Monday, April 03, 2017

Iran's Man in Baghdad

Will Iraq and America be partners to resist Iran after ISIL's caliphate is defeated?

I'm worried about the Trump administration's intent on the question of Iraq. The administration's new willingness to resist Iran seems to have a potential hole in Iraq which is the main prize for Iran right now.

While the Iraqi government seems to want us and President Trump and our generals have made positive comments about staying in Iraq, I've read other things that shake my confidence.

And that walking piece of breathing garbage Moqtada al-Sadr could hamper that partnership:

On March 26, the Iraqi government officially announced it favors the idea of some US forces staying. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a Fox News interview that he supports retaining enough US troops to support Iraqi forces in a post-IS Iraq.

"We are concentrating on training, logistical support, and intelligence cooperation and gathering; these are three important elements for which I think we need some US troops to stay in Iraq to continue the task," he stated.

It appears that parliament's Security and Defense Committee has information that work has already begun on some US bases. Committee member Majid al-Gharawi told Al-Monitor, "The US troops, present in Iraq in rising numbers each day, are meant to stay in Iraq." Gharawi, a political representative of the Sadrist movement, not surprisingly opposes the idea. "American forces in Iraq will be met by resistance at the hand of Iraqis. Any foreign military presence on Iraqi soil will not be tolerated," he said.

Jaafar al-Moussawi, the spokesperson for Sadrist movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr, concurred. He said, "Any continued presence of foreign forces in Iraq, whether they are American or not, without agreement by the Iraqi parliament is considered an occupation. Hence, it will face resistance by the Sadrist movement or the rest of Iraqis, as the movement's stance on a US presence hasn’t changed."

Sadr is Iran's man in Iraq who leads forces that have fought the Iraqi government and our troops several times in Sadrist uprisings since the overthrow of Saddam.

I've long and still worry that we will live to regret letting that man live.

As we look forward to the defeat of the ISIL Sunni caliphate in Iraq (and Syria), will we let the Shia caliphate that Iran has been since the overthrow of the Shah and the start of an Islamist mullah-run Iranian government make Iraq their province?