Iraqis throw flowers as triumphant Iranian President Ahmadinejad does victory dance in Baghdad’s streets
Well, it wasn’t quite that bad, but close. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, the man most Americans have been taught is the next Hitler, just visited Baghdad for two days. He was warmly greeted by Iraq’s Shia government. Iraq’s Shias have long term relationships with Iran going back decades, but this was the first time an Iranian leader had visited Iraq. Ahmadinejad made no bones about what he thought of the US forces in Iraq: “No one likes them, we believe that the forces which crossed oceans and thousands of kilometres to come to this region, should leave this region and hand over the affairs to the people’s and government of this region.”
Bush and company must have been seething, they’ve spent trillions of dollars and thousands of lives installing the Maliki government in Iraq, and here’s Maliki buddying up with our number one designated enemy-du-jour. I’m pretty sure “Iraq aligns itself with Ian” isn’t on the list of benchmarks showing how much progress the USA has made in the surge. You just can’t buy puppet governments like you used too, what is this world coming to?
Granted the US doesn’t have a good track record with the leaders it has installed in Iraq, Chalabi, out first installed leader…turned out to be an Iranian double agent. In fact it seems pretty clear now that he was in the employ of Iran long before we overthrew Saddam…and that Iranian counter-intelligence may very well have fed the USA much of the information that led to our going to war with Saddam in the first place. This actually was reported in the mainstream press, but most Americans simply refuse that their government could have been so badly fooled that the information simply isn’t processed. The Iranians tricked us into destroying their worst enemy in Iraq and installing a pro-Iranian government in its place? Well, believe it.
This whole mess once again illustrates one of the many reasons why I argued that the invasion of Iraq was a terrible idea. If it didn’t go spectacularly well, it would leave us in a position where we would be paralysed and our enemies had any number of ways to take advantage of the situation. And Iran becoming more influential in Iraq than the USA is definitely taking advantage of the situation. This will make it harder to demonize and isolate Iran, make attacking Iran even more problematic, and just in general is so much pie thrown in our collective faces.
And speaking of attacking Iran, there are reports that a number of senior US military men will resign if an attack on Iran is ordered. This can’t be good no matter how true it is. I suppose some might make the claim that this was somehow engineered to encourage the Iranians to let their guard down, but that’s reaching. I mean, hurt moral and public support for the war just on the of chance it will throw an enemy off guard? Pretty risky strategy at best, and I’m pretty sure the civilian leadership surrounding Bush still has such enormous confidence in the infallible power of the US military that it wouldn’t even occur to them to do anything to get Iran’s guard down.
Now in all fairness, many people in Iraq, especially the Sunnis, aren’t nearly as thrilled with Iran as the Shia. Again though, this is not good for the USA, because getting the Sunnis on board with the Iraqi government was one of the few things that was “working” with the surge. Of course paying and arming the people we were fighting so they would stop fighting us was grasping at straws to begin with, if we have to pay people to be our friends, we really don’t have any friends. And now Iraq’s Sunnis see their government buddying up to the country that waged war on Iraq for years, a country that has no use for Sunnis. Yeah, this is going to help their attitude.
Lots of other stuff going on in the world this week as well. Horrible violence in Gaza. Bush is making new friends in Africa. And the US economy and dollar continue its slide into what we are not yet allowed to call a depression…even though it sure is depressing. Plus the Democrats are in the final stages of the bizarre Hillary vs Barrack death match, I don’t even know what to make of that. Call me a cynic, but the elections remind me more and more of pro-wrestling all the time. No one really takes this farce seriously, do they?
(The above image of Ahmadinejad and Maliki is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, it is central to illustrating the post, and its use here in no way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. Credit: AP Photo. Interesting times, nu?)