There’s an upside to leading from behind.
When Obama retreated from Iraq, ISIS emerged and ushered in a wave of brutal warfare against Iranian proxies and fellow Sunni Islamists capping off the Arab Spring and the New Middle East with a bang.
Biden’s retreat from Afghanistan hasn’t been that spectacular yet, but give it a little time.
Iran and the Taliban, after initially being good friends and swapping abandoned American military equipment back and forth, are killing each other over who gets first dibs on the local water rights.
So far, two Iranian border guards and one Taliban terrorist are dead. The death toll on both sides would be higher, but, like most Islamic armies, neither side is much good at anything except run-and-gun raids.
And empty boasts.
If we get the order, we “will conquer Iran within 24 hours,” says Taliban commander Abdul Hamid. “Iran is flirting with the West. In reality, Iran has teamed up with the West. Iran should know that if they cross our red lines, we will erase them from the map of the Earth.” pic.twitter.com/LQhy8TQWiw
— Mike (@Doranimated) May 27, 2023
Iran, for its part, claims to be winning.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quoted the country’s deputy police chief, Gen. Qassem Rezaei, accusing the Taliban of opening fire first Saturday morning on the border of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province and the Afghan province of Nimroz. IRNA said Iran inflicted “heavy casualties and serious damage.”
Heavy casualties and serious damage means one dead. And the Taliban are ready to conquer all of Iran in 24 hours after killing two border guards and taking one border post.
This kind of rhetoric is normal in the Muslim world.
What it really means is that both sides are posturing before they come together to form a temporary agreement that both sides will freely violate resulting in more clashes and “heavy casualties and serious damage.”
So business as usual.
Iran is demanding that the Taliban abide by a 1973 agreement that predates both the Taliban and the Islamic regime in Iran. The good news is they both have lots of weapons to fight with. The bad news is that any large-scale clashes are unlikely because both sides are cowardly and incapable of hitting anything they fire at.
But Iran does have an ace in the hole which is Al Qaeda. So expect Iran to try to use Al Qaeda against the Taliban. Can the terrorists be terrorized? Expect some more Shiite mosques in Afghanistan to get bombed as the various elements of the Religion of Peace worship Allah by killing each other.