Skip to comments.U.S. keeps making mistakes in Mideast (GREELEY ALERT)
Posted on 02/23/2007 3:48:36 AM PST by Chi-townChief
The collapse of the shah in Iran was the beginning of American troubles in the Middle East. The shah was "our guy," an absolute ruler who was secularizing the country and freeing his people from the shackles of religious superstition and obscurantism. It never occurred to our foreign policy thinkers and experts that the people of Iran wanted their obscurantism and old-fashioned religion. The American leadership did not see the ayatollah coming and was unprepared for the defeat of the shah. Educated as they were in the great secular universities, our foreign policy gurus did not have a clue about the importance of religion in Middle Eastern countries. The same gurus or their successors have made the same mistake again. They expected the Iraqis to welcome our appearance on the horizon, like the 7th Cavalry riding to the rescue in the old Western movies. They expected the various factions in Iraq to band together in the formation of a stable democracy that would be a beacon of hope to the Middle East. As Paul Wolfowitz, the leader of the neocons, remarked, too much was made of the difference between Sunnis and Shiites.
A few other scholars ominously predicted a civil war between these two largest religious factions. The Shiites were the majority but had been ruled for centuries by the minority Sunnis. Indeed, the avowed followers of Ali (the Prophet's son-in-law) and his grandson never ruled in any Arab country till the arrival of the Americans in 2003, when our leaders in the name of democracy in effect turned the country over to the Shiite majority. The Sunnis, followers of Saddam Hussein, who had kept them in charge, began the insurgency against Shiite rule.
The other Arab nations, with their own internal Shiite minorities, could not help but wonder why the United States was following such a stupid and dangerous policy. The Iranians, who are Persians, not Arabs and right next door to Iraq, rejoiced. It was natural for them to ally themselves secretly with their Shiite brothers across the border. They wondered why the United States was following such a foolish policy, yet were delighted that the Americans had eliminated the two most serious threats to Iranian security: Saddam on their western side and the Taliban on their eastern side.
The great victory for American democracy was in fact a great victory for Iran. Now the president and his babbling secretary of state are shocked that Iranian power has increased, apparently unaware that American foreign policy is responsible for that increase.
The neocons are apparently gone from Washington, but there are still some of them around, still writing memos, and still influencing policy. The memos for the so-called surge came from William Kristol and Robert Kagan, lesser lights than I. Lewis Libby and Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz, but still neocons. Despite all their mistakes in understanding the importance of religion in that part of the world, the president still is apparently willing to listen to them.
Now he is doing all he can to prepare the public for a shooting war with Iran. He certainly has no illusions about the 1st Cavalry riding into Tehran to a flower-tossing welcome while statues of the ayatollah are pulled down for American television. All he needs to build up his reputation for toughness and to restore some of his popularity among the nutmeg segment of the population is to "take out" a couple of Iranian bases. You can't believe he would be dumb enough to try that? He was dumb enough to get us into the Big Muddy in Iraq, wasn't he?
In the meantime, Iran, noting how reasonable the United States has been in its most recent conversations with North Korea, is sending out signals that it might be nice to sit and talk. The babbler-in-chief keeps telling us that the Iranians know what they have to do.
That's what passes for foreign policy in Washington these days. Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent protest against American unilateralism -- albeit a case of the pot calling the kettle black -- seems eminently reasonable.
Jimmy Carter with a collar.
He is so freaking stupid he doesn't even seem to realize that while he's mocking Bush, Bush is the one whose policy re: North Korea is what GOT Iran to talk disarmament.
Another Catholic fool who longs to revive that part of his church which loves communism. Greely should go back to his softcore porn and stop pretending he has an ounce of knowledge about ANY of this; mimicking Keith Olberman isn't a sign of intelligence, you old fool.
As I was reading this I thought exactly as you post. Wondering what World this guy (Greeley)has been living in.
If he is as you say no doubt on which side, I'm thankful I'm not there with him.
However, he forgot the problems that Saddam have caused and that the dictator was an unstable influence on the region and it was inevitable for someone to take him out.
Missed it? The dhimmi doesn't even ACKNOWLEDGE it!
They didn't then and still don't. That's why they are and have been on the verge of civil war for several years.
Greely proves that, despite everything, he is still an idiot.
Embarrassing! Send him off to a monastery and impose the rule of silence.
C'mon, go easy on the ex-padre. He's probably still pissed the Bears lost.
Isn't Greeley a Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Chicago?
Does Greeley's views represent the views of Cardinal George?
Yeah, right. I suppose the Arabs had no problem with our relationship with Israel?
I seem to recall an Arab oil embargo in 1973 in response to our military support to Israel in the Yom Kippur War. I would call that the beginning.
The Shah fell in 1979.
How about Bobby K getting capped by Sirhan Sirhan back in '68.
Yeah. How about that, huh?
That may also be considered the beginning of our Middle East problems.
Like what? Sirhan Sirhan was acting alone and independently, and had a long-time hatred of the Kennedys.
I really don't see the connection to the Middle East, other than the fact that he was a Palestinian.
Although Sirhan wasn't Muslim, popping Kennedy as revenge for his support of Israel and the Six Day War was quite the Jihadi move and I'm sure it was noted and studied by the Islamists.
He hated him before that -- at least, according to his diaries.
"Sirhan supposedly believed himself deliberately betrayed by Kennedy's support for Israel in the June, 1967 Six-Day War, which had begun exactly one year before the assassination. However, the "RFK must die" diary entries started before Kennedy's support of Israel became public knowledge. After his arrest, these journals and diaries were discovered."