Time to Finally Give Iraq the Finger

Time to Finally Give Iraq the Finger

Time to Finally Give Iraq the Finger

The US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq was attacked a few days ago by alleged “protesters,” angry because the United States launched air strikes targeting Iran-backed militia Kata’ib Hizballah (KH) after the group launched a rocket attack that killed a US contractor and wounded four troops.

The “protesters” were hardly grassroots Iraqis. In fact, the unrest that resulted in the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi in November, was carefully planned and fomented for months by Iran and its IRGC-QF.

It’s not the first time Tehran has been involved in fomenting unrest and instability in a sovereign nation to further its regional goals.

More recently, the IRGC has worked in Syria to prop up a murderous, anti-American despot in Bashar al-Assad. In Lebanon, the IRGC has supported Hezbollah and its efforts to threaten Israel. In Yemen, the IRGC has fomented instability and supported missile attacks against U.S. vessels and partners.

Iran is pretty smart about using popular discontent to its advantage, and Iraq is no exception. The IRGC (similar to the Russians) justifies its intervention in the affairs of sovereign nations by claiming that it is acting to protect Shia Muslims abroad. In fact, it is acting to counter US and Saudi Arabian influence in the region by advancing the idea that somehow the United States and Saudi Arabia are responsible for the unrest in Iraq.

The IRGC confirmed that it is working with security services in Iraq ostensibly to protect Arbaeen pilgrims. IRGC Spokesperson Brig. Gen. 2nd Class (equivalent to a US brigadier general) Ramezan Sharif *announced that the IRGC Quds Force is cooperating with Iraqi security services and the Popular Mobilization Forces to protect Arbaeen pilgrims “on Iraqi soil” on October 10. Sharif added that the IRGC will provide ambulances and medical services to pilgrims. Sharif’s announcement coincides with large-scale popular protests in Iraq, which have have been primarily fueled by economic and anti-government grievances. Some Iraqis have also expressed anti-Iran sentiments.

Sharif stated that outside intervention from Iran’s enemies is fomenting the unrest to disrupt the Arbaeen pilgrimage and the unity between Iran and Iraq. Iranian officials *have accused the US and Saudi Arabia of instigating the riots. The IRGC Quds Force will likely facilitate or assist the PMF’s violent crackdown on Iraqi protesters under the pretext of providing Arbaeen security and defending Iraq against foriegn [sic] aggression.

Meanwhile Tehran has been mucking about in the affairs of Iraq for more than a decade, backing Shia politicians and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Force (PMF), funding terrorist militias such as Kata’ib Hizballah, who are only too happy to launch attacks against the United States and its allies at Iran’s behest.

Although the demonstrations are ostensibly about corruption and opposition to the government’s inaction on the lack of infrastructure, unemployment, etc., Iran has been quick to use these protests to its advantage, blaming the United States, and (of course) Zionists for the unrest and claiming we are targeting Iraq.

Meanwhile, we are spending military resources striking back at Iran-backed militia assholes and being super careful to strike only specific targets, because that’s what we do. KH and other Shia militia assholes are not bound by the same kind of honor.

So what to do?

On one hand, we didn’t finish the job the last time in Iraq (as well as made a host of strategic errors) that allowed ISIS to rise – a group so crazy that even al-Qa’ida stepped back and said, “Whoa, dudes! That’s a bit extreme, don’t you think?” How extremist does a group have to be for even al-Qa’ida to back up slowly?

On the other hand, we’ve wasted enough time, resources, and American lives in that shithole.

PMF commanders with IRGC advisors (2017); Wikimedia commons in the Public Domain

Mahdi has been speaking out of both sides of his maw since his selection as Prime Minister in 2018, claiming to want an improvement in bilateral relations with the United States, while allowing Iran-backed PMF militia scum to integrate into Iraqi security forces.

On one hand, maintaining a strong US presence in the volatile region is smart, especially given the froggy disposition of Iran as its economy continues to reel as the result of strengthened US sanctions.

On the other hand, Iran doesn’t need a whole lot of resources to direct its militias to attack US interests, and they are more than willing to oblige. Asshole militants like Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) and KH provide the perfect opportunity for Iran to assert its dominance in the region, and require few resources from Iran to do it. The rocket attacks against US and allied interests have been steady over the past six months.

The five strikes on both sides of the Iran-Syria border show the extent of the KH network. It has purposely colonized areas at Al-Qaim and Albukamal so that it can control the border crossing that is key to Iran’s “land bridge” or road to the sea. It may be central to Iran’s plans to move ballistic missiles to Iraq, revealed by western intelligence services in August 2018 and December 2019.

Do we really want Iranian missiles inside Iraq?

No.

Do we really want to leave Iraq to the Iranians and their militia goons, when we have an opportunity to support a new, strong leader in the wake of Mahdi’s resignation?

No.

But should the internal affairs of Iran, and the consequent costs we bear for our involvement there, be so important to us?

I don’t think so.

The Iraqi public is sick and tired of both sides – and they appear to want both Iran and the United States to stay the hell out of their country.

Chances are, a new Prime Minister in Iraq will be the same old mealy-mouthed, indecisive compromise who will not stand up to Tehran, will not move Iraq toward energy independence, and will not take US concerns in the region into any kind of consideration.

So why should we stay?

In my humble opinion, we shouldn’t. Time to give Iraq the finger and unass the AO.

Welcome Instapundit readers!

Featured image: Iraq protests in Tahrir Square; Wikipedia; This video, screenshot or audio excerpt was originally uploaded on YouTube under a CC license.

Written by

Marta Hernandez is an immigrant, writer, editor, science fiction fan (especially military sci-fi), and a lover of freedom, her children, her husband and her pets. She loves to shoot, and range time is sacred, as is her hiking obsession, especially if we’re talking the European Alps. She is an avid caffeine and TWD addict, and wants to own otters, sloths, wallabies, koalas, and wombats when she grows up.

13 Comments
  • Scott says:

    Fuck the middle east..Pull all our forces out, and give the Israelis whatever they need to take care of the situation. They will NOT allow the rag heads to threaten their existence, and we should not sacrifice our troops to try to bring civilization to those not capable of being civilized

    • Marta Hernandez says:

      I’m not sure Israel can handle ALL the shit that’s over there. Especially Iran nukes, which frankly, I think Tehran would develop an use against Israel first and foremost.

      I’ve long been of the opinion that we just need to nuke Iran off the face of the earth, but hey… what do I know?

      • Scott says:

        Not disputing that need at all Marta, but Israel has more than enough nukes to get the job done, and if they had our approval, they’d do so LONG before Iran could field a useful weapon.I just think we should leave it to them to do, with our blessing.

        • Marta Hernandez says:

          The problem is Iran has a ton of resources out there: HAMAS, PIJ, and a bunch of armed assholes in Iraq. The rockets they keep supplying to them are endless, as is the drone technology and other shit. Plus… Shia militants aren’t the only ones getting Iran’s support. Israel is surrounded by hostiles. I honestly don’t think they could do it without our help.

          That’s why I think nuking Iran should be on the table. 🙂

      • GWB says:

        nuke Iran off the face of the earth
        While I’ve been tempted to agree since 1979, I think there’s loads of folks in Iran that we shouldn’t unnecessarily eliminate. The non-islamist portion of Iranian culture is actually fairly decent. It was a decent country under the Shah. And some of them would actually like to return to freedom.

        I propose we only nuke the parts that are absolutely necessary – like IRGC sites – and leave the rest to recover their senses.

        • Marta Hernandez says:

          I’m honestly done with all of them. Done. Nuke Iran, kill everyone, salt the earth, wait a few decades, and build an amusement park.

  • No, we do not want Iran stationing ballistic missiles in Iraq.

    No, we do not want to maintain forces indefinitely in Iraq.

    When you have a solution to both of these, please elucidate.

    • TimW says:

      Also don’t forget, Israel was ready to take pre-emptive action against Iran’s nuke program in sort of a grand-scale Osirak operation. But the Obamunists prevented it, as did Bush 2.

    • Marta Hernandez says:

      I certainly don’t. But I figured someone needed to sit down and at least objectively examine the pros and cons.

  • Steve57 says:

    They would station ballistic missiles in Iraq. They would roll right on through their client state Syia into loving arms of Hezbollah. Who run Lebanon, were they could put them right on the coast of the Med if they wanted to and range most if not all of Europe. Oh, and also on Israel”s northern and northwestern border
    That would be a.bad thimg.

  • Thomas Hazlewood says:

    A consistent trait of American policy is never knowing when the job is done. Hence, we spend decades waiting for a single leader who will say, OK, EndEx.

    • GWB says:

      A consistent trait of modern American policy is not actually giving an end condition in the first place.

      There’s also the problem that our foreign policy folks (the ones in Foggy Bottom, who think they are the smartest people on Earth) have a great many ideas that just aren’t so. Things like…
      democracy = voting
      everyone everywhere just wants democracy
      no cultural prerequisites are necessary for “democracy”
      giving a country money will make it ‘good’
      all cultures are equal
      etc., etc., etc.

  • GWB says:

    It’s not the first time Tehran has been involved in fomenting unrest and instability in a sovereign nation to further its regional goals.
    Go back even further than that, to directly supplying shaped-charge explosives to the Iraqi insurgency (which was always Iranian-backed). (And, yes, even further back….)

    outside intervention from Iran’s enemies
    And that is said without a hint of irony. The outsider is complaining about outsiders.

    Iran doesn’t need a whole lot of resources to direct its militias to attack US interests
    There is a way to neutralize that. Actually several fronts could be initiated: economic, diplomatic, and warfare. (A single bombing run over IRGC bases would stop a lot of the problems as they rebuilt. AND it might encourage the rebellion in Iran, which would do the world some long-run good.)

    unass the AO
    Well, I don’t agree with this. I think we should keep a nice big base right there in Iraq (mainly because it’s nicely central to a lot of things, and within a hop from bases in Europe). It should have runways big enough for B52s, enough infrastructure to accommodate a bridgehead, and enough ground forces to make everyone think twice. We should regularly go out and maneuver – regardless of the will of the local gov’t. (Though, we should do what we can within good American principles – IOW, not the bribery of past foreign policy – to convert the local people and gov’t to our side.) And we should regularly move forces into and out of our embassies around the region. (I think we should move our air component HQ there, as well, and leave Qatar.)

    I wouldn’t mind a base the size of Grafenwöhr, in Germany: ~90 sq miles.

    Again, I am not proposing to continue nation-building there. Just occupying the area necessary to react quickly to anything in the region that we desire to. (I wouldn’t be opposed to doing the same with a naval base in Yemen. Carpet bomb what’s necessary for safety, and build it.)

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