Sunday, February 13, 2005

Iraq: worse than you think?

The Counterterrorism Blog: Iran's Great Victory

I've been following this counterterrorism blog for a while. It's not a left/democrat/liberal site, but neither is it pro-Bush. Mostly it's professional military and, as the name goes, counterterrorism journalists and hobbyists. It's rationalist/secular, so it's something I can relate to even when I may disagree.

This post includes an alleged statement by a "senior military commander". The claim is that religious Shia dominance of the new legislature may be virtually complete, with no balancing Kurdish block of significance and no significant secular block. The alleged author also describes very effective insurgent military action and implies Iraqi forces are completely penetrated by insurgent intelligence.

We'll know in a few days if the claims of the political outcome are correct.

At around the same time I read reports that the US training of Iraqi forces is failing dismally. I also see reports that the new Saudi education minister is a Wahabbi zealot who could have been appointed by bin Laden, and that the Saudis are backpedalling on their counter-terrorism initiatives.

I am very interested in what the Sunni/Wahabbi Saudis make of the rise of Shia Iraq, the rise of Shia Iran, and the fall of the Iraqi Sunni elite.

I'm also curious as to whether bin Laden is all that keen on how this is turning out; does he truly favor Iran? I'd thought the Wahabbi were always suspicious that Iran was a bit too civilized (not to mention that Zoroastrian skeleton in the closet).

The hypothesis that Iran has competely outplayed the US, and bin Laden, has not yet been disproved.

Who knows, maybe a truly dominant Iran will turn out to be a good thing. If anyone but me repeats that statement we'll know that the crisis of Iraq is plumbing new depths.

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