensions beyond threats, Washington might try to implement the so called 'Khuzestan gambit' i.e. creating dissentions and even intervening across south Iraq in Iran's major oil producing region of Khuzestan , of ancient Elam and Cyrus's Persian empire's capital Susa. Now it is sparsely populated by preponderantly Arab Shias. During the 1980-99 Iraq-Iran war, Shia Arabs on the two sides of the border had fought loyally for their countries.
When the Shias in
The British had even suggested that they would like to shift their troops to a more important mission in South Afghanistan, where along with reluctant NATO it is now confronted by a resurgent Taleban. With
Muhammad Hanif, a Taliban spokesman captured by British and Afghan troops near the border with
Following the old European and now US policy of divide and rule ,Washington is successfully igniting dissensions and perhaps succeeding in arousing the dormant historic hatred between Arab Sunnis and Shias in Iraq, who are now savagely killing each other , more so since the US reported that Al Qaeda damaged the Shia Golden Dome mosque in Samarrah early last year . US cracked the first Shia-Sunni fault line in Iraqi nationalism when then President George Bush Senior asked Shias and Kurds of Iraq to rise against Saddam Hussein at the end of 1991 Gulf War .And then did nothing when Saddam Hussein regime attacked by the rebels suppressed the uprising brutally . That would not inspire Shia trust in
Robert Gates- A strong and a long time US presence in Middle East;
It was quite apparent that the Iraq Study Group Report was just another red herring to mollify a disenchanted US public and keep the new Congress diverted .USA would not walk away from the region .Listen to what a major contributor to ISG report, the newly minted Defence Secretary Robert Gates said about the buildup of US forces in the region, involving the dispatch of an aircraft carrier and Patriot missile defence batteries , apart from US troops.
"We are simply reaffirming that statement of the importance of the Gulf region to the
"The Iranians clearly believe we are tied down in
But Gates did not rule out the possibility of talks in the future if
Bush 'Stays the Course' - in aggressive mode;
When asked if the alleged killing of Americans by Iranian agents in Iraq constituted an act of war , Bush said he was not a lawyer so could not define what constituted an act of war but "let me just say it's unacceptable". He warned if the
Baltimore Times reported that at the current spending rate on the Iraq War, being waged along with the fighting in
US Congress rallies against 'Surge';
the policy of the 'Surge 'was concocted to counter ISG Report by Neo-Cons of American Enterprise Institute and former Lt Gen Keane. But Democrat Congressman John Murtha, a former decorated Marine and vocal opponent of the
He then added ominously, (we want a) "redeployment of troops out of
Murtha clarified, "You know they say that Al Qaeda is causing the divisions and sectarian violence? The invasion itself is what causes the sectarian violence –It's the occupation causes the violence. That's the problem we have and we have to change directions."
Murtha had raised the alarm in 2005 that the
But the opposition to the war has seeped even into the ranks of the
It urged the US Congress to support "the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from
Senate leaders have introduced a non-binding bipartisan resolution opposing the 'surge' policy .It has been drafted by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M.Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) "The whole thing could let Republicans off the hook with a meaningless, toothless vote," said Andrews, who has been meeting with senior Democrats on war issues. "It's a pressure valve that could work against us."
The media is owned and manipulated by corporate interests who fund elections and employ lobbies with a US$ 2.4 billion treasure chest to get favourable laws enacted. Thus the interests of the poor and the middle classes remain neglected .But even the misinformed and info-challenged
A panel of retired generals told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 18 January that sending 21,500 additional troops to
After the ISG recommendation that US talk with
Ever green Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani , a former President who lost to Ahmadinejad said that the
To temper President Ahmadinejad's over blown rhetoric and consequent popularity with the public, but bad press in the West , Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has allowed 150 parliamentarians to attack the President's economic policies. In a signed letter they blamed Ahmadinejad for the raging inflation, high unemployment and failure to even present the budget in time. They decried his going on a tour of
Like (the Chess King) Ali Khamenei might remove from the centre (Knight) Ahmadinejad with his awkward moves. Iranians have shown Chess like long term planning and finesse to counter US moves in the region , even offering full cooperation in 2003 ( an honorable draw ) , if US normalized bilateral relations disrupted since 1979 . Always many moves ahead they nurtured SCIRI , Dawa and other Iraqi groups and Kurds .Since the invasion of Iraq , they now occupy and control the centre (as in Chess board) , with open and hidden threats to any US moves .
In Bishop like pincer moves across the region,
Ahmed Yusuf, an adviser to Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, said Hamas ministers had received promises of donations amounting to £500m during recent visits in the Muslim world. But the largest pledge was from
Yuval Diskin, the head of
Apparently Hezbollah had abducted two Israeli soldiers last July to also ease intense Israeli pressure off Hamas in
In spite of blatant Western lies, nationalist Hezbollah movement has very wide support in Lebanon, where USA has now sent in its disruptive agents to counter Hezbollah's peaceful sit in for a role in decision making appropriate to its showing in the war and its popularity .In Syria with over 80% Sunni population, the ruling elite is dominated by Assad family led Shia Alawaites .But no where in the world such a minuscule minority rules as do the Jews and the Israel Lobby in USA. If the Holocaust can not be questioned neither can the influence of Israeli Lobby in
Condi Rice in the New Middle East after last years birth pangs;
Condi Rice began her safari of the Middle East from Israel and returned via friendly Angela Markel's Berlin and London with Tony Blair still clinging on despite failed policies and other scandals .As for Rice's attempt at rejuvenating the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Arab media simply described it as an attempt to change the subject .US has little credibility as an honest broker.
The carefully worded support that Arab allies are offering for Bush's new
Rice who discussed the 'Surge' plan in
Earlier key Sunni Arab allies while endorsing the goals of Bush's plan, and expressing hopes of success, almost in the same breath suggested that the Shia -led government in
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal was perhaps the most positive, who agreed "with the full objectives set by the new plan, the strategy." After talks with Rice earlier, he commented, "This has objectives that ... if it were applied, it will solve the problems facing
It was well put by the Saudi newspaper Al Josiah which noted, "The Americans are trying to get out of the Baghdad bottleneck and they are looking for agent players in managing their conflict with Tehran to make their new strategy in Iraq successful."
Of course the Sunni Arab world would not trust Prime Minister al-Maliki's government with close ties with Shia
Bush's plan that al-Maliki use Iraqi troops to crack down on militants from both sides and meet a series of benchmarks to promote reconciliation between Sunnis and Shias is unlikely to succeed. Al-Maliki has resisted
But he has already criticised US for not imparting proper training or providing weapons to Iraqi forces ( aka artillery , tanks and helicopter gun ships ), which US fears might be passed on to the militias and used against US forces .To begin with al-Maliki has appointed his own man as commander of the Iraqi forces in Baghdad against US choice.
Rice tried to exploit fear of
Yes, the statement in
Intimidated and nervous, Sunni Arab rulers in
But who among the Arabs would fight.
It was Pakistani Brigadier Zia-ul- Haq who organized the military operation against PLO guerillas in
Western Policy of Divide and Rule;
USA and the perfidious Albion would only succeed in igniting a Shia-Sunni conflagration in the region except that oil prices would zoom and seriously affect the US and world economy. The
One can not forget the most disruptive Joker in the pack;
Shias developed the first human bomber, the Assassins and evolved the system of takkyia ie not telling the truth under duress and occupation making them very secretive in their methods as shown in Lebanon. So US would be making a grave mistake in attacking Iran, exposed as it is and fully stretched on the ground .Iran's military build up has not been degraded by sanctions like in Iraq, which had no navy or air force or missiles and even WMDs. US and China and others have provided enough military hardware including sophisticated missiles to Iran and Syria.
As for US righteousness most of the military hard ware US gifted to Pakistan to fight communism was used against democratic India .US now grants Air and Naval aircraft and hardware to counter terrorism in Afghanistan ( and Pakistan ).Israel and USA should not forget the deep tunnels and other innovations employed brilliantly in south Lebanon against such heavy odds.
Like Iraq, some fancy schemes are on the anvil in Pentagon. To ward off the threats to the world economy if
During the failed 1979
"The administration does have
W Joseph Stroupe, editor of Global Events Magazine wrote recently that the
Hence the population can be expected to deny all meaningful support to the
By unintentionally shoving the entire oil-and-gas-rich Middle East on to a fast track to chaos, the US will empower Russia as the immovable global energy kingpin. Already,
"I am deeply concerned about
There is scarcely a single newspaper… which is not consistently hostile to our remaining in this country. … Any alternative Government that might be formed here… would gain popularity by ordering instant evacuation. Moreover, in my own heart I do not see what we are getting out of it. …No progress has been made in developing the oil. Altogether I am getting to the end of my resources. --At present we are paying… millions a year for the privilege of living on an ungrateful volcano out of which we are in no circumstances to get anything worth having."
Extracts from a memorandum dated September 1, 1922, from Winston Churchill, Colonial Secretary to Prime Minister David Lloyd George, whose government was on its last legs.
Both Bush and Blair claim to be great admirers of Churchill, but never come round to read this chapter in
K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to