Monday, October 12, 2015

Betting on the Strong Horse

Thank goodness we've rescued our global image as simple cowboys.

We liberated the Iraqi Shia from Saddam's boot on their necks in 2003, suffering nearly 4,500 dead to protect them from terrorists and insurgents in the 8 years that followed, yet our new era of hope and change designed to restore our reputation in the world has resulted in Vladimir Freaking Putin being celebrated as savior of Shias:

Russian President Vladimir Putin's bullish entry into the Syrian conflict has worked wonders for his popularity in neighbouring Iraq, where some await "Hajji Putin" like a saviour.

Sitting at his easel in his central Baghdad workshop, painter Mohammed Karim Nihaya touches up a portrait of Putin he copied from the Internet.

"I have been waiting for Russia to get involved in the fight against Daesh," he says, referring to the Islamic State group that last year declared a "caliphate" straddling Iraq and Syria.

"They get results. The United States and its allies on the other hand have been bombing for a year and achieved nothing," the bespectacled artist says.

For the moment, Putin is the Trump of the Shias who will smash the Sunni jihadis, liberate Mosul and Ramadi, and build a protective wall that Saudi Arabia will pay for.

The Shias of Iraq should be careful what they wish for.