Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Iran and the US work together to prop up Haider (and continue Iraq's suffering)

As Iran and the US governments speak in unison about holding Iraq under, keeping it suppressed, it becomes clear that the White House 'plan' is a failure because of its goals -- which are not about addressing (and removing) the Islamic State.

Brian Francisco (JOURNAL GAZETTE) reports on his conversation with US Senator Joe Donnelly who recently returned from visiting a few key places in Iraq:

He said training, logistics and other support provided by U.S. military advisers appear to be paying off. But Donnelly warned that Iraqi officials must settle sectarian feuds and supply their citizens with better security, access to electricity and job opportunities if they want to prevent violent conflicts such as those created by the Islamic State in recent years and al-Qaida in the 2000s.
“We are not going to buy the same real estate a third time,” Donnelly said about the U.S. government’s role in preventing Iraq’s collapse. “We are not going to let this go south on us.”

If that's the case, Donnelly, then why isn't the White House listening to you?

Donnelly's correct that the "Iraqi officials must settle sectarian feuds," et al to prevent the conflicts but when does the White House put pressure on them to do that?

There's never any pressure from the White House.

Barack's refusal to pressure Nouri al-Maliki (after installing him in a second term despite Nouri losing the 2010 election) allowed Nouri to persecute and this brought about the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq.  Barack installed Haider in August of 2014 and there's been no pressure for Haider to resolve the conflicts.

Stephen Kaplan and Maher Chmaytelli (REUTERS) report:

The United States and Iran have formed an unlikely tacit alliance behind Iraq's prime minister as he challenges the ruling elite with plans for a non-political cabinet to fight corruption undermining the OPEC nation's economic and political stability.

Local calls for Haider al-Abadi's removal -- including one by his predecessor as prime minister Nuri al-Maliki -- had been growing as he pursued a reshuffle aimed at addressing graft, which became a major issue after oil prices collapsed in 2014 and strained the government's finances as it launched a costly campaign against Islamic State.

This is not about reforms.

It's never been about reforms.

For Iran, it's about weakening Sunnis.  And it's the knowledge that as long as Iraq's unstable, Iran benefits.  For the US, it's about pushing through the economic 'reforms' it's long wanted.  Ending subsidies to the Iraqi people, changing the economic system, controlling the oil.

Yes, that oil and natural gas law that the US has been pushing.  Bully Boy Bush pushed it, Barack pushes it.  And it's still never gotten anywhere.

Iran and the US remain in bed together, pillow talking ways to keep Iraq unsteady and in need of 'help.'

At FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS, Russ Wellen appears to grasp that as long as the only people talking about Iraq in the US are the ones calling for more war, we are losing the argument.  He notes:

In the meantime, what can we do to roll back the Islamic State and, once and for all, the ever-resilient Al Qaeda? The more we dither, the more time we give them to obtain a nuclear material and fashion a dirty bomb. Or, exponentially worse, steal a nuclear bomb from one of the poorly guarded facilities in Belgium that house U.S. nuclear bombs. But the more aggressively we attack Islamic extremists, the more civilians die because the terrorists infest civilian populations.
At Truthout, Kate Gould of the Friends Committee on National Legislation presents a metaphor that strikes a chord:
… to get to the heart of the ISIS crisis, we must press our elected officials and other policy makers to treat ISIS like an artichoke. The most promising way to deal with ISIS is to strip off its overlapping layers of recruits, weapons, and political and financial support.
Ms. Gould writes: “To peel off ISIS’s layers of support, we need to stop feeding into its recruitment bonanza.” Stop the bombing and no more ground troops.
Members of Congress can signal their opposition to sliding down the ground troop slippery slope by co-sponsoring H.J. Res 30, which prohibits funding for deploying ground troops to fight ISIS.
Next, she advises, build on the current ceasefire by opening negotiations with Syria. Then, lean on Iraq:

It’s time to hold Iraq accountable, and, at a minimum, condition further military aid to the Iraqi government on its progress in advancing political reconciliation efforts that address the grievances of marginalized Iraqis, especially those in Sunni-majority areas. 

In the words of Stevie Nicks, "Welcome to the room, Sara, welcome to the choir, sir."

And what an improvement it is over FPIF's previous stance of getting all giddy over 'precision strikes.'

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