Ahmadinejad In Iraq
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, walked through Baghdad, Iraq with much fanfare last week. The Iraqi people lined the streets in order to enthusiastically wave their approval of his visit. Bands played as he was welcomed by the Iraqi President. Mr. Ahmadinejad and the President of Iran, Mr. Jalal Talabani walked hand in hand in traditional Islamic fashion for men who are extremely close. Both men waved to the cameras as they emerged from their meeting behind closed doors. It was obvious that there was a lot of good will between these two government leaders. Leaders of countries that were at one time not too long ago were the most bitter of enemies. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s visit is the ultimate sign of Iran’s victory over its nemesis Saddam Hussein.
Compare the openness of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s visit to Iraq to the clandestine visitation from President George Bush or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Nobody knows either one of these representatives of state, two of the most powerful people in the world, are on their way to Iraq until they get there and push the doorbell. Saddam Hussein himself would be proud of their ability to travel with such a cloak of secrecy.
When Republican Party nominee John McCain paid a visit to Iraq last year he traveled with a personal guard of a hundred troops, army snipers on top of every building in the vicinity, a squadron of hummers nearby with their engines idling, a couple of Blackhawks hovering overhead, and a Kevlar vest protecting his person. Mr. McCain was adamant in his insistence that Iraq was secure. All you needed was a hundred fully armed troops, snipers, hummers, etcetera and you too could walk through downtown Baghdad in perfect safety. At the time I found it ridiculous to take Mr. McCain seriously. Perfectly safe would be walking around without such a high profile contingent. Perfectly safe would have been Mr. McCain being able to walk up to anybody without that Iraqi having to go through a body search or having a hundred rifles pointed in his or her direction.
It has to be admitted that Mr. Ahmadinejad was riding and walking large and in charge. It was interesting because the network news program I was listening to on the car radio reported that Mr. Ahmadinejad walked through Baghdad as if he owned the place. Later in the evening when I watched the network news version of the Iranian President’s visit, they used the same phrase almost verbatim. Mr. Ahmadinejad was trying to make it clear that he is pulling Iraq’s strings. Somebody was turning up the “go ballistic” dial on the propaganda machine.
Impressionable people who have a little difficulty forming their own opinion without being told were getting their subtle programming to think that Mr. Ahmadinejad thinks he’s the cock of the walk. The suggestion is made that Iran is responsible for all of America’s difficulties and failures in Iraq. And if the United States pulls out of Iraq prematurely Iran will swoop in and obtain the spoils. The story was stroking America’s collective ego. The suggestion was made that our reputation is at stake. We don’t want Iran or anyone else picking up where we left off. It’s the classic selfish child syndrome. A child who doesn’t care to play with a toy any more, hasn’t played with it in weeks, doesn’t even like the toy any more. But as soon as someone else comes along and wants to play with it, MINE!
Mr. Ahmadinejad and the people of Iran can’t win with the American people. The Iranian President comes to the states and asked to go and pay his respects at the World Trade Center and people get their panties in a wad. MINE! The Iranian President goes to Iraq and the American people say, MINE! The Iranians patrol the waters of the Red Sea off of its coast with fiberglass speedboats and the fleet of American battle cruisers shouts, MINE!
The majority of the people of the United States have been tiring of Iraq for quite a while now. Rumor has it that the violence of Iraq is winding now that the surge is working. And the fact that we are actually using American money to pay the people who were fighting against us not to fight or at least to fight for our interest helped a lot as well. Now that the violence is winding now there should be less of a reason to keep our military there. We could leave Iraq to whatever devices they choose. But if those devices indicate that someone else might benefit from our collective sacrifices then we’d rather put our ego before our good sense, holler MINE, and stay in our latest quagmire. And the next time one of our government leaders goes to Iraq under a cloak of secrecy for their own protection, we can think back to how the Iranian President walked into the place as if he was the cock of the walk.
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