[Marxism] Anti-imperialist Iran?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Mar 11 18:27:12 MDT 2009


NY Times, March 12, 2009
For War Supply Routes, U.S. Looks Even in Iran
By THOM SHANKER and ELISABETH BUMILLER

WASHINGTON — The United States is seeking new supply routes for the war 
in Afghanistan that would bypass Russia, and has even had logistics 
experts review overland roads through Iran that might be used by NATO 
allies, according to military planners and Pentagon officials.

The effort is aimed at developing reliable alternatives to routes 
through the Khyber Pass in Pakistan, where convoys have come under 
increasing attack by the Taliban, and to prepare for the possible loss 
of an important air base in Kyrgyzstan. The planning also reflects 
growing concern that Russia could use its clout to restrict American and 
allied shipments that would be passing in greater amounts through its 
territory on the way to staging areas in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan en 
route to Afghanistan.

Pentagon and military officials cautioned that the United States was not 
in any way considering the use of overland routes through Iran for 
American supplies, a politically implausible proposition given the near 
frozen state of relations between the United States and Iran. American 
officials say that recent overtures from the Obama administration toward 
Iran — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last week proposed a 
conference on Afghanistan that would include Iran — did not encompass 
any use of Iranian roads.

But Pentagon and NATO planners, as part of an effort to consider every 
contingency, have studied Iranian routes from the port of Chabahar, on 
the Arabian Sea, that link with a new road recently completed by India 
in western Afghanistan. The route is considered shorter and safer than 
going through Pakistan.

“In the course of prudent planning, our military planners have looked at 
virtually every conceivable avenue of supplying our forces in 
Afghanistan,” said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary. 
“However, as you would expect, they have done so with an eye on 
logistical feasibility rather than political reality.”

The route through Iran nonetheless might be the focus of bilateral 
supply talks conducted by individual NATO allies that have relations 
with Iran, as NATO’s supreme allied commander, Gen. John Craddock, an 
American, suggested last month. Moreover, the Shiite government in Iran 
has long had testy relations with the Sunni Taliban, improving the odds 
that it could offer transit of supplies to NATO nations.

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/washington/12military.html

===

The Boston Globe, December 31, 2001, Monday
FIGHTING TERROR THE WASHINGTON STRATEGY; TURNING THE TIDE IN
AFGHANISTAN AS WAR UNFOLDED, US STRATEGY EVOLVED

THIS STORY WAS REPORTED IN WASHINGTON BY MICHAEL KRANISH, BRYAN
BENDER, ANTHONY SHADID, ANNE E. KORNBLUT, AND ROBERT SCHLESINGER, AND
IN AFGHANISTAN BY JOHN DONNELLY, DAVID FILIPOV, AND LYNDA GOROV. IT
WAS WRITTEN BY KRANISH.

Haron Amin, the Washington representative of the Northern Alliance,
was a deeply frustrated man in the summer of 2001. Here he was,
offering his alliance's help in overthrowing the Taliban government
of Afghanistan and tracking down Al Qaeda chieftain Osama bin Laden,
but the Bush White House was hardly listening.

First, Amin asked for military support. The White House refused.
"Then financial support, then it was political support, and then it
was moral support," Amin said. "We got none of them. Zilch. Absolutely 
zero."

Then came Sept. 11. And, within days, President Bush made one of the
most important decisions of the war on terrorism, throwing his lot
with the ragtag Northern Alliance and pressuring Pakistan to desert
its Taliban clients.

To help arm the alliance, the Bush administration made a previously
unthinkable deal, intelligence sources said: It agreed to finance a
Russian transfer of arms to the alliance fighters. At about the same
time, the United States started getting valuable intelligence from a
longtime adversary, Iran. CIA and special forces troops prepared to
join the alliance ranks to mark targets with high-tech precision for
"smart" munitions that would be launched by US planes.

===

The Independent (London), September 22, 2001, Saturday
WAR ON TERRORISM: IRAN - STRAW WILL VISIT TEHRAN TO FORGE UNLIKELY ALLIANCE
BYLINE: Anne Penketh And Patrick Cockburn In Dushanbe Jack Straw:
Seeking anti-Taliban support

THE FOREIGN Secretary, Jack Straw, announced yesterday that he will
travel to Iran next week for the first visit to the Islamic republic
by a British foreign minister in more than two decades.

Mr Straw's visit is part of efforts led by the United States to bind
together an anti-Taliban coalition in the wake of the attacks, and
follows a "remarkable" telephone conversation between Tony Blair and
the reformist President of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, on Thursday.

Mr Blair said the Iranian leader not only condemned terrorism and
offered support over the attacks, but expressed the wish to "rebuild
the relationship between our two countries as well".

"It's important to build alliances with every country that we can,"
Mr Straw said yesterday as he prepared for his ground-breaking
meeting next week. Britain - which shares the US conviction that the
Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden who is sheltered by the Taliban in
Afghanistan, is responsible for the attacks - strongly supports a
US-led military response.

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