In final Failure for Bush/Cheney, many in Iraq seek Russian Alliance

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The Iraqi government in Baghdad, threatened by Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) and frustrated by the Obama administration’s foot-dragging in taking it on, seems increasingly tempted by a Russia alliance.

Leaders of the Iraqi Shiite militias visited Moscow this week to seek Russian airstrikes against Daesh, according to the Egyptian newspaper Mada. Faleh al-Fayyadh, head of the Popular Mobilization Units or Shiite militias and Iraq’s national security adviser are said to have been among the delegation.

The US has been appalled by the notion that the Sunni cities of Iraq now under Daesh rule should be conquered, like Tikrit, mainly by hard line Shiite militias. The US has argued to PM Haydar al-Abadi that he should put off further big offensives until a much bigger Sunni contingent of troops can be recruited, who could take the lead in the fighting and so avoid inflaming sectarian tensions. But these Sunni troops have not actually materialized, and Daesh in Ramadi threatens Shiite cities such as Karbala, and some Iraqi Shiites are tired of waiting on the US.

Also this week the head of the Iraqi parliament’s Defense and Security Committee, Hakim al-Zimili said, “I think the upcoming few days or weeks Iraq will be forced to ask Russia to launch air strikes and that depends on their success in Syria. . . we are seeking to see Russia have a bigger role in Iraq . . . definitely a bigger role than the Americans [have now].” Al-Zimili had been a member of the Sadr Bloc, and was deputy head of the Health Ministry in 2006-2007, when it was accused of tracking Sunni insurgents who went to hospital and kidnapping them.

Saad Hadisi, a spokesman for the government in Baghdad of Haydar al-Abadi, said, “We need to develop cooperation with these countries [Russia, Iran, Syria] for the defense of Iraq and to protect our people.”

But Sunni parliamentarians are objecting to any Iraqi alliance with these three countries. Unfortunately for them, they can be voted down by the Shiite majority.

The socialist Patriotic Union of Kurdistan would be happy, spokesman Saadi Ahmad Pira, about a Russian air campaign against Daesh. The minions of the phoney caliphate are not far from PUK base Sulaymaniya. The Massoud Barzani-led Kurdistan Regional Government, on the other hand, worries about Great Power rivalries in Iraq and seems more cautious about a Russian intervention.

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14 Responses

  1. Massoud Barzani is in good position, while him too can be overruled, he will go on to demand more from US and Turkey but I believe PKK and YPG will welcome Russia as US, an ally of turkey cannot offer them anything other them being cannon fodder against ISIS outside Kurdish territory while being bombed by turkey. Turkey is in a fix and any escalation with Russia will probably be matched by Russia. With no military solution in sight, US policy of sending four men to fight ISIS and tens of thousands of al Qaeda and affiliates to fight Assad is approaching the hour of decision and clarity. The objection of Sunni parliamentarians to any Iraqi collaboration with these countries leaves no doubt why the average man in the street is ISIS, al Qaeda, their affiliates, moderate, Hashed and such. US and Russia will have to play modern day Sykes Picot and enforce peace.

  2. Shiites won’t take on the fight, Sunnis won’t take on the fight, both would prefer the US fights and dies for them, so they turn to Putin who doesn’t mind at all.

  3. Russia is doing nothing the US could not have done had it wanted to. If you are allied to a super power, you expect to be defended. Those are the basics of the arrangement and they apply even when the subordinate party had little or no choice in it. Bur it can only survive while the obligation is fulfilled or while the illusion that it would be is maintained. One only has to recall the air cover provided the forces that cleared the Iraqis from Kuwait or those that covered Iraq to overthrow Saddam to realise Iraq now is receiving a much watered down version, certainly much less than Syria is getting from Russia. The US is pussyfooting around muttering about the dangers of aggravating sectarian violence while the place is being overwhelmed by mind numbing excesses of sectarian violence. al-Adabi said more or less that in his France24 interview the other day; Is it any wonder Iraqis seek another defender.

    • Those “mindnumbing excesses” are the direct result of the US past decisions not to “pussyfoot around” in Iraq and AfPak. No one who cares about the population there would even think of military intervention as a means of political or economic or social development. It leads to extremism, and the warmongers cannot imagine any response but yet more militarism. Think of solutions, not merely rationales for vain shows of anger. When you have a record of generations of humanitarian interventions, and a path to progress blocked solely by military force, then you may suggest military force as an ancillary means to progress. Until then it is the cause of the problem.

  4. What’s the rub, Russia is
    full blown Capitalism at
    it’s finest. So why not let
    Putin pull a Shrub in the
    Middle-East?

  5. The isolationist policy which some people have been advocating for decades may finally be realized. Let’s hope that the American military will no longer be used as an arm of multinational corporations or in defense of indefensible regimes around the world.

    • Thank you, God’s Spirit, that is my wish forever. May that day come. I would give up a lot of economic advantages for some Peace and Justice here.

  6. Newspaper Mada is an iraqian newspaper not egyptian. His editor in chief is ex leader of iraqi communist party Fakhri Karim.

  7. It’s time for the US to show its guts a ally with Russia to end this situation politically. Daesh, Hashed, Taliban to name a few are here to stay. In 1948 Indians and Muslims were there to stay. These extremists, need a “country”, “State” to live, period. They will not vanish, will they? Do we control extremists here in the US? Does Israel control their extremists there?

  8. So after Iraq asks Russia to intervene, would Israel also coordinate with Russia regarding that like its coordinating with Russia on Syria? Israel is the only one not complaining about Russia so far.

  9. “The Iraqi government…frustrated by the Obama administration’s foot-dragging in taking it on….”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA. Taking “it” on? Taking WHAT on! The corrupt Iraqi government trying to blackmail the US for even more guns and money, which they count while hiding under the bed, checking for flights to London?

    All the US’s guns and money didn’t make a damn bit of difference, nor will continued US support. Vladimir, it’s all yours (if you can manage to cough up the rubles).

  10. “The Iraqi government in Baghdad, threatened by Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) and frustrated by the Obama administration’s foot-dragging in taking it on, seems increasingly tempted by a Russia alliance.”

    If the next U.S. President is a Republican, the Iraqi government can rest assured more of our loyal and trusting troops and TRILLION$ more of U.S. liability will be wasted on another needless MIC stratagem.

  11. We Irakis never invited you to destroy Irak based on demented lies by American neo-conservative children, nor did the Palestinians invite the Jews (Holocaust or not) to colonize Palestine, nor did we encourage you to be Gas-guzzlers possessed by oil and oil producing theocratic dictatorships that spread deadly fanatisme based on 6th century tales.

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