Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq
Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.
"Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it's a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces," a senior US official in Baghdad warned. "They [Iran] are behind a lot of high-profile attacks meant to undermine US will and British will, such as the rocket attacks on Basra palace and the Green Zone [in Baghdad]. The attacks are directed by the Revolutionary Guard who are connected right to the top [of the Iranian government]."
The official said US commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive, linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran's Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat. "We expect that al-Qaida and Iran will both attempt to increase the propaganda and increase the violence prior to Petraeus's report in September [when the US commander General David Petraeus will report to Congress on President George Bush's controversial, six-month security "surge" of 30,000 troop reinforcements]," the official said.
Not a pleasant prospect, eh? But that's not the really scary part. Check this out:
But if Iran succeeded in "prematurely" driving US and British forces out of Iraq, the likely result would be a "colossal humanitarian disaster" and possible regional war drawing in the Sunni Arab Gulf states, Syria and Turkey, he said.
That regional war is the sticking point here. In spite of what we are constantly being told, this is not Vietnam. When we pulled out of Vietnam, millions died. But for all the tragedy, we just sat here fat, dumb, and stupid, protected by our precious oceans from the carnage that resulted from our failure there.
If we run from Iraq, we won't be as lucky. Iraq sits in the middle of oil central. It ranks second to Saudi Arabia in known oil reserves. Saudi Arabia, of course, is right next door. A regional war would threaten the oil supply of the industrialized world. You think $3 (or more) a gallon for gas is a lot? Just wait till the entire Persian Gulf erupts into chaos. That $3 a gallon price tag will seem like a pleasant memory. We can blather on all day long about "fuel conservation" and "alternative energy," but oil is the lifeblood of the global economy. Regardless of what we do, this will remain true for at least the next two decades.
The bottom line is this: WE WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH IRAQ SOONER OR LATER. THE LONGER WE WAIT, THE HARDER IT WILL BE. We failed to back the 1991 uprising, and now we're paying the price for kicking that can down the road. What will it cost us to stop a regional conflagration a few years from now? Just like with gasoline, the price we're paying today will seem like a pleasant memory.
We have a job to do in Iraq. It isn't easy, and it only promises to get harder if we put off doing it. It's time we stop listening to the wishful-thinkers and the political snake oil salesman, and get the job done.