Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Confrontation with Russia could make Iraq a more dangerous place for the occupation army"

Jordanian left writer Nahid Hattar says in an op-ed in AlArab alYaum the new confrontation between Russia and America will have an impact on Arab affairs, resulting from greater Russian militancy, and he lists some of the areas where he thinks there could be changes: (1) Russian destruction of a Georgian airbase was a warning to America against attacking Russian ally Iran over its nuclear program; (2) Syria will be strengthened in its relations with Israel and with Lebanon; (3) moreover domestically, Syria will probably become less captive to the privatization/capitalist movement; (4) and it won't be possible to talk any more about disarming Hizbullah or altering the internal Lebanese dynamics. And Hamas will be stronger.

Then he writes about Iraq, as follows:
Fifth and most important: This will bring about changes in Iraqi affairs. Moscow will renew its political and info-ops pressure against the American occupation of Iraq. And in its capacity as a protector of Iran, it will have strong influence on Iranian policy in Iraq. And it will be possible for Syria, supported by the Russian military presence, to resume support for the Iraqi resistance and to activate it.

And there is a realistic scenario that can be expected, namely that modern Russian weapons will flow to Iraq, and the American army will face serious difficulties in the ability of Iraqi fighters to destroy tanks and other vehicles, and to bring down helicopters, meaning the stripping the occupation army of its military superiority, just as happened to the Israeli occupation army in southern Lebanon in 2006.
And he writes in conclusion:
The world will be better off with a strong Russia reclaiming its role as an international power.

(another h/t to Ladybird at RoadstoIraq)


Blogger Compulsive Reader said...

It seems part wish list.

6:38 PM  
Blogger badger said...

no doubt

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

U.S. Russian relations **REALLY** have to deteriorate before Russia sends weapons to Iraqi insurgents.

That said, however, relations may very well deteriorate to the point where Iran feels emboldened to push for a real U.S. withdrawal with Russian support.

Badger, have you read Sami Moubayed's Asia times article today on Malik and and a timetable? what are your thoughts? How sure are that all this timetable talk is all an act by Maliki?

8:15 PM  
Blogger badger said...

The military-balance talk in the anglo media does seem to be all about new opportunities for Syria and Iran to strengthen their hand vis-a-vis the United States. (For instance there is a Reuters piece and a CSM piece currently cited at the Syriacomment blog as well as the Jim Lobe piece in the ATimes). I just thought it was interesting to see someone cut to the chase and talk about America-in-Iraq, particularly given what the AlQabas person (prior post here) heard about a message to the GZ about a threat of unilateral "withdrawal" with adverse consequences for Maliki et al.

The ATimes piece on Maliki is interesting. There is only a tiny bit of obfuscation where he talks about "militias", but his main point seems to be that this is a sectarian leader who has been propped up by the colonial power, who now has to appear to be a nationalist leader sticking his thumb in the eye of the colonial power, so if the Americans don't get him, then the people will. Seems about right, no?

That seems to me to be a lot more important than the iffier question which way Maliki might zig or zag in this. He could well be going down with the ship either way, is I think what SM is saying, and I wouldn't argue with that.

3:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanx for keeping up this interesting site Badger, in a time when for political convenience the Iraq war has largely disappeared of the public radar, blogs like yours are much appreciated.

Re the actual subject, the implications are similar for Afghanistan and the ongoing US operations there. Imagine the Afghan resistance fighters with man portable SAM's like say Russian SA-7. It would spell near disaster for NATO troops. The US would get to taste its own bitter medicine, maybe just what is needed to cure the itch for invading more countries.

You are absolutely right tho Lysander, relations would have to sour quite dramatically before the Russians would draw that dagger. We'd have to fasten our seatbelts, as this would be the point of no return.

8:08 AM  

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