[Allan Topol / AllanTopol.Com]
Lightning paced thriller writer
of International Intrigue
National Bestselling Author

Axis of Evil
by Allan Topol, [IMAGE]2007


Photo Courtesy: Julie Zitin
[Allan Topol / AllanTopol.Com] Pardon me if I don't become wildly enthusiastic about the fact that the United States and Iran had their first official high level face to face talks in 30 years to discuss Iraqi security issues. I was similarly unimpressed when Nancy Pelosi and others in a congressional delegation trotted off to Damascus to meet with Syrian leader Assad.

In President Bush's speech a couple of years ago, he had it right when he lumped Iran and Syria, along with North Korea, as part of the axis of evil. Now, unfortunately, with the war in Iraq continuing to go poorly, with the with the Democrats in control of the congress giving them a hand in the President's jugular, and with nervous Republican congressional leaders more concerned about their own reelections than sound policy, our President, who vowed never to negotiate with Iran or Syria, yielded and authorized this high level dialogue with Iran. In doing so, he has handed the mullahs in Iran a huge victory. They are the ones who have been fomenting Shiite violence with the supply of arms and advisers across their borders. They are responsible for many of the bombs which have killed or injured American troops. Now they are being rewarded for their behavior.

What is even more troublesome is that as the Iraqi end game approaches, it appears likely that Iran will be the winner and we will be the loser. The high level dialogue with Iran in Baghdad is part o the Syrian effort to speed up the U.S. withdrawal. We might as well be handing over the keys to Baghdad to the mullahs in Tehran.

What will unfold in the next several months is the demise Malaki's Shiite dominated government to be replaced by another Shiite led regime. This one will be far more fundamentalist (non secular) in its approach. The leader of this new government is likely to be the Shiite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr. For years, he preached militant opposition to the American "occupation." Suddenly he disappeared from Iraq for several months. Some thought that we had terrified him into escaping from the country. Not so. It turns out that al-Sadr spent this self imposed exile in Iran working with the ruling mullahs to develop their strategy for the Iraqi end game. Now Sadr, who in the past had not only been hostile to the Americans, exuded venom toward the Sunnis as well, returned to the country speaking a different tune. For the first time, he declared that he would protect Sunnis and Christians, the two groups that his militia was previously killing by the thousands and driving from their homes.

It's not hard to see what is driving Sadr's purported change of heart. The mullahs in Tehran persuaded him to use this soft approach in the short run to speed up the American exodus and make himself acceptable as the leader of the new Iraqi government. Once he is ensconced in that position, he will be able to shift back to the old militant policies of his past.

This is similar to how the mullahs gained control of the government in Tehran when the Shah was deposed. Disingenuously, they bonded with liberals in the country who despised the Shah's authoritarian rule. This marriage of convenience was ended once the Shah was deposed and the mullahs turned their guns on the liberals.

Similar hypocrisy is going on in Damascus. The Syrians, claiming to be helpful, point to the fact that they have stopped the flow of armed jihadists across their eastern border into Iraq. In fact, what they have done is pointed these international armed terrorists westward and sent them across the mountains into Lebanon.

It is not surprising that this development has occurred now. The U.N. is on the verge of moving forward with a legal proceeding that will establish Syrian responsibility for the assassination of the Lebanese leader, Hariri. In an effort to divert attention from the U.N. action, and reassert control over Lebanon. Syria is once again operating through proxies, as it did with Hezbollah last year, to destabilize and perhaps destroy the democratic government of Lebanon.

The unfolding of recent events in the Middle East provides no cause for optimism. If, as it appears, Iraq becomes dominated by Iran and Lebanon by Syria, then we will suffer the consequences in the United States. There is still time to avoid this result, but it will take firm action.