What a heady whirl of a month it has been for Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the world's most fabulous jihad-kingpin and leading proponent of genocide. Everyone seems to want a piece of him, in a good way, of course. American enemies, American "allies" -- they're all palsy-walsy. Where that leaves Uncle Sucker is another matter.
First, the enemies. At the end of February, A-jad was off to Damascus -- ah, Damascus in February -- for a joint-summit with Bashar Al-Assad to denounce the United States and Israel, and then, a group summit, or "war council" as Arab media called it, with both Assad and Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah. All three denounced, for variation, Israel and the United States.
Then it was quick trip back to Tehran for a two-day conference with the Palestinian "resistance" all-stars, as translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute: Hamas head Khaled Mash'al (who told Iranian Ayatollah Khameini "if the resistance breathes ... today it is by virtue of Khameini"), Islamic Jihad leader Ramadhan Shallah (who doubles as an entry on the FBI's most wanted list), and PFLP-GC leader Ahmad Jibril (like his colleagues, an all-around great guy). Talk of a third intifada was bandied about while MEMRI notes, "Ahmadinejad made particularly virulent anti-Israel statements."
MEMRI ought to know; the group translates scores of them. A-jad's remarks no doubt thrilled the genocide-eager crowd: "Zionist regime ... purge the region of your existence ... insult to all humanity ... racist group... not committed to a single human principle ... their presence on even a single centimeter of Palestine and the region leads to ... consecutive wars ... Zionists are the source of all wars ... end of its road ... downward slope ... completely dead end ... completely eliminated. ..." Brilliant stuff. Another speech like that, and they'll all be ready for the "peace process."
As MEMRI notes, "Iran has been noticeably ratcheting up its efforts to arouse the Palestinian resistance organizations against Israel," thus boosting "its position in the Islamic world." But in spite of Gen. David Petraeus' assertion that the Israeli-Palestinian issues "set the strategic context within which we operate in the Central Command (region)," there are in fact other contexts involving Iran that have nothing to do with Israel, and everything to do with us. I'm talking about Iran's relationships with our putative (non-Israel) allies in the region, the ones American troops have actually died for, Afghanistan and Iraq.
In March, Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai visited A-jad in Tehran to make merry for the Nowruz holiday; then, following Karzai's three-day visit to Beijing, Karzai reciprocated, giving A-jad what the New York Times called "the red-carpet treatment" in Kabul where he "delivered a fiery anti-American speech inside Afghanistan's presidential palace." That would be the same presidential palace that is ultimately protected by U.S. troops. With Karzai at his side, A-jad "accused the United States of promoting terrorism."
Kind of takes the bounce out of the "surge" to have your own puppet pull your strings.
And what did Karzai say back? According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Karzai riffed on brotherly love, praising "Tehran for spending hundreds of millions of dollars in rebuilding roads, providing electricity, education and health care in parts of Afghanistan."
No mention of Iran's generous military assistance, including IED assistance, to the Taliban.
RFE/RL continued, noting suspicions in Kabul over Iran's "investments in Afghan media and support for Afghan Shi'ite communities, in particular the Hazaras," who "now enjoy a major share in the Afghan government and are also making significant progress in education and private sectors -- partly because of generous assistance from Iran's clerical regime."
Great. Anyone want to bet that Iran won't be the big winner again at the end of America's latest "surge"?
Back to A-jad's busy whirl. Even as he was shaking Kabul's dust from his boots, he was preparing to receive a delegation from Iraq. Seems that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is trying to build a parliamentary bloc large enough to transform his whisker-close, second-place-finish in March elections into ultimate victory -- and what better place to do Iraqi political horse-trading than in Iran? Last week, Maliki delegations visited A-jad in Tehran and Moqtada al-Sadr in Qom.
Gee. Maybe someday, if we "surge" long enough, Afghanistan's elections can be worked out in Iran, too.