Feb 27, 2007

An interesting rumour has reached my ears...

Obviously, I cannot say who I heard this from, other than to say when they have given me valuable information before its later turned out to be true and that I rate them rather highly as an impartial source. I know not the only one talking about this, but many of the sources I have seen on the topic have been unknown or untrustworthy to me.

Apparently, the US government is so worried about Iranian influence in Iraq now, they have covertly switched sides and are now supporting Sunni insurgent groups against the Shiite dominated government. Not only is this a worrying development that suggests a possible future war with Iran just got more likely, it just pissed over the final credentials of The War on Terror.

Of course, among those Sunni groups you can include Al-Qaeda in Iraq, who are the main force for organizing and training foreign fighters in the country. You know, the Al-Qaeda that the National Intelligence Director just called "the most serious threat to US interests". Yeah, that one. Surprise surprise, this has bought the USA onto the same page as Saudi Arabia, our favourite cash cow for nutter terrorist groups around the world. They fully approve of this turnabout as they don't want their own Shia workers in the oil fields getting all excited and talking about Jihad.

It looks like the USA is now moving towards directing the Middle East conflict into a Sunni/Shiite disagreement. Which means on one side we have Iran, Syria, Lebanon and (nominally) Iraq, vs US allies in the region, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf States.

However, its always worth keeping an eye on the movements of Ali Larijani, the man in charge of Iranian national security policy. He's been racking up the airmiles lately, especially when it comes to Saudi Arabia. Which suggests perhaps all is not lost, that there is some back room negotiations going on. Iran knows everyone they talk to in the Arab world will eventually end up spilling the goods to the USA anyway, not to mention there has been a credible gap between rhetoric and actions when it comes to sabre rattling against their government.

For now, I think we can continue to see the USA (and local allies) and Iran trying to contain violence within Iraq. For now. However, it only takes another "black swan" event to intensify the violence to the point it cannot be contained. Hell, with the current confusion over the Ramadi park bombing, it may have already happened. No-one is going to own up to killing kids and if the US military did screw up disarming the devices there (as a BBC News Alert 10 minutes ago claimed), we could see total social disintegration.

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