One of the great ironies of the US invasion of Iraq is that it has propelled Iran, a country that the US has devoted enormous effort for 25 years to confronting, into a position of geo-political hegemony. Many regional experts, myself included, foresaw this as a likely outcome of the invasion, but the U.S. adminstration has no time for your skeptical views. The adminstration "knew better". This article by the veteran correspondent David Hirst does a very fine job of analyzing the redistribution of power to Iran, as well as to Israel.
Guardian Unlimited Guardian daily comment Iran and Israel will be kings of the Middle East jungle: "In March 2003, before US troops reached Baghdad, Middle East scholar Volker Perthes wrote that while the risks of this 'illegitimate' war were enormous, those of 'a US failure to stabilise postwar Iraq would be even higher'. With those words looking increasingly prophetic, no one, in picturing the implications of such failure, is now more lurid than the Bush administration. The direness of the prospect has become its strongest argument for 'staying the course', but for others it is already a given, amounting to 'the greatest strategic disaster in US history', in the words of the retired US general William Odom."