Iranian supreme leader tells Maliki: Get rid of America

posted at 9:06 pm on October 18, 2010 by Allahpundit

He’s been telling him this since day one, but now that our old friend Muqtada al-Sadr has become a political kingmaker in Iraq, there’s a bit of extra weight to it.

Iran has demonstrated its hold over the future of Iraqi politics, telling Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, to “get rid of America” as he arrived to ask Tehran’s blessing for a second term in office…

Two weeks ago, the Iranian leadership negotiated backing for Mr Maliki from the militant Shia grouping, the Sadrists, who had previously been deeply opposed to his candidacy.

“The Iraqi nation is vigilant and aggressors cannot dominate this country again,” Mr Khamenei told Mr Maliki, according to a statement put out by his office. “May God get rid of America in Iraq so that its people’s problems are solved.”

We haven’t written about Iraq in ages, sad to say, so here’s the long and short of it in case you aren’t keeping up elsewhere. After months of stalemate between the two top Shiite factions in the last parliamentary election — namely, Maliki’s group and Iyad Allawi’s secular, Sunni-backed Shiite wing — Sadr and his party finally threw their support to Maliki, making him the presumptive choice to remain as prime minister. One horrifying rumor a few weeks ago held that Sadr’s price for his support was … control of one of the country’s security ministries; if that happened, with Defense or Interior in the hands of Shiite fanatics, presumably Sunnis would begin to bug out of the government in earnest. The balance of power momentarily rests with the Kurds, who can give Maliki the majority he needs to govern if they choose to support him. American officials (all the way up to Joe Biden) are trying to block that by urging them to go slow and not make any hasty decisions about whom to endorse just yet. The U.S., obviously, is hoping that the Kurds will join with Allawi, the Sunnis, and possibly the ISCI (a Shiite rival to Sadr) to form a multisectarian government; the reason the Kurds are leaning towards joining Maliki instead is that he might give them control of Kirkuk, which the Kurds regard as a holy city and which sits atop an awful lot of oil. Allawi can’t make the same offer since the Sunnis who support him have also had designs on Kirkuk since forever.

Right now the Kurds are being semi-responsible, insisting to Maliki that he needs to include the Sunnis in the administration and proposing a national unity government that includes all factions. If they end up caving on that in exchange for Kirkuk, presumably that’s the law straw for the Sunnis; the double blow of being frozen out of government by the Sadrist-backed Maliki and losing Kirkuk under Iraqi law will convince plenty of them that there’s no future in the new Iraqi political system and that it’s time to go back to guns and bombs. According to this NYT mini-bombshell from over the weekend, many of them have already gone back: Supposedly “several thousand” Sunnis have quit their government positions and allied with Al Qaeda in Iraq out of fear or the promise of higher pay or both. Meanwhile, U.S. media has been reporting since the summer that Sadr’s Mahdi Army has started to reappear on Iraqi streets, this time casting themselves as a “social movement aiming to educate the young.” If that model — of a heavily-armed Iranian-backed Shiite militia bent on winning local hearts and minds through social programs — sounds familiar, there’s a good reason. Foreign Policy explained a few months ago in an article about Sadr entitled, “The King of Iraq”:

The cleric is clearly following the Hezbollah model, creating a populist political movement backed by a battle-hardened militia. The language Sadr uses when discussing the U.S. presence in Iraq — resistance, occupation, martyrdom — could easily have been taken from a speech by Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah. All this has discouraged U.S. officials from holding talks with Sadr — something they’ve never done since 2003. It’s not exactly like Sadr has gone out of his way to open up a dialogue, either. In fact, Sadr and many of his top aides have made it clear that the Mahdi Army won’t disarm as long as there are American troops on Iraqi soil…

What Sadr is after is power itself — and if his past record is any indication, he won’t be shy about using it. There are any number of issues he could block or help push through parliament. Sadr has previously butted heads with Kurdish groups about the final status of Kirkuk, an oil-rich city that the Kurds claim as their capital. He is a proponent of putting oil revenues under central government control, a position at odds with the Kurds as well as some rival Shiite groups, such as ISCI. Women’s rights groups have already voiced strong concerns that the Sadrists could block their attempts to reform laws that cover property ownership, divorce, and child custody. Some even fear that Mahdi fighters will again target women’s rights activists, as they did in Basra in 2007 and 2008.

Sadr’s ambitions don’t cover Iraq’s domestic agenda alone. His high-profile trips to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere indicate that he wants to be seen as a prominent regional player. He would like to promote his Mahdi Army as a member of the so-called “axis of resistance” made up by Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which have made their names by confronting the United States and Israel.

They’re not going to disarm once America leaves, needless to say. The new pretext for keeping weapons on hand will be that they need to protect Shiite neighborhoods from the newly growing Sunni insurgency, just as the pretext for Sunnis arming up will be that they need to protect themselves from the Mahdi Army. What’s worrisome about Maliki choosing this particular moment to visit Khamenei and Iran is that he’s flaunting Iranian (and by extension Sadrist) patronage at a moment when, ideally, he’d be trying to calm the Sunnis and draw them back into government. Essentially it’s a show of strength, telling them that if the country fractures and another civil war breaks out, they’ll not only have to face him and Sadr but Iranian material support too. Which, unless I’ve misunderstood something here, means the country’s fate is momentarily in the hands of the Kurds, who aren’t real thrilled about being part of the country in the first place. What could go wrong?


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I still don’t know why we never ventilated Mookie while still had the chance.

Red Cloud on October 18, 2010 at 9:13 PM

This isn’t the issue of the hour.
We want “Demon Obama” photos !

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on October 18, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Obama and his democrat minions are trying from the inside. We won’t go down that easily, beeyatches.

SouthernGent on October 18, 2010 at 9:18 PM

I still don’t know why we never ventilated Mookie while still had the chance.

Red Cloud on October 18, 2010 at 9:13 PM

x1000!

aikidoka on October 18, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Wow, is WhackMyDinnerJacket standing in a hole there or what???

Short Man Syndrome x eleventy!!!1111!!!

BigWyo on October 18, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Did Maliki try bowing? That seems to work well for our American leader.

GnuBreed on October 18, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Gave it our best shot. Keep a carrier battle group in the area, bomb as needed.

ThePrez on October 18, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Red Cloud on October 18, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Who’s to say there was only one chance?

BigWyo on October 18, 2010 at 9:22 PM

It’s chess politics but the details coming out are pretty hard to stomach. Sadr’s guys are going to get a deputy position in every ministry related to security and they are going to get a hefty increase in the number of ministries they head up.

Iran gains from our work.

lexhamfox on October 18, 2010 at 9:24 PM

I guess we can’t solve the Muslims problems for them. I was a supporter of the Iraq and Afghan missions but I am coming to believe these people just aren’t up to creating a peaceful society with a representative government. If they fail it will be seen as our failure and it will only embolden terror groups around the globe. Pretty depressing.

I can’t even imagine what position Republicans can take in the 2012 election cycle. The public grows more weary of these conflicts by the day and we have more pressing matters at home. I don’t see how it is tenable to double down again post Obama. If we bail than that is an implicit admission that Bush was wrong from the start.

echosyst on October 18, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Gee, it’s almost like nation-building in a tribal state with no history of democracy doesn’t work.

But hey, what’s a few hundred billion dollars to put a country with massive oil reserves into the hands of the Iranians, eh?

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 9:30 PM

For the love of God…

……….does everything have to deteriorate under Obama’s watch.

Baxter Greene on October 18, 2010 at 9:31 PM

But hey, what’s a few hundred billion dollars to put a country with massive oil reserves into the hands of the Iranians, eh?

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 9:30 PM

I say let them have the oil reserves in Iraq, we send them our democrats and enviro nutz and we drill our own oil here.

Tim Zank on October 18, 2010 at 9:35 PM

I say let them have the oil reserves in Iraq, we send them our democrats and enviro nutz and we drill our own oil here.

Tim Zank on October 18, 2010 at 9:35 PM

You, sir, have a beautiful dream.

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 9:37 PM

Just as water seeks it’s own level, so will Iraq. Such has always been. Such will always be. Fools-R-Us.

Luka on October 18, 2010 at 9:39 PM

I guess we can’t solve the Muslims problems for them. I was a supporter of the Iraq and Afghan missions but I am coming to believe these people just aren’t up to creating a peaceful society with a representative government. If they fail it will be seen as our failure and it will only embolden terror groups around the globe. Pretty depressing.

I can’t even imagine what position Republicans can take in the 2012 election cycle. The public grows more weary of these conflicts by the day and we have more pressing matters at home. I don’t see how it is tenable to double down again post Obama. If we bail than that is an implicit admission that Bush was wrong from the start.

echosyst on October 18, 2010 at 9:25 PM

The Mexican border situation is the most critical national security problem facing America today, bar none, according to conservative author and noted military affairs commentator William Lind. His fear when he wrote those words only a few years ago, was that fourth generation warfare would come to our border with Mexico, and spill into our nation. His fears appear justified, though it is still early enough to regain control of our side of the border. Mexico is fragmenting into a failed state, parts of which function like a modern, 21st century society and parts of which have become a lawless no-man’s land. There are analogs in recent history, such as the Balkans in the 1990s. We should hope for the best, for our sake and that of Mexico, but prepare for the worst. We should fortify our border, and do everything in our power to assure that the trouble in Mexico stays there, but venturing into that nation ala the Pershing expedition in 1916, would be foolhardy and could spark a full-blown “hot” war on the border. We already have enough foreign entanglements as it is. It makes no sense whatsoever to waste blood and treasure in Afghanistan and Iraq helping Muslims who will never reciprocate to a non-Muslim country while the USA’s own southern border is breached with impunity.

Luka on October 18, 2010 at 9:44 PM

Nothing a few well placed .338′s couldn’t fix.

BallisticBob on October 18, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Who’s to say there was only one chance?

BigWyo on October 18, 2010 at 9:22 PM

He’s chilling in Iran. He knows we’d like to.

Red Cloud on October 18, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Why are we wasting amazing young American men?

blatantblue on October 18, 2010 at 9:47 PM

In my book – this would be the last time we try to save a country from itself — Nuke Em and let God / Allah sort them out ..

wheels on October 18, 2010 at 9:48 PM

For the love of God…

……….does everything have to deteriorate under Obama’s watch.

Baxter Greene on October 18, 2010 at 9:31 PM

As George Pappard would say and Obama is saying

“I love it when a plan comes together”
PBHO

bluemarlin on October 18, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Why are we wasting amazing young American men?

blatantblue on October 18, 2010 at 9:47 PM

To increase the power and regional influence of our sworn enemies. Oh, also to ‘spread democracy’.

My heart weeps for the brave men and women who have died.

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 9:51 PM

In my book – this would be the last time we try to save a country from itself — Nuke Em and let God / Allah sort them out ..

wheels on October 18, 2010 at 9:48 PM

It should never have happened in the first place – nation-building has always been the set-piece of liberal foreign policy. Conservatives used to know better.

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 9:52 PM

One little toe over to the “dark side” and the shrimp could be gone. Please Israel, pay us back for our support all of these decades (while our “leadership” is defunct, temporarily), and erase this scum and his supporters. Probably doesn’t mean much, but much of the Arab world would secretly cheer you on.

trl on October 18, 2010 at 9:53 PM

O/T Just got a phone call from Congressman Cirro Rodriguez Democrat and I assume they thought I would be sypmathetic due to my name. It was a very enjoyable conversation from my side of it.

bluemarlin on October 18, 2010 at 9:54 PM

100 years from now, despite anything we do, these tribal savages will still be killing each other to prove they are more faithful to the death cult.

Alden Pyle on October 18, 2010 at 9:56 PM

STOP!……..STEP AWAY FROM THE MUSLIM SH*T HOLE!

It’s a Muslim thing, you wont wouldn’t understand.

BL@KBIRD on October 18, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Where will all the refugee Sunnis and such go?

BL@KBIRD on October 18, 2010 at 10:05 PM

Where will all the refugee Sunnis and such go?

BL@KBIRD on October 18, 2010 at 10:05 PM

If we don’t get out of there ASAP, you can count on them ending up Stateside due to our generous asylum laws. Expect to hear the phrase ‘you broke it, you bought it’ used.

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Inkblots — Saddam was funding Palestinians at $25,000 a “Pop” to be Suicide Bombers – we did what we had to do .IMO – much to consider about conflicts — I don’t have the time now –but maybe in the future..

wheels on October 18, 2010 at 10:09 PM

If Mookie fall for this, Iraq will get what it deserves. Ahmindinijihad has has his eyes on Iraq since Bush left office. Thanks to the wuss libs rushing us out o Iraq with an unstable govt.

The Expert Knows
http://theexpertsblog.blogspot.com

HotAirExpert on October 18, 2010 at 10:10 PM

All the more incentive to take Iran down and promote an r-word there. If they go, so does Mookie and his crowd and the fat little pig Nasrallah.

They will go down like Cuba did after the Soviet Union fell.

slickwillie2001 on October 18, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Thanks to the wuss libs rushing us out o Iraq with an unstable govt.

HotAirExpert on October 18, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Pro-tip: Judgment Day will arrive before Iraq has a stable, liberal-democratic government. Now an Iranian-backed theocratic-authoritarian regime? That they can do.

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Inkblots — Saddam was funding Palestinians at $25,000 a “Pop” to be Suicide Bombers – we did what we had to do .IMO – much to consider about conflicts — I don’t have the time now –but maybe in the future..

wheels on October 18, 2010 at 10:09 PM

That was 7 years and thousand of lives and hundreds of billions of $$$ ago. We should have declared victory and came back home.

Luka on October 18, 2010 at 10:20 PM

I’m beginning to believe after 9-11 we should have landed an army in Syria and another in Pakistan and killed everything in front of us until we met in the middle.

Then, we’d be selling oil to China to cover our debts.

The Romans would have approved of this.

trigon on October 18, 2010 at 10:40 PM

trigon on October 18, 2010 at 10:40 PM

We may still have to do that. This war with islam is going to last through this century.

slickwillie2001 on October 18, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Obama: “I’m on it”

The Mega Independent on October 18, 2010 at 10:49 PM

trigon on October 18, 2010 at 10:40 PM

slickwillie2001 on October 18, 2010 at 10:45 PM

If we try that, we’ll run out of money, the Republic will collapse, and we’ll no doubt have inspired all Muslims to unite into the Grand Caliphate, to boot. bin Laden would thank us warmly, I’m sure.

And I don’t want to spoil the next chapter of your history book for you guys, but the Roman Empire collapsed and was overrun due to imperial overreach and the strain of financing perpetual warfare.

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 10:51 PM

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 10:51 PM

What do you foresee that might bring the war with islam to an earlier end?

slickwillie2001 on October 18, 2010 at 11:03 PM

What do you foresee that might bring the war with islam to an earlier end?

slickwillie2001 on October 18, 2010 at 11:03 PM

If the experiences of Iraq and Afghanistan are any indication, the Muslims are more than happy killing each other. Our best strategy is probably just to get out of the way and let them, secretly lobbing a well-placed missile here and there when necessary.

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 11:09 PM

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 11:09 PM

Might be an option if 1/3-1/2 the world’s oil didn’t come from what you are suggesting we let become a battlefield.

slickwillie2001 on October 18, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Some here are still standing by this notion of invasions being a proper long term counter terrorism strategy?

blatantblue on October 18, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Some here are still standing by this notion of invasions being a proper long term counter terrorism strategy?

blatantblue on October 18, 2010 at 11:21 PM

I don’t think invasions are a good idea, but there are other military responses such as targeted killings, air strikes, and short term marine incursions that can actually do as good or better a job than an invasion. An occupation plays to their strengths and our weakness so I would avoid those at all costs.

sharrukin on October 18, 2010 at 11:28 PM

If the experiences of Iraq and Afghanistan are any indication, the Muslims are more than happy killing each other. Our best strategy is probably just to get out of the way and let them, secretly lobbing a well-placed missile here and there when necessary.

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 11:09 PM

Yeah, we’ve tried that.

They tend to draft some pretty horiffic shit when they’re not constantly looking over their shoulder.

You-Eh-Vee on October 18, 2010 at 11:31 PM

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 10:51 PM

America is so far from imperialsm, it isn’t funny.

You-Eh-Vee on October 18, 2010 at 11:33 PM

Some here are still standing by this notion of invasions being a proper long term counter terrorism strategy?

blatantblue on October 18, 2010 at 11:21 PM

A great problem with the Americans’ invasions seems to be that they don’t really take what they invade.

Kralizec on October 19, 2010 at 1:15 AM

trigon on October 18, 2010 at 10:40 PM

slickwillie2001 on October 18, 2010 at 10:45 PM

If we try that, we’ll run out of money, the Republic will collapse, and we’ll no doubt have inspired all Muslims to unite into the Grand Caliphate, to boot. bin Laden would thank us warmly, I’m sure.

And I don’t want to spoil the next chapter of your history book for you guys, but the Roman Empire collapsed and was overrun due to imperial overreach and the strain of financing perpetual warfare.

Inkblots on October 18, 2010 at 10:51 PM

I think you fully failed to comprehend the implications of my posting regarding both the number of muslims and money.

trigon on October 19, 2010 at 1:23 AM

It proves one thing if Maliki is insane enough to side with Iran

that we need to dust off some nukes and promise that Muslim aggression to us or our allies will be met with overwhelming force

we tried the compassionate approach

Sonosam on October 19, 2010 at 2:27 AM

Why are we wasting amazing young American men?

blatantblue on October 18, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Absolutely! We should keep them here on their bases training for missions that we will never, ever send them on. That is the best use of our military forces.

Kafir on October 19, 2010 at 6:49 AM

It proves one thing if Maliki is insane enough to side with Iran

that we need to dust off some nukes and promise that Muslim aggression to us or our allies will be met with overwhelming force

we tried the compassionate approach

Sonosam on October 19, 2010 at 2:27 AM

This.

Kafir on October 19, 2010 at 6:50 AM

If he doesn’t want “us” around, just say so…

Khun Joe on October 19, 2010 at 8:10 AM

“Where the hell is my five iron??”

-Barack Obama

ReformedAndDangerous on October 19, 2010 at 2:07 PM