Cable TCM’s showing of “Lawrence of Arabia” recently reminded us of the eternal quagmire of the MIddle East. When I saw this headline out of Zero Hedge I could only feel sadness. How much blood and treasure we have given. Yet, in today’s news we hear nothing. Only the latest antics of three women plus Sarsour, roaming Congress, Muslim supporting women – who would destroy us from within. Add Israel as well. And the Kurds? We leave then to their own devices one more time.
What Iran is billing as President Hassan Rouhani’s first “historic” and landmark visit to Iraq, both the United States and Israel are seeing as a provocative move to solidify Iran’s influence over Baghdad.
Just prior to arriving in Iraq Monday, Rouhani said on state television that his country is determined to “strengthen its brotherly ties” with neighboring Iraq. It’s expected that the three-day visit will result in a wide range of economic deals in fields such as energy, transport, and agriculture; however, as Israel’s Haaretz writes based on a Reuters report:
The visit is a strong message to the United States and its regional allies that Iran still dominates Baghdad, a key arena for rising tension between Washington and Tehran.
Over the past year immense tension has grown between allies Baghdad and Washington over Iraq’s reliance on Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite paramilitary units to wage war against ISIS and other Sunni terror groups.
As Al Jazeera notes:
Since Rouhani’s election in 2013, Iraq has relied on Iranian paramilitary support to fight ISIL following the group’s capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul and other territories in both Iraq and Syria.
Now, with the armed fighters facing a final territorial defeat in the Syrian village of Baghouz, Iran is looking for Iraq’s continued support as it faces a maximalist pressure campaign by President Donald Trump after his decision to withdraw the United States from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
But this is ultimately the lasting legacy of Bush and Cheney’s 2003 regime change war and toppling of Saddam Hussein: they overthrew a Sunni Baath secular dictator in exchange for entrenching pro-Iran influence in Baghdad, to the delight of the Ayatollahs.
Washington can now behold the fruits of its neocon interventionist labor as Iran’s president is granted a hero’s welcome in the heart of Baghdad (this after Iran and Iraq were very recently bitter enemies) — all the while US officials in the same city will look on helplessly from the sidelines.