Teheran Victory and NIE Assumptions

Training Iraqi insurgents? Check.
Providing military hardware? Check.
Giving cover to Shi’ite extremists when folks come a’knockin’ at their door? Yup.
Nuke-u-lar bomb makers? Sez who?

The National Intelligence Estimate, released yesterday, provided fodder for almost every point of view in the Iran discussion. Almost all these compass points, however, are belaboring under self-imposed delusions.

The President and his sycophants showcased it as a success of their pressure, even though National Intelligence Estimate dates Iran’s cessation of activities to 2003, when the biggest threat was not a direct one to Iran, but a ‘flinch,’ in all probability, to the invasion of Iraq. I guess technically Bush is correct — but we can’t be in a constant state of war with Iran’s neighbors to expect good behavior from them.

Iran, of course, heralded this as a victory against the United States. But they probably heralded the insane Omaha mall killer as a strike against fascist Amerika, so his pronouncements are probably not worth heralding. This is also a great coup for them on the military front, since it deflects, in the fickle, ADD media world, Iran’s huge investment in destabilizing Afghanistan and arming and training Iraqi militants. So long as it’s not nuclear, it doesn’t count!

Bloggers, always keen to have fun, have added this to the list of reasons not to live in America. Silly, but accurate as far as it goes. America is imponderably puzzling to non-residents; it’s local, State and Federal laws ebbing, flowing and conflicting in an amazing, unpredictable rhythm.

Serious analysts have bemoaned America’s foreign policy towards Iran since before the uprising against the Shah. They are right in their plaints; Iran has been interfered with as long as every other country in the Middle East: since the fall of the Ottoman Empire to the Infidel British.

The reality is that Iran is playing the spoiler in many fronts: Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Where it can’t win, it can disrupt. Where it can’t disrupt, it can foment. And it will not change its stripes until the people, heretofore subdued, subjugated and scared into silence, raise their democratic voices and bring reason and logic, for which Persians have been known for millenia, back to their part of the Middle East.