Winners and Losersposted by Ron Beasley at 2/14/2005 09:39:00 AM
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When the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq two years ago, it envisioned a quick handover to handpicked allies in a secular government that would be the antithesis of Iran's theocracy -- potentially even a foil to Tehran's regional ambitions.While the Bush administration tries to spin this as a great victory it can only be seen as a loss as the US supported party came in a poor third. As Condi Rice takes her dog and pony show on the road and continues to threaten Iran the two parties than won over 70 percent of the vote have Iranian ties and are expected to have relatively good relations with Iran.
But, in one of the greatest ironies of the U.S. intervention, Iraqis instead went to the polls and elected a government with a strong religious base -- and very close ties to the Islamic republic next door. It is the last thing the administration expected from its costly Iraq policy -- $300 billion and counting, U.S. and regional analysts say.
Thousands of members of the United Iraqi Alliance, a Shiite-dominated slate that won almost half of the 8.5 million votes and will name the prime minister, spent decades in exile in Iran. Most of the militia members in its largest faction were trained in Shiite-dominated Iran.The bottom line is the Bush administration is so delusional and incompetent it can't even accomplish it's own nefarious goals.
And the winning Kurdish alliance, whose co-leader Jalal Talabani is the top nominee for president, has roots in a province abutting Iran, which long served as its economic and political lifeline.
"This is a government that will have very good relations with Iran. The Kurdish victory reinforces this conclusion. Talabani is very close to Tehran," said Juan Cole, a University of Michigan expert on Iraq. "In terms of regional geopolitics, this is not the outcome that the United States was hoping for."