George Bush has long asserted that the war in Iraq would remake the Middle East.
Turns out he was right.
According to a new report by Chatham House, a British think tank, after spending over $400 billion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has succeeded... in making Iran the top dog in the region.
That's right, after over three years and 2,618 American lives lost in Iraq, Iran has now superceded America as the most influential power in that country. Indeed, in the words of the report, Iran now considers its former arch enemy its "own backyard." The Mullahs in Tehran have also become a "prominent presence" in Afghanistan.
And they haven't had to invest much more than a bundle of anti-American rhetoric -- along with the occasional bomb bone tossed to Moqtada al-Sadr.
In return, according to Chatham House analysts, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and company have been rewarded with a "confident ease" about Iran's enhanced standing in the region that has left them "confident of victory as conditions turn ever more in [Iran's] favour."
Talk about getting a bang for your dinar. Pentagon budget analysts take note.