When the Taliban were overthrown, Iran helped, because the Taliban were the enemy and more so than America. They got nothing for it other than the most bizarre accusations that Iran, a Shia theocracy would be hosting Sunni extremists so hard line that they executed Shia Muslims in Afghanistan.
Syria has been cold shouldered as well.
This is because Donald Rumsfeld's plan was going to impress them so much, they would be left quaking in their boots.
Looks like utter arrogance to me.
You can read my take on why we are in this mess in Iraq here, All my articles on Iraq here, and on Afghanistan here. You can read this article from the Libdemograph Independent here.
However, one thing I would say, is this:
- If you are going to bluff, make sure they don't see you (and they have)
- If you are going to negotiate do so from strength, before they have seen your hand.
It need not have been this way. We could have used our brains.
Winston Churchill said "Jaw jaw is better than war war". He was right. You talk right up until the time you have to present a war ultimatum. Then you go to war. You can't sit around picking and choosing who you do and don't talk to or else you end up looking like a bunch of pratts.