Scott Sullivan :
Why Castro attacks Ahmadinejad
Has Fidel Castro misfired by attacking Iran's Nazi President Ahmadinejad as a bigot and anti-Semite? By attacking Ahmadinejad, Castro is also attacking Ahmadinejad's closest ally, Venezuela's fascist president Hugo Chavez. Castro would be prudent to avoid making powerful enemies like Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez, who are both able to retaliate against Cuba, given Cuba's heavy dependence on foreign aid from Iran and Venezuela.
Again, in the face of such obvious risks, why does Castro persist in attacking Ahmadinejad and Chavez? In fact, Castro has three possible motives for turning against Ahmadinejad and Chavez. Castro's motives for turning against Agmadinejad and Hugo Chavez are assessed below, from the least to the most plausible explanations.
The least plausible explanation for Castro's break with Ahmadinejad and Chavez is that Castro has seen the light and now repudiates his 30 year campaign of hate against the US and its allies. Castro himself has given no indication of such an ideological conversion.
A more plausible explanation for Castro's change of direction is that he is now persuaded by assessments in Petroleumworld that Ahmadinejad and Chavez are already on the way down due to the blunders of their respective allies, Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq and Evo Morales in Bolivia. Maliki blundered in Iraq by brokering secret deals with the Kurds in which they promised to back al-Maliki's return to power as Iraq's prime minister. In return, Maliki agreed to support Kurdish independence from Iraq via Kurdish annexation of the Arab-populated city of Kirkuk and its large oil reserves. After the Kurds take Kirkuk, Ahmadinejad could easily annex the Iraqi Arab city of Basra and the reminder of Iraq's oil reserves, a move which would bankrupt the Sunni-dominated Baghdad government, after which Iraq would be wiped from the maps, a development that would inflict a far greater defeat on the Arab world than the establishment of Israel in 1947.
Again, Maliki's plan is to gain Kurdish support for returning to power as Iraqi Prime Minister. Maliki would then announce his support for Kurdish territorial demands that would destroy the Iraqi state. Most Iraqis and Iranians would strongly oppose this Maliki-Kurdish deal because they believe that Maliki and Ahmadinejad are playing with fire by promoting Kurdish secessionist movements in Iraq. The Iranians in particular fear that Kurdish separatism could easily spread from Iraq to Turkey by means of PKK terrorism, and then to Iran itself, which has a substantial Kurdish population.
Meanwhile, in Bolivia Evo Morales blundered last month by announcing that he has directed the Bolivian Army to arm and train a pro-Morales civilian militiahis Morales provocation was immediately rejected by Bolivia's opposition, which threatened Morales with a military response by launching a civil war in Bolivia that would soon spread to Venezuela itself.
However, the most plausible explanation for Castro's attacks on Ahmadinejad and Chavez is that he was directed to do so by Russia and China, who by default have became the world's new security managers as Obama pulls US forces from the Middle East and Latin America.
While China takes responsibility for preserving security in Afghanistan, South and Central Asia, Russia is committed to preserving security in Iraq, the Persian Gulf, and the Middle East, via cooperation with Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. In this regard, Russia, Syria and Saudi Arabia are determined to form an anti-Iran Axis that would eliminate Iran's influence altogether from Iraq, Lebanon, Hezbollah and Hamas.
This anti-Iran Axis of Russia, Syria and Saudi Arabia will probably mobilize around the issue of convincing Lebanon's government to deny Ahmadinjad a visa to visit Lebanon because Ahmadinejad is both a Palestine Denier and a Holocaust Denier. Ahmadinejad can be tagged as a Palestine Denier because of his endorsement of Kurdish statehood in Iraq, a step that would produce turmoil that would preclude Paletinian statehood; Ahmadinejad's strong opposition to all Middle East peace negotiations, without exception; and Ahmadinejad's military support for Hamas, which has vowed to take up arms against all Palestinians who support the Obama-sponsored peace negotiations. Under this gloomy scenario of war, the Arabs and Palestinians would confront the terrorist forces of Iran, Hamas and the PKK, as well as the Iraqi Kurdish Pesh Merga militia.
So who will prevail in Iraq and Lebanon, Iran or Syria and Russia? Syria and Russia will prevail over Iran in Iraq and Lebanon, for the following reasons.
First, Russia is demonstrating a will to win by bringing Castro and his enormous revolutionary prestige into play on Syria's behalf.
Second, Russia would play Castro against Ahmadinejad only if Russia was genuinely convinced that Ahmadinejad must be stopped, just as Che Guevara had to be stopped in 1968.
Third, Russia is also aware that It is in the destiny of Syria, not Iran, to lead the Middle East – see “Syria and Hezbollah will stop Iran,” SyriaComment.com., 3/9/2006.
Version 2: 09/21/2010
Scott Sullivan is a former Washington government employee and was the Senior Advisor for International Economics at the Crisis Management Center of the National Security Council, 1984 - 1986. Petroleumworld not necessarily share these views.
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Petroleumworld News 09/21/2010
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