… Iran’s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust
Although, on the heels of the Vietnam/Iraq comparison fiasco, it looks like Bush may have lost a little bit of steam. To be fair, Bush did not call out the need for a strike yet, but rather economic sanctions to isolate Iran.
Given Bush’s recent backing Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, a good bet on who Bush will blame for lack of progress in Iraq is Iran. Much like the surge, such a move might make tactical sense but represent strategic failures. Given the current political climate in Iraq, it is unlikely that secular or moderate government will arise. Al-Maliki is Shia along with much of the population of Iraq, which means it will probably have closer ties with Iran than Saudi Arabia (a Sunni dominated country). The solutions are as follows: back Al-Maliki and watch a strong Iran-Iraq power block arise with much of the world’s remaining oil underneath them, have a military coup take place and install a Sunni/Secular strong man (call him Saddam Hussein the second), or divide up the country between the different factions declare victory and get out.
Divide and get out seems to be the most viable strategy at this point. Although, I highly doubt it will be one that Bush will ever endorse. However, there is a reason Al-Maliki is strengthening ties to Iran. To no surprise he was warned not to be too friendly because Bush is aware of Iran-Iraq power block issue also. So, Bush must be holding on to the dream of a unified secular Iraq, which means Iran is still the likely scape-goat in Bush’s state sponsored, good vs. evil world-view.
Additional evidence of this internal conflict is the U.S. battling Shiite militias, which appears to be part of the overall surge strategy. Fomenting internal Shia conflicts to obtain a balance of power between the factions. This would also require restriction of potential Iranian meddling or Shia solidarity.