Dear Zarqawi: A Letter from Zawahiri, and a Constitutional Compromise

zawahiri.jpgThe Office of the Director of National Security has published the much-discussed letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s number two in command, to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the commander of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The letter provides insight into the workings of al Qaeda, the perception of Zarqawi’s campaign in Iraq and the status of the insurgency. The news that a compromise has been reached to satisfy Sunni concerns over the Iraqi constitution makes the letter all the more important.

The are many interesting pieces of information contained within the letter. Zawahiri confirms that Abu Farraj al-Libbi, who was captured in Pakistan, was indeed a major player in al Qaeda, “The enemy struck a blow against us with the arrest of Abu al-Faraj.” However, al Qaeda views Pakistan’s operations in the tribal areas as an even greater threat, “the real danger comes from the agent Pakistani army that is carrying out operations in the tribal areas looking for mujahideen.” This conflicts with many analyst’s portrayal of Pakistani operations on the Afghan border as ineffective.

Zawahiri confirms what many of us have been saying for quite some time: Iraq is the central front in the War on Terror, and al Qaeda has committed to the battle; “the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era.” The conflicts in Chechnya, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Bosnia, which he refers to as the “far-flung regions of the Islamic world” are secondary in al Qaeda’s plans for the formation of the Islamist Caliphate. The real lever of power is in Iraq, Egypt and the Levant (Syria and Lebanon).

He lays out the short-term goals of al Qaeda for Iraq and the region, which squares with the plans issued by Saif al-Adel. The plan is predicated on an American withdrawal from Iraq.

The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq.

The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate- over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq, i.e., in Sunni areas, is in order to fill the void stemming from the departure of the Americans, immediately upon their exit and before un-Islamic forces attempt to fill this void, whether those whom the Americans will leave behind them, or those among the un-Islamic forces who will try to jump at taking power.

The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq.

The fourth stage: It may coincide with what came before: the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity.

Zawahiri devotes a significant portion of the letter on the popular support for Jihad in Iraq, and effects of Zarqawi’s declaration of war against the Shiites. Zawahiri understands that al Qaeda cannot succeed without backing from the populace; ” In the absence of this popular support, the Islamic mujahed movement would be crushed in the shadows.”

zarqawi.jpgZawahiri states that “Muslim admirers amongst the common folk are wondering about [Zarqawi’s] attacks on the Shia”, and do not understand what could drive al Qaeda in Iraq to perform beheadings, destroy mosques and other such acts of inhumanity. Zawahiri is blunt that no amount of explaining will remove doubt and disgust over these actions; “this matter won’t be acceptable to the Muslim populace however much you have tried to explain it, and aversion to this will continue.”

The issue of war and violence against the Shiites is addressed from a practical standpoint and Zawahiri asks pointed questions to Zarqawi, which he not-so-subtly proceeds to answer. The line of “questioning” looks more like a series of commands than an inquiry. It is quite clear that the senior al Qaeda command views Zarqawi’s declaration of war and attacks against the Shiites as harmful to achieving the goals for Iraq. Also note that Zawahiri has admitted scores of senior al Qaeda leaders are in Iran.

Indeed, questions will circulate among mujahedeen circles and their opinion makers about the correctness of this conflict with the Shia at this time. Is it something that is unavoidable? Or, is it something can be put off until the force of the mujahed movement in Iraq gets stronger? And if some of the operations were necessary for self-defense, were all of the operations necessary? Or, were there some operations that weren’t called for? And is the opening of another front now in addition to the front against the Americans and the government a wise decision? Or, does this conflict with the Shia lift the burden from the Americans by diverting the mujahedeen to the Shia, while the Americans continue to control matters from afar? And if the attacks on Shia leaders were necessary to put a stop to their plans, then why were there attacks on ordinary Shia? Won’t this lead to reinforcing false ideas in their minds, even as it is incumbent on us to preach the call of Islam to them and explain and communicate to guide them to the truth? And can the mujahedeen kill all of the Shia in Iraq? Has any Islamic state in history ever tried that? And why kill ordinary Shia considering that they are forgiven because of their ignorance? And what loss will befall us if we did not attack the Shia? And do the brothers forget that we have more than one hundred prisoners – many of whom are from the leadership who are wanted in their countries – in the custody of the Iranians? And even if we attack the Shia out of necessity, then why do you announce this matter and make it public, which compels the Iranians to take counter measures? And do the brothers forget that both we and the Iranians need to refrain from harming each other at this time in which the Americans are targeting us?

Zawahiri questions Zarqawi’s hallmark propensity for displays of brutality and excessive violence, particularly the beheadings. He warns Zarqawi not to become subjected to the lures of a cult of personality. “Among the things which the feelings of the Muslim populace who love and support you will never find palatable – also- are the scenes of slaughtering the hostages. You shouldn’t be deceived by the praise of some of the zealous young men and their description of you as the shaykh of the slaughterers, etc.”

Zawahiri acknowledges another major front of the war is fought in the media: “we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media. And that we are in a media battle in a race for the hearts and minds of our Umma.”

Today’s news of a compromise over the constitution must come as chilling news for al Qaeda high command. The Shiite and Kurdish factions agreed modify the constitution to alleviate Sunni concerns over the methods of amending the document and the legal status of former Baathists. Based on this compromise, the Iraqi Islamic Party, the most organized Sunni political party, has decided to halt its “No” campaign.

Mishan Jabouri, a prominent Sunni who was involved with the negotiations and was despondent over the document, now fully supports the changes; “Before now, I felt like I am losing. We are losing our power, we are losing our country, and I am like a foreigner living here Now everything has changed. This constitution, I think any Arab Sunni can support it  The only opponents should be the Zarqawi people They oppose everything. If they wrote the constitution, they would oppose it.”

The prospects of Sunnis engaging en masse in Iraq’s political process can greatly influence both the course of Iraq’s future and the viability of the insurgency. If Sunnis feel they can fairly participate in the political process, the saner elements of the insurgency will come to grips with the situation. Couple the concessions made on the constitution with the relentless offensive against the insurgency and al Qaeda, and the incentives are there for the local insurgents to lay down their arms.

This constitutional compromise can drive a stake through the heart of al Qaeda’s “hearts and minds” approach in Iraq. Al Qaeda’s short-term goals of establishing a base of operations in Iraq and striking out at the greater Middle East may have to be pushed back to a mid or long term goal.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of The Long War Journal.

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36 Comments

  • Justin Capone says:

    Zarqawi is alot smarter then Zawahiri when it comes to understanding Iraq and doing what it takes to keep the jihad going in Iraq.
    Zarqawi needed a hook for the Sunni community to help him stay in Iraq. Being the anti Shia warror who would protect the Sunni public from the Badr was that hook. It also fit into his plan as he knows civil war and a failed state are the only two situtions where al-Qaeda could exist long term in Iraq.
    In order to achieve a civil war he had to mass murder Shia and in order to achieve a failed state the US had to be forced to leave. In both situtions US withdrawl is necessary. He knows far better then the al-Qaeda high command if the US is able to build the Iraqi Army and Police to an around 300,000 strong force that it would be impossible for him to win regardless of the support he has.
    Zarqawi really could have never have ever hoped to win a US withdrawl before there were enough Iraqi troops trained without his daily suicide attacks. I have watched the polls on the war very closely, his suicide attacks have done more damage support for the war then anything in the past year.
    The attacks give Americans a sense there is chaos in Iraq and that the sitution is unwinnable. You would think it would stiffen the spine of the public to see the evil of the enemy, instead it weakens it as all they see is chaos in Baghdad.
    That said Zarqawi knows he isn’t going to be able to cross the finish line in Iraq before the US is able to stand up an Iraqi force capable of beating the insurgency and maintaining order. Thus, his only hope left was to do whatever it takes it try to forment a civil war (which is exactly what he did last month) and it didn’t work.
    I am willing to bet that Zarqawi today knows the cause in Iraq is lost far far more then the al-Qaeda high command at this point.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Mr. Makky said the party had acted in coordination with another major Sunni group, the Conference of the People of Iraq, which also agreed to change its stance and support the constitution.
    http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051012/ZNYT03/510120415

  • Fightin TX Aggie says:

    Justin, very good comments.

  • Bill says:

    I think Pres. Bush won’t retreat as long as he’s pres. until 2008. I think the insurgency will be a spent force by then. I also don’t think the dems will nominate an anti-war candidate because they’ll remember the 1972 McGoven debacle when they lost 49 states to Nixon. I think we’ll stay the course in Iraq.
    The anti-war movement is still small & divided between the radical elements & the more mainstream elements. Fortunatly for the people of Iraq the radical elements are the face of that movement. Their virilant anti-americanism will make them political unviable.

  • Jimbo says:

    Justin or Bill

    There is a passage in the letter the writer(Zawahiri) complains of losing his computer…has it ever been mentioned before the US seized Zawahiri’s computer?

  • Jimbo says:

    This is the passage the writer speaks about the seixed computer.

    I don’t know if you all have contact with Abu Rasmi? Even if it is via the
    Internet, because I gave him a copy of my book (A Knight under the banner of the
    Prophet@) so he could attempt to publish it, and I lost the original. Al-Sharq al-Awsat
    newspaper published it truncated and jumbled. I think that the American intelligence
    services provided the aforementioned newspaper with it from my computer which they
    acquired,
    because the publication of the book coincided with a publication of messages
    from my computer in the same newspaper. So if you can contact him and get the original
    of the book, if that is possible for you all, then you can publish it on your blessed
    website and then send a copy to us, if that is possible.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Jimbo,
    I know we have Zarqawi’s laptop I never heard that we picked up Zawahiri’s computer.

  • goesh says:

    This is an outstanding blog providing valuable info on Iraq. Lots of little bits of info are starting to accumulate that clearly shows Iraq is not sinking into a quigmire and heading towards an islamic fundamentalist state. The most recent item came via NPR of all places. It said that cosmetic surgery is dramatically on the increase in Iraq. You tell me, who is going to get a nose job or a brow lift if they really believe sharia law is about to be implimented or they will be blown up by the jihadis the next day?

  • Nick Rizzuto says:

    Zawahiri’s words all but prove that AQ is depending on our media to break our resolve in Iraq. Too bad the MSM is all too willing to play into their hands and do their dirty work.
    This war, more than any in our history needs the support of the media and honest reporting of both the positive and negative. The media has chosen their side.

  • serurier says:

    The war so hard I think MSM are reason .

  • I tried trackback using both HaloScan and Simpletrac and it said I was trackbacking too quickly.
    How do I slow down a single ping?
    http://donsingleton.blogspot.com/2005/10/deal-in-iraq-raises-hopes-for-passage.html

  • C-Low says:

    Justin
    I would blame the loss of moral in this country to two things. 1) the horrible news coverage by the mainstream media and the abasolutly no context of any of it besides pictures of burning cars US soldgiers firing wildly and reporters huddled in corner interviewing themselves (as the real star of course) on how scared and choatic it is. This reporting of the suicide attacks dont mention how can a insurgency win when thier ability is limited to attacks on civilians who by the way are thier own muslim bretheren (even thou they are Shia not Sunni the muslims not in Iraq see themselves as bretheren in a whole and even in Iraq to the most part). Or by maybe playing on the muslim pride by what kind of men run from battle with their enemies soldgiers to kill thier own distant cousins women and children? 2) Bush’s total lack of ability to either delegate or do himself the need to make a attempt to make a fight on the media front. On this I agree holeheartily with Zarwahiri and it really angers me that our enemy understands this 4gen warefare battle field more than our current leadership does civilian or military. 4gen warefare is at least 40%+ faught on the media front, no one anywere can hope to defeat the US exept by breaking our moral at home the only example of a US defeat done so in Veitnam many would call the first 4gen war early stages were the media front first appeared. In old bygone days the military could sit back and depend on the media to support thier nation in a time of war or at the very least the civilian leadership to make the case and support their nation in a war effort, that is no longer the case todays media is anti-american or neutral at best (WW2 no one tried to understand why germany and japan hated us they just dealt with reality they did and it was war us or them) todays leadership is to partisan and Bush and crew cant or wont make the case some pundits can very well but they are not in positions of authority, todays military I think should and must form some type of media warefare unit that would make commercials and such on TV, movies with military photogrophers filming and giving context like US soldgiers shooting why at what and the end result dead terrorist not just random shots of no context then some bloody civilians. Documentories of major battles Falluja ect… history channel style with a more military context explanation and support. Limit the release of military info to regular reporters to military reps Officers in full dress sent to the media organizations to not just go on air and report events with footage and stories but the ability to debate and defend such with reporters if nessecary. If they wont let the Officers on air dont release the info thier is a lot of info that comes from the military about the days events even the car bombs and such mostly filter to the media from the military cut that off unless they play ball with your reps. Not political and they could just sidestep such questions with a military is not political we are american answer. I would even go as far as to say such reps should be sent to the foriegn media outlets as well if possible. Commercial shorts showing what if we lose, good things being done, what our enemy really is, why we must win, ect… promoting our victory our success, todays sacrifises achievments in context of history hard numbers ect.., and our enemies pure evil. The reason I say the military and not the civilian leadership should do this is that even if Bush and his crew did this today successfully their is no garantee tommorow the next guy would and the military must be able to win and fight all fronts no matter who happens to be voted in at the time. Homefront moral is crucial to Victory. 4gen warefare is here to stay and the Media front is only getting bigger and more important as TV and the internet spread to the far corners of the world.

  • Nick Rizzuto says:

    It’s funny, in the letter, Zarwahiri actually points to vietnam as an example:
    “The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam-and how they ran and left their agents-is noteworthy.”
    This is precisely the outcome the MSM and the radical left in America are attempting to foment foment.
    Can their be any doubt anymore about who’s side they are fighting for? That the marches on Washington which claim to be in support of the troops are actually in support of the enemy?
    Orwell’s words ring as true today as when they were written:
    “Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me.”

  • Winning in Iraq

    Today even readers of the New York Times will have trouble believing that Iraq is a disaster and a quagmire, though not for lack of effort by the LSM. The Times has the AP report on Iraq, Iraqi Lawmakers to

  • leaddog2 says:

    C-Low,
    Your comments are correct and appreciated by loyal Americans, but PLEASE improve them by learning to use punctuation and paragraphs, etc.
    Your last comment is absolutely HORRIBLE to read as we attempt to decipher the confused jumble of words. There is NO SPACING, etc.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Some interesting stats from “This Week in Iraq”
    ISF now over 200,000
    ISF conduct 25% of all operations independently
    27 Bases turned back to ISF(complete with map)
    http://www.mnf-iraq.com/Publications/TWII/Current.pdf

  • Super 6 says:

    It has always puzzled me why the Bush administration has all but abandoned the PR war in the media. The “guy” on the street thinks the whole Iraq operation is bogged down and futile. This is perhaps GW’s biggest blunder. Thanks to people like Bill the truth is out there but not to be found on the front page of my newspaper…sad….

  • goesh says:

    c-low reminds me of the grunts i have known

  • PeterArgus says:

    Apparently The Ay-Man hasn’t raid Zawahiri’s memo. From the AP:

    The suicide attacker set off explosives hidden beneath his clothing at the first of two checkpoints outside the recruiting center in Tal Afar (search), where men were gathering to apply for jobs, said army Capt. Raad Ahmed and town police chief Brig. Najim Abdullah. They said at least 30 people were killed and 35 wounded.

    The small town was struck Tuesday by another homicide bomber who killed 30 civilians and wounded 45 when he plowed his explosives-packed vehicle into a crowded outdoor market. Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for that attack.

    I assume that since Tal Afar is in western Iraq along the Euphrates it is largely Sunni and the victims of these attacks are, therefore, Sunni. This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that Zawahari is warning about. It will tend to accelerate the movement of Sunnis towards participation in a representative national government.

    About the “PR war”: Maybe there is some way the Bush administration could have waged it better but I am at loss to know what that is. Problem is the media doesn’t trust administrations (particularly Republican AND particularly this one) when it comes to honest information on progress in wartime. Whenever the administration has highlighted positive news they are accused of “spin”. There are plenty of established voices who are convinced that the media has been TOO accomodating to the administration.

    In the end the truth will emerge. Over the next 3-6 months I think progress will be undeniable. If I am right it will come through in the news, just as it did after last January’s elections. For a while there was a short period of upbeat reporting before it once again descended into the daily bombing story. This time though could well be different if the Sunnis decide to join the process.

  • GJ says:

    I was watching Sean Hannity debate James Carville and Carville kept saying over and over again that the military confirms only 1 battalion with fighting capabilities (during the Congressional hearings). Unfortunately Sean didn’t mention the differences between Level 1,2,3 etc. I would’ve enjoyed telling him how STUPID he is for Not knowing such a basic fact.

  • ricksamerican says:

    is it something can be put off until the force of the mujahed movement in Iraq gets stronger?
    if the attacks on Shia leaders were necessary to put a stop to their plans,

  • ricksamerican says:

    If I were a mullah sitting in Teheran, these would be the money quotes:
    ” questions will circulate about the correctness of this conflict with the Shia “at this time”
    ” . . .is it [attacking the Shia] something that can be put off until the force of the mujahed movement in Iraq gets stronger?
    ” . . . do the brothers forget that we have more than one hundred prisoners – many of whom are from the leadership who are wanted in their countries – in the custody of the Iranians
    ” do the brothers forget that both we and the Iranians need to refrain from harming each other at this time”

  • Robert M says:

    Is this letter a counterintelligence ploy? It seems to perfectly cover many of the ideas that Bill has pointed out are counterproductive to al-Queda’s strategy.
    C-Low
    You are to be congratulated on your analysis of the failure of the Bush Presidency to articulate clear goals and transference of information to the public.
    I have to agree your letter needs editing to be clearer to most readers.

  • Sgt. York says:

    RE: “Is this letter a counterintelligence ploy?”
    That would be my assumption. The office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) releases a letter where “the guy from Zarqa” takes responsibility for bombing mosques and holy shrines. Whatever.
    This, on the heels of the horrendous fiasco in Basra where two British SAS special-forces disguised/dressed as Mahdhi Militia members were arrested after shooting at two policemen, killing one and wounding the other. Reportedly, the car they were driving was filled with explosives and detonators.
    The US and UK don’t have much street cred left… likely, most Iraqis will assume this to be yet another psy-ops.
    ================

  • Deal in Iraq Raises Hopes For Passage of Constitution

    The Sunnis shot themselves in the foot when they boycotted the last election, and they would have repeated that mistake if they had boycotted or come out against the Constitution, since a new constitution would not have had the US pushing for concessio…

  • Sgt. York says:

    The CIA/DNI have apparently seized several computers/laptops/letters over the last several years:
    02/12/04: Earlier this week, Coalition officials discovered a letter believed to have been written by terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to al Qaeda operatives. Below is the text of the letter, as translated and distributed by the Coalition Provisional Authority.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/document/zarkawi200402121818.asp
    05/03/05: The U.S. military said Tuesday it has seized a letter from Iraqi insurgents believed to be intended for Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi complaining about low morale among followers and weakening support for the insurgency.
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/05/03/iraq.main/
    08/06/05: Alleged letter to Zarqawi suggests dissent in Iraq Al Qaeda ranks. In the letter that the US says it discovered July 27 during a raid on a home in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the author “Abu Zayd” complained of poor local leadership in the organization and the mistreatment of foreign fighters.
    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/focusoniraq/2005/August/focusoniraq_August31.xml&section=focusoniraq
    ===============

  • hamidreza says:

    Sgt. York – if there is any psyops going on, it is by yourself on this newsblog.
    Several vest suiciders were arrested and many successful ones targetting mosques were clearly linked to the Sunni Islamists and Zarqawists. In fact Zarqawi has taken credit for Shia mosque blow ups.
    The two SAS members were trying to obtain hard evidence of IED operations by Iranians, which is necessary to indict the IRGC in world opinion. How can two non-Arab and non-Arabic speaking Brits be able to plant an IED using C-4 explosives without a casing, and at the same time appear genuine to the locals and swarming militiamen, and then receive orders to self-blow up British soldiers? Only a twisted-mukhaberati mind can arrive at such fiction.
    Their vehicle was NOT “full” of explosives. There was a packet of C-4, probably to destroy in place any IED or weapons cache found during their investigative work.
    Obviously you are an Islamist-mukhaberati troll conducting your own cheap little psyops here.

  • ikez78 says:

    RicksAmerican,
    I have been wondering about the religious differences and battles between the Iranians and al Qaeda. Is there a backdoor truce that was worked out? An unspoken one? Why don’t al Qaeda letters mention attackign Iran ever? Something is going on here, the question is whether al Qaeda has a deal worked out with Iran somehow to either work together against Americans or at least not work against each other or if al Qaeda has made no contacts with Iran and just thinks that battle is not one to pursue (at this time at least).

  • hamidreza says:

    ikez87 – It is a well dcoumented fact that the Iranian IRGC (hardline state paramilitary force) supperted and is still supporting Ansar al-Islam, an offshoot beholden to al-Qaeda. This terrorist organization operates mainly in the Kurdish areas as it has many Kurdish members.
    In addition, Carbombs and IEDs were intercepted by Kurds and Americans entering from northern border areas of Iran destined for Arab Sunni areas. This and other intelligence supports the theory that Iran is also funding and arming Zarqawi, even though ideologically they have serious differences. However their goals at this moment do coincide – namely the removal of the Coalition forces and the destabilization of Iraq and installation of Islamist militia rule.
    Iran has also supported al-Qaeda when it was evicted from Afghanistan.
    Also Blair has said that Iran is arming Sadr (including supply of IEDs), who is in competition with Badr and Dawa, that are yet another band of Islamists beholden to Iran. I believe it is the Iranian hardliners (IRGC) who are supporting AQI, Sadr, Fadhila (in Basra), while the Iranian conservatives/moderates are supporting Badr and Dawa.

  • Ike says:

    So Iran is just arming and funding both sides to create as much violence as possible? That makes sense but its a pretty short sighted view. Are they really that stupid to think that they aren’t creating enemies as well? Don’t they realize that (if al Qaeda were successful) that they would eventually turn on Iran’s Shia rule and try to impose a Sunni one? Does Iran think this problem won’t come up or are they shortsighted enough to not care?

  • ricksamerican says:

    Hamidreza, you write:
    “Iran is also funding and arming Zarqawi, even though ideologically they have serious differences.. .However, their goals at this moment do coincide.
    Hamidreza is a Persian name, so I am guessing that you are Iranian and have more incite into Iran’s motivations than most of us. Is this simply the enemy of my enemy is my friend? That would only take them so far. Surely, the “installation of an Islamist militia rule” by Al Queda toward establishing an Emirate in Iraq as a base for a world-wide Caliphate, would not suit the Iranians. Wouldn’t such a Caliphate try to eliminate the Shia–bring them back to the true Islam? Do they think that they can encourge AQ to take all the risk and pay in their blood for the defeat of the US in Iraq and then crush AQ they have done all the dirty work?
    I’d be interested to know what you think.

  • RonF says:

    For those of you who read the letter, the discussion of polytheism vs. monotheism isn’t talking about Hindus. To these guys, Christianity’s doctrine of the Trinity makes it polytheistic.

  • Ike says:

    Good question Rick. I don’t think either al Qaeda or Iran are dumb enough to not know that there long term goals are not the same.

  • Jim Rockford says:

    Iran’s actions vs. the US simply don’t make sense, unless you consider a larger game of driving the US out of the Gulf and asserting Iranian control over the entire region.
    The US got rid of the Taliban and Saddam, both noxious thorns in Teheran’s side. The US is after Al Qaeda who is nominally Iran’s enemy and chief rival for authentic Islamism as a political force among the Ummah. You’d think Iran would happily co-operate seeing a weak Afghanistan and Iraq that would at the least be not hostile to them (courtesy of Uncle Sam) and at best compliant in ways that Finland and Austria were to the Soviet Union.
    But not, there is needless provocation over nuclear weapons programs and Iraq and support for jihadis there and the Badr Brigades who are not going anywhere. None of this makes sense unless you buy into the assumption that Iran CAN drive the US Navy out of the Gulf through nuclear blackmail and some action on the ground in Iraq.
    No doubt this view is influenced by the media, and the view that Americans are “wicked and corrupt” and thus easily cowed by nuclear blackmail. That’s the wider danger of the Peace Movement and support in the Media and Democratic Party for the Peace Movement. It encourages such views and practically guarantees dangerous aggression against the US in nuclear forms that can quickly spiral out of control.

  • go west young man says:

    {deleted due to offensive language, read the comments policy}

  • go west young man says:

    Hey what offensive language? I dont think I said anything offensive. My point is that Iran wins with the way things are. The U.S. is doing thier dirty work for them. The Shia moslems are the more radical moslems. We are putting them in power in Iraq. This is good for Iran. Osama Bin Laden is more aligned with Shia than Sunni. Sunnis are more secular and were more progressive. Women were treated very well in Iraq under Hussein believe it or not. Do some fact checking. Women were in many high positions. Paradoxically Shia keep women from being equal. Bin Laden is probably very happy to see the way things are going right now. He wants the holy war. We are handing it to him. Its amazing how many people profess to know so much about this subject have no idea what the Sunnis were/are really about. Read some history on Iraq after the British set up thier government. Its fascinating how different history is than the current news spin. Please dont delete me again for offering a differing opinion. That doesnt do anyone any justice.

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