Saturday, March 17, 2007

More progress in Iraq: economic support from Iran

Despite the ongoing chaos and so-called "civil war" and the stifling presence of U.S. military forces, incremental progress is being made in improving the lot of the people of Iraq. Just today we read an article in The New York Times by Edward Wong entitled "Iran Is Playing a Growing Role in Iraq Economy" about how "The economies of Iraq and Iran, the largest Shiite-majority countries in the world, are becoming closely integrated, with Iranian goods flooding Iraqi markets and Iraqi cities looking to Iran for basic services." This is good news, unless you happen to be a Neoconservative or part of the rest of the so-called Pro-Israel Lobby.

Economic cooperation between neighbors is a key building block for regional stability, anywhere in the world, and most especially in the Middle East.

Personally, I wouldn't characterize the economic relations between Iraq and Iran as "integrated", which implies deeper and more formal and more bi-directional relations, but the reality is certainly more important than how the media labels it.

Certainly much is needed to improve the relations between Iraq and its neighbors, but as they say, "one step at a time."

Now, if only the politicians down in Washington, D.C. (which the locals there know to mean "District of Confusion") can get there act together and simply agree to working with the Iraqi leadership on a phased pull-out of U.S. military forces.

Doesn't President Bush realize that all he has to do is give a speech saying "Mission Accomplished" and sign a simple piece of paper directing his SecDef to "withdraw U.S. military forces from Iraq as expeditiously as possible, working in close consultation with Iraqi authorities, and ignoring the strident pleas of the Neoconservatives and the rest of the so-called Pro-Israel Lobby. Signed, President George W. Bush"? It really is that easy.

-- Jack Krupansky


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