ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | Dismembering Iraq

Dismembering Iraq

28 November 2006

By Yisrael Ne’eman

Over the past month both Iraq and Lebanon moved closer to disintegration. In Lebanon the situation is more complex and has not yet reached the boiling point while in Iraq it is a straight forward civil conflict moving into a civil war. The Sunni – Shi’ite slaughter continues and can be expected to grow worse. Neither the Anglo-American presence nor attempts by PM Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s government and the Iraqi security forces will glue that country back together. Both Syria and Iran intend to be part of the “solution” in the post Anglo-American era. As far as they are concerned, the more violent the conflict, the better, as Washington and London are the big losers groping for a way out while the Damascus-Tehran axis waits for a invitation to take their place.

The newly established “Iraq Study Group” led by former Sec. of State James Baker (under Pres. George Bush Sr.) is expected to recommend engaging in a dialogue with the Syrians and Iranians to reduce tensions in the Middle East. Both will make demands of the US; Syria will expect American pressure on Israel to relinquish the Golan and Iran will make it clear that its nuclear program will continue. The two can also be expected to line up to demand a Syrian influenced, Shi’ite – Hezbollah dominated Lebanon. As for Iraq, the Iranian dream of unifying a revolutionary Shi’ite empire certainly begins with the annexation or at least the recognition of its manifest rights to overall influence in eastern, Shi’ite dominated Iraq. Syria would certainly like to follow suit by dominating western Sunni Iraq in one form or another. It will make little difference whether America negotiates or not, since Washington wants “out” while Assad and Ahmedinejad want “in”. It is here that the “sacred” borders of the Iraqi nation state will collapse under Middle Eastern realities.

It is only a question of time, which is in direct relation to the level of violence. The more violence, the quicker the Allies will be forced to leave. Syria and Iran will support the insurgencies (yes – all of them) to guarantee maximum chaos, until they will be invited in or decide on a pretext to send their armies to “restore law and order”. This can be expected to be done with the maximum of force necessary and all can rest assured that few in the West will have a word of criticism. Hence Iraq may very well be dismembered and quite possibly so to the satisfaction of many in the Arab/Moslem world. Certainly should the violence be snuffed out and some sort of stability restored, the Iranian-Syrian alliance will be hailed by many as the best alternative to both Saddam Hussein and/or the Anglo-American experiment in democracy.

Once digesting their acquisitions, logic dictates that Damascus and Tehran turn to more interesting prey such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States in their quest for oil and regional dominance.