By Juan Cole
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
This piece originally appeared on Informed Comment.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told NBC that Iran is an active threat to US interests and “sowing chaos” in the Middle East.
It strikes me that exactly the opposite is true. The Islamic Republic of Iran has in recent years, despite its heritage in the 1979 revolution, acted as an Establishment, status quo power.
I don’t agree with Iranian policy, e.g. its Syria intervention; I’m just acting as a dispassionate analyst and asking if it is really destabilizing. I conclude, not so much.
In contrast, the United States (and more especially the Republican Party) has sown enormous amounts of chaos in the Middle East just in the past 20 years.
The Bush administration probably had to try to overthrow the Taliban, given that that organization in Afghanistan shelted al-Qaeda, which hit the US on 9/11/01. But instead of putting the Northern Alliance in charge and withdrawing, the Bush administration unwisely attempted to establish a long term foreign military presence (many Pushtuns would see it as an occupation). This brilliant policy, which may have aimed at surrounding Russia, has failed so badly that the…