Iraq Steps in to Protect Iran

American and Western discussions of what to do about Iran almost completely ignore Iraq. But no economic sanctions can effectively be placed on Iran without Iraqi support. A gasoline embargo would fail completely if Iraqis smuggled gasoline to Iran (which they certainly would, both for economic and religious reasons). Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq, said Saturday that new sanctions on Iran “would not work” and that Iraq would never allow its airspace to be used for an aggressive attack on Iran “by any country” (he’s looking at you, Israel and US).

Somehow I don’t think this is what Bush was going for when he invaded Iraq.

Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council makes a more extended version of Talabani’s argument.

Meanwhile, the Turkish government is seeking from its parliament authorization to extend its bombing campaigns against guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers Party (PPK) inside Iraq.

The US military once held 26,000 Iraqi prisoners, most picked up at the site of bombings and other guerrilla attacks. It has released all but 8,000, but the US officers are worried that those released often go back to guerrilla activity– some of them for the salary. The Status of Forces Agreement requires the US to turn over to the Iraqi government all prisoners for whom specific and detailed criminal cases cannot be built.

Aljazeera English discusses the United Nations Human Development Report on Iraq. Iraq has dropped off the American radar, but the country faces enormous challenges, from ongoing violence to lack of basic human services. argues that the military-industrial Establishment is miring President Obama in Middle Eastern wars.

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11 Responses

  1. Jabal Talabani is my new hero. Another world leader that will stand up to the Zionist neo-cons who have controlled US foreign policy for the last 9 years.

    Is the list of independent world leaders growing?? Please, God !!

  2. It looked great on TV…

    Media hysteria around the Iranian elections looked great on TV screens for which it was apparently designed. Why should sleepy TV viewers care about all the details under the hood?

    But, as we already saw in Afghanistan, Kiev-style election scandals are a powerful tool in the hands of opposition all over the Muslim world – wherever elections are held, of course. And then you never know who will benefit in the Iraqis the end.

    Now the Iraqis smell the coming trouble for their elections, among many other things… So, and they want at least to demonstrate their independence from the US.

  3. Who tipped the Islamic Republic of R. on the West's knowledge of existance of Quom's U-enrichment facilities?

    What was the reason behind not revealing what the US intelligence knew a few years in advance? Why wasn't the IAEA notified?

  4. ref : “Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq, said Saturday that… Iraq would never allow its airspace to be used for an aggressive attack on Iran "by any country"vsMeanwhile, the Turkish government is seeking [from its own parliament, not Iraq's] the authorization to extend its bombing campaigns against guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers Party (PPK) inside Iraq.” The idea that IRAQ has in any sense "sovereignty" over its own 3rd-Dimension airspace — is ludicrous, thus. As we have discussed before in this forum, the naïve or otherwise helpless omission by IRAQ of "airspace sovereignty" in their U.S. Status Of Forces Agreement is a loophole large enough to drive a drone and/or a B-52 through. Indeed professor, when looked at in this way (ie., not a land-map of the Middle East areas occupied or otherwise dominated by The West, but an aerial-map) the extent of de facto Western 3rd-Dimension "occupation" of the Middle East is a startling revelation.

  5. On the US military's need for more money/boots/blood/control:

    Plumber: Your toilet's busted.

    Homeowner: Can't you fix it?

    Plumber: I bought a new part for a $147 billion, but there's something down inside msssed up. Didn't work.

    Homeowner: Do I have to buy a new one?

    Plumber: Can't. Don't make 'em any more. One that's in good shape would be really hard to find these days.

    Homeowner: My wife likes things to match. Now much?

    Plumber: $965,436,782,611,203,444,577,000,000,000. Maybe more. Maybe twice that much. You don't want that.

    Homeowner: You're right. What else can you do?

    Plumber: I think 30,000 more guys might make a difference. No guarentees of course. May take two or three times that many, and maybe a three or four decades. But you sure can't afford to get a new one. I think they call that a financial existential threat. Ain't no other choices. Take it or leave it. I'll need 125% up front and a couple months to get the bodies together.

    The US military has reached the point where continuation of its mission–continuation of the appropriations–is more important than its pledge to defend the US. The PR hook is that the existential threat posed by (pick one) is so more expensive than continuing to feed the military that there is no choice but to feed the military machine, even if there are no guarentees of success. McChrystal's leaked report is above all a PR effort to evade blame for a failed mission that many for years have said was already failed, for reasons enedemic to the military process. The military claim that "I don't have enough" tries to hang the Bush/milco millstone on Obama's neck. Obama's dilemma is to either find a Grant in the midst of a herd of McClellans, who can be effective with what is available, or to have to say to the American people that the real existential threats to America are unsustainable US military adventurism and the continued addiction to an energy source–oil–that the US does not possess and must now (and forever) constantly steal from other countries. It's time for a Kennedy-esque reach-the-moon goal for replacement sources of oil energy, not a renewal of an unending dollar dump for a failed process that holds no promise whatever for a solution.

  6. a bit off topic: Most plausible explanation so far:

    "What is happening behind the scenes in Iran?

    Last week, The Assembly of Experts had its first meeting, and issued a statement in ABSOLUTE support of and subordination to the supreme leader–raising eyebrows, since this body is responsible for overlooking the conduct of the supreme leader and equipped with a vote to impeach him, should he stray from the path of justice and faith that are, constitutionally, the strict requirements of Vali-e Fagih.

    The other sensational "controversy" was that this statement was read in the absence of Hashemi Rafsanjani, the HEAD of the Assembly of Experts; raising speculations that he was further sidelined, and that he disagreed with the blanketing support the Assembly was giving to the Leader, Khamenei. This is of course not true. Because Hashemi's web site has published pictures of an amicable meeting between the Assembly members and Khamenei; with Hashemi sitting at the right hand of Khamenei; and also speaking to the assembly. He later issued a statement that it is not the Assembly of Expert, but the expediency council that will be looking into an exit strategy from the current crisis.

    There was a little "rumor" yesterday, on Deutsche Welle that a "special committee of expert is examining the option of getting rid of Ahmadinejad and replacing him with a Right wing conservative, Ghalibaf". Ghalibaf was a contender of presidential election in 2005, is an ardent supporter of Khamenei, hates Ahmadinejad's guts–as tape recorded in a private meeting–and is a relatively liked mayor of Tehran, thus likely to calm down the inflamed capitol. Someone (I cannot now recall who) speculated three possibilities that will get rid of Ahmadinejad, while saving the regime's face:

    His voluntary resignation
    His death or illness
    His parliamentary impeachment

    In fact, there may be some truth to this rumor, and Mohsen Rezayee, the secretary of the Expediency Council–headed by Hashemi Rafsanjani–seems to be spearheading this commission-or is at least buzzing about it publicly. I believe the last option, impeachment, is the most realistic; and the most likely one. I have a feeling the clergy has come to the conclusion that to save their own skin, they have to scape goat this man–who has been but a pain in their neck; undermining them at all cost and at any chance. The anti-clerical project of Ahmadinejad has become more clear to the establishment."

    link to

  7. I wonder what Shimon Peres, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have in common…

    Is the rest of the world shutting out Israel's defiance with its nuclear weapons development that dragged on for more than a decade?

  8. On CBS's early show on Sept. 28, former State Dept. official James P. Rubin attributes Iran's intransigence to the current leaders growing up in the aftermath of "the 1979 revolution against the United States and the Shah."

    Freudian slip maybe. Perhaps it explains the hardline attitude of the United States against Iran, that its leaders grew up in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution against the United States.

  9. " But no economic sanctions can effectively be placed on Iran without Iraqi support"

    Yes, not to mention Azeri, Afghani, Turkmen and Kazakh, UAE, Russian and Pakistani support. And I don't think Russia will go along either, at least not without WTO membership. There's nothing in it for them.

  10. I think the US hardline attitude is driven by the desire to take revenge for the overthrow of the Shah. If you read Charlie Wilson's War, revenge on the Russians drove the supply of Stingers to the mullahs. A fine set of bedfellows!

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