Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: FrontPage.Com, War on Terror — Rick Moran @ 10:21 am

My latest at FPM is about the shocking series of bombings and attacks yesterday in Iraq that claimed at least 90 lives and wounded hundreds.

Can we afford to leave Iraq? A sample:

The growing extremism is a consequence of Iraq’s drift into the orbit of Iran. If any evidence is required regarding how close that relationship is getting, one need look no further than the shocking statement by Prime Minister Maliki last week taking the side of Syrian President Assad against the protesters seeking to bring him down. While every other Arab government in the region has condemned Assad’s brutal crackdown, only Iran and Iraq have offered words of support. Maliki accused the protesters of trying to “sabotage” the state while hosting a Syrian government delegation. Maliki also welcomed Syria’s foreign minister last month. A Shia ally of the prime minister was quoted in the New York Times saying that the goal of Israel and the Gulf States “is to use the sectarian differences between the Shiite ruling family in Syria and the Sunni majority” for their own purposes. He said that if the protesters win, al-Qaeda will rule in Syria — a parroting of the official Syrian government line justifying the crackdown.

But Maliki owes everything to the Iranians and Syrians. They engineered his selection as prime minister following elections last year despite his secular rival, Ayad Allawi and his Iraqiya party, winning the election. “Maliki is very reliant on Iran for his power and Iran is backing Syria all the way. The Iranians and the Syrians were all critical to bringing him to power a year ago,” said Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group.

The real disease that afflicts the Iraqi government is indecision. With 40 ministers in the cabinet, a fractious parliament, and beset on all sides by extremists, the Maliki government gets very little done. For example, the speaker of the Iraq parliament — a Sunni — is not following the government line on the crackdown in Syria, issuing a statement saying, “For the sake of the Syrian people we demand the government, out of its responsibility to safeguard the lives of its people and their property, take the bold and courageous steps to stop the bleeding.” Indeed, as Hiltermann points out, the Syrian crackdown is serving as a wedge issue, with Shias supporting Assad, and Sunnis sympathizing with the protestors. Maliki is caught in the middle, making feeble attempts at reform, but as the bombings today show, he has very little room to maneuver. People are angry and are laying the blame at his doorstep.

There is also the depressing reality that questions the loyalty of the Iraqi army to the state, and the machinations of the Interior Ministry that has always been a hot bed of Iranian influence in the government. A professor of political science at Baghdad University, Hamid Fhadil, points out that the security forces are often more loyal to al-Qaeda or the Shia militias. “It’s hard to talk about the existence of an Iraqi Army and a Ministry of Interior without them being loyal to Iraq,” he observed.

Iraq is broke and we can’t fix it. Time to leave and accept the consequences of a failed policy and failed experiment.

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