Were Iraq Election Candidates Blocked by Iran?
posted at 5:58 pm on February 17, 2010 by Dafydd ab Hugh
Gen. Ray Odierno, our top military commander in Iraq, has made a disturbing accusation that clarifies the previously inexplicable action by Iraq’s Accountability and Justice Commission. In January, the AJC barred more than 350 Sunni candidates from the March 7th parliamentary elections, claiming they had “ties” to Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party.
While some of the banned candidates were high-ranking members, thus should be preventing from running, most were minor funcitonaries; during the reign of the Baathists, it was virtually impossible for Sunnis to serve in the government without joining, or at least having close ties to, the Baath Party… just as anyone wishing to progress in German politics under Hitler would have to be Nazi Party member or associate. By banning everyone who was in any way connected with the Baath Party, the AJC in effect banned every viable Sunni candidate from the election, a blatant political attack on the Sunni bloc.
Many Iraq-watchers were taken by surprise, because the action puts the entire election in jeopardy. Why would Iraqis want to throw a monkey wrench into their own political future? Gen. Odierno believes he has the answer; from the Washington Times article:
The Iraqi official in charge of a commission that blocked more than 300 politicians from running in next month’s elections is working closely with Iran’s Quds Force, prompting the top U.S. general in Iraq to voice concerns about Tehran’s meddling in Iraq’s fragile democracy.
Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, in a speech, accused Ali Faisal al-Lami, the executive director of the Accountability and Justice Commission along with Ahmad Chalabi, the panel’s chairman, of being “clearly influenced by Iran.”
Gen. Odierno said both men, according to intelligence reports, were in close contact with Abu-Mahdi al-Muhandis, the top Iraqi adviser to Iran’s Quds Force commander. The Quds Force comprises Iran’s unconventional military units, which have orchestrated anti-U.S. paramilitary and political operations in Iraq.
Ahmad Chalabi is working for Iran? Surprise, surprise, on the Jungle River Cruise tonight! But it’s a grave turn of events that al-Qods is also working hand-in-sock-puppet with the Accountability and Justice Commission, who are running the election. As Odierno says, “It is disappointing that someone like [al-Lami] is put in charge of the de-Ba’athification commission.”
Odierno says intelligence reports indicate that al-Lami, the AJC executive director, even planned an attack on American forces and Iraqi military and civilian officials in Sadr City.. which by strange coincidence happens to be the stronghold of Iranian minion Muqtada Sadr and his mighty “Mahdi Militia.”
Here we see the dazzling genius of President Barack H. Obama’s decision to pull troops out of Iraq according to a pre-determined timeline, regardless of facts on the ground: Iran’s agents know that if they can ride out the next few months, America will quit the field. Iran will have a free hand to meddle in Iraq’s internal affairs to their black heart’s content.
Unless, of course, the Obamacle suddenly finds the huevos to stand up to Iran… as he has clearly shown so often in the past year.
But a military crisis may be about to overwhelm the Obamatrons; for Gen. Odierno plans to “re-evaluate the pace of troop reductions in Iraq within 60 days after the March 7 elections in Iraq.” One presumes this will include a written report, the terms of which are sure to leak out.
If, as seems likely, Odierno recommends slowing the withdrawal and doing more to fight against al-Qods and other Iranian incursions into Iraq, then what will B.O. do? Will he cave, as he has so far on closing Guantanamo Bay, thus enraging the Left? Or will be be compelled by mounting leftist frustration to draw his foot in the sand, going ahead with the original withdrawal plan regardless of what his own top general says — thus further eroding voters’ respect for his military acumen and leadership (such as they are)?
Either horn of that particular dilemma will damage his political standing. But then, actions — and particularly inactions — have consequences. In an ironic twist, Barack Obama may soon be forced to announce that the Obama who insisted upon a firm withdrawal date… is not the Obama he knew.
Cross-posted on Big Lizards…