Friedman has a good analysis of Iran’s role in Middle East.

https://www.pilotonline.com/opinion/columns/ct-nyt-qassem-soleimani-overrated-warrior-20200105-m6a3xhmm5vephpqyzyt4fau3s4-story.html

Although he doesn’t have much good to say about Iranian strategies as planned and carried out by Soleimani, we have to take credit for the ultimate “blowback”.

Installing the Shah in the 1950’s was the first mistake. That led to the revolution and rule by clerics.

Embracing Saudi Arabia is the second. It is the protector and source of inspiration for virtually all Islamic extremism and terrorism worldwide by its Wahabi branch.

Invading Iraq was the third and most consequential. That empowered Al Qaeda and ISIS. Plus it gave Iran a proxy victory over its nemesis, Saddam Hussein. And now ISIS has a good chance for returning if we are kicked out of Iraq. Yet, we are sending thousands more troops over there. Deja vu all over again.

Coulda, shoulda, woulda…

If we had a trustworthy leader, I would feel more comfortable even in this mess.
But we don’t know if the truth is what we are told. Or if we are listening to “alternative facts”. And all this is happening while the DOD is run by temps, and the State Department is stripped of people who know much of anything.

16 thoughts on “Friedman has a good analysis of Iran’s role in Middle East.

  1. If Friedman’s analysis is correct then it is just another reason to believe that Trump’s decision to assassinate him was monumentally stupid.

    With that said, I detect the odor of “alternative facts” in this analysis that tries too hard to prove its point. For example, this paragraph . . .

    “It was Soleimani and his Quds Force pals who pushed Iraq’s Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, to push Sunnis out of the Iraqi government and army, stop paying salaries to Sunni soldiers, kill and arrest large numbers of peaceful Sunni protesters and generally turn Iraq into a Shiite-dominated sectarian state. The Islamic State group was the counterreaction.”

    Uh, no. Nouri al Maliki may have continued the process, but it was started by our Viceroy – Paul Bremer – in the name of de-Baathification. In short, we made the mess not Iran and not Soleimani.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think Friedman’s analysis is all that good. It reads to me like fancy window-dressing for an excruciatingly effete claim that, somehow, Trump didn’t do good by killing Soleimani.

    Personally, I don’t expect much to come of the assassination. Every time Trump does something decisive on the international stage, the warmongers and worrywarts stamp their feet and cry, “World War III is coming!” Then it doesn’t.

    The same will likely happen here, especially if Friedman’s own weird premise is true: That Soleimani himself was a failure of a general.

    Should the Iraqi parliament vote to expel U.S. forces, Trump should take them up on it. We’d only become less vulnerable, locally, while retaining our ability to attack the 52 Iranian targets already sighted.

    Like

    1. “… excruciatingly effete claim that, somehow, Trump didn’t do good by killing Soleimani.”

      I am not sure what you mean by that. But the jury is out on whether this was smart, dumb, impulsive or well thought out.

      No matter how you slice it, however, war with Iran is probably as stupid as it gets.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. RE: “I am not sure what you mean by that. But the jury is out on whether this was smart, dumb, impulsive or well thought out.”

      What I mean by that is simple enough: Friedman is an idiot. Whether Trump is an idiot just because he killed Soleimani doesn’t seem likely.

      Like

      1. I have gone to his lecture at the Norfolk Forum years ago. I think it was shortly after 9/11. He is pretty sharp and his creds on the Middle East are strong.

        He may not appeal to some, but an idiot he is not.

        IMHO

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I would agree with those 3 mistakes, but you ignore a 4th and far more consequential one.

    When Iran seized the US Embassy in 1979, that was an act of war, and Jimmy Carter failed to treat it as such. He allowed 52 US diplomats to be held a year and a half instead of demanding their immediate release and asking for a declaration of war if they didn’t. That effectively gave our enemies permission for everything that followed.

    It is no coincidence that the hostages were released and arrived in the US as Reagan was being sworn in. Holding them one more day would have put Iran back in the stone age.

    We cannot tolerate acts of war or taking diplomats hostage, and that show of weakness has set the stage for all that followed.

    Like

    1. Killing 52 hostages might not have been an option. War would have done that.

      If I recall, the Iranians held the hostages to assure Carter’s defeat. No reason to be afraid of Reagan. The Iranian clerics were not as worldwide as you think.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. How many Americans died at Pearl Harbor? How many more were captured at Bataan in the Philippines? Did that stop us from declaring war on Japan?

        You cannot fail to respond to an act of war. If you do you have given permission to prey upon us at will.

        Carter should have given Iran a reasonable time to return our diplomats and make restitution for the attack on the embassy, and if not delivered, utterly destroyed Iran’s military and governmental assets, until an unconditional surrender was offered.

        That ls how you respond to acts of war.

        Like

        1. You are pretty free and easy with the diplomatic corps in Tehran. Yes, taking an Embassy is an attack on our soil, effectively and by international law.

          But there are times when a tempered response is needed. Plus we were still war weary from another fruitless sacrifice of 55,000 Americans just a few years earlier.

          In addition, just a couple of decades earlier we deposed their lawfully elected president and inserted one of the most brutal dictators since WW2. I would call that an act of war.

          At some point, fighting wars is just a big waste. We haven’t won one since WW2.

          We had the world behind us after 9/11. The move into Afghanistan had support from everyone, especially the early part where we paid warlords to do most of the fighting

          Then we went to war with Iraq and lost all credibility. So now you think blowing people up will gain us respect?

          Liked by 2 people

    2. The seizing of the American Embassy in 1979 was not an act of war by a state. It was the action of a mob and a product of the total chaos in Iran brought on by our installing and supporting of the Shah and the THOUSANDS of people he tortured and killed with our blessing.

      Amazing how people like you can be critical of past Presidents but totally blind to the FACT that it is Trump who has reversed the course towards reconciliation with Iran that we were on when he took office.

      As for Reagan, it is now well documented that he colluded with Iran on the timing of the release. And, of course, it was Reagan who stole American military hardware and secretly and illegally sold it to Iran for cash so that he could finance terrorists. You can drop the Saint Ronald bull.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wasabi may be accused of being a source terrorist inspiration by some but hardly a proven fact. Saudi Arabia has been a good ally for a long time with no issues until someone wants to complain about Trump.

    Carter allowed Iran to take embassy hostages and Reagan pur it to an end. Iraq invaded Kuwait, Bush attacked and defeated them. Clinton got on office and allowed them to thumb there noses at no fly zones while slaughtering its citizens. Bush had to try to clean that up. Iran has been taking our sailors hostage, setting off bombs on international shipping, attacking our embassy in Iraq, among other acts of terrorism and we are suppose to just let them do it? Get real for a change.

    Like

    1. Sorry, but Wahabism is the main source for Sunni Islamic extremism, whether you believe it or not.

      Of course the Saudis were important. They sat on the biggest pools of oil. But that is not so critical now. There are plenty of others. But still it is not just Trump who let them harbor the extremists. That exploded with the bombings before 9/11 specifically because we had troops in Saudi Arabia, the nation that has Islam’s holiest cities of Mecca and Medina.

      Remember that the Shia militias in Iraq (which is 2/3’s Shiite, BTW) did the street fighting along with the Kurds while we provided surveillance and air support to almost get rid of ISIS. Of course that job isn’t finished still. And it looks like they will be back.

      So we have a bit of a crisis developing. If Trump goes to war with Iran, then we will be in a real jam. No one will give a crap about helping us.

      But mr. tough guy will see us through, I am sure. (Sarcasm alert). I’m too old to care other than arguing here and there online.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s