Friday, February 16, 2007

Coyness Is Nice, and Coyness Can Stop You

One of McClatchey's Iraqi bloggers, Dulai, raises an interesting point that I seriously doubt has made much of an impact on the Kristol's and Ledeen's of the world - those who are doing their best to steer the US into military confrontation with Iran:

I wonder if the U.S. government has ever asked the Iraqi government the following question:

If the war started between U.S. and Iran, on which side the Iraqi government will be?

Please notice that the prime minister and the majority of the current Iraqi government were exiles before the U.S. led invasion in 2003 and if it wasn’t the U.S. these guys will be outside the country.

What do you think their answer will be?

Please remember the Iraqi government is an Islamic government led by Islamist[s]. Many of them were living in Iran for more than 25 years.

Many members of the current Iraqi government prefer to speak to you in Persian rather than Arabic.

Now can you imagine on which side they will prefer to be.

I know it sounds glib, but I can't help but get the image of those two animated Guinness ad campaign spokesmen out of my head: "Ask the predominately Shiite Iraqi government - whose officials spent years in exile in Iran - which side it would be on before attacking Iran"...Brilliant!"

Maybe we should ask TFSGOTFOTE to look into it for us?

By the way, Ken Silverstein at Harpers is putting together a three part series on the brewing confrontation with Iran. Parts One and Two are already available (highly recommended). In Part One, Bahman Baktiari provides some clues as to what kind of answer the Bush administration might get from the Iraqi government:

If the United States attacks Iran, the consequences would be disastrous. It would produce a wave of patriotic solidarity with the theocratic regime in Iran, even among those young Iranians who are fiercely critical of the mullahs, and another tidal wave of reaction around the world, especially among Muslims. Within Iraq, Bush's policy has led to an increase in sectarian fighting, so an attack on Iran would be seen as anti-Shiite as well as anti-Iranian. As of last year, for the first time, a majority of Iraqi Shiites support armed attacks on U.S.-led forces, and if the United States attacks Iran, Iraqi Shiite militias will direct their anger at American soldiers and military personnel...

Yet there is a real possibility that George Bush will order a military strike on Iran before he leaves the White House. [emphasis added throughout]

What's the word I'm looking for...oh yeah, Brilliant!

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