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"Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’" - NY Times
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: July 15, 2017 05:03PM
Good article that explores the many paths by which Iran doing this. (Thanks Bush! Thanks Obama!)

Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’

Iran’s influence in Iraq is not just ascendant, but diverse, projecting into military, political, economic and cultural affairs.

At some border posts in the south, Iraqi sovereignty is an afterthought. Busloads of young militia recruits cross into Iran without so much as a document check. They receive military training and are then flown to Syria, where they fight under the command of Iranian officers in defense of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

Passing in the other direction, truck drivers pump Iranian products — food, household goods, illicit drugs — into what has become a vital and captive market.

--long article---
When American officials in Iraq began the slow wind-down of the military mission there, in 2009, some diplomats in Baghdad were cautiously celebrating one achievement: Iran seemed to be on its heels, its influence in the country waning.

“Over the last year, Iran has lost the strategic initiative in Iraq,” one diplomat wrote in a cable, later released by WikiLeaks.

But other cables sent warnings back to Washington that were frequently voiced by Iraqi officials they spoke to: that if the Americans left, then Iran would fill the vacuum.

Ryan C. Crocker, the American ambassador in Iraq from 2007 to 2009, said that if the United States left again after the Islamic State was defeated, “it would be effectively just giving the Iranians a free rein.”

But many Iraqis say the Iranians already have free rein. And while the Trump administration has indicated that it will pay closer attention to Iraq as a means to counter Iran, the question is whether it is too late.

“Iran is not going to sit silent and do nothing,” said Sami al-Askari, a senior Shiite politician who has good relationships with both the Iranians and Americans. “They have many means. Frankly, the Americans can’t do anything.”
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Re: "Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’" - NY Times
Posted by: Ted King
Date: July 15, 2017 05:36PM
A little historical background (article written in 2011):



A 2008 security deal between Washington [Bush administration] and Baghdad called for all American forces to leave Iraq by the end of the year [2011], but the White House [Obama administration] -- anxious about growing Iranian influence and Iraq's continuing political and security challenges -- publicly and privately tried to sell the Iraqis on a troop extension. As recently as last week, the White House was trying to persuade the Iraqis to allow 2,000-3,000 troops to stay beyond the end of the year.

Those efforts had never really gone anywhere; One senior U.S. military official told National Journal last weekend that they were stuck at "first base" because of Iraqi reluctance to hold substantive talks.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, for instance, is a hugely pro-American politician who believes Iraq's security forces will be incapable of protecting the country without sustained foreign assistance. But in a recent interview, he refused to endorse a U.S. troop extension and instead indicated that they should leave.

"We have serious security problems in this country and serious political problems," he said in an interview late last month at his heavily guarded compound in Baghdad. "Keeping Americans in Iraq longer isn't the answer to the problems of Iraq. It may be an answer to the problems of the U.S., but it's definitely not the solution to the problems of my country."

Shiite leaders -- including many from Maliki's own Dawaa Party -- were even more strongly opposed, with followers of radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr threatening renewed violence if any American troops stayed past the end of the year. The Sadr threat was deeply alarming to Iraqis just beginning to rebuild their lives and their country after the bloody sectarian strife which ravaged Iraq for the past eight and a half years.

The only major Iraqi political bloc that was willing to speak publicly about a troop extension was the Kurdish alliance which governs the country's north and has long had a testy relationship with Maliki and the country's Sunni and Shia populations. But even Kurdish support was far from monolithic: Mahmoud Othman, an independent Kurdish lawmaker considered one of the most pro-American members of parliament, said in a recent interview that he wanted the U.S. troops out.

"Personally, I no longer want them to stay," Othman said. "It's been eight years. I don't think having Americans stay in Iraq will improve the situation at all. Leaving would be better for them and for us. It's time for us to go our separate ways."

The opposition from across Iraq's political spectrum meant that Maliki would have needed to mount a Herculean effort to persuade Iraq's fractious parliament to sign off on any troop extension deals. His closest advisers conceded that such a deal would have virtually no chance of passing.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/15/2017 05:38PM by Ted King.
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Re: "Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’" - NY Times
Posted by: max
Date: July 15, 2017 06:24PM
Steve G.
Good article that explores the many paths by which Iran doing this. (Thanks Bush! Thanks Obama!)

You were one that demanded we went in there in the first place, SteveG, demanding and whining incessantly....

Steve G.
I believe that George Bush, Sr.'s failure to eliminate Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Gulf War was a central mistake in U.S. policy which has gotten us into the mess we find ourselves in today.

Steve G.
I was supporting the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, just as I had done since 1982.

I was duped by the phony evidence....

"I am duped, duped, I tel ya"....

"We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution;
one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/15/2017 06:59PM by max.
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Re: "Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’" - NY Times
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: July 16, 2017 10:02AM
[obligatory repost of 1980's Satan's helper Donald Rumsfeld meeting with Saddam to sell him WMD's to use on Iranians his people]

[obligatory repost of 1990's Satan Dick Cheney saying we shouldn't take down Saddam because it would be a quagmire]

In tha 360. MRF User Map
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