Well today's news is mind-blowing. Iran told the visiting Iraqi Prime Minister that the entire reason that there country is having problems is the "foreign forces that are in it." Well I'm glad he cleared that up for me, I was under the mistaken illusion that it was Al-Qaeda, various other insurgents, and Iranian trained, backed, and supported militias. I can't imagine what I was thinking. Oh, wait, that wasn't an illusion.
Below is an excerpt from the the NY Times Article about it, the link is at the bottom of the post.
Iran's supreme leader told Iraq’s visiting prime minister on Monday that the American forces in Iraq are the biggest obstacle to Iraqi stability.
The message from the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was the most authoritative public word to date on Iran’s objections to long-term security agreements currently under negotiation between the Bush administration and the government of Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
The American military has been operating in Iraq under a United Nations mandate that has been renewed annually. The current pact Dec. 31, 2008.
“The most fundamental problem of Iraq is the presence of the foreign forces,” Ayatollah Khamenei told Mr. Maliki, according to excerpts of their meeting reported by the Iranian Students News Agency.
“The Iraqi government, Parliament and all the authorities who have been elected with public vote should take charge,” the ayatollah said.
Iranian officials strongly oppose the American military presence in Iraq, which they consider a major threat on their border. Yet it was the American-led effort that overthrew their hated enemy Saddam Hussein and brought about a coalition government in Baghdad dominated by Shiite political leaders, including Mr. Maliki, with strong ties to Iran.
The most surprising part of this comment is that Iran and Iraq were bitter enemies. They fought a long and extremely costly war, and then engaged in a semi cold war for years. So the question becomes why would you be mad when your neighbor gets rid of a brutal totalitarian regime for a democratic style of government? And, moreover, why would you try to destroy that democratic style of government by funding, supporting, and backing the insurgency in that country?
In all honesty, the answer is quite simple. When you, yourself are a totalitarian regime you don't want democratic governments on your borders. Iran now has two, Iraq and Afghanistan. Make no mistake, the Iranians are up to no good in Afghanistan as well. The same tricks and ploys that they are attempting to pull in Iraq are also feeding into the insurgency in Afghanistan. The problem for all totalitarian regimes is that when your neighbors are democratic and people have rights, your own people can see that. It serves as a catalyst to them asking the question, "Why do I have to live like this?" Then the answer is, "I can do something about this, I can change the way I live, just look at Iraq". That is the entire crux of this problem. The complete insecurities of another brutal totalitarian regime that keeps people in line with force and coercion and now sees the writing on the wall that it is no longer a valid state and fears for its own existence.
Iran has another large problem, their youth. Currently over 50% of their population is under the age of thirty. These young people enjoy the internet and western culture. They are far from ignorant and can imagine what it is like to live in the free society they see springing up around them. It was these very same students and young professionals that led various demonstrations in years past calling for reform. The Iranian Government's only way now of dealing with them is trying to find a large external enemy to point to as a threat, and to keep them in line through use of force and threat of force and imprisonment. This problem is their worst fear, and as the ruling members of government grow older, they will have to deal with this problem; and they are scared.
Finally, Iran has been snubbing its nose at the international community for a little over four years concerning its nuclear program. While the United States is half a world away, there is a small buffer of security that they feel safe in. But, with almost 175,000 US troops within a short aircraft flight, I am sure that they are a bit more worried. So what do you do? You fund and equip terrorist elements to try to destabilize your neighbors. You train these militias in being more effective at suicide attacks and blowing up convoys. In short, you train them to kill American and Iraqi soldiers, and civilians. I must say, not a very neighborly thing to do, more so the actions of a scared regime that has seen its day and now sees its own future crumbling in front of it.
The Iranian people are a proud and accomplished society. Their history is one of the oldest in the world and one of the most interesting and wonderful. It is time that they remember who they are, and deal with the totalitarian dictators that are oppressing them and rejoin the world community as an upstanding member of it.
God Bless America
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