Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst 12345
Results 61 to 72 of 72

Thread: What has happened to al Sadr?

  1. #61
    Contributor RoccoR's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Oct 10
    Location
    Reynoldsburg, OH USA
    Posts
    307
    Dreadnought, et al,

    Looking strategically, one has to be a little like Dr House, and do the differential. The only way that it can be done is if you change the definition of war and its outcomes. And then look at it from the opposite side. How do you defeat the Hegemony with the Invincible Army?

    BLUF: You don't attack the Army, you attack the economy that supports the Army. Defeat the economy with the Invincible Army, and you have an Army that cannot deploy. If it cannot deploy, no one, Regionally, need fear it. It ceases to be persuasive in peace - supporting US Diplomatic, Economic and Military objectives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    More or less along Iranian believes. Which pretty much spells out death to reform, in any means or to treat their people better, host fair and transparent elections or treat the people with any better then third grade understanding and with a third grade education. Allowing him in would spell disater in the future for a country that wished no dictatorships.
    (COMMENT)

    Yes, the leap will not be all at once. It will be a gradual development, just like joining the VFW, and going through the chairs before you can be a Post Commander. A slow methodical climb. But he has time. He must make sure that the US Military was withdrawn to a safe distance, such as to make it militarily insignificant. Not only is this in the interest of al-Sadr and Iran, but it is also in the interest of the Shi'ites and Kurds in the Kirkuk Region. The Americans have outlived their usefulness and there are somethings the Iraqis (all sides) would rather they solve themselves; especially if it opens-up into conflict.

    In the mean time, the US is confounded. It wants proceed with re-arming Iraq. But, what do you do in the case where your proxy fighting partner is in bed with the OPFOR. And even if the deal between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Iran run aground, how do you trust a potential defector? And if the deal goes through, did we just arm a potential ally of Iran? What does the Risk Assessment on that look like.

    BAGHDAD, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The Pentagon has proposed selling arms worth $4.2 billion to Iraq as it drives to bolster the country's new-era military amid the U.S. withdrawal and to provide Persian Gulf states with massive infusions of advanced weaponry to stand up to Iran.

    The package proposed by the Department of Defense this week includes 18 Lockheed Martin F-16 strike jets, Raytheon AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air, heat-seeking missiles for dogfighting, laser-guided bombs and reconnaissance equipment.

    The Pentagon said the sale would make Baghdad "a more valuable partner in an important area of the world as well as supporting Iraq's legitimate needs" regarding self-defense.
    U.S. plans $4.2 billion arms sale to Iraq - UPI.com

    The first prong of the Iranian Strategy is to hope that the US military and the Foreign Service decision making processes are thrown into chaos; and exhibit indecisiveness in the shadow of their inability to forecast these possibilities and have countermeasures developed. In essence, Iran either had great luck, or the US is playing checkers while Iran is playing chess, thinking four or five steps ahead of US Leadership that has been plagued by a series of missteps every since the conclusion of conventional hostilities.

    (National Security - US Military Support to Diplomacy) The US Hegemony:

    For most people, the idea of the Hegemony is an invisible subject; unless you are a fan of the PNAC and their doppleganger. Most don't see it. But I think that other countries have seen it, more closely now that we've botched Iraq.

    Dollar hegemony will come to an end eventually. This has important implications, but there is a way of stopping the transformation being too painful. Right now, the US is still the world’s only economic superpower, and will come out of a trade war with its dominance still intact. But this dominance is only temporary. This century will see first China and then India emerge as the world’s biggest economy. Right now, we are witnessing the very early stages in this transformation, and already we are seeing economic crisis as a result. The US will probably win the currency war everyone is talking about at the moment. But it won’t keep winning these economic wars.
    End of US hegemony, why the Bancor and not gold will be the new currency | Investment and Business News
    Ahmedinejad claimed that the end of Western hegemony was divinely ordained. "The enemies of our nations will go one day. This is the promise of God and the promise of God will definitely be fulfilled," the Iranian leader said.
    Iran, Venezuela Vow To End US 'Hegemony'
    Today, Iran correctly sees Israel's existence as a de facto projection of American military power and as the sole remaining obstacle to its future hegemony of the Middle East and the world, as Hitler saw Great Britain as the sole obstacle to his hegemony of Europe. Iran has learned from Germany's mistake in WWII and Saddam's mistake of the "Nineties," and is not wasting any time or energy to occupy a defeated France or to consolidate a fractured Middle East before it attempts to destroy America's WWII forward base equivalent of Great Britain: Israel. In fact, the ostensible balkanization of the oil rich Sunni Kingdoms provide a false appearance of strategic division which masks Iran's true amassing strength. Iran's ultimate destruction of Israel will cripple America's ability to wage a winnable World War against Iran before that war even begins. Consequently, America can expect unrelenting hot and warm wars of attrition by Iranian-armed proxies against Israel and U.S. forces to rid itself of these sole remaining obstacles to what will be its total Middle East hegemony. Or, alternatively, in the wake of a catastrophic US Iraqi defeat/retreat, Iran will unquestionably militarily occupy Southern Iraq to Jordan. It will then hold a Sword of Damocles over the heads of Saudi Arabia, U.S. CENTCOM at Qatar, and the entire US 5th Fleet at Bahrain.
    Iran, The Fourth Reichastan - English pravda.ru
    (COMMENT)

    The second prong of the Iranian is a bit more complicated. Just as the CEO of NPR, in firing Juan Williams, unintentionally let lose the "Dog of War" on public funding and challenging the values of NPR as an unbiased media outlet --- so did the "War in Iraq" release the new vision on the demise of the American Hegemony. The "American Military" will not be defeated by confronting it with military force, but through economic power. The defeat will come at the hands of debt. The invincible Army that cannot afford to go to war. While it won't happen immediately, it is coming.

    Most Respectfully,
    R

  2. #62
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 May 05
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA.
    Posts
    14,728
    So you think that the thousands of US troops left behind and their commands will just turn their backs and allow all this to happen? For the hundreds of millions of dollars the US has spent on the Iraq war this seems a bit far fetched considering he had to flee to Iran since his army was routed by US forces and he lived in fear of returning. IMO, the US will have and probably has had their eyes on him for sometime and no doubt will watch him and his contacts and followers very closely. What you are proposing above doesnt seem to feasable in the forseeable future.

    Hands of Debt? Who's debt? Debt from what?

    In your above post you also seem to overlook that the Saudi's are the big kid on the block and they wont let Iran rule the ME. Hence they opened their airspace to the Israeli's in a time of need. Also the weapons purchase by the Saudi's that is on the horizon will push their military far beyond Irans capabilities in making trouble without serious ramifications for Iran.

    Politics is the only thing protecting Iran from getting a foot rammed in their ass. They have already committed enough provable crimes to warrant it as well. They can quote their religious craziness as much as they want, but in the real world they know exactly what would happen and perhaps what will happen in the future.

    The only thing they cannot predict is where the Israeli's will have had enough of Iran and her threats. Israel wont go down without atleast lighting Tehran and other certain locations up pemanently. Iran is no match for the Israeli's and they know it and this is the cause of all their rhetoric and threats.

    IMO, All it would take is the reformers gaining office in Iran and then these theatrics all come to an end. Thats exactly why the regime is doing what it is doing to try and stave that movement off, but as you note with other points above, everything comes in time and there are no doubt alot more smarter Iranians then dinnerjacket, the Assa hola, and the regime. Its not rocket science and they know it and no doubt they fear it's coming.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 28 Oct 10, at 16:23.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  3. #63
    Contributor RoccoR's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Oct 10
    Location
    Reynoldsburg, OH USA
    Posts
    307
    Dreadnought, et al,

    From a US perspective, you are (assuredly) in great company. Many (many) would agree with you. Even I find merit in your post. It is (without question) a very compelling argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    So you think that the thousands of US troops left behind and their commands will just turn their backs and allow all this to happen? ... ... ... What you are proposing above doesnt seem to feasable in the forseeable future.
    (COMMENT)

    Politically, they may not have a choice in the matter. Iraq does have its sovereignty and the US is there as a invited guest of the GOI. But, oddly enough, if the US can get (entice) the Kurdish Bloc (ie Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani), to weigh-in, this will change the entire equation and develop an alternative outcome - politically overpowering the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's alliance with the Muqtada al-Sadr and the Iranians. The Kurd's have the ability to be "King Maker." Possibly in favor of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. This is a real possibility, but it also is an intervention (big money and big promises) into the internal affairs of Iraq. Something we wanted to avoid, rather letting the Iraq's demonstrate that democracy has taken hold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    Hands of Debt? Who's debt? Debt from what?
    (COMMENT)

    Yeah, good question. I am not talking about the "War Debt" which is just over a $1 Trillion. We can actually afford that; but we must remember; it is all financed. We really haven't paid a dime on the war; merely interest on the debt. It actually amounts to about 8% of our GDP. If that is all we owed, we could fight several wars at that cost.

    But it is not:

    Quote Originally Posted by Money Talks
    As of October 10, 2010 the total public debt outstanding reached 94 percent of the annual GDP Ė which was $13.616 trillion. This included the debt held by the public which accounted for 66 percent of the GDP (approximately $9 trillion) and the intergovernmental debt at 34 percent of the GDP. This ranks the U.S. as the 20th highest debt to GDP of all nations. It puts us at the fourth highest of all the G8 nations. This high debt level can have an affect on inflation as well as interest rates and economic growth. This causes a number of factors on increasing pressure on the value of our dollar.
    Source: U.S. Deficit 2010: Debt Surpasses Largest In History

    Now as bad as this may sound, we are average among the G8 Nations, in the middle of the pack.

    But there is a "Currency War" in progress. (First let me say that we will undoubtedly win this battle, but it will reoccur and we will fight the battle over and over until we lose.) But for now, we are the stronger of all the forces.

    By lowering interest rates and effectively guaranteeing a weak dollar through undisciplined fiscal policy, the US ignited an almost riskless global US$ Carry Trade and triggered an uncontrolled Currency War with the mercantilist, export driven Asian economies. We are now debasing the US dollar with reckless spending and money printing with the policies of Quantitative Easing (QE) and the expectations of QE II. Both are nothing more than effectively defaulting on our obligations to sound money policy and a ďstrong US$Ē. Meanwhile with a straight face we deny that this is our intention.

    Itís called debase, default and deny.

    The idea is to allow the US, which does not re-invest in its industrial and manufacturing infrastructure essentials, to become totally dependent on outsourced production, thereby losing industrial, manufacturing and production jobs (higher unemployment and greater underemployment). This will push the debt-to-GDP ratio over the 100% mark.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    In your above post you also seem to overlook ... ... ...Saudi's that is on the horizon will push their military far beyond Irans capabilities in making trouble without serious ramifications for Iran.
    (COMMENT)

    Again, let me first acknowledge that you are in the majority, on both side of the equation. Everyone see this the same as you.

    Quote Originally Posted by The U.S.-Saudi military deal
    The U.S. plan to sell 60 billion dollars worth of military equipment to Saudi Arabia will not contribute to peace and security in the Middle East.

    The biggest arms deal ever in history, it provides for the sale of jetfighters and helicopters to oil-rich Saudi Arabia over a period of 15 to 20 years. U.S. officials have stated that it will enhance the security of its key allies in the region, especially in the context of the alleged threat from Iran. The Saudis, according to Pentagon sources, are worried about Iranís missile arsenal.

    I admit, that I am in the minority, but I would not put any faith in the Saudi's. They will tell you anything, but in the end (IMO), the Saudi's will act in utilitarian fashion, in their own best interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    Politics is the only thing protecting Iran from getting a foot rammed in their ass. They have already committed enough provable crimes to warrant it as well.
    (COMMENT)

    Again, you are (IMO) most correct (the politics). The US actually wants the Iranians to mouth-off (even though it acts otherwise). The US wants the Gulf Region States to agree that the Islamic Republic is unstable and dangerous; and a flash-point for war.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    The only thing they cannot predict is where the Israeli's will have had enough of Iran and her threats. Israel wont go down without atleast lighting Tehran and other certain locations up pemanently. Iran is no match for the Israeli's and they know it and this is the cause of all their rhetoric and threats.
    (COMMENT)

    In that stasis of the current ground truth, Iran does not pose a threat to the Jewish State. Most of the Rhetoric is for domestic consumption and specific potential allies. While the intent may be sound and valid from an Iranian view, it may actually put its neighbors at a greater level of tension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    IMO, All it would take is the reformers gaining office in Iran and then these theatrics all come to an end. Thats exactly why the regime is doing what it is doing to try and stave that movement off, but as you note with other points above, everything comes in time and there are no doubt alot more smarter Iranians then dinnerjacket, the Assa hola, and the regime. Its not rocket science and they know it and no doubt they fear it's coming.
    (COMMENT)

    Yes, that is always the hope. But it is not something that you can quantify into a risk assessment. It what we want to believe, but not based on a inference through the line of succession.

    Most Respectfully,
    R

  4. #64
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 May 05
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA.
    Posts
    14,728
    " In that stasis of the current ground truth, Iran does not pose a threat to the Jewish State. Most of the Rhetoric is for domestic consumption and specific potential allies. While the intent may be sound and valid from an Iranian view, it may actually put its neighbors at a greater level of tension."

    Iran and Syria IMO pose a threat to every life within their reach, Hezbollahs or Hamas. They are state funding terrorists plain and simple. They kill for a living and thats all they do except point fingers at the Israeli's when they retaliate and deny them materials to build bunkers and other materials. IMO, wether its for Domestic consumption or not, openly calling for the destruction of a legitimate people is flat out grounds for war no matter which way you view it.

    The tension you state equates to one thing imo... Arms Race. Which is already happening due to none other the Iran and its a race they are not going to win either ,the point is that Iran is the source of this trouble plain and simple.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  5. #65
    Contributor RoccoR's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Oct 10
    Location
    Reynoldsburg, OH USA
    Posts
    307
    Dreadnought, et al,

    The "Arms Race" is exactly what they want us to see as the inevitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    The tension you state equates to one thing imo... Arms Race. Which is already happening due to none other the Iran and its a race they are not going to win either ,the point is that Iran is the source of this trouble plain and simple.
    (COMMENT)

    Iran, as well as a number of other countries, see another strategy which includes an "Arms Race," as well as, a currency war, as exactly what they want the West (US Allies, et al), to engage in - AND - win. They want the West to engage in a very expensive investment, a proposition and strategy that they want the West to think is an imperative. Iran wants the West to win, but at such a cost, as to make it unsustainable at the economies have been hit so hard over the last three decades. On the other hand, Iran has no real intention of playing. - but to just project the appearance of playing.

    They intent to do the same thing America did to former Soviet Union; make the cost of defense unsustainable. Rhetoric, threats (real and perceived), the strategic nuclear deterrence, and fear are all the tools. Combined with the lose of the power previously enjoyed by an economic hegemony, it will change the balance of power. First regionally; then globally.

    We are about a half trillion dollars behind now. But the end of 2012, and with the compensatory strategy that GEN Petraeus is pursuing in Afghanistan, the cost will rise even greater. Given that the US will become dependent, to an ever greater extent, on external industries, energy, manufacturing and borrowed cash, the actual control will gradually shift from the US to the other economies now emerging in the world. Some of the most expensive components to the Arms Race, will be in plain sight - the dependence on information management and communications (Information Assurance Warfare). The loss of one critical network (ie SIPR) would cause a crisis in the Defense Department.

    Most Respectfully,
    R

  6. #66
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 May 05
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA.
    Posts
    14,728
    Only one problem with that strategy, The US has already won that race. All we really need to do minus the politics is let Israrel take care of them. Iran both being under sanction and judging by their indiginious programs cannot even compete in the least so why would the US invest in such a program that they dont need. All they need to do is keep the Israeli's and Saudi Arabia up to date through sales and Iran is painted into a corner as has been the case. Another point to keep in mind is that Iran even now in 2010 could nowhere even come close to the Russia of the 1980's. If you are correct they are wasting their time running a race that really no one in the region needs to run to beat them, even in the long run.

    Now, not only do they need to try to compete just for a minimum balance in the region but also stave off the reformers at home, both expensive in currency and world recognition. Not a chance.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  7. #67
    Contributor RoccoR's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Oct 10
    Location
    Reynoldsburg, OH USA
    Posts
    307
    Dreadnought, et al,

    Possibly. Certainly many believe this.

    Quote Originally Posted by TRUNCATED Dreadnought View Post

    • The US has already won that race.
    • US invest in such a program that they dont need.
    • All they need to do is keep the Israeli's and Saudi Arabia up to date through sales.
    • If you are correct they are wasting their time running a race that really no one in the region needs to run to beat them, even in the long run.
    (ALTERNATIVE VIEW)

    As I said earlier, the US has intentional compromised any advantages they had, prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Nearly everyone has it, and Iran is slowly learning it. We need to rearm --- and they know it. They also know how bad an invasion could go through the Exercise Positive Leap (1979/1980). The race is back on just to get us to a position we were in before the invasion.

    Already the US is rushing to sell arms all across the Middle East.

    Neither Israel or Saudi Arabia want to settle for parity. The Israelis need a decisive victory. They don't have the resource to exchange on a one-for-one parity scheme.

    Iran is not going to participate in the Arms Race. They are just going to intimidate and scare other to do it.

    The US Intelligence Community, in its ability to connect the dots, has not significantly improved in the forecast of future any better today, since the time before the 2003 OIF. Part of this is because the National Security Decision Making Process is broke, and part of it is a culture of military commitment (Group Thinking - Cloned). DOD cannot possibly admit that it is in trouble either in leadership or resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Published on June 7, 2010 by Mackenzie Eaglen
    President Barack Obamaís fiscal year (FY) 2011 defense budget request[1] would increase the defense topline by between 1 percent and 2 percent in real terms. However, even with this modest increase, the budget is still insufficient to pay the Pentagonís bills. In fact, the nationís defense plans have become so chronically underfunded that most defense analysts dismiss the out-year projections in the Pentagonís five-year budget plan as implausible.

    This will be the first of the post Iraq FYs in which the economic impact will begin to effect DOD capacity in real terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    Now, not only do they need to try to compete just for a minimum balance in the region but also stave off the reformers at home, both expensive in currency and world recognition. Not a chance.
    (COMMENT)

    While there is talk of reformers (and has been since I help in the evacuation and debriefing of Americans from Iran in the late 1970's), the Persian is no more valiant than the Iraqi pitted against Saddam. Yes, there are little tidal currents of descension in the population, it will not inspire any major change in the Islamic Republics goals. Remember, it is not the action and effort of a single country (Iran) that will cause the loss of the US Economic Hegemony and regional influences. Some of the adverse pressures will be self-inflicted (ie Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian commitments, the continuation in the policy of purchased allies, etc), some will be nursed by Iran, and some will be an unintended consequences of the growth in China & India; as well as Brazil.

    To defeat an Army, you need only arrest the economy - that drives it - to the point it cannot deploy. You don't actually have to defeat it on the battlefield.

    Most Respectfully,
    R

  8. #68
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 May 05
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA.
    Posts
    14,728
    To defeat an Army, you need only arrest the economy - that drives it - to the point it cannot deploy. You don't actually have to defeat it on the battlefield.

    *Yep, just choke its economy, which is why they want to negociate in the first place and then ............... IMO, They are half as smart as they think the regime is, Nor can face the US in any other tangible form. It's patehetic if you were to rule out politics.

    Guess whos gonna lose that fight. Thats outside of politics ofcoarse. And maybe within politics.

    It will all depend on how the administration percieves it.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 30 Oct 10, at 09:55.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  9. #69
    Contributor RoccoR's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Oct 10
    Location
    Reynoldsburg, OH USA
    Posts
    307
    Dreadnought, et al,

    Yes, you are most correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    Guess whos gonna lose that fight. Thats outside of politics ofcoarse. And maybe within politics.

    It will all depend on how the administration percieves it.
    (COMMENT)

    Yes, the "administration." I don't have particular faith in them. But that is another discussion on the National Security & Military Decision Making Processes.

    Most Respectfully,
    R

  10. #70
    Contributor
    Join Date
    13 Dec 06
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    348
    Moqtada's relationship with the Iranians, like Maliki's, is a complicated one.

    Moqtada, although a Shiite partisan, is also a firm Iraqi nationalist.

    If you assume that politicians currently backed by Iran are mere pawns, than you should expect to be surprised by future developments. The Iraqis are mostly Arabs, not Persians, and the religious affinity, while significant, by no means assures a future overlap of interests.

    Right now, I see the Iranians as trying to keep influence with several Iraqi factions, being themselves uncertain of whom to support, and how far to support them.

    The Syrian and Saudi diplomats have been working hard on Lebanese issues, with at least some success. This Saudi-Syrian conduit may prove useful in helping to achieve a regional modus vivendi with regard to Iraq, too, since the Syrians have good relations with Iran. The Egyptians will feel a bit excluded, but with Mubarak focused on the succession problem at home, I'm not sure Egypt is in a position to exert much influence in Iraq.

    All-round this isn't a bad situation from a US perspective. In a way Bush has remodelled the politics of Middle East--just not the way he thought he would. But the Arabs, Persians, and Turks are showing a lot more imagination and flexibility than anyone would have given them credit for just a decade ago.

    I approve in theory of the recent announced arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Intra-regional balancing should work just fine against a minor power like Iran which, even if equipped with a small nuclear arsenal, could never hope to exert any sort of "hegemony" in the region.

    However, I wonder if the implications of increased Saudi armament have really been thought through. What happens, for instance, when a popular revolution eventually happens in KSA, and some sort of Sunni fundamentalist regime duly takes power? Rather embarrassing, what?

  11. #71
    Contributor RoccoR's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Oct 10
    Location
    Reynoldsburg, OH USA
    Posts
    307
    et al,

    On a slightly different note...

    Don't you just love the way our democratization process has worked in Iraq.

    The Kurdish alliance is broken-up and:

    The nighttime attack targets a cafe popular with Shiite Kurds and may have been aimed at escalating religious and ethnic tensions in restive Diyala.
    (QUESTION)

    Now let's see: Who would have an interest in breaking-up the Kurdish Alliance in the bloc bid to form the new government?

    Most Respectfully,
    R

  12. #72
    Contributor RoccoR's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Oct 10
    Location
    Reynoldsburg, OH USA
    Posts
    307
    cape_royds, et al,

    Yes...

    Quote Originally Posted by cape_royds View Post
    Moqtada, although a Shiite partisan, is also a firm Iraqi nationalist.

    If you assume that politicians currently backed by Iran are mere pawns, than you should expect to be surprised by future developments. The Iraqis are mostly Arabs, not Persians, and the religious affinity, while significant, by no means assures a future overlap of interests.
    (COMMENT)

    I hope I am surprised. I look forward to the intrigue between the Islamic Government and its grasp on Moqtada al-Sadr. Given the potential for the development, it would be an opportunity for us to exploit and salvage a little something; in addition to being quite entertaining.

    Quote Originally Posted by cape_royds View Post
    Right now, I see the Iranians as trying to keep influence with several Iraqi factions, being themselves uncertain of whom to support, and how far to support them.
    (COMMENT)

    I concur to a degree. Certainly the have a narrow path to wake on fragile ground. But al-Sadr is not in Qom for his health (at least not entirely). In addition, the active clandestine elements have been busy. they are not taking anything for granted, but they are close to accomplishing their first objective, which was to undermine American Democratization efforts. We are going to have to make some serious payola to get this back on track.

    Quote Originally Posted by cape_royds View Post
    The Syrian and Saudi diplomats have been working hard on Lebanese issues, with at least some success. This Saudi-Syrian conduit may prove useful in helping to achieve a regional modus vivendi with regard to Iraq, too, since the Syrians have good relations with Iran. The Egyptians will feel a bit excluded, but with Mubarak focused on the succession problem at home, I'm not sure Egypt is in a position to exert much influence in Iraq.
    (COMMENT)

    I agree that the Saudi's are in a better position to intervene in the Lebanese issues. But it is going to take some fancy talking to get Iran to lighten-up on the Iraq front. In fact, I see our use of the US-Saudi--Syrian connection as a possible sign of weakness and just make the Iranians press harder. On very close inspection, I don't have very much faith in our Foreign Service careerist for any delicate work. The current generation of leaders, has not inspired me. They are rather pompous for the lack of solid performance they've demonstrated over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by cape_royds View Post
    All-round this isn't a bad situation from a US perspective. In a way Bush has remodelled the politics of Middle East--just not the way he thought he would. But the Arabs, Persians, and Turks are showing a lot more imagination and flexibility than anyone would have given them credit for just a decade ago.
    (COMMENT)

    WOW! I would like to hear more on this. Maybe I'm just old, but I am not satisfied with the state of affairs anywhere from the Mediterranean Coast to the Persian Gulf.

    Maybe you could give me some insight. I would like to see the positive side.


    Quote Originally Posted by cape_royds View Post
    I approve in theory of the recent announced arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Intra-regional balancing should work just fine against a minor power like Iran which, even if equipped with a small nuclear arsenal, could never hope to exert any sort of "hegemony" in the region.
    (COMMENT)

    I agree on two points.

    • The arming of Saudi Arabia is not going to hurt the US. But I don't count on the Royal Family to act in our behalf.
    • I am not so concerned with Iran and the potential for a strategic nuclear launch capability. It will be much more of a burden for them (politically and militarily) - than most can imagine. It might give some prestige, but it is a capability that they could never use without being burned to the ground.


    Quote Originally Posted by cape_royds View Post
    However, I wonder if the implications of increased Saudi armament have really been thought through. What happens, for instance, when a popular revolution eventually happens in KSA, and some sort of Sunni fundamentalist regime duly takes power? Rather embarrassing, what?
    (COMMENT)

    That threat potential will be faced somewhere. I don't see the danger from fundamentalist to Saudi Royals being more than to Pakistan (which is already a nuclear power). It is inevitable that a state sponsor of terrorist will eventually fall to fundamentalists. It is beyond our ability to stop now, and as a nation, we are getting weaker - not stronger. Our influence, not only in the region, but pretty much everywhere, has been seriously damaged. Our Diplomacy is compromised and our military force projection is weakened. We might have to come to grips with the reality that someone else is going to have the lead in the influencing regional stability.

    Most Respectfully,
    R

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. The Battle for Tora Bora
    By astralis in forum Operation Enduring Freedom and Af-Pak
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09 Jan 10,, 00:06
  2. UK gets Supreme Court
    By JAD_333 in forum International Politics
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 09 Oct 09,, 22:26
  3. Iraqi Troops in Push to Regain Control of Sadr City
    By Shek in forum The Middle East and North Africa
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 21 May 08,, 03:05
  4. Radical Iraqi Cleric Expands His Reach
    By Shek in forum The Middle East and North Africa
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 13 Mar 06,, 16:37
  5. Kerry Bad For America
    By KerryGoHome in forum American Politics & Economy
    Replies: 89
    Last Post: 04 Aug 04,, 22:34

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •