Turning a Cold Shoulder


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This popular view holds despite a heavy increase in sectarian violence across Iraq, the specter of ethnic violence between Kurds and Arabs over disputed oil fields, and a belief by both Iraqi and US military commanders that Iraq’s security forces are not yet able to independently protect its borders from outside forces.

Ironically, that latter point has been the basis of one of the strongest arguments for a continued US military presence. Absent a significant US force, Iraq’s security forces remain unprepared to repel a conventional military, air or missile attack, most specifically one launched by Iran. Yet, the push to embrace Iran seems to indicate the Iraqis have little to fear from the Islamist Republic.

While that belief may well prove mistaken in the end, Iraqis certainly have something to fear presently from the al Qaeda insurgents operating within its borders. For months Iraq has been plagued by a series of insurgent bomb and gunfire attacks, assaults which have left scores killed and hundreds wounded. Last week six people were killed and 27 wounded in separate attacks in central and northern Iraq.  In Baghdad over one weekend, five car-bomb explosions killed 18 and wounded 77.

Furthermore American military bases and personnel in Iraq are also coming under increased attacks from mortar-fire and bombings. US forces faced 162 attacks in April, up from 128 in March and 93 in February. As one American army spokesman said, “Various extremist groups and illegal militias have said they will increase attacks against US forces and they are trying to do that to claim credit for driving out our forces.”

Unfortunately, the line of people advocating an America withdrawal extends beyond Iraq’s border. While the Obama administration has offered to leave up to 12,000 troops behind, it isn’t pressing the issue with the Iraqis. Moreover, an increasing number of US lawmakers from both parties are less than eager to see the United States stay beyond 2011.

Adding to American unease has been Iraq’s own indecision over the issue, which has clearly frustrated some once ardent supporters. Senator Lindsey Graham summed the feeling up best when he said last month, if we can’t “work with the Iraqis to have 10,000 to 15,000 American troops in Iraq in 2012, Iraq could go to hell.”

In fact, the advancement of Iraq into Iran’s orbit may only increase that feeling. It’s one certainly borne by a large segment of American taxpayers who have seen the United States drain its treasure in defense of Iraqi freedom. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom was $709 billion for military and related activities, including training of Iraqi forces and diplomatic operations.

Yet far more important than the expenditure of tax dollars has been the cost in American blood. As Americans honor their service men and women on this Memorial Day, the meaning of those who made the ultimate sacrifice is not lost.

Unfortunately — if Iraq’s recent actions are any indication — the meaning of American sacrifice on its behalf is sadly lost on them.

Frank Crimi is a writer living in San Diego, California. You can read more of Frank’s work at his blog, www.politicallyunbalanced.com.

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  • MullahAssassin

    Well, I say let the Iraqis have what they want. If they want to flirt with Iran and be on the receiving end of bombings and other bully tactics intended to browbeat them into toeing the Iranian line, then so be it. Just don't cry and whinge for US help thereafter. Sad to see the US sacrifice in Iraq go to waste, but hey, what do you expect from muslims?

  • MichaelF

    You are kind of late with this story. It’s old news.

    I blame the Obama administration for ignoring the Iraqi-Iranian tie, but I blame the Bush administration for creating it. Anyone familiar with the Mid East could predict this outcome in 2003. That is why then Israeli PM Sharon warned Bush, in then secret conversations, not to invade Iraq.

    Iraq was lost in 2003-2006 when Iran placed their stooges into power. Both Maliki and the Sadr opposition are in Iran’s back pocket. Rather than recognize the Iranian threat, Bush created it by deposing Saddam and opening the door to Iranian expansion.

    To be continued. . . .

  • MichaelF

    Iranian-Iraqi trade reached its height of $8 billion a year in 2008, under Bush’s watch. Much of this was financed by US tax dollars. Even with sanctions against Iran having an effect on the Iranian economy, this trade has not been addressed by the Obama administration either. It may reach $10 billion this year, although previous predictions of increased trade have still held the value at about $8 billion. From 2006 to the present, Iran through a series of sweetheart deals has slowly taken over the Iraqi energy industry.

    There have been disagreements between Iran and Iraq over the past five years, but I note they have all been resolved with Iraq backing down.

    The current Iraqi government was established in Teheran. Voters decided to throw Maliki out of office, but his job was saved when the Sadr opposition was ordered to support a Maliki government.

    I say pull out the troops now. To hell with Iraq. Let them fall into a civil war. Then Iraq can become Iran’s Vietnam. Protecting the Maliki government is doing us no good.

  • PhillipGaley

    This article puts forward the novel idea that, "Birds of a feather flock together.", when in fact, I would say, the real surprise is how unutterably stupid our very own "Islam is a peaceful religion." George Bush and his brainy think-tank buddies, William Krystal, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, et al, could have been, . . . both in commencement of hostilities without proper engagement, and in prosecution of the thing, and relatedly, in spreading depleted U all over that area, as though some kind of necessity mandated that. They will here again, "I will destroy those who destroy of the earth.", . . .

  • Quinterius

    "Since 2003, 4,452 American military members have been killed and 32,102 wounded fighting for Iraqi freedom. The fact that most of those killed and wounded came at the hands of Iranian proxies." This statement is an absolute lie. Iran was not responsible for the deaths of the American invaders and occupiers. Even General Petraeus had to take back statements relating to Iranian weapons. Here is an example of the lies about Iranian weapons in Iraq;
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/200

  • Ghostwriter

    Quinterius,for how long have you supported the genocial regime in Iran?

    • Quinterius

      Do you have anything intelligent to say besides just complaining? Did you read the reference that I provided? Do you have your own intelligence sources that have provided you with evidence to the contrary? By the way, how long have you been supporting the genocidal state of Israel?

      • SAM000

        Quinterius;
        For how long have you been married with devil Khomeini?

        • Quinterius

          How long have you been licking Netanyahu's feet? I don't believe in devils, gods or any other supernatural beings. You seem to have nothing intelligent to say either. So, you can bark as much as you want.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            Let me ask you a few easy questions: Can you point to just one Muslim majority country anywhere in the world where the non-Muslim unbelievers that live in those countries aren’t violently oppressed and systematically persecuted when not outright slaughtered altogether? Here’s another easy one for you, can you point to just one country anywhere in the world where mass Muslim immigration has already taken place where the majority of Muslim immigrants assimilated and integrated instead of forming Muslim no-go zones ruled by Sharia as parallel societies within societies and in direct contravention to the laws of the states in which they reside? Indeed, can you point to one Islamic country anywhere in the world where Muslim females aren’t treated as property? In the Islamic world millions of females are sold into child sex slavery, do you support this practice? How about female genital mutilation, do you also support this practice?

            I also see that you are more than a little bigoted with respect to Jews? Okay the Islamic world is waging a permanent and perpetual jihad against the Jewish unbelievers in Israel, just like they are also waging permanent and perpetual jihads against the Hindu unbelievers in Kashmir, Jammu, and India, against the Buddhist unbelievers in Thailand, against the Christian unbelievers in the Philippines, against the Orthodox Christian and atheist unbelievers in Chechnya and Russia, against Christian and animist unbelievers in the Ivory Coast, against Christian Serb unbelievers in Bosnia and Kosovo, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum and any and all unbelievers around the world, as Islam divides the world between believers and unbelievers and then applies one set of rules and ethics for believers and a completely different set of rules and ethics for unbelievers. Hence, since Muslims are waging jihad against any and all unbelievers around the world, then why do you only single out only Jewish unbelievers for your anti-Semitic bigotry? Why not all unbelievers?

          • Quinterius

            To ObamaYoMoma89p: I see that you speak from complete ignorance. What most Americans don't understand is that there is big difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims in general and between Sunnis and Shiites. Most Americans think that all Muslims are in a Jihad to rule the world. That is total nonsense. In particular, in Iran there is no such goal.

            You asked if there is a Muslim country where "non-Muslim unbelievers that live in those countries aren’t violently oppressed and systematically persecuted when not outright slaughtered altogether?" Ignoring your erroneous grammar, yes, I have a perfect example. It is Iran, where about 25,000 Jews and much larger population of Armenian Christians and some Assyrian Christians live without any discrimination. In fact, Iran is the home of the largest population of Jews in the Middle East after Israel. The Jews of Iran have lived their for centuries, even thousands of years. Most are against Zionism and the policies of Israel towards the Palestinians. Both Christians and Jews have their own members in the Iranian parliament, as do the Zoroastrians. So, you see, you don't know the first thing about Muslims, at least Shiite Muslims of Iran. There is a world of difference between the Muslims of Iran and Al Qaeda or the crazy Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia.

            As far as your claim that I am bigoted against Jews, I won't dignify it with a response since it is ridiculous. In fact, I don't believe in any religion. I think all religions are figments of the imagination of their believers. But, I have no objection to people believing whatever they want. I object to using religion to suppress other people as the Zionists of Israel are doing against the Palestinians.

            Here are a couple of references about the Jews of Iran for your edification:
            http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5367892.sthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn4ZX99Fbxs

          • ObamaYoMoma

            What most Americans don't understand is that there is big difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims in general and between Sunnis and Shiites.

            You are very right about most Americans not understanding Islam exactly like you. Indeed, I can’t disagree with that. Nevertheless, the main difference between AQ and most Muslims is most Muslims elect to pursue stealth and deceptive non-violent jihad instead of violent jihad, sort of like most Americans don’t elect to volunteer for military service. In any event, if Islam is a so-called Religion of Peace™ being hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists, as your idol George Bush insists, then why are non-Muslim unbelievers living inside every Muslim majority country in the world without exception violently oppressed and systematically persecuted when not outright slaughtered altogether?

            It is Iran, where about 25,000 Jews and much larger population of Armenian Christians and some Assyrian Christians live without any discrimination.

            Oh please, is that the best you can do? Out of 57 Islamic countries in the world the best you can do is regurgitate the idiotic propaganda about the Jews holding one seat in the Iranian Majlis and supposedly not being oppressed, even when it is very obvious that Iran is a totalitarian Islamic Sharia state and that the Majlis has exactly zero power, and never mind that last year’s elections were also stolen. And what about the other 56 Islamic countries? They don’t count? Has anyone ever pointed out to you that you are incredibly easy to dupe?

            Anyway, if you are dumb enough to believe and repeat that garbage, and apparently you are, then I have a bridge I need to sell you! Meanwhile, besides Jews, Christians, Bahais, Zoroastrians, homosexuals, and females are slaughtered all the time in Iran and if you don’t know it, then you are blind as a bat and don’t want to know it.

            In fact, Iran is the home of the largest population of Jews in the Middle East after Israel. The Jews of Iran have lived their for centuries, even thousands of years. Most are against Zionism and the policies of Israel towards the Palestinians.

            Oh brother, I hate to rain on your oblivious parade, but the Jews are oppressed dhimmis living under harsh Muslim rule and guess what would happen to them if they made the stupid mistake of openly supporting Zionism? They would be slaughtered in a pogrom so fast it would make your head spin! Hell…it’s clear; you don’t even have half a brain and you swallow Iranian propaganda like it is the crack you obviously must be addicted to.

            There is a world of difference between the Muslims of Iran and Al Qaeda or the crazy Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia.

            Yeah…we can tell that you are really a leading authority on Islam. Meanwhile, again what about the other 56 Islamic countries, why don’t you fill us in? By the way, with respect to Iran and Shi’a Islam, don’t humor yourself…you don’t have a damn clue!

            Meanwhile non-Muslims living in Muslim majority countries, including in Iran, are forbidden from building new houses of worship or from practicing their respective religions openly at the same time that Muslim immigrants to the West are free to build thousands of mosques and madrassas and to openly practice Islam, at the same time the vast majority of Muslim immigrants to the West refuse to assimilate and integrate and form Muslim no-go zones ruled by Sharia.

            By the way, why didn’t you point to a single country anywhere in the world where mass Muslim immigration has already occurred where the majority of the Muslim immigrants assimilated and integrated instead of forming Muslim no-go zones? I’ll tell you why, because there is no such place on the planet, because Muslims don’t immigrate to the West to assimilate and integrate, but instead to eventually subjugate and dominate, and they do it by exploiting the ignorance’s of leftwing loons.

            –continued

          • ObamaYoMoma

            As far as your claim that I am bigoted against Jews,

            Well, you said that Israel is genocidal, even though the Muslims you sympathize with and apologize for tried to perpetrate another mass genocidal holocaust of Jews on three separate occasions. Indeed, clearly your ignorance’s have been so exploited by Muslims that you are now resorting to inverting reality by claiming that Jewish unbelievers are guilty of exactly what the Islamic world tried to do to them Yet, you claim to be some sort of leading authority on Islam and Muslims. Yeah right…and I’m the man in the moon and I live off of cheese because the moon is made of cheese.

            I won't dignify it with a response since it is ridiculous.

            I understand…meanwhile even though Muslims, per the texts and tenets of Islam, are waging a permanent and perpetual jihad against any and all unbelievers around the world, you just happen to incite hatred and violence against Israel to help facilitate another mass genocidal holocaust of Jews because apparently one wasn’t enough to satisfy your desire for Jewish blood. I mean why else would you single out Jews and only Jews, even though it is very clear that Muslims are waging jihad against any and all unbelievers!

            In fact, your ignorance’s have been so exploited to the hilt that I bet you are oblivious to the fact that the same jihad that targets the Jewish unbelievers in Israel also targets you and me. Yet, like an oblivious useful idiot, you are lending your aid and support to Muslims because you have been manipulated into becoming a totally obsessed Jew hater. Indeed, you know just enough about Islam and Muslims to be played like a cheap and worn out piano.

            In fact, I don't believe in any religion. I think all religions are figments of the imagination of their believers.

            Good because Islam isn’t a religion. Indeed, Islam is far closer to being a totalitarian ideology like Communism than it is to being a religion, as Islam like Communism seeks world domination, and the end result of Islam exactly like Communism is totalitarianism, poverty, despair, hopelessness, and lots and lots of misery.

            The reality is Islam is a militant theo-political totalitarian ideology that masquerades as being a religion to dupe the societies it intends to subjugate and its main goal is the subjugation of the world into a very draconian form of totalitarianism via the imposition of Sharia. Don’t believe me? Okay, then what faith-based religions like Islam impose capital punishment for blasphemy, apostasy, and for insulting Islam? The answer is none of them do.

            I object to using religion to suppress other people as the Zionists of Israel are doing against the Palestinians.

            You know about as much about Jews as you know about Islam and Muslims, that is just enough to get your ignorance’s exploited to the hilt. Buddhists have to be adherents of Buddha, otherwise they are not Buddhists, Christians have to be the adherents of Jesus Christ, otherwise they are not Christians, but Jews, on the other hand, don’t have to be adherents of anything, they just have to plop out of the wound of a woman who happens to be a Jew. Maybe if you weren’t so obsessed with hating Jews and apologizing and sympathizing with Muslims who are not only waging Jihad against Jewish unbelievers in Israel, but also all unbelievers including you as well, you’d realize that the overwhelming majority of Jews, including the majority of Zionists, aren’t even religious in the least.

            In other words, I hate to have to keep raining on your totally oblivious parade, but you have inverted reality again. The Jews aren’t oppressing anyone. To the contrary they are the victims of a permanent and perpetual genocidal jihad, just like all the other unbelievers I mentioned in my previous posts. Yet, you have obviously had your ignorance’s exploited so much that you are completely oblivious.

          • Quinterius

            Sorry to blow your bubble, but I did not even bother reading your nonsense. Your foul-mouthed garbage belongs to the dustbin. When you learn to carry on a civilized dialog maybe someone will take your seriously. For now, you can just talk to yourself.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            In other words, you are incapable of responding in the face of incontrovertible truths you can’t possibly refute without exposing to the world what an unhinged fool and bigot you are. It’s okay…I fully understand.

  • PersianGulf

    Iran and Iraq are naturally bonded by millions of relatives, religious, thousands years of common history and cultural facts. Americans can not divide those nations. They are free to choose their friends. Bush made a strategic mistake in ME and there is absolutely nothing Peresident Obama can do to reverse it.

  • james

    Actually Obama knocking American alley leaders out of power is probably why the Iraqi government went from condemning Iranian weapons to supporting them. Obama has proved the worth of being a close American alley, which is to say its worthless.

  • Amused

    Old man Bush knew that to destroy Saddam and his Republican Guard would lead to this . But Cheney and the neo-con pupeteers had Baby Bush invade Iraq . Time to get the hell out of that place . Dont blame Obama or anyone else for the pile of sheet the Bush Admin .left in Iraq .

  • Amused

    "Mission Accomplished " my arse ! The " DAMAGE has been done" is more like the reality of the invasion . Just ask the christians of Iraq .

  • ObamaYoMoma

    This Iraqi move is a grievous affront to those Americans killed and wounded at the hands of Iranian funded, armed and trained terrorist insurgents.

    Indeed, it is that, but it also was always the logical and inevitable outcome of our incredibly fantasy-based nation-building mission in Iraq, and it is also the logical and inevitable outcome of our incredibly fantasy based nation-building mission in Afghanistan, only Afghanis will ally with the Pakistanis. Indeed, I can’t figure out why anyone would be surprised by this inevitable turn of events, unless like our glorious leaders they failed to do their homework. The idea that Islam is a Religion of Peace being hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists is utterly absurd. Hell, Islam isn’t even a religion in the same sense that other religions are religions.

    Since 2003, 4,452 American military members have been killed and 32,102 wounded fighting for Iraqi freedom.

    Uhm…thanks to Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, a Muslim who managed to penetrate our incredibly incompetent State Department and get himself appointed first as ambassador to Afghanistan and then subsequently to Iraq, Afghanistan and Iraq’s constitutions have both been enshrined with Sharia. Meanwhile, the only freedom that Sharia allows is the freedom for Muslims to become more devout slaves of Allah. Hence, the notion that American military members were fighting for Iraqi freedom is utterly absurd. Not to mention also that Sharia also obligates all Muslims to wage jihad perpetually against any and all unbelievers.

    The fact that most of those killed and wounded came at the hands of Iranian proxies makes Iraq’s announcement all the more reprehensible.

    It is indeed very reprehensible, but the outcome was always very logical and inevitable.

    While on the international front, Iraq has parroted the Iranian foreign policy line, in particular in its condemnation of the Persian Gulf States and their crackdown on Shiite dissidents.

    Actually, that isn’t all they are parroting Iran on. They are also parroting Iran when it comes to Israel and the USA.

    Unfortunately, Iraq’s flirtation with Iran comes as the US prepares to meet the December 2011 deadline for the complete withdrawal of its remaining 47,000 troops from Iraq.

    Right on schedule!

    Last week six people were killed and 27 wounded in separate attacks in central and northern Iraq. In Baghdad over one weekend, five car-bomb explosions killed 18 and wounded 77.

    The writer needs to study Islam and change his mind set. Muslims on Muslim violence inside the Dar al Islam is good for we unbelievers living in the Dar al Harb and bad for Muslims living in Dar al Islam.

    • Quinterius

      You post is too long to respond in detail. However, you seem to agree with the following statement in the article:

      "The fact that most of those killed and wounded came at the hands of Iranian proxies makes Iraq’s announcement all the more reprehensible."

      This statement is a complete lie. Iran has had nothing to do with the US military deaths. Did you see the earlier reference that I provided? Here it is again:
      http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/200

      When the US officials don't have an explanation for their failures, they blame Iran. Was Iran also responsible for about one million Iraqis who died because of the US invasion or about four million who became displaced also?

      • ObamaYoMoma

        What…are you an unhinged loon? You are referring to one particular incident. How long have we been in Iraq since 2003? Are you crazy? Iran is responsible for murdering a ton of Americans not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan as well. Moreover, it is building nukes, not for national defense, but instead to make Islam supreme throughout the world. Look…if you want to be a submissive dhimmi, that is one thing, but don’t assume everyone else is as mentally handicapped as you are!

        When the US officials don't have an explanation for their failures, they blame Iran. Was Iran also responsible for about one million Iraqis who died because of the US invasion or about four million who became displaced also?

        Go fly a kite you self-hating loon!

        • Quinterius

          You are such an absolute idiot that I regret taking the time to responding to your previous garbage. Go jump in a lake and leave us alone. You are totally ignorant. Patreaus had to take back many claims that Iranians were involved in killing "our boys" in Iraq. Your boys were killed because of stupid Bush, not because of the Iranians.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            Patreaus had to take back many claims that Iranians were involved in killing "our boys" in Iraq.

            Care to back up your absurdity?

  • ObamaYoMoma

    “Various extremist groups and illegal militias have said they will increase attacks against US forces and they are trying to do that to claim credit for driving out our forces.”

    It’s Israel abandoning the Gaza Strip déjà vu all over again circa 2005 and again the logical and inevitable outcome. If the USA were smart it would perpetrate massive destruction in Iraq in retaliation and to create the deterrence it should have created long ago and then get the hell out of there ASAP. The same goes for Afghanistan. Anything less is exceedingly fantasy based.

    Senator Lindsey Graham summed the feeling up best when he said last month, if we can’t “work with the Iraqis to have 10,000 to 15,000 American troops in Iraq in 2012, Iraq could go to hell.”

    Typical. Meanwhile, we wasted over 1.5 trillion dollars, squandered thousands of young American lives, and destroyed the will of the American people at the same time and all Senator Lindsey Graham can say is “Iraq could go to hell.”

    Senator Lindsey Graham along with his witless cohorts Senators John McCain and Senator Joseph Lieberman with all due respect are unadulterated buffoons. By the way, I’m very proud to say that I didn’t vote for John McCain in the last presidential election and I won’t ever hold my nose again and vote for another candidate that isn’t sufficiently conservative. GWB cured me of that folly.

    As Americans honor their service men and women on this Memorial Day, the meaning of those who made the ultimate sacrifice is not lost.

    Maybe the meaning is not lost, but those responsible for making them pay the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of what are the two biggest strategic blunders in American history should be held accountable and made to pay for these travesties, no matter how well intentioned they were. Indeed, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Nevertheless, just like the financial meltdown, no one will ever be held to account and the USA will continue it’s rapid downward spiral into oblivion.

    Unfortunately — if Iraq’s recent actions are any indication — the meaning of American sacrifice on its behalf is sadly lost on them.

    Maybe if you would put your political correctness aside and learn about Islam and not the fake Islam promoted by our federal government and the news media, you would learn that Muslims are obligated to hate our unbeliever kafir infidel guts no matter how many sacrifices we make for their good.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Sadam Hussein should have had a egg dropped on his head and
    that would have been that and the world would have gone on it's
    merry way. Falluja should have been flattened in "03 and we would
    not see the way things are turning out now. All Muslim Nations are
    being pulled into the grand axis of evil that Israel will have to confront
    in the seemingly near future. A new President with a realist approach
    may do the will of Americans if we have not been so undermined by
    Leftist/Muslim intrusion. Every day it seems people that I detest are
    calling all of the shots and America is fading into a fabricated ignominy.
    William

  • Aurelius

    Whether it is Iraq or Afghanistan, Lebanon of Gaza, the Arab wannabe identity crisis filled Iranian Mullah hand is involved. Why doesn't somebody bomb Iran to the stone ages and let Allah sort it out afterwards?