Sunday, October 01, 2006
Washington knows no gratitude. Having assisted the US occupation of Afghanistan, the Iranian government now holds Iraq together in a way that the US cannot. The Pentagon, relying on the ignorance of reporters, asserts that Iran is supplying an inexact figure of "millions" of dollars to the Mahdi Army. If this were true, then the Mahdi Army, which now has hundreds of thousands of fighters according to a recent report by Chatham House, would be being paid by Iran to hold back: although most Shiites now back resistance attacks on US troops, the Mahdi Army has not engaged in a widespread guerilla campaign despite odd clashes such as the recent one in Diwaniya. What is more, Iran's real auxiliaries, the SCIRI, have accomodated the occupiers from day one and continue to try to channel popular energies into a dead-end federalist Iraq, likely to lead to massive ethnic cleansing if they are successful. Had it not been for the deliberately restraining influence of Iran, the US may well have lost the rest of the country besides the Anbar region by now.