December 08, 2006

Iran and Iraq

Ken Pollack in the New York Times seems to be making a point I keep emphasizing here which is that we should not assume that the Shia groups in Iraq are just proxies for Iran. They are supported by Iran but they are independent actors themselves. What Pollack doesn't quite see is that Iran has a perceived duty now to defend their interests- consequently irresponsible actions from the Shia groups, not Tehran, could lead Tehran if its not careful into Iraqi politics. But he seizes on the vital points which are that Tehran's motivations in all of this flow as much from fear of what we might do as from a plot to bring theocracy to the world, that Shia and Sunni interests are different and that the parties within Iraq are not mere proxies for the countries without- its more complicated than that. His suggestion of a contact group is an interesting one.

(I should add I got to the article courtesy of Rich Lowry at the National Review.)