25mahmoud_ahmadinejad.thumbnail.jpgSeptember 17, 1980, with the United States in the midst of an election campaign and Americans entering their 11th month of being held hostage at the American Embassy in Tehran — bad went to worse.

[I]n a statement addressed to the Iraqi parliament, Saddam Hussein stated that "The frequent and blatant Iranian violations of Iraqi sovereignty…have rendered the 1975 Algiers Agreement null and void… This river…must have its Iraqi-Arab identity restored as it was throughout history in name and in reality with all the disposal rights emanating from full sovereignty over the river."

Five days later using as a pretext criminals dressed as polish troops attacking a radio station an alleged assassination attempt on Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in southern Iraq, which Saddam Hussein blamed on "Iranian agents", Iraq crossed into Iran.

So began the most fruitless and deadly war of the 20th Century’s last two decades, like the Germans 66 years before, the Iraqi army’s invasion stalled and for the next eight years the two countries slugged it out, the front ever shifting and Americans ever tacitly supporting the Iraqis. The United States dispatched warships to the Gulf with the purpose of preventing the Iranians from shutting off the shipment of oil from Iraqi and other Gulf ports. Eventually, in a tragic accident an American cruiser which had ventured into Iranian waters shot down a civilian Iranian airliner.

Ah, the pleasures and good fortune which have accompanied our friendship with Saddam Hussein.

Eventually after more than a milllion deaths and the widespread use of chemical weapons by the Iraqis — much of it supplied by the U.S. of A! the war came to a pitiful end via stalemate. Neither side having won.

At least until George Bush took care of that and produced the ultimate winner of the Iraqi-Iran conflict.

Iran.

One of the most powerful men in Iraq isn’t an Iraqi government official, a militia leader, a senior cleric or a top U.S. military commander or diplomat,

He’s an Iranian general, and at times he’s more influential than all of them.

Yes, the sad truth, not just for MoveOn.Org ads anymore.

Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani commands the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, an elite paramilitary and espionage organization whose mission is to expand Iran’s influence in the Middle East.

If that’s his rank, George W. Bush must be a Field Marshall.

One of Suleimani’s first major victories against the United States in Iraq, however, was the product of political shrewdness, not military force. It came in January 2005, when Iraqis voted for the first time since Saddam’s ouster nearly two years earlier.

The Bush administration pulled out all the stops to keep secular, pro-Western interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi in office, aiding him with broadcast airtime, slick campaign ads and veteran advisers.

Suleimani countered with a covert PR campaign on behalf of a bloc of conservative pro-Iran Shiites that he helped assemble, and he sent printing presses, consultants and broadcasting equipment, said a senior Iraqi official who’s known Suleimani for years. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive relationship between Iraq and Iran.

When the ballots were counted, Bush pointed to the purple-dyed fingers of Iraqi voters as a triumph for democracy — but Allawi and his bloc were out and Iran’s allies were in.

Making this picture…
state-of-union-fingers-2.thumbnail.jpg
All the more laughable.

A year later, in April 2006, Iran became deeply concerned about a deadlock in negotiations over the selection of a new Iraqi prime minister after a second round of parliamentary elections.

This time, Suleimani slipped into the Green Zone to negotiate with Shiite politicians and to ensure that Iraq’s final choice was acceptable to Tehran.

In the end, the Iraqis compromised on Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki.

The Iraq invasion is over, we lost. We just won’t admit it yet — and we’ve got the $12 billion a month we’ve borrowed from the Chinese to prove it. Four more American soldiers died to preserve Iran’s victory yesterday.

There are many in this country that think the answer to this situation is naturally "bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran" but that is a way to lose even bigger.

So naturally, that will probably happen.