FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
General Petraeus: Iran ‘helping Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan’
For years now, Iran has been training and equipping militants and terrorists in Iraq, despite the abject refusal of Western press to report on it and the U.S. and other governments to do anything about it.
Now, Iran is providing “small-level” assistance to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, as well, according to General David Petraeus, commanding general of United States Central Command (CentCom).
Despite being on speaking terms with the Taliban beginning in 1999, Iran assisted in the U.S.-led overthrow of the terrorist regime in 2001, and has no real interest in seeing the fanatical Sunni organization take over Afghanistan in its entirety once again.
However, much like in Iraq, where it was an ancillary bonus effect of their efforts to shape the resulting state into one which would be friendly to (if not controlled by) Tehran, Iran’s efforts in Afghanistan are designed “to make the life of those who are trying to help the Afghan people difficult,” as Petraeus put it.
President Obama is already reportedly having second thoughts about making good on his earlier plan to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to bolster the stretched-thin 33,000 U.S. troops currently working to stabilize the country and battling al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists based there and in northwestern Pakistan. Despite his apparent nature of being averse to decision-making, Obama is in a position where he must decide what the strategy in Afghanistan will be going forward, rather than simply allowing military men and women stationed there, and the Afghan civilians risking their lives to work with them, to tread water in an increasingly worse situation.
Further, unlike his predecessor, President Obama must decide that the ongoing efforts by Iran to impede the U.S. mission in Iraq and Afghanistan — not to mention Tehran’s participation in actions that result in the deaths of Iraqi and Afghan civilians and of U.S. servicemembers — will not be tolerated, whatever must be done to enforce that decision.
Unfortunately, both the president and his administration appear to be too enamored of what they see as the potential for an improved relationship with Tehran to seriously deal with the Islamic Republic’s subversive activities. President Obama is currently considering rewarding the Iranian regime with direct dialogue — and, reportedly, the reopening of a U.S. embassy in Tehran.
The level of naivete being displayed by administration officials with regard to Iran and other very real threats would be staggering if it were not such a well-known hallmark of modern liberalism. “This could be real!” one of Obama’s “top diplomats” told the New York Times about Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claim that he welcomed talks with Washington based on “mutual respect.”
Unfortunately, the fact that Iran’s altered tone is an effort to engage what it sees as a weak U.S. executive who is willing to operate from a position of weakness seems lost on President Obama and his advisors — as does the fact that talks, and talking about talks, simply provides Tehran more of the one resource more valuable to their pursuit of nuclear weapons capability than any other: time.
Further, the ongoing unwillingness of the U.S. government to acknowledge (let alone act against) the active involvement of Iranian forces on the part of our battlefield enemies continues to convey a message of fear and weakness from Washington to Tehran and other enemies of our nation and our allies — and that, above all, is the one message we cannot afford to send to anybody.