First, the U.S. could never under the current circumstances in Iraq fully withdraw all its troops as long as Iran continues to run interference in Iraqi domestic affairs. A premature US withdrawal for all intents and purposes would be handing the country over to the Iranians.
So the solution is to get the Iranians out of Iraq first. Ah yes, but how? The ayatollahs would never let go of the country now that they have their grips into it. The ayatollahs certainly wouldn’t but what if there was a regime change in the country? And what is the best way to bring about a change of regime in Iran?
One school of thought believes that if Israel were to attack Iran’s suspected nuclear facilities, it could accelerate the downfall of the current government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
That is, if all goes according to plan.
Now, let’s take it a step further: With the ayatollahs out of the picture, so to speak, then the setting in neighboring Iraq becomes drastically changed with Iraqis no longer having to worry about outside intervention from their neighbor. Once a strengthened Iraqi security force is able to get a grasp on the security situation in the country, then American troops would be able to redeploy out of the country.
But before Israel can launch a war against Iran and still garner international public support, there needs to be a good reason for it. It has to be a “just war” in the eyes of the general public.
And how is that achieved? The answer to that question is found at the beginning of the buildup for war against Iraq.
As you will recall, the reason for the invasion of Iraq was to find Saddam
Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, which as we all recall, were never found.
Yet it was a “known fact” that Iraq had WMDs. So where did they disappear to?
One day Iraq had massive amounts of WMDs and the next day none could be found. All the suspected sites were abandoned and all the evidence had vanished.
At about the same time that Iraq was liberated from Saddam’s tyranny by US forces, reports began to surface regarding Iran’s rapidly developing program to produce weapons of mass destruction.
Now here are some points to remember:
One: If Saddam did have nukes, where are they? It’s not as though American forces did not search for them. They had detailed intelligence of the neighborhoods, street names, house numbers, and even down to the rooms where these WMDs were supposedly located.
Two: If Saddam did have nukes and knew he was going to be beaten and occupied by the Americans, and also knew he could never use his nukes against the US, he would have gotten rid of them. If so, where did they go?
Three: Saddam hated the Iranians but his hatred of Americans dwarfed his hate of Iranians. The only way he could have gotten rid of his WMDs as the US invasion began was to offer them to the Iranians or perhaps to the Syrians.
Preposterous, you say? Think again.
Saddam did send his air force, mostly MiG 29s to Iran in 1990-91, after his invasion of Kuwait. There is therefore a precedent. And according to intelligence reports at the time scores of trucks were reported to have left Iraq for Syria.
So today’s battle plans call for attacking Iran in order to get rid of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear threat. At the same time this would finally resolve the issue of Saddam’s missing WMDs, thus closing the chapter on the Iraq war.
The end result of sanctioning an attack by Israel against the Islamic Republic, it is believed in some circles, will encourage the people of Iran to rise up against the regime and install a democratic form of government.
That is wishful thinking as the opposite is more likely to occur. The Iranian people are more apt to unite around their government in a time of crisis.
There is also a school of thought that believes an attack against Iran, if all were to go well, would have a positive trickle-down effect on Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.
It would eliminate Iran’s meddling in the internal affairs of all these countries and could help settle many of the region’s problems. But that is only if all goes according to plan. If history can serve as a guide, things rarely do.
Just look at Iraq.
By. Claude Salhani for OilPrice.com
Claude Salhani is a political analyst based in Washington. He specializes in Middle East affairs and terrorism.