Look for Gen. Petraeus to annoint Iran as the enemy of Iraq’s political reconciliation today when he testifies before Congress.
Is Iran really helping Sadr (translation: “the bad guys”) and hurting the US and its proxy Maliki? In a word, no. The reality isn’t hard to grasp:
- The truth is that the Maliki government and its allied Shiite faction, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI, formerly known as SCIRI), are much closer to Iran than the Sadrists are.
- Maliki’s campaign against Sadr isn’t a noble crusade by the good Iraqi government against the bad Iranian-backed Sadrists, but a battle waged by a weak Shiite leader backed by one militia, ISCI’s Badr Corps, against another, stronger Shiite leader, Sadr, with his own militia, the Mahdi Army.
- Not only that, the “good” militia, the Badr Corps, was created in Iran by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard — the same organization whose Quds Force the United States notoriously declared to be a “terrorist organization” last year.
- The maraschino cherry on this sundae of absurdity: It was the head of that Quds Force, an Iranian general, who bailed out Maliki after Maliki’s assault on Basra ignominiously failed, forcing him to send officials to Iran to broker a truce.
Strategically, the surge has failed; it’s been 15 months and we’re still trapped between warring factions with no exit strategy in sight. Meanwhile, our army is being ground down and we’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars to produce a fundamentalist Islamic state in Iraq. No wonder 80% of Americans think this country is on the wrong track.