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30 November 2005
Americans start talks with Iran & the guerrillas
Do you remember all that axis of evil bollocks? Well, you can probably forget all about it now, as the Americans are sitting down to a nice series of chats with the Iranians. The agenda is likely to involve the Iranians helping the Americans cut and run from Iraq. It seems like only yesterday that Scott Ritter was claiming that the Chimp was going to send his army into Iran, so this is a big sea change in Washington's policy. At the same time, negotiations look set to start with some of the Sunni resistence groups within Iraq. It will be recalled that the Americans used to dismiss the guerrillas as deadenders, who would be quickly mopped up by Uncle Sam's brave boys. How quickly times change.

They have changed because the Iraqis are fighting like tigers and the Americans have realised that subjugating them is not something that they can do with the forces that they have available: and those forces are set to fall next year, anyway. The Shia religious parties look likely to win next month's elections in Iraq, as they won the elections last January. The neocon fantasy of a secular, free-market, Israel recognising Iraq has pretty much gone down the toilet, as indeed have the neocons themselves. Some, such as Count Vulvovitz, jumped ship early and took a cushy number at the World Bank. Others look set to become big boys' boyfriends when the cell doors finally slam shut on them.

So, the idea seems to be to talk to the Iranians, in the hope that they can pressure the Iraqi Shias, and at the same time talk to some of the guerrillas in the hope that they will stop killing Americans. The overall aim seems to be to pursuade enough Iraqis to cool things down so that the Americans can leave without it being quite so obvious that their tails are firmly clamped between their legs. It reminds one a bit of Henry Kissinger's negotiations with the Vietnamese to achieve the same end. Then it was called "peace with honour" and it lasted about two years before the Vietnamese swept down to remove the puppets from whatever power the Americans had allowed them to have. I doubt if the Iraqis will wait that long.

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