Spoil the Dividers
No links, since those are all on my home machine, but I collected a few weekend stories and opinions claiming we should first topple Saddam, then take on the theothugocracy in Iran. I still argue we need to do things the other way around. Let’s take a look at Iran.
Iran’s population is at the simmer level of another revolution. You’ve read the stories of the pro-freedom (pro-American, even!) soccer riots. You know about all the secret satilite dishes so they can watch our TV. Their population is young, so young most don’t remember the Shah now. Oh, and beleive it or not, Iranians do have experience with democracy. Not in any form we’d recognize, but they make much better prospects as members of the free world than the Iraqis or even the Kuwaitis. All we have to do is turn up the heat a little to bring that simmer to a boil.
Just one good push and the Iranian government will be tossed out into the street — and the tossing will be done by the “Persian Street.”
Which would give us one less very serious worry in the campaign against Iraq.
Now let’s look at the Iraq side. Iraq is the most primitive of barbarian thugocracies. Without Saddam’s terror to hold the place together, you’ve got Kurds in the north who want independence (a headache for our Turk allies — a headache we need to help spare them), Sunnis in the middle who are used to murderously running the show, and Shiites down south who would love to join their theocratic Iranian brothers. Better the tyrant more like yourself.
But wouldn’t it be better for Iraq’s Shiites to be looking to a democratic Iran, if the country can’t be kept intact? Wouldn’t it be easier for us to have Iranians we can lean on first, now that we can’t trust the Saudis? And southern Iraq going to Iran with our blessings would make it easier for us to give oil-rich Mosul to the Turks. (With Kurdish autonomy as a condition, of course.)
And the Sunni center of Iraq will get Marshall Planned.
Iran, then Iraq. It might not happen that way, but I think it makes the most sense.