By Martin Love

Trump may have given Iran an unintended assist

January 4, 2020 - 10:28

NORTH CAROLINA - What with all the recent movements and protests in Baghdad around the U.S. embassy in the Green Zone resulting from the U.S. attacks on elements of Iraq’s and Syria’s national defenses, and then the blame game against Iran, it’s no wonder that confusion reigns. And in Iraq the confusion is bleeding with U.S. attacks on Hashd al-Sha’abi (officially a part of the Iraqi army) positions and personnel in Baghdad and elsewhere. As of Friday morning the U.S. is only becoming more despised in Iraq and the situation there is explosive.

The Trump Administration seems unable to grasp the fact that the Iraqis who stormed the embassy perimeters were just flat angry at the slaughter of some two dozen of their soldiers or militia, the very people who had helped rid the country of most of ISIS and who, at least, seemed to have assisted the U.S. in this task. Hasn’t that been the stated reason the U.S. troops are in Iraq, to help clean out the foreign terrorists? What, in fact, really accounts for the presence or reintroduction of roughly 5000 U.S. troops in Iraq a while back? It is or has become apparent that this was probably a lie, and observers know that over the past years there have been many instances of the U.S. actually shielding, funding and supplying ISIS and other terrorists not just in Iraq but in Syria, too, even if the U.S. at times also occasionally attacked ISIS.

But first one must address the anger at the U.S. now, and what is MOST remarkable is the failure of the U.S. time and again the understand why the Iraqi parliament may finally be obliged vote on whether to try to eject the U.S. military altogether. The anger now is cumulative, it seems. George H.W. Bush almost 30 years ago pushed Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. An estimated 200,000 Iraqi citizens died. In the 1990’s sanctions murdered some 500,000 Iraqi children, and then in 2003 George W. Bush invaded the country and murdered at least a million citizens and destroyed the country’s infrastructure. The attacks this past week, allegedly because a single U.S. contractor died because of a missile attack from an as yet unknown source, just added gross insult to gross injury, and may have created a long-delayed tipping point. It has to be one of the most perplexing questions of this century: why Iraq has not for the past decade at least demanded a U.S. exit and the closure of the monstrous embassy in Baghdad?

The fact may be that the U.S. has been bound to screw up, and has and is screwing up, in the Middle East because its bottom line aim, aside from giving the Zionists carte blanche, has been perpetual chaos and conflict in the region, and in turn, the nurture of the U.S. economy with the maintenance of regional hegemony and arms sales. Given all the utterly bizarre things the U.S. has done, including the trashing of the JCPOA, there really is no other explanation. And maybe, at last, Iraqis fully realize this. Iran and Syria have known this clearly for many years.

Just at the moment when it appears some in the U.S. is angling more than ever to find cause to set the region aflame (and yet others may realize it cannot without grave consequences to itself and its allies), and m, ay have begun just that, in part because Iran has become increasingly influential, it is also quite possible that the U.S. is about to lose much of the Middle East altogether. This may begin with the loss of Iraq when and if a solid new government emerges that is widely acceptable across the diverse country.

Take, for example, the recent four-day naval military drills in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman between Iran, Russia, and China. It is the very first time the Islamic Republic has engaged in joint naval drills with two major world powers, and this despite the harsh sanctions. (At the same time Iran has also been trying to limit its economic dependence on oil exports.) This is an almost breathtaking achievement for Iran! And it points to burgeoning losses for the U.S. in the Middle East: more loss of influence and control. And the drills have also exposed, as never before, that even though Iran has been surrounded by on all sides by U.S. bases and an estimated total of more than 60,000 troops, these bases and troops are beginning to look like a U.S. liability because they are all so exposed to military retaliation whether by Iran or its Iraqi, Syrian and Hezbollah allies.

The U.S. seems to have just this past week moved the focus of protests in Iraq away from political corruption and the growth of Iranian influence to the obvious violation of Iraqi sovereignty. Make no mistake: it can be argued that Iraqis are far most likely to reject yet more American attacks on Iraq and the American troop presence than they are to reject Iranian influence.

The U.S. may well have given Iran an unintended assist in the Middle East amid all the dangers. Trump may be a fool. He may be more or less incompetent with his even more foolish appointees like Mike Pompeo, but even in the U.S. wiser voices are saying that the President who earlier claimed he was going to drain the “swamp” that is Washington (and was probably elected on that promise and others) has actually become the swamp himself. He will lose the election next November if he starts another kinetic war, particularly a war on Iran, and in the recesses of whatever mind he may have, he must be aware of this. Note that after he threatened the Islamic Republic with dire consequences, and blamed Iran for the storming of the Baghdad embassy, he fast turned around a day later and said he was disinterested in starting such a war and appeared to back down. Sending yet more troops to the Middle East makes no sense to this very confused President. 

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