Way to Go

Tom Lasseter of Knight Ridder reports that the Shiite militias have taken control of much of southern Iraq, and that these militias are being trained and armed by Iran.

Southern Iraq, long touted as a peaceful region that’s likely to be among the first areas returned to Iraqi control, is now dominated by Shiite Muslim warlords and militiamen who are laying the groundwork for an Islamic fundamentalist government, say senior British and Iraqi officials in the area.

The militias appear to be supported by Iranian intelligence or military units that are shipping weapons to the militias in Iraq and providing training for them in Iran.

Some British officials believe the Iranians want to hasten the withdrawal of U.S.-backed coalition forces to pave the way for Iran-friendly clerical rule.

Iranian influence is evident throughout the area. In one government office, an aide approached a Knight Ridder reporter and, mistaking him for an Iranian, said, “Don’t be afraid to speak Farsi in Basra. We are a branch of Iran.”

Just think — our military misadventure is helping Iran expand into Iraq. We should send them a bill for services rendered.

Meanwhile, President Bush is promising to “complete the mission.” Which is what, exactly? To establish the United Islamic Republic of Greater Mesopotamia? Maybe we’ll finish the famous $592 million embassy in Baghdad in time to hand the keys over to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Wouldn’t that be a bite just 27 years after the Iran hostage crisis? I’m sure Saint Ronnie of Blessed Memory is pleased.

Update: See also Juan Cole

Iran is perhaps the only unambiguous winner in the new situation in Iraq, and its foreign minister was basking in the glow on Saturday. On Friday, Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari defended Iran’s right to have a civilian nuclear energy program. That can’t be what Washington was going for in backing the new Iraqi government.

Y’know, maybe it was what Washington was going for. Or at least, when Iran takes over Iraq, I’m sure the Bushies will have talking points explaining why that was the plan all along …

Update: Riverbend (thanks, Swami!) wrote,

[After the fall of Baghdad] We immediately began hearing about the Iranian revolutionary guard, and how they had formed a militia of Iraqis who had defected to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. We heard how they were already inside of the country and were helping to loot and burn everything from governmental facilities to museums. The Hakims and Badr made their debut, followed by several other clerics with their personal guard and militias, all seeping in from Iran.

Today they rule the country. Over the duration of three years, and through the use of vicious militias, assassinations and abductions, they’ve managed to install themselves firmly in the Green Zone. We constantly hear our new puppets rant and rave against Syria, against Saudi Arabia, against Turkey, even against the country they have to thank for their rise to power- America… But no one dares to talk about the role Iran is planning in the country.

The last few days we’ve been hearing about Iranian attacks on northern Iraq- parts of Kurdistan that are on the Iranian border. Several sites were bombed and various news sources are reporting Iranian troops by the thousand standing ready at the Iraqi border. Prior to this, there has been talk of Iranian revolutionary guard infiltrating areas like Diyala and even parts of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, the new puppets (simply a rotation of the same OLD puppets), after taking several months to finally decide who gets to play the role of prime minister, are now wrangling and wrestling over the ‘major’ ministries and which political party should receive what ministry. The reason behind this is that as soon as a minister is named from, say, SCIRI, that minister brings in ‘his people’ to key positions- his relatives, his friends and cronies, and most importantly- his personal militia. As soon as Al-Maliki was made prime minister, he announced that armed militias would be made a part of the Iraqi army (which can only mean the Badrists and Sadr’s goons). …

…So while Iraqis are dying by the hundreds, with corpses turning up everywhere (last week they found a dead man in the open area in front of my cousins daughters school), the Iraqi puppets are taking their time trying to decide who gets to do the most stealing and in which ministry. Embezzlement, after all, is not to be taken lightly- one must give it the proper amount of thought and debate- even if the country is coming unhinged. …

… The big question is- what will the US do about Iran? There are the hints of the possibility of bombings, etc. While I hate the Iranian government, the people don’t deserve the chaos and damage of air strikes and war. I don’t really worry about that though, because if you live in Iraq- you know America’s hands are tied. Just as soon as Washington makes a move against Tehran, American troops inside Iraq will come under attack. It’s that simple- Washington has big guns and planes… But Iran has 150,000 American hostages.

14 thoughts on “Way to Go

  1. Pingback: Liberty and Justice

  2. Have you read Riverbend’s last blog entry?.. She doesn’t hold herself out as the” Captain Ed” of Iraq, but she impresses me a girl who is keenly aware of which way the wind is blowing. Her closing sentence is worded to make me believe that she knows something that we don’t.

  3. Whatever threat Iran is, with SCIRI (Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq) now trying to govern Iraq with it’s militias and warlords, the threat is multiplied.

    Layoff the ‘youngest democracy’ crap, you have been listening to Bush Bullshit too much. Iraq is a broken state under occupation, and it is run from the barrel of a gun.

  4. The point is had we not gone into this farce of a war, the region would not be a unified force with Iran.
    A really bad person would have been doing really bad things in Iraq, still, perhaps, but it wouldn’t be a larger area of support for Iran — which is perhaps now a real threat. Throw in our overextended military – what do you chickenhawks expect us to do? Waltz into Iran?

    Good luck with that one.

  5. Look for the government to use Irans involvement in Iraq as a justification for war….They will scream and yell about how Iran should have controlled their borders… what a friggin joke!!Sigh.

  6. What do socialists need to finally realize the threat Iran represents? Does it take the Iranian army itself to invade southern Iraq or simply a nuke on Israel?

    One of the arguments made against going into Iraq, way back before the war started, is that it would distract and debilitate us from the real threats in the world – you know, Al Qaeda, North Korea, and yes Iran. As well all know now, the claims for Iraq being this imminent danger to the USA were bogus. People who supported Bush’s war on Iraq are hardly in any position to chide Bush’s opposition about real threats in the world, such as Iran, since we were all aware of this before the Iraq debacle began. And, unlike you, we were right about Iraq.

    You can believe that Iraq is a “young democracy” all you want, but that is not why we went in, it was all about these fearsome, phantom WMDs that were going to destroy us. And as others have written, calling Iraq a “young democracy” doesn’t make it so, and doesn’t change the facts on the ground. It’s wishful thinking.

    Who are you calling a socialist? You embarass yourself with such simplistic rhetoric. We’re not children around here. I’m not about to give the rest of your comment much credibility when you start out with such junior high name calling, you who were wrong about Iraq to begin with.

    Try to get your mind around the idea that there are millions of Americans, a majority in fact, who see Bush’s war for the disaster it is. I never knew there that many socialists in the United States.

  7. “150,000 American hostages”…

    Maybe Poppy Bush could meet with the Iranians in Paris and do a little trading?

  8. Order’s returned to our no-fly zones. Iran control’s the South one. Corrupt Kurdish factions control the north, irritating Turkey, and working with Mossad.

    In the center, chaos. And where our troops are most welcomed are in the Sunni areas: these were the most loyal to Saddam and the ones we dismissed initially, from their army and police.

    Iraq’s neighbors, mostly Sunni, look upon the Shia majority as a potential threat. Only Iran seems happy with the whole rearrangement.

    It’s clear why Bush dreaded nation building. He couldn’t handle Tinkertoys, either. Now, nobody in the world wants to help the spoiled brat out. I don’t blame them a bit.

    I only hope all the new terrorists created decide not to seek vengeance on America’s liberal cities again. Let the red areas bear the brunt of putting a wayward adolescent into a grownup’s job.

  9. Iraq has become Bush’s self fullfilling prophecy – “a false definition of the situation evokes a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true”. Thanks George!

  10. Unfortunately for the 71% that know, it will take the upcoming excursion into Iran to let the 29% be convinced that the mighty USA has been fooled by a fool (bush) into an unjustifiable war, that looks more unwinable every day.
    The rest of the world appreciates that you saved the planet in two world wars, although you did wait until everyone else was out of bullets to do it. Then there was Nam, which kept the flag wavers busy until the “socialists” got involved and got you out of there. Then there was Grenada, where Ronnie got those six Cuban laborers killed to make y’all feel like you could kick ass again, and now we have bush thinking he can beat the world, when in fact the world would be better off if bush senior would have beat himself the night georgie was concieved
    Anyway, to the 29% I say, enjoy the first week or so of the Iranian excursion. There is more than six of them and they aren’t out of bullets, so enjoy while you wait for the “socialists” to come to your rescue and the rest of the world can watch those last helicopters evacuating the middle east, just as we watched the exit from Nam…..another war started on a lie, against those with bullets. My sympathies to the rest of you with enough inteligence to have realized your mistake.

  11. Do you remember the question the pro war faction kept asking? The one about do you leftie antiwar people .want corrupt dictator Saddam to still be in power? I have a question for them. Do they know why we spent years trying to keep Saddam the corrupt dictator in power. As a power check on Iran would be one answer. Would the US be better off if Saddam Hussein were still in power in Iraq. Would the Iraqi people be better off if Saddam Hussein were still in power in Iraq. Right this minute the answer is yes.

  12. i dated a few Persian young women, and spent a lot of time with the father of one. One thing he said, which always stuck with me and seems to be playing out, is that the US did not want southern Iraq to join Iran were Hussein to have been deposed after the GWI.

    It must be an elephant in this room: A much smaller non-US (that really says something: no Americans in the Iranian sphere) contingent and neonatal Iraqi force–farce?–are the font of order for a large swath of people and resources? No, the Shi’ites, both Iranian and local, have built structure from bottom to top, from public order in Basra up to Ayatollah Khameini, excising opposition deftly. Iran, not the US, is the reigning superpower in southern Iraq, and operates more successfully.

    Maybe we should let them. Ask the people first, you know, democratically, then work out some deal. Iran has been spoiling for its $10 billion-plus in undelivered military equipment since the US froze Iranian assests in November 1979, so maybe giving them Shatt-al-Arab will bring some stability. It could also be considered reparations for the Iran-Iraq War, in which Iraq trashed the 1975 Algiers Accords to share administration of that waterway, invading Iranian territory before gassing Iranian troops (a favor indeed returned) and launching SCUDs into Tehran. Just make some 80-year energy deal with New Babylonia; let Kurdistan blossom, damn the Turks’ myopic rage. Trying to keep Iraq all together is like pumping oil back into the ground–it’s really messy, it’s disheartening, and seriously, it just isn’t going to happen.

  13. Pingback: The Mahablog » Tools

  14. Pingback: Crooks and Liars » Mike’s Blog Round Up

Comments are closed.