[OPE-L:6053] war

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Tue Oct 09 2001 - 14:01:38 EDT

Sender: mongiovg <mongiovg@stjohns.edu>
From: mongiovg <mongiovg@stjohns.edu>
To: ope-l <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>, Rakesh Bhandari <rakeshb@Stanford.EDU>
X-EXP32-SerialNo: 00002203
Subject: RE: [OPE-L:6051] war

Seems to me this whole mess presents a window of opportunity for the US to 
patch things up with Iran.  The moderates in govt there strike me as more 
reliable agents of stability than any of the factions in Afghanistan.  Even 
accepting that the agenda of the Bush administration is to protect access to 
oil, wouldn't this agenda be better served by a rapprochement with Iran than 
through alliances with factions that have already demonstrated their inability 
to stabilize Afghanistan's internal affairs?

I agree that there is now  a possibility of such a rational, "multiethnic" 
solution in Afghanistan. But whether the big powers--Pakistan, Iran and the US-
-will allow it remains to be seen. Pakistan seems ready to undermine any 
multiethnic and hence possibly hostile govt to its North. This coupled with US' 
recent "cold war" like attitude towards iran suggests that such cooperation may 
not be realized. but i think you are right to see that a solution may now be 
possible,given better US-Iran relations. In fact the US may cooperate with Iran 
to use Afghanistan to now put pressure on Pakistan to root out the Taleban 
supporters in the ISI. the pipeline business may become secondary to stamping 
out radicalized wahhabism. and this may require massive pressure on Pakistan 
after the taleban has been removed, so maybe the US now makes an alliance with 
Iran and indeed welcomes the Northern alliance into power (by the way, the 
Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan [RAWA] claims that the 
Northern Alliance may be worse than the Taleban, as Katha Pollitt underlined).  
Who knows?    


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