Ted Koppel: 'United States is already at war with Iran'

RAW STORY
Published: Saturday July 22, 2006

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"The United States is already at war with Iran; but for the time being the battle is being fought through surrogates," begins a New York Times Op-Ed written by former ABC Nightline host Ted Koppel.

Excerpts from the Op-Ed:

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That message was conveyed to me recently by a senior Jordanian intelligence official at his office in Amman. He spoke on the condition of anonymity, reflecting gloomily on the failure of the Bush administration’s various policies in the region.

He reserved his greatest contempt for the policy of encouraging democratic reform. “For the Islamic fundamentalists, democratic reform is like toilet paper,” he said. “You use it once and then you throw it away.”

Lest the point elude me, the official conducted a brief tour of recent democratic highlights in the region. Gaza and the West Bank, where Hamas, spurned by the State Department as a terrorist organization, was voted into power last spring and now represents the Palestinian government; Lebanon, where Hezbollah, similarly rejected by the United States, has become the most influential political entity in the country; and, of course, Iraq, where the Shiite majority has now, through elections, gained political power commensurate with its numbers.

In each case, the intelligence officer reminded me, the beneficiary of those electoral victories is allied with and, to some degree, dependent upon Iran. Over the past couple of months alone, he told me, Hamas has received more than $300 million in cash, provided by Iran and funneled through Syria. He told me what has now become self-evident to the residents of Haifa: namely, that Iran has made longer-range and more powerful rockets and missiles available to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

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TIMES SELECT SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ FULL KOPPEL OP-ED HERE

HUFFINGTON POST'S EAT THE RICH HAS MORE ON KOPPEL'S COLUMN AT THIS LINK