Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Why the US won't invade Iran

Juan Cole quotes Al-Hayat on why the U.S. won't invade Iran:

Another [Iranian official] joked that there was not need for the US to invade Iran. He said that the US had invaded Afghanistan and established an Islamic republic there. Then it had done the same thing in Iraq. Since Iran has had an Islamic republic for 27 years, he said, there really isn't a point in a US invasion.

It is a joke, but one with a large kernel of truth to it.

The Northern Alliance that the U.S. installed in Afghanistan is a coalition of the Sunni Jami'at-i Islami and the Hazara Shiite Hizb-i Vahdat. Those with long memories will remember that the Taliban were originally welcomed by the people of Afghanistan after they over-threw the Northern Alliance (around and around we go...) because they were more moderate.

In Iraq, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Da'wa Party, and the Sunni Iraqi Accord Front are the leading parties, and the new constitution forbids legislation contradicting Islamic law.

The biggest joke is that U.S. soldiers have died to put Osama bin Laden's spiritual brothers in power.

Thanks George!


Anonymous said...

AFAIK America's main problem with the Taliban is they refused to surrender Osama Bin Laden. If they'd rendered unto Caesar they'd probably still be in the news as America's newfound central Asian allies.

Vlad the Impala said...

The Guardian reported back in November 2001 that Prince Turki al-Faisal, former head of the Saudi Arabian secret service, claimed that the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar agreed three years ago to hand over Osama bin Laden, but changed his mind after US cruise missile attacks against Afghanistan.

The reality is that little effort was made by the U.S. to negotiate bin Laden's surrender. In the absense of any evidence (at the time at least) that bin Laden was involved, of course the Taliban refused to hand him over. Imagine if the tables were turned, and China declared that Dick Chaney had organised a terrible terrorist attack against Bejing -- wouldn't you expect the U.S.A. to demand serious evidence before handing Cheney over to the Chinese?

There is more evidence that the Taliban were prepared to hand over bin Laden, if asked, here.

In a nutshell: the Taliban wasn't stupid -- they knew that Osama bin Laden had become a liability, even before Sept 11, and were prepared to hand him over to the EU or kill him. But the Bush administration wasn't interested in capturing the perpetrator of a crime, they wanted an excuse to go to war -- and they didn't terribly care whether bin Laden was able to escape. As he did.