Is the US already at war with Iran? Ted Koppel thinks so

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. Ted Koppel in the NYT: "The United States Is Already At War With Iran"

    New York Times | For What It's Worth | Posted Saturday July 22, 2006 at 11:27 AM

    Ted Koppel has one of his semi-regular op-eds today in the New York Times, except it is less op-ed than a reported piece based on a conversation Koppel had with a senior Jordanian intelligence official, who warned Koppel about Iran's growing power in the Middle East. "The United States is already at war with Iran," Koppel begins. "But for the time being the battle is being fought through surrogates."

    Koppel goes on to note that "over the past couple of months alone, he told me, Hamas has received more than $300 million in cash, provided by Iran and funneled through Syria" and "the more than 12,000 missiles and Hezbollah's arsenal were largely provided by Iran." Here's the important passage:

    When Sheik Qaouk talked about Israel and Hezbollah, his organization's ambitions were not framed in purely defensive terms. There is only harmony between Hezbollah's endgame and the more provocative statements made over the past year by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president. Both foresee the elimination of the Jewish state.

    Are the Israelis over-reacting in Lebanon? Perhaps they simply perceive their enemies' intentions with greater clarity than most. It is not the Lebanese who make the Israelis nervous, nor even Hezbollah. It is the puppet-masters in Tehran capitalizing on every opportunity that democratic reform presents. In the Palestinian territories, in Lebanon, in Egypt, should President Hosni Mubarak be so incautious as to hold a free election, it is the Islamists who benefit the most.

    But Washington's greatest gift to the Iranians lies next door in Iraq. By removing Saddam Hussein, the United States endowed the majority Shiites with real power, while simultaneously tearing down the wall that had kept Iran in check.

    According to the Jordanian intelligence officer, Iran is reminding America's traditional allies in the region that the United States has a track record of leaving its friends in the lurch -- in Vietnam in the 70's, in Lebanon in the 80's, in Somalia in the 90's.

    In his analysis, the implication that this decade may witness a precipitous American withdrawal from Iraq has begun to produce an inclination in the region toward appeasing Iran.

    It is in Iraq, he told me, "where the United States and the coalition forces must confront the Iranians.'' He added, "You must build up your forces in Iraq and you must announce your intention to stay."

    Sitting in his Amman office, he appeared to be a man of few illusions; so he did not make the recommendation with any great hope that his advice would be followed. But neither did he leave any doubts as to which country would benefit if that advice happened to be ignored.

    This is an important piece, written by a guy who is has some experience with the region. Already it's climbing the search ranks on Technorati. And it's behind the TimesSelect subscription wall. If the NYT's mission is to deliver the news and, almost more importantly, frame it with the kind of analysis that can provide context and a look ahead, it should not be keeping this kind of material behind a paywall.