Throughout the battle of Iraq, it was clear that there could not be decent security there so long as the mullahs ruled in Tehran. They made no secret of their intention to drive us out and dominate Iraq. Indeed, top Iranian leaders, as well as Syrian dictator Bashir Assad, made public announcements that once we had brought down Saddam Hussein, it would be their turn, and they would use the same methods that had driven us out of Lebanon in the mid-1980s.
To that end, the Iranian regime provoked all manner of violence, from tribal to ethnic, because they believed they were better able to operate in chaos. In these bloody conflicts, the Iranians sometimes supported both sides. They backed al Qaeda (Abu Musab Zarqawi, the head of al Qaeda in Iraq, worked for years out of a Tehran base) and they backed Shi’ite terrorists like Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army.
This strategy was very difficult for us to comprehend, because it wasn’t possible to simply pick one side and support it. The same holds true in Syria: Iran supports pro-and anti-Assad terror groups (I think this started as a scheme to acquire influence in any successor regime). Nor were we willing to acknowledge that Iran would continue to destabilize Iraq. As the slaughter in Syria got worse, it became ever more urgent for Iran to control Iraq. Why? Because if Assad fell, Hezbollah would either have to relocate or risk disintegration, and Iranian strategists, from Supreme Leader Khamenei on down, picked Iraq as Plan B.
We could have acted effectively in these battlefields; the best strategy was to support the tens of millions of Iranians who hate the regime. But President Obama and his people do not want that. They act as if they want the Iranian regime to win, the latest evidence being the squeals of delight about possible “strategic cooperation” with the mullahs, our most openly hostile enemies.
It is folly to expect real cooperation from the Iranians. They think they are winning on every front (they aren’t; they are at mortal risk from their own citizens), and that Obama will never do anything to thwart them (this rings true). So they won’t do anything to improve our standing or national security. They will just continue to work for our destruction and domination.
Why does this appeal so much to the Obama administration?
image illustration via shutterstock / Filip Bjorkman