Features

Forget Geneva: the real US-Iran carve-up is happening in Iraq

21 March 2015

9:00 AM

21 March 2015

9:00 AM

 Washington DC and Iraq

 

We stood on a bleak hillside in eastern Iraq looking at a makeshift grave. It held a dozen Shia Arabs, according to the Kurdish troops escorting us. The dead were men, women and children murdered by fighters from the so-called Islamic State as they retreated, said the Kurds. We stepped gingerly around scraps of women’s clothing and a bone poking out through the dirt. In the town on the dusty plain below, Shi’ite militias were busy taking revenge on Sunnis, our escorts said, looting and killing. The town’s Sunni Arab population had fled to a miserable camp. Streams of sewage ran between their tents. But they wouldn’t go home, they said, until the militias left, replaced by the army.

They may be there a while. The Iraqi army is weak and the government continues to rely on Shi’ite militias paid for and ultimately directed by Iran.

So the United States, despite its considerable military resources in Iraq, did not join the current assault on Isis in the Sunni town of Tikrit. Perhaps US officials were nervous about a militia leader’s description of the offensive as ‘revenge for Speicher’, referring to the old US base where Isis lined up hundreds — perhaps as many as 1,700 — Shi’ite army recruits and shot them. At the time of writing, Tikrit has not quite fallen, but there are already disturbing reports — unverified, though all too plausible — of reprisals. One video posted on social media exerts a horrifying fascination for Sunnis, showing a man struggling to get up as he is felled with repeated blows from an axe.


Battling Isis, the US finds itself in a de facto alliance with the Shia militias, and by extension with Iran. The Iranian general commanding his country’s elite Quds force, Qassem Suleimani, stepped from the shadows for a photo op drinking tea on the front lines in Tikrit. One of the militias leading the assault, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, or League of the Righteous, is directly under the command of an Iranian. Al-Haq kidnapped five -Britons in 2007, four of whom died in captivity. It killed hundreds of US soldiers in Iraq with a lethal model of roadside bomb (allegedly) crafted in Iran. The US has to swallow this bitter pill because the alternative is the collapse of the Iraqi government. The Iranians may also have a free(er) hand in Iraq because President Obama seems to want above all to conclude a deal to limit Tehran’s nuclear programme.

That at least is the charge from US Republicans. Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, said the President was ‘begging for an agreement with Iran at all costs’. Only ‘a moron’ would negotiate with ‘a guy who cheated you twice before’, Mr Giuliani said in a speech. Republicans in the Senate went the other way, accusing Tehran of stupidity. Forty-seven senators wrote in gloriously condescending terms to tell the Iranians they ‘might not fully understand’ the US constitution. A professor of law at Harvard wrote to the Senate to say they might not fully understand the US constitution. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, came to Congress and called (it seemed to some) for Iran to be bombed. Reza Farahan of Shahs of Sunset, a reality show about Iranian-Americans in Beverly Hills, also called for Iran to be bombed.

Escaping the atmosphere of crude partisanship, I went to see Dr Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was US national security adviser during the Iran hostage crisis and is now high priest in the temple of foreign policy realism. Dr Brzezinski is a supporter of the President, though a sometimes critical one. In our meeting, for instance, he declared himself ‘utterly baffled’ that President Obama had announced ‘out of the blue’ that Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, had to go, without having a plan to achieve that outcome. Dr Brzezinski has long advocated talks with Iran. Those talks are now close to a deal to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment, making it a ‘threshold nuclear power’ rather than an actual nuclear power. Was it a good deal?

‘The deal is better than nothing, that’s for sure,’ he said, ‘and much better than the alternative that its extreme critics crave, which clearly is an excuse for a military solution.’ Dr Brzezinski still speaks with a slight Polish accent. The words come out in whole paragraphs, syntactically perfect; you can almost hear the semicolons. He was part of a Carter administration that tried and failed to negotiate with Iran. Could we trust the Iranians now? ‘If the Iranians are capable of perceiving their own interest clearly; and if they analyse the international situation rationally, they’re clearly better off in some sort of a deal,’ he said. ‘This is a country that has lived for 3,000 years. They are in no rush to commit suicide. They have a sense of self-interest.’

He went on: ‘Beyond that, in the background, is the fact that the urban society of Iran is changing. Every visitor who goes to Iran comes back struck by it: how quasi-western Iran is, at least as much as Turkey. Isn’t it in the interest of the West to create a situation in which, perhaps before too long, the radical clergy will be replaced and the political scene will change?’

Wishful thinking? If history is a guide, Dr Brzezinski does not balk at making the ‘tough calls’. When he was at the White House, he got the dreaded 3 a.m. phone call. Thirty seconds earlier, his military aide informed him, the Russians had launched 200 missiles. Dr Brzezinski gave the aide two minutes to double check. After that he would wake the President to give the order for retaliation. In the meantime, he calmly directed America’s Strategic Air Command to proceed to take off. ‘Within 28 minutes,’ he thought, ‘my wife, children, almost everyone I know will be dead.’ The aide rang back. Computer error. False alarm. ‘Don’t forget to call our bombers back,’ said Dr Brzezinski.

Today, he has no doubt, the US has the military capability to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities from the air: ‘After all, we prepared ourselves for a war with a much more potent antagonist than Iran. This is exactly why Israel wants to get us into that war. When I say Israel, I should really correct myself; I mean the extremist elements within Israel and particularly the prime minister.’ He continued: ‘I think Mr Netanyahu’s toying with the truth in his speech before the US congress indicates that he has his own special interests in mind — and to hell with ours.’ America’s interest, said Dr Brzezinski, lay in not ‘becoming engaged and probably bogged down in yet another conflict’ in the Middle East.

The nuclear deal being discussed this week is far from perfect, insofar as it allows Iran to enrich uranium at all. The Saudis have already declared their intention to match Iran centrifuge for centrifuge. And has Iran really given up the bomb? In recent memory, it lost hundreds of thousands of people in a war where Iraq, backed by the West, used chemical weapons. Things may look very different viewed from Tehran.

In Iraq today, the US and Iran have separate spheres of influence: the west of the country for the Americans; the east for the Iranians. At a cost in blood of the ethnic cleansing of Sunnis from eastern Iraq, Iran may get a zone of security on its border. It may feel less in need of a programme to develop the ultimate deterrent — a programme that might in turn provoke an Israeli–American strike. Such an attack would have far-reaching consequences in a region, as Dr Brzezinski puts it, already ‘in the process of spontaneous combustion’. If President Obama is right, the alternative — an increasingly moderate Iran brought back into the family of nations — may be one or two rounds of negotiations away. All it would take is an outbreak of rationality in the Middle East.

Paul Wood is a BBC Middle East correspondent.

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Show comments
  • Dan Disqus

    It is easy to be sat thousands of miles away and be judgemental about the Iraqis…Shia militia or Iran’s support of them…..
    The fact is when you see the atrocities being committed by Isis, which includes much of the “local sunnis” supporting Isil, it is understandable (not condoned) that human beings carry the natural rage and anger to the battle with them!

    We should also distinguish between “innocent sunni residence” and “Isil members who are inevitably mostly sunnis”! The former being innocent, the latter deserve whatever that is done to them!

  • English_Independence_Movement

    High time that area was divided along the lines of the Nations that exist in the minds of the people living there rather than the colonial legacy.

    • Richard

      I suspect they’re very much in the empire frame of mind in that neck of the woods…

    • Malcolm Stevas

      Love to see someone attempt that: probably a recipe for a few more centuries’ worth of bloodletting.

      • English_Independence_Movement

        Really? No more Sunni minority governments imposing their will on Shia majorities, with all the associated bloodletting? Sunni land in one part run by Sunni’s. Shia Land in another place run by Shia’s. Diplomats handling the relations between the two nations, rather than tribal rulers imposing hate on different tribes within their jurisdiction.

        • Malcolm Stevas

          Yes, yes, yes… I wrote “attempt it” – bring it about, make it happen. Do you think that might realistically be achieved within a reasonable time?
          Not that I care a great deal so long as the shambolic Arab/Islamic states of the Middle East don’t directly affect us.

        • Grace Ironwood

          Kurds.

    • Achmad Osman

      Fair comment – however, given the rifts and sectarian violence – something needs to give to move away from the British formed borders of the last century.
      The only way forward is to build a strong secular constitution with trade and human rights as a base.

  • Ivan Ewan

    I’ve read that, because of understandable American reluctance to put boots on the ground in Iraq against IS, it’s actually Hezbollah leading a lot of counter-IS armed units.

    Neither the Islamic State nor Iran should be allowed to hold Iraq. An uninterrupted belt of the Ayatollah’s direct or indirect rule, stretching from Tehran to Beirut, is absolutely unacceptable – at least, according to the principles of neo-conservatism. If we’re not into neo-conservatism, we should leave Iraq alone but also give Israel carte blanche to do whatever it takes to safeguard its survival.

    But for some reason, letting Arab states get drunk on endless proxy warfare is fine, but Israel even retaliating against terror in its own borders is just beyond the pale.

    • Cecilia73

      What borders? Israel doesn’t have borders.

      • Ivan Ewan

        Lolwut

      • Jaysonrex

        Actually Israel did have very clearly defined borders after World War I, were it not for the Brits to give away illegally 93% of its future territory to the Arabs in exchange for political and strategic advantages. This was when HM Government did not give a hood about the League of Nations, the Balfour Declaration and other international commitments.

        Presently, once ALL so-called “Palestinians” are repatriated to their ancestors’ lands – between Mecca, Medina and the middle of the Arabian Sea (this last, after having been taught how to swim, naturally) peace will return to Cisjordan, the actual borders of the state of Israel. In other words, “No Arabs No war”.

        Sorry for being so blunt but occasionally it is more than necessary to spell out the truth for those that don’t want to admit it.

        • Tom M

          “….were it not for the Brits to give away illegally 93% of its future territory to the Arabs….” That sentence would need a bit of explanation especially the “illegally” part I think.
          “….This was when HM Government did not give a hood (sic) about the League of Nations, the Balfour Declaration ….”
          Similar explanation required of that sentence. As far as international commitments go it was expressly because they gave a hoot about the Balfour Declaration that Britain got into trouble with the Arabs and the French over the divisions of the region.

        • Achmad Osman

          Wow – a blunt revisionist.

  • Iran Fail

    Clearly Iran’s mullahs have always coveted control over Iraq ever since the war
    with Saddam Hussein and now they are getting their wish. They exerted control over the puppet government of Nouri al-Maliki and helped create ISIS in the first place by bolstering Assad in Syria just at the critical moment when gas attacks almost ensured international attacks, but Iran rescued him and then spawned ISIS, giving Iran the excuse it needed to activate Shia militias and send in its Quds Force to effectively take over Iraq’s military. Iran recognized using the old maxim of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and turned the US-led effort against ISIS into an Iran-starring show. And now that Iran is all in, they are not getting out. They are fulfilling their dream of establishing a Shiite sphere of influence stretching from Lebanon through Hezbollah, through Syria and Iraq and down through Yemen in order to surround Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Gulf States. Iran is going to be that squatter you can’t get rid of because they’ll eventually turn into property owners…except these squatters have an army and soon nuclear weapons.

    • Grace Ironwood

      Broadly speaking, ISIS has been there all along. They just needed chaos and weakness to flower into their full glory.

  • Dave m

    To be clear. There might be just a bit of bias in the views of Reza Farahan.. Being a Jewish, gay, shah-ist ex Iranian. Not that there is anything wrong with the Jewish faith or sexual orientation, just think it would be hard for him not to have even a small axe to grind.. Presumably he doesn’t want any innocent Iranians killed by US bombs of course.

  • victor67

    What is unfolding in the ME could offer an opportunity for the US to move away from its alliance with the Saudi’s(the ideological bretheren of ISIS) and at least improve relations with Iran.

    Unfortunately the neo-con crazies and the Israel lobby would do all in their power to prevent this.

    The evidence shows that a strong Iran counters the US/ Israel domination of the region which is a source of instability.

    • such idiotic delusion is was sent the world into WWII…sadly Obama thinks like you though. The problem is this kind of thinking is has repercussions measured in millions of life.

      Liberalism is not just sick but extremley dangerous to the health of it’s carrier and to those affected by it.

      Iran is the world’s number one sponsor of Islamic terrorism against the West and you want to enter into the same bed with this mullahs? Pathetic and disgusting.
      Chamberlain once said, “there will be peace in our time” – Obama once said “I have full assurances that the Iran nuclear program is for peaceful energy reasons”

      I mean how did this blathering imbecile graduate from Havard?

      • victor67

        It was Dubya folly with his crusade in Iraq that has led to increased Iranian influence.
        As I said because we are controlled by the Israeli’s and the Saudi’s and this stops us having a coherent ME policy.

        • Mow_the_Grass

          Who’s the ‘we’ you referring to here ‘pal’
          Lil Britland??

          • victor67

            Pax Americana Britain does not have an independent foreign policy and the US ME policy is dictated by oil and Israel.

          • Infidelissima

            you are so 2003

          • Mow_the_Grass

            Your country’s Labour party has already voted to recognise the fictitious state of ‘palestine’
            Your current govt abstained recently on a vote in the UNSC.
            Britain unlike America – offers Israel very little support – but then from Israel’s point who the heck is lil britland anyhow.

          • albert pike

            “Britain unlike America – offers Israel very little support -”

            If it was for Britain Israel wouldn’t exist. And that support, which included fighting two world wars, and then policing Palestine so the zionists could prepare their army and take the country when the Brits moved out, cost Britain almost all it had.

          • Mow_the_Grass

            ‘And that support which included fighting two world wars……….’
            Listen ya dumb piece of brit detritus Israel came into being in ’48.
            WTF did lil britland fighting two wars in europe have anything whatsover with the state of Israel.
            Said this before – if you’re the best ‘n brightest in your little village/hamlet – you should be surgically neutered asap.
            ps. if i need anymore idiotic comments made by the village imbecile – i’ll know who to call

          • albert pike

            “WTF did lil britland fighting two wars in europe”

            I never realized Britain only fought in Europe.

            Sorry I thought they fought in the Middle East and then took Palestine at the end of the war. I thought that even though Britain was facing defeat in 1917 it turned down an offer to cease hostilities and chose to promise Palestine as jewish homeland to a bunch of Russian atheists and continue fighting the war.

            It just goes to show how effing misinformed someone like me can be.

            Did you know that the term ‘mowing the grass’ is the term used by Israeli military for their regular bombing campaigns on Gaza?

          • thomasaikenhead

            albert pike,

            His ignorance is truly staggering!

          • Mow_the_Grass

            Argue the point lil britisher dhimmi
            Lech l’hisdyn briti matoomtam

          • thomasaikenhead

            Difficult to argue with incoherent gibberish?

          • plainsdrifter

            Stick to shafting your cat.

          • albert pike

            the question is, is he willingly ignorant, or ignorantly ignorant.

            Given his prolific anti Islam posts, I’d guess he’s a paid Hasbara troll

          • thomasaikenhead

            albert,

            Yes indeed, the often betray themselves by their refusal to discuss the contents of the article or to engage in the discussion and debate that follow.

            Anyone who fails to follow a right-wing, Zionist, pro-Netanyahu line they are subjected to a tirade of vile personal abuse in a crude attempt to drive those with a different view away from the board.

            Several key phrases often appear as terms of abuse such as ‘Little Britisher’, anti-Semite, etc.

            One would almost believe that they are frightened by the ideas of others !

          • albert pike

            it’s history that frightens them

          • thomasaikenhead

            albert pike,

            Yes indeed, history does frighten them but also the present and the future too!

            As events have moved away from them in recent years and their insignificance, irrelevance and impotence are becoming clear to all, their response has been to become ever more extreme, shrill, hysterical and unpleasant!

            What is so fascinating is how ignorant they actually are about history!

          • thomasaikenhead

            Mow_the_Grass,

            Your comment gives everyone a wonderful insight into who you really are!

        • Infidelissima

          and don’t you forget who won the last crusades, dhimmi

      • alexw

        Flat out wrong. Iran in terms of the islamic religion is quite moderate. You don’t see Iranian suicide bombers blowing up schools as you do Pakistani ones in Pakistan. It is the wahabi form of islam exported by saudi arabia via it’s oil money that has done the damage. They set up religious schools in Pakistan, Afghanistan and across much of the region. It is from these schools the taliban arose.

        It is an intolerant, fundamentalist and strict form of Islam, and it’s spread has sowed the cultural seeds that have now flowered into ISIS and the like. This could not have happened without the protection of Saudi Arabia by the US for the last 40 years, and it’s turning of a blind eye to the exporting of this fundamentalist form of Islam.

      • victor67

        Iran is demonized only because it is the State in the region that can challenge US/Israeli power. Its got nothing to do with the nature of the regime. If it were so we would be bombing the hell out of the House of Saud.

        • Infidelissima

          Iran can not even challenge a hamster!
          If Israel wanted to, Tehran would be dust by now.

          Arabs/Muslims should thank Israelis everyday that the latter show more humanity and compassion to their worst enemies, than muslims show each other.

          • victor67

            Sure but committing nuclear armagedon might just have some blow back if you know what I mean.
            Iran is the only powerful state that does not take its orders from Washington. Hence all the wind and p-ss from Bibi and his puppets on the beltway.

          • thomasaikenhead

            “If Israel wanted to, Tehran would be dust by now.”

            Simply not true, Israel is not capable of launching an effective military attack on Iran OR Iranian nuclear assets.

            Remember, the stories of Purim are not true, Israel cannot save itself by launching a pre-emptive strike against imagined enemies!

          • Jaysonrex

            Actually, Israel can do anything it needs to in order to avoid “good” Christians from killing Jews as they did for 1700 years under the holy orientation of the Popes and other so-called believers in Jesus, the Jewish Son of God. Don’t you think so? Or do you prefer not to think?

          • thomasaikenhead

            Jayson,

            The reality is that Israel CANNOT do ‘anything it needs’ because actions have consequences and that is a harsh lesson that Netanyahu and Israel will have to painfully learn as his behaviour and the policies that the country have followed in recent years start to catch up with them!

            Israel is now diplomatically and politically isolated as never before and the P%+1 group, the EU and even the US are now reviewing their links with Israel and will act accordingly.

            The chickens are coming home to roost for Bibi!

      • albert pike

        “Iran is the world’s number one sponsor of Islamic terrorism against the West”

        So the 911 hijackers were Iranian?

        Iran helps resistance movements ie. those resisting Israel’s expansion and its brutal response to those who do not want to give up their land.

        • Jaysonrex

          Dear “albert pike”,
          Since you seem to love “Palestinians” so very much, you can either join Hamas and fight the Israelis (like a courageous Christian would do) or you can take a couple of “Palestinians” home with you to live ‘in peace’ with your family (if you have any). It is your honest choice.

          • albert pike

            which would you prefer Jayson?

      • bengeo

        What is your definition of Liberalism?

    • Grace Ironwood

      “The evidence shows that a strong Iran counters the US/ Israel domination of the region which is a source of instability”

      Sorry, what evidence is that ?

      • victor67

        Where to begin. Two Iraq wars, Support for the Wahabi House of Saud, Israel’s colonizing and expulsion project, Libya is that okay for starters?

        • Infidelissima

          ‘Israel’s colonising..’

          Israel holds 0.2% of the entire Middle eastern land mass, arabs hold 99.8% – pesky expansionist Israelis

          meanwhile Europe is islamifying as we speak, Britain alone has over 2,000 mosques, yet only 5% muslims, Sweden, Belgium, are done. Holland, France, Britain, not far behind.

          who is colonising whom?

          • victor67

            Didn’t you listen to Bibi the greater Israel project is full steam ahead.
            Lets have one person one vote and end discrimination.

          • albert pike

            “Israel holds 0.2% of the entire Middle eastern land mass,”

            Even cancers start from nothing.

            What is important is that Israel is expanding and shows no signs of wanting to stop. Given that it wants all the land between the Euphrates and the Nile, we are not likely to see it stop anytime soon.

          • Kit Ingoldby

            If that were true, Israel would not have withdrawn from the Sinai, it would not have withdrawn from Gaza, it would not have withdrawn from parts of the West Bank.

            So, it is not true, more pertinently, it is so obviously not true that you are either a bare faced liar or a fantasist moron.

          • albert pike

            “If that were true, Israel would not have withdrawn from the Sinai, it
            would not have withdrawn from Gaza, it would not have withdrawn from
            parts of the West Bank”

            Besides the fact, Gaza’s water is toxic and not fit for human consumption and that with Murbarak’s and now Sisi’s help Israel has turned it into the world’s largest concentration camp, or that there was not enough water in the Sinai to encourage settlements when Israel returned it to Egypt – or the fantastic deal it got for doing so – when a fisherman has hooked a fish and lets out more line, it’s because he wants to let the fish go, is it?

            which parts of the West Bank has Israel withdrawn from?

          • Kit Ingoldby

            So, you admit that Israel has withdrawn from large territories rather than advancing as you dishonestly claimed.

            I note that you try to hide your admission of error with a fog of obfuscation and an attempt to change the subject. More evidence that you are dishonest.

          • albert pike

            I said there was a reason Israel returned the Sinai. It has not withdrawn from Gaza as it still controls borders, air space and territorial waters.

            which parts of the West Bank has Israel withdrawn from?

          • Jaysonrex

            “albert pike”
            When did you last take your anti-psychotic medicine prescribed by your doctor? If you don’t follow doctor’s orders, your family might be forced to place you in a mental hospital – maybe in West Bank or Gaza where “Palestinian” doctors will take good care of you.

          • albert pike

            I take it you don’t know which parts of the West Bank Israel has withdrawn from either Jayson.

            Perhaps the other poster is referring to a return to Israel after assassinating or kidnapping a Palestinian in the West Bank an a withdrawal.

          • Jaysonrex

            You mean Christian anti-Semitic cancer?

          • albert pike

            No I mean the zionist cancer. Are you illiterate?

    • Infidelissima

      the random ramblings of a cretin
      the US and Israel have not seen eye to eye since 2008
      every single decision Obama has taken in the region, Israel warned him against

      If Israel ‘dominates’ anything, then it’s because her surrounding neighbours have been so shockingly aggressive and self destructive, that they only have themselves to blame for weakening: when you turn your own countries into dust and displace millions and millions of your own people, while killing hundreds of thousands each year, you’re not going to ‘dominate’ anything

      • victor67

        Just a little personal spat between leaders.
        The big stuff does not alter.
        Vetoing UN resolutions when International law is broken.
        Resupplying the IDF last year with the slaughter in Gaza..

        Continued denial of the nuclear weapons.

        Israel consistently ignores US foreign policy regarding settlements but there are never sanctions.
        The joke that the US congress is Israeli occupied territory is not far off the mark.

  • jack

    There’s a youth bulge happening in Iran right now. Revolutions usually occur when there’s a disproportionate amount of young people. Atheism is sweeping across Iran according to the news site Baztab with young Iranians leaving the mosques in “droves”.

    Iran is a great country, and the Persian people are also great. They have an incredible history, culture and civilization.

    • Kit Ingoldby

      Actually, Iran is experiencing a collapse in the birth rate and a severe lack of young people.

      • Richard Baranov

        May I ask your source for that? Because I understand that the birth rate has remained more or less constant since 2010.

        • Kit Ingoldby

          Here is a source. I presume you understand how to read a population pyramid? Note the rapid decline in the numbers of teenagers and children in comparison with adults.
          http://populationpyramid.net/iran-islamic-republic-of/

          • Richard Baranov

            Thank you Kit 🙂

  • Malcolm Stevas

    I always had a lot of time for Dr Brzezinski. I recall a fascinating, stimulating piece he wrote for Encounter many years ago, explaining that much of our difficulty in understanding the Russians stemmed from our mistakenly thinking of them as Europeans when their history drew much from the Oriental tradition of despotism.
    Not wholly sure he’s right about Israel. But it might be a mistake to imagine that country wouldn’t have the chutzpah to go after Iran on its own…

  • Grace Ironwood

    Iran’s building nuclear bombs because it’s in fear of powerful, aggressive Iraq?
    Who knew ?

  • Gerschwin

    US-Iran carve up or Saudi-Iran carve up?

  • Liberty

    If the US had taken Israel’s advice during the second Iraq war we would not be in this situation; Israel said don’t invade unless you build a barrier – whatever the cost – between Iran and Iraq or else Iran will infiltrate and cancel out all gains. The US said that it is would be good if Iran gets involved because they will see the good things the US is doing and want some of it for themselves. As we know, Iran not only enabled AQ et al to bomb and slaughter away all gains they got Syria to do the same.

  • Kit Ingoldby

    Hmmm, so Muslims who hate us are fighting Muslims who hate us. And we should care…….

    Iran hates us and lies and lies and breaks all promises and agreements as it goes all out to build nuclear weapons. And we should trust them and reward them for making more promises and agreements…….

    And a BBC correspondent is respectfully quoting a foreign policy adviser for the Carter administration, the administration with the worst foreign policy record in history……

    Good grief.

  • bengeo

    Anyone know how big Gaza is?

    5 miles by 25 miles.

  • Jaysonrex

    Islam proved time and again to be a peaceful religion. A very peaceful religion. Anyone that dares to say otherwise will be … decapitated.
    The president of U.S., ex Muslim Mr. B. Hussein Obama, is confused: should he respect the tradition he was brought up in or the one he claims he was converted to?
    Being thousands of miles away from the Middle East, Africa and East Asia makes a correct evaluation quite difficult. In order to reduce the risk of being wrong, again, we should let Muslims take care of their own affairs by themselves without any outside interference. (The only exception is when some of them try to impose Sharia upon us just because we believe that Muhammad the Pedophile Prophet was a fraud.)
    As far as Israel is concerned, I must admit that it is the only country that truly knows how to deal with Islam. So maybe the West should listen to professionals rather than the endless amateurs that claim to know everything when in fact they know nothing.

  • PerePourEpaterLesAutres

    People come back impressed by how “westernized” Iran is? Hitler’s Germany was pretty westernized too. Is Carter’s Pole mad enough to think it is better to legitimately allow Iran the bomb within 11 years, say, rather than stop it by bombing intervention? That that deal is better than none? And does Brzezinski believe that the regime in power then will still be as “moderate” as the current death-to-America-&-Israel lot? And what does “rational” self-interest mean to people who believe that nuking Israel earns a get into heaven free card? Does Brzezinski think nobody in Iran could possibly be a believing Muslim because it would be contrary to his notion of “rational” self-interest?

  • Achmad Osman

    History will judge Obama as a president that is his own man. Surrounded by hawks, insulted by the Israeli PM, he has brought intelligence to the White House which we have not seen for some time.
    His next act should be to get a coalition of peace-keepers to prevent the blood-letting that the retreat of ISIS will cause. Outside forces (possible led by the Gulf states) are critical to ensure that a cycle of tit-for-tat killings are avoided.
    Neutral forces are required in order to de-escalate the violence in that territory.

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