Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bush On Iran

I'm sure by now many of you have heard reviews of President Bush's speech to the nation about Iran, oops, I mean Iraq. People keep asking what is going to change in order for Iraq to become stable, so we can get out of there once and for all.

What I observed from the speech was that the U.S. and Iraqi forces will now have free reign to go after the Shiite death squads, namely the Mahdi army led by Muqtada al-Sadr. His militia reportedly consists of 17,000 fighters. Many of you remember the fierce battle of Najaf that took place in August 2004, when the U.S. was not allowed to go all out, this time, presumably we will be able to give it everything we've got.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that he is giving the green light to American and Iraqi forces. The good news about this is that we will have an opportunity to decimate this very dangerous militia. The bad news is that it leaves open the possibility for some pretty bad things to happen. First off, a confrontation with the very well-trained Mahdi army will lead to many casualties. But also we will be in confrontation with Iran. The mullahcratic regime funds Sadr and his militia, so it is no coincidence that the U.S. has sent several battle ships to the region within the last three weeks.

One thing that the Bush Administration has said throughout his tenure is that he will not leave problems for the next administration, as was previously done by the Clinton regime. What that means is that Bush will go all out these final two years of his tenure in Iraq and in the global "War On Terror."

I found it interesting that air strikes were ordered in Somalia last week. What happened guys? All of a sudden you realized Somalia was a haven for terrorists? Maybe you have been reading my blog.

Also, there were some major strikes dished out on some members of the mujahideen crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan, in which approximately 140 fighters were killed.

Apparently it has also been reported that Usama bin Laden and company are holed up in a part of Pakistan which has allowed them to regroup, presumably for new attacks against the U.S. and her interests. I expect Bush to find a way for the military to enter Pakistan to take out this pocket of terrorists; something that Bush has been reluctant to do because it would possibly endanger the dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf.

So that leaves North Korea? Do we have a policy with them? I don't know, but let's put it this way, I doubt Kim Jung Il will be wagging his finger at the U.S.A. any time soon.

But back to Iraq and Iran. The feeling is that with the increase of United States' soldiers, we would be able to hold al-Anbar province until the Iraqis are ready to sub in for us when they are ready. Local imams are cooperating in that region against al-Qaeda, so it looks reasonable that we can take control. But we can't leave as we have in the past which would allow UBL's boys to move right back in after we forced them out. The surge in troops is designed to keep out the "holy warriors."

My bigger concern is this: If we go all out against the Mahdi army, do we go into Mosques? Do we fire on Mosques? What if something accidentally happens? What if a member of al-Qaeda or the Mahdi army purposely blows up a mosque and makes it look as though the United States is responsible. The implications would be grave.

A similar tactic was undertaken when the now-deceased Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was behind the bombing of the Golden al-Askari Mosque (built in 1905) in Samarra' in February 2006; leaving the famous golden dome in ruins. The mosque contains the tombs of the tenth and eleventh imams, whom to Shiites were very holy men and are held in the highest regard. This further increased the anger toward the Sunnis and ultimately the Americans. It was definitely one of the darkest moments since we've been in Iraq.

There are many reasons I urge caution when dealing with Iran and Syria. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a Shiite in the same mold as the fiery Ayatollah Khomeini, believes that the 12th imam (in essence the Shiite messiah) will return this year and that his return can only be brought about by some apocalyptic event. When dealing with crazies like this, I hope our leaders have their thinking caps on and that the batteries are, in fact, working.

I disagree with Mr. Bush on many issues, but I believe that President Bush has it right in regards to the "War On Terror." There is so much at stake right now in Iraq. George W. Bush was right, expect a bloody year ahead, but pray that it ends soon and that it does not come to our shores.

No comments: